Friday, February 23, 2024

Arteta returns for under-21s as Elneny deal nears

Last week Arsene Wenger said he’d give Mikel Arteta a couple of run outs for the under-21s before reintroducing him to full first team action.

Today the Spaniard, who has repeatedly been sidelined this season by a recurring calf problem and hasn’t played since limping off against West Brom in November, stepped out for Steve Gatting’s young Gunners at London Colney as they beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2.

Arteta, who still has lovely, lovely hair, appears to have come through his 45 minute cameo unscathed as a Jeff Reine-Adelaide brace and Donyell Malen’s strike gave Arsenal a 3-0 advantage. The visitors reduced the deficit with two late goals from Lewis Mansell but couldn’t find an equaliser, despite a frantic finish.

With first teamers, including Mesut Ozil, set to be rested for the weekend’s FA Cup 3rd round tie with Sunderland it’ll be interesting to see if Arteta is called upon by Wenger

Perhaps his inclusion in the squad will be dictated by the speed with which the club can tie up a deal for Mohamed Elneny.

The Egyptian midfielder is due in London to finalise his move to the Emirates – FC Basle confirmed he missed training today to complete his exit – and will provide welcome cover for the injured Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere.

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Hope he is not the only one to have missed training today in order to join us.


So tempting to think about the possibility but…


Seriously how scary would our attack be? Lightning fast….

sanogo's missed kick

Alexis, Aubameyang, Walcott.
Just typing it is enough to strike fear in defenders worldwide… but I doubt Dortmund would sell their top striker in the middle of their season.


Normally I’d agree and say no way would Dortmund sell. Especially mid season but it did seem a strange statement from them yesterday.


You are cruel – raising my hopes!

It might not be us though because it’s not the value for money deal that Wenger likes.


While strange, the only way that made sense to me is this: Auba wants a new contract and more money. His agent says Arsenal can pay the 42 million you guys want. So their statement is on the lines of ‘don’t think you’re irreplaceable’ . We found you after lewy left and we can find someone else if you want to throw a fitness over money. Sure arsenal may pay you more but you’re gonna be playing during Christmas etc and you’ll be run into the ground in the Pl.


I meant fit* not fitness. So much for ‘smartphones’


I think if we are going to get him, it will take a truck load of cash. They guy only resigned with Dortmund last year which hypothetically keeps him at the club until I think 2020.

I would love him at Arsenal because on Fifa he is literally the best striker on the game, too many control pads have been obliterated in rage, by the fact you just cant tackle the him – he just steam rolls through your defenders and rasps a shot in the top bin, from anywhere.

Obviously Fifa’s player ratings are gospel.


He just signed a new 4 year contract this simmer didn’t he?

Andy Mack

I can’t see us paying that type of money for a player that can get dragged off to ACN every 2 years in the middle of our season….


Really hard to see that one happening. Dortmund have absolutely zero reason to sell and it’s not like the player wrote a horrible “letter to the fans” recently saying he wants to leave or anything.


Especially the value for money deal that Wenger will offer.

If he moves it would be for silly money. So ManU and probably Chelsea will also be linked.

There were rumours linking us to him during the summer, including one of our (ex?) board spilling some. With the season he is having vindicated Wenger’s interest but probably also has made him too obvious and hence, expensive for Wenger’s liking.


Aubameyang missed training today.


I failed to show up at the gym today. Hope everybody is excited.


That’s just deciding your New Years Resolution was a bad idea.


Just look at Arteta gesturing ever so intently at where he wants the ball to be played..BACKWARDS. 🙂

Yankee Gooner

lolz but unfair!


Dortmund now released an explanation for Aubameyang’s absence from training which contradicts the Arsenal rumours: he flew to the African Player of the Year awards.


Make Mikel a coach now, his experience is invaluable, but sadly his influence on the pitch has passed.


I don’t think he’s as important as he was but he’s still valuable. I rewatched the Leicester game last night and when he came on for Flamini he was quite good


We need every player available at the moment. He isn’t the player I would like to see on the pitch, but he’s all we have at the moment. Arteta is a massive influence on and off the pitch. Well past his prime but still valuable to us. Pure class.

Santi's Smile

Agreed. Definitely would like to see Arteta start v. Sunderland, with both Ozil and Ramsey resting.


Don’t worry about Sunderland mate. Big Sam has more worries: the survival. He’s been calling the schedule diabolical and is threatening to field his academy players. The guy is trully inconsolable.


Arteta is the first proper Captain we’ve had in ages. Gallas, ffs! Cesc! RVP! Scandalous.


Do we have any Arabic speaking players in the squad?


If we don’t, Cech will learn it in the space of a couple of weeks.


They’re loading it into his magic hat as we speak.


Elneny speaks English.


Yep, Iread he speaks English with his teammates since Mohamed Salah left for Chelsea.

Perry S.

özil speaks some.


really? I doubt that. I believe he speaks German, Turkish, Spanish, and English


He’s been at Basle for a bit now so he should know some French.

