Arsenal’s African Players Number 14 – Mo Elneny

As gooners resentment grew at the back end of last season, this man grew into a scapegoat, and if many have their way he will be off the wage bill this summer.

Mohamed Elneny – Played 89 Scored 2

The reality is he only featured 8 times in the Prem last campaign so can hardly be blamed for us not qualifying for the Champions League. He mostly played in the cups with Unai Emery trusting him less then Arsene Wenger did.
Many have observed the midfielder likes to pass sideways, slowing down our play. The truth is every squad has someone like the Egyptian, someone who comes in and does the simple things.

Even back when we were winning titles you had fringe players who had their limitations. I would never question the man’s work rate and feel that when he’s your sole DM, he does what his criteria is. Where his manager lets him down is starting him with a Torreria or Guendouzi. That’s too negative forcing one to do something they are not comfortable doing.

You can tell by his tweets he loves being at such a big club and you imagine him being popular in the dressing room. He’s an excellent example of someone who might be hard to offload. He will know any move will be a backwards step. An option might be a return to Basel where he was a success, but he might be happy being paid a huge salary just to play in the League Cup.

It does make modern fans hypocritical. We call a player disloyal when we don’t want them to leave yet don’t support those who want to stay. He’s an integral part of a national team going through a good period, having got Egypt to their third World Cup and currently hosting the Cup of Nations, a competition they finished as runners-up in 2017.

Dan Smith


  1. Innit says:

    He was only featured in 9 matches for a reason

    He isn’t a terrible player and actually works harder than most but not good enough in my humble opinionation (I know it’s not a real word)

    1. abdulghani adebayo says:

      I completely agree with you, but humble doesn’t win matches.

  2. ken1945 says:

    Dan, I like your commentaries of the players, along with the facts given. Good posts.

    A squad player at best, but a loyal squad player nevertheless.

    If he is being blamed for passing across the pitch, heavens knows what the rest of the midfield were doing!!!

  3. abdulghani adebayo says:

    For me he is not at arsenal’s level.

    1. Seth says:

      indeed he is not we should get cash from him this summer to raise the budget

  4. jon fox says:

    To qualify as an African player, or a European player or Australian, South American or anywhere else you first have to be a PLAYER. This awful joke of a midfielder who should never have been anywhere near Arsenal FC and would not have been but for WENGERS stupidity CAN SCARCELY BE CALLED A PLAYER AT ALL. I strongly feel that until, some time in the future , that we have actually had a decent number of top African players , that we refrain from these “best from any continent” polls(which is a total irrelevance anyway) and just ask which have been our best ARSENAL players , be they from Africa, London, China, the Moon or anywhere else. Who CARES where they came from? Not I for one! But I DO care how good or atrocious(as in Elneny’s case) they are.

    1. jon fox says:

      To expand further on my above post, I speak as I do because I consider it foolish and unhealthy to concentrate on any players nationality. Top level football is a world game and all the better for it. This parochial thinking – about concerning yourselves with any particular players heritage, which has NO bearing on their ability whatsoever – is shallow thinking and in my view a retograde and rather dim way of thinking. Though not actually racist in conception, it fosters unhelpful concentration on any particular players nationality and also his heritage. Why should THAT matter> I say it does NOT!

      I realise many on here will think I am being way too picky and oversensitive but as someone who has actively fought, throughout my longish adult life -even physically when much younger – against racism, both at street level and politically, I see the dangers in concentrating on nationality and heritage. Nationalism is NOT racism, of course it is not; not by itself but there are some on our planet whose thinking is not as evolved as most of us and THOSE sad people often do confuse patriotism – which is good and healthy , with racism , which , of course is evil. As evolved people we need to help foster an all inclusive mentality about players being just ONE vital thing: namely , are they or are they NOT good enough to wear our shirt. I see no evidence , since there is none to see, that the accident of where you are born or your heritage has an iota of influence on your skill(or lack of). In my considered opinion I see no need to discuss it therefore. I write this in a friendly way, whilst attempting to influence some to think more deeply about how they react to this important subject.

