Elneny the key to strong season finish for Arsenal?

Arsenal are now, and have often been in the past, one of the Premier League teams with the best midfield options. Those options have too often been quite similar though, and usually the balance has been a bit too tilted toward the attacking and creative side of the things, with not enough players or enough quality on the less glamorous aspects of the game.

Arsene Wenger has certainly made steps to address that issue in recent years, with Francis Coquelin’s breakthrough followed by the transfer additions of Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka. This season the Gunners have still had problems in the centre of the pitch, though, mainly due to the long injury absence of Santi Cazorla.

I think that is one of the reasons we have seen Coquelin’s form suffer of late. Together he and the little Spanish magician were a great pairing as Coquelin did the dirty work allowing Cazorla to set the tempo and run the game with his technical ability and vision.

Without Cazorla Arsenal lose some creativity and maybe Coquelin has been trying to help but that is not really his game. At the same time Aaron Ramsey has been pretty poor all season and since the festive season Arsene Wenger has largely been without Elneny, at least until now.

Our win over West ham saw the Egyptian paired with Granit Xhaka and it was the most competent looking midfield display Arsenal have produced in some time. It is not the same as the Cazorla and Coquelin pairing as they are quite similar, but they complement each other and work well.

Xhaka seemed calmer and his game was the better for it, while Elneny makes up with his engine what he lacks in real quality, so have Arsenal found the right midfield to help us to finish the season strongly and end up with another Champions League place and maybe even the FA cup trophy to celebrate?



  1. Twig says:

    It’ll probably be a different midfield combination next week 🙂

  2. Break-on-through says:

    I like Elneny and can never understand people having him on a list of deadwood. Elneny is not a top draw player, he knows it himself that he’s not. He is a down the pecking order player. If you are losing by two goals he’s not the type you bring on to turn it around. He is what he is and he has his uses. He can do a bit of everything to a certain degree, no defining attribute, but he’s not one to make silly mistakes. His strength is like his attributes, he isn’t a monster nor is he a speedster, but he’s not weak nor is he slow. I like him, he’s a capable enough player but I hope he can improve tremendously and shock everyone by becoming a top draw double act alongside Xhaka. But I’d imagine Xhaka’s long term partner still has to arrive yet, maybe after we replace Caz.

    1. davidnz says:

      Yes Elneny is good value for money.
      Far more consistent and reliable than
      high profile, high cost high maintenance
      players like Ramsey Wilshere and Chamberlain.
      Will he win us a premiership or help us
      go deep into the Champions league?
      As a rotation player against lower ranked sides? Yes.

  3. G-Rude says:

    I thin k they should be given a run together. El neney was one of the stars of the African Cup and is talented and a leader. I thhink he should now be ready to cement his place in the side.
    Its interesting Wenger picked him ahead of the Ox.

  4. Jansen says:

    Credit where credit is due, I like Elneny and I think he was good value. Sometimes it seems that Wenger is better at finding value in the 0-12 million range than the range above.

    1. lord wafflebury says:

      Would like to see carvalho and isco in our midfield next year please mr.kroenke

  5. G says:

    Elneny is like having a Toyota engine. It just keeps running. His energy and passing consistentcy ARE his main strengths. Those are reliable. Like a clock, he’ll keep ticking. Build correctly around him, and Arsenal will find similar consistency. It’s hard to find the workrate and attitude of humility he brings.

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