Roger Federer

Basle is german speaking Switzerland


If he learned his German in Basel, not even Per or Mesut would understand much of what he’s saying. Fiendishly different dialect (“Baseldytsch”).

Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

I think the Boss can speak any of those West Alemannic dialects, like Alsatian or Baseldytsch.
And Ismail Bennacer can speak Arabic, but again dialects (Egypt vs. Morocco/Algeria) will vary.


Yup. Swiss people speaking tend to be subtitled on German TV. If I’m not prepared for hearing it and listening closely, it tends to sound like a foreign language.

Glenn Helder

Just the kind of thing you’d know, Rog!


the only time i want to see arteta on the pitch is as an injury time wasting substitution when we’re leading 4-0. i would expect the game to end 4-2 with arteta contributing an own-goal and perhaps a red card foul in the area leading to a penalty.

it says something that the mls isn’t even sniffing around for this guy.

Yorkshire Gunner

Sad lack of respect for a player who has given his all to us.


honestly – after the westbrom game did anyone want to see arteta on the pitch again? i like the guy, i just don’t think he should’ve been the one to decide whether he could contribute to the team for another season when his fitness and skill level are far off from what’s needed at a top club. coaching – sure. i support that. but if he had made the decision not to extend his contract it would’ve pushed arsene into the market to get adequate midfield support in the summer. we might be 3-6 points higher in the table at… Read more »


He had one truly bad game. Suppose you wanted Cech out after the West Ham game huh?


if you think arteta has only had one bad game you only started watching this year. and if we’re honest, if arteta was our starting midfielder he’d have had more than one bad game this year. he’d be an absolute disaster.

let’s not compare him to cech…that’s ridiculous.


Arteta would still be a welcome addition for a whole host of top clubs. I remember reading that Bilbao and Fiorentina were interested in him in the summer, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if they were just the ones that made their interest known. If Arteta wanted to move, he could have his pick of a plethora of midfields to conduct. As it was, he chose to stay at a club that has shown faith to him, and that he has helped enormously, both on the pitch and off it. Sure, he might be on the downward slope… Read more »


While that’s true, none of those clubs would play him as our primary holding/defensive midfielder.


Their* not the smartphone’s fault this time

Andy Mack

locksley444, maybe they would if their main DM was injured…..


You Sir, are mistaken, and have no respect for the most wonderfully-quiffed player to play for us (that includes his remarkably well-maintained eyebrows).

Good day.


I guess you became a fan last year?

Naija Gunner

Blogs that link is not in english, anyways he’s welcome to the Arsenal


Unlike Other north african, Egyptian players don’t last long in the EPL, Hussam Ghali of spùrs, Zaki of Wigan are some examples, hopefully our Elneny will be the exception.


Salah would probably have been good if given the chance by Chelsea, a quality player.


And there’s elmohamady at Hull, not too shabby either

God is Bergkamp, Bergkamp is God

I’ll agree with Lass and add that it seems short sighted to base a player’s potential in a league solely on his homeland. I mean, does anyone remember Shinji Nakamura at Celtic?


Unlike Riyad Mahrez?


Should arteta be selected, and should elneny be signed and available, I could see each of them getting 45mins.


I clicked translate on that Basel article and the second paragraph made me chuckle – they clearly enjoy their football out in Switzerland, though maybe a bit too much….


Hah, I’m German, and I suspect it’s indeed a Swiss thing. Never heard that expression before.

Eduardo Stark

“The Christmas holidays are over, the FCB will rise again in the pants.”

I like this FCB rather than the other FCB.

Ronnie Pickering

Thanks for the pizza Tony

David C

Off topic from this article, but curious who you would rather sign as an additional striker:
Aubameyang or Lukaku

I love Giroud, but he is almost 30 now so we’ll need reinforcements soon.

Roger Federer

Lukaku would provide same job as Giroud, Aubameyang adds different element – and he is so quick. I would rather him I think


Lukaku is good, very good like a BMW M3 straight 6 with twin turbo with still chassis. So although quite fast he’s still heavy. Aubemayang is body good like a Bugatti Veron. I don’t think we will get him (but again I didn’t think we would get sanchez and couldn’t believe Ozil was coming till the unveiling ) so you never know. Finger, toes and anything crossable, crossed


Lukaku definitely has an edge over aubemayang. He has pl experience, is only 22. He has immense potential, a great combination of strength and speed and under a coach like Wenger he can be world class .

Aubemayang on the other hand is also quite good. Both deals would be very difficult to pull off even in the summer. Either would do for me.


Have you watched Lukaku? Against Spuds last weekend he made Walcott on one of his invisible man days look like Messi. He was controlling the ball further than I can kick it.
Aubameyang every time.

Ozil's Eyes On Wenger's Hot Thighs

So you base your assessment of Lukaku on the Sp*rs game alone and I see the thumbs up but another person does same of Arteta on the West Brom game and gets thumbed down……Lukaku was suppsoedly invisible but stil made a telling contribution in the outcome of that game, he will be better than Giroud (if he isn’t already and he’s 22!) and I feel he’s under-appreciated because you see him every weekend and Aubameyang