      1. snowden says:

        Jon. When I read the title of the series I had no thought of racialism of of from where location.

        As we know the first time Arsene fielded a team without a UK player in it he famously replied ”When I select a player to play for Arsenal I don’t look at his passport”

        Perhaps I have been condition into thinking saying where a player from is not racialism because when ever I see a list of players invariably I see the flag of the country the player is from.

        If the title had been ‘Black players…’ then I would protest because i am not interested in colour and I think its wrong to consider it. In any case we live in a time when a white person can from countries where because the sun most people are brown or black A person’s colour is a meaningless denoter of where he is from.

        Further example. Let us suppose we have a series on ‘U S A players who have played for Arsenal’. There is no hint of colour or racialism only location.

        So far the writer has been strong on praise and gentle on criticism and knowledgable. I particularly appreciate the ‘where he is now’ info.

        I don’t think the writer is being racialist because he refers to a player’s place of birth in these articles.

        1. Admin says:

          I don’t know if you read the first ever one, but because it is the transfer window we needed some interesting articles that do not repeat the same old stuff. This series was inspired by the opening day of the African Nations Cup, and I for one have found it fascinating. Everyone has their own opinion…

          1. jon fox says:

            Martin I fully appreciate what you say and sympathise with the difficulty of finding interesting and many(too many even?) articles daily to keep this site active. Personally, I see no sensible connection between the African Nations Cup going on now and therefore a reason for an article about Arsenal Africans. After all, I doubt you would consider an article about European Arsenal players, simply because the CL was in progress. That would be no more valid than the African article but THAT has not happened on here, unless I missed it. THIS RATHER ILLUSTRATES SOME THINKING ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFRICAN VERSUS EUPOPEAN PLAYERS, WHEREAS THE ONLY DIFFERENCE THAT SHOULD MATTER IS PERSONAL TALENT AND NOTHING ELSE AT ALL. I do hope that you will try to more fully understand the importance of inclusivity as opposed to divisiveness – Africans versus non Africans as an article and so on. People looking back on this type of thinking decades hence, will certainly react with the same horror as the vast majority of todays fully evolved humans, who have the “benefit” of being old enough to remember the common racism in Britain as recently as a few decades ago. In my view all decent humans have a moral duty in all walks of life, football very much included, to promote inclusivity; the very same inclusivity that has brought great players from the world over to our Premier league. I need not name the many greats from outside Britain who have worn our shirt , as with other teams too. Fortunately, ARSENE WENGER FOR ALL HIS MANAGERIAL FAULTS IN HIS LATTER YEARS, WAS AND REMAINS A MAN OF THE WORLD; A DECENT, FULLY INCLUSIVE AND COMPASSIONATE MAN TO HIS FINGERTIPS. This has massively enhanced and progressed our game, since it means we and others can now consider the best players from the world over, not merely from these shores, as was the case in the not too distant past. It is only Kroenke and his meanness who prevents this happening at our club right now.

            FINALLY, I WILL ENDEAVOUR TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE OR TWO ABOUT OTHER ARSENAL SUBJECTS TO YOU THIS COMING WEEK. It is only lack of time that has prevented me doing so til now.

          2. Admin Martin says:

            Article nothing to do with me Jon, it is a series by a contributor so I am not in a position to answer other than to say I believe the majority have found the articles interesting, they have certainly created debate and as for the type of article you will find everywhere they do articles like this as an example just the other day I read an article about the best five Americans to play in the Premier League, I have seen the best South Americans and best Asians, to insinuate that this is a lack of evolving is misplaced in my opinion. At every world cup pundits, players, media etc. all say will we get a first African world cup winner and so on. The reason you do not get European is that there is nothing to write there but when it comes to Africa, Asia etc. there is.

