Elneny is a great buy for Arsenal, but he’s NOT a DM

Wenger has a hatred for specialist defensive Midfielders. By Galen Sona

I got up today seeing Arsenal top of the league… yet I don’t feel happy or excited. I don’t know if something is wrong with me or if am the Only Arsenal fan feeling this way. Am I ungrateful? I just have a feeling that we could have gone above Man City by about 7 – 10 points by now if we were more serious.

Arsene Wenger is a very loyal guy and has always put his young players first. Even if it has to mean him losing the title. In 2009 Wenger said “I have been criticised for not hiring Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry. But if I signed them, I would have killed Song, Diaby and Denilson,”

“I told the shareholders we have to trust this team. Everything is based on my own conviction,”

“If in two years I don’t have any success, it will be my fault. It is a bet I made”

Years have gone by and all this players have left us. We are currently first in the league, but can we cope without strengthening the team? Fans have asked for one of Wanyama, Carvalho and Krychowiak. Wenger has gone for Mohammed Elneny. The big question is why Mohammed Elneny? When we have all this money in the bank to get a more experienced player? I spoke to three Basel fans and I was capable of coming up with certain conclusions.

Firstly Wenger hates pure defensive midfielders. “There are no defensive midfield players at the moment,” explained Wenger in one window. “We try to find the defensive balance collectively. We have fewer players who are purely defenders but some are physically strong in defending like Diaby, some are tactically strong like Arteta.”

Coquelin is the perfect example. Last season Coquelin had the best defensive stats in the league and had an average passing accuracy of 85%. This season Coquelin defensive statistics, Interceptions, Blocks, Clearance and Tackles have all dropped but there is an improvement in his overall play with his passing accuracy increasing to 91%. There is also more forward passes from Coquelin and there are more successful passes from him. Wenger is not a fan of the Makelele role as he feels the team is playing with a man down when in possession. If you watch Coquelin this season, what you see is a good footballer.

Is Elneny Technically Accomplished? When I spoke to some Basel fans the first thing they said was he was technically very gifted. I asked if he was a defensive midfielder? They said he is not and English type of defensive midfielder, but he is more in the Xabi Alonso, Javi Martinez or Sergio Busquets types. His passing accuracy of 92.4% is the highest at Basel and the highest in the Swiss League. At 5ft 11 it is clear that he is a tall and strong lad that does a lot of tackles and interception. But Wenger is more of a fan of a deep-lying playmaker type of defensive midfielder.

Athleticism? Elneny said last year. “As a child, I often played for 10 hours on the street, and that’s where I learned to run non-stop in the heat. I have to help the team with my strengths. When my teammates see me running, they run more themselves as well.” Stamina became his trademark at Basel: he covered 23 kilometres in the games against Real Madrid and Liverpool in the Champions League last season — much more than anyone else on the field.

Finally Elneny is a typical Arsenal signing. He is cheap and unknown. If he does well then Wenger is a genius. If he does badly then he was a cheap transfer that could be sold to an average team like Chelsea or Man United.

Happy New Year to all Arsenal fans out there….

By Galen Sona.

Tags Coquelin Elneny Wanyama


    1. Way Too early to compare El-neny to krychowiak… Let’s see what EL-neny has to offer in the coming months… A matter O time

      1. @SoOpa AeoN true talk. Is just that wishful thinking of saying could we have gone for more experience or someone that is more proven? Think of Krychowiak or Wanyama. But like you said …. Its a matter of time . I hope we are all pleasantly surprised. cause we shall need him . Especially with all the injuries we have.

  1. We should take lead from City as much as we can. Keeping city in touching distance can be really really risky. They can be very dangerous specailly when Aguero and Kompany are back.
    Our penultimate game is also against City away
    So wenger must act fast and take the advantage given to him by other team.
    If not then I dont know what to say about Wenger

  2. a happy new beer to all arsenal fans worldwide may 2016 bring you all the joy and happiness arsenal and life has to offer,cheers..

  3. Throw 40M at Lukaku !
    Young, fast, strong, good aerial ability, good finisher, fair dribbler, epl proven …
    What about this deal, guys?

  4. “he does badly then he
    was a cheap transfer that could be sold to an
    average team like Chelsea or Man United.”
    Can help but laugh ahaha.

  5. 5 mil for Elneny
    seems wise.
    Last season Arsenal
    spent a lot.
    32 mill Sanchez is great
    but 16 mill Wellbeck ,12 mill Debuchy
    16 mill Chambers and 15 mill Gabriel have yet to establish themselves.
    Right now with Wilshere Rosicky Arteta Wellbeck Sanchez
    Coquelin Cazorla injured the millions are just flowing down the drain.

  6. To be fair our Cheapies
    are doing rather well
    Cech 10 mill …brilliant.
    Coquelin free, outstanding (sadly injured)
    Campbell free, has filled in admirably.
    Flamini free doing ok.
    Over the next 18 months we will see many players replaced.
    Arteta Flamini Rosicky Wellbeck Ospina Debuchy
    Giroud Cazorla Mertesacker and eventually Monreal Koscielny
    and Cech. Wilshere is unlikely to ever fully recover
    while Walcott and Ox have always had injury issues.
    200 mill plus to replace them all?
    But there is a cheaper way.
    Iwobi, Maitland Niles and Adelaide to cover both wings
    Zelalem to replace Wilshere, Bielik to replace Flamini,
    Akpom to replace Wellbeck, Walcott to replace Giroud.
    Chambers to replace Mertesacker and cover RB.
    Elneny to replace Cazorla.
    Ramsey to cover Ozil.
    Szczesney to return to be tutored by Cech.
    No replacement for Sanogo or Rosicky needed.
    Not 200 mill after all.
    5 mill that’s all it takes.
    Silent Stan will be smiling 🙂

  7. One of the very few articles where I’d say is more or less spot on, let’s not forget the point that wenger always does the opposite of what the fans & media advise lol

    Time will tell but the lads not going to be given time he needs to hit the ground running January is a massive month. Newcastle,Stoke, Liverpool & chelshit(who regardless of what form their on we Never Ever beat) I think a yield of 8/9 points from them 4 games would be massive, I really hope we don’t get complacent as usual and overlook Newcastle regardless of where they are on the league. Goal difference I think is going to be key this season

    1. Him not using the term ‘injury wreck’ was a welcome surprise! Nor referring to the supposed ‘white quota’

  8. why the heck are tottenham so overrated?
    They have a good team but title challengers!. seriously?Unless everyone else is sleeping i wouldnt put my money on them.
    I know they have some overrated english players but no one is special that they have.

  9. Can’t claim to know much about Elneny.. But Wenger’s shopping has been on point the previous few January’s. If it’s anywhere near Monreal and Gabriel’s quality no complaints here!

  10. Worry bout ur own team… Forget the spuds… Worry bout the talking points , worry bout the fitness and form of our players, Worry bout how to stay ontop until may… The others don’t matter!

  11. I’m sure that Elneny will be a great success at Arsenal and the sooner he starts the sooner his doubters will be kissing his hairy Egyptian Butt ???

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Elneny turns out to be our major signing during this transfer window.

    Haydon’s loan move to Hull has been cut short,
    He is due back at Arsenal tomorrow!
    Well. .. Wenger did say that he will be busy ?

  12. A very good article, which has outline a major issue i have with wenger, his dislike of a true DM, he is more concern with technically sound players and not battlers in the midfield, which has been our downfall in many occasions.
    We are at the top and its important we cement this position if we intend to become champions of this league, our long term injured players can not be depended on to win the title, when they may need 5 or more games to get into top gear, which may cause the lost of valuable points, so this janaury window may be the most vital window for arsenal in many years.

  13. Elneny is a combative midfielder, i just watched d replay match between Basel and liverpool…..i like his never say attitude, his ball control and distribution….This guy is a steal for 6m, maybe because is an african…African players are always underrated…Elneny will suprise you all doubting Thomas

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