        2. jon fox says:

          snowden, Thanks for your imput on this. What I was trying to make clear is that whilst nationalism is NOT by itself racism, some folk are unable to see how they differ, as most of us can see. Ther can be a thin line between speaking about where you come from and racism, though there is a clear distinction in most peoples minds, mine included. Simply put , I see no benefit in discussing where players originate from and indeed I stated that origin of country or birth or heritage has ZERO bearing on talent and ability. Decades ago, it was common in Britain to say that black players had not the determination of white players. That was actually a common view, repugnant and wrong though it certainly was. It is far more important than just football, to foster a climate where inclusivity is for all and where this becomes the norm. To many it already is so but there are others, even on here, though I will not name them, who believe differently. I have seen posts with this evil view, though thankfully, they are very rare.

          The debate about Iwobi is a case in point. His Nigerian heritage is, IMO, being used as a stick with which to beat him by some and by others , one or two in particular, as a reason to defend him from criticism, those defenders being unable to distinguish player criticism from a perceived but incorrect attack on their own country. It is noticeable that it is almost exclusively Nigerians who defend him, even though other Nigerians do not do so and judge him only on his ability. Racism is about far more than skin colour ; it is also about culture, language, religion and much else too. The anti Semites in todays British Labour Party show this stupidity up for the evil nonsense it is. So too do the increasing number of anti Muslims on the far right. I hesitate on THIS site to get TOO personally deep into this subject, since it is not really specifically Arsenal related but the original article and the not properly realised dangers of posing it by the author, compelled me to post my original post. I welcome other fans posts on this IMPORTANT SUBJECT. BTW, I have never said, nor remotely ever thought that the author is personally racist, simply for raising this subject. Perish the thought. I do hope you fully understand my nuances of argument in this post.

          1. snowden says:

            Hello Jon. Firstly I apologise to you for the typos in my post to you. I read your post just before closing my comp before going out and thought to make a quick reply. Too quick as far as typing goes.

            I do see your point but I think the writer has spoken only about the player’s ability,lack it, or unsuitability in terms football and no other aspect. I didn’t know until now that we have had 16 players from the African Continent play for us but mentioning the number I do not see as racialist – just location.

            Go back a few years I am sure you will know this better than me.Ron Greenwood was the England Manager. He said one day (I paraphrase his words.) If I want to see a foreign team I go to Arsenal and watch the Irish.- this wasn’t seen as racialist.

            Macred Nose sneer on hearing that Arsene was to be our manager ”What does a Frenchman from Japan know about English football?’ Was racialist for it considered the nationality of the man as important not his football knowledge first. There is none of that in the articles I have read so far.

            It would be good to have more articles that take an overall look at Arsenal and all matters on the pitch and off the pitch.

            I can’t be the only one who checks here but never opens articles on rumour or opinion as to what someone at the club should or shouldn’t do and other articles similar. However there are those who enjoy these discussions and Just Arsenal is perfect for them

            In my opinion the writer has been sympathetic toward players who have not had the success we would have wanted for them.

            I agree with your view on racism and I appreciate the warning. I believe the writer has been football focused just like Arsene.

  5. jon fox says:

    snowden, I enjoyed reading your post and please don’t apologise for the completely unimportant typos which we all do, myself very much included. I don’t think we differ on the fundamentals and it is difficult to make my own position on this nuanced matter completely clear. I never thought that the article was remotely racist in tone and that was not what I was saying at all. I was trying to make a far more subtle point about the need for inclusiveness, as opposed to what I still perceive as an unnecessarily divisive article, though with harmless intent. I admit to being among a tiny, possibly virtually non-existent minority, who think as I do but that should never prevent anyone standing up for what they sincerely believe. Fortunately overt racism is very rare now among mainstream football fans, apart from a few Chelsea and Millwall headcases, who constantly shame their clubs , plus a few others scattered around Britain. But unconscious, unintended racism is still around and if you have not already done so I would recommend you to listen to John Barnes on this subject who talks great sense. In life, full understanding of any matter is not given to many, apart from those who are daily affected by it, whether that be disease, loneliness, disability, bigotry, racism and much else too. I will leave it there and thanks for debating with me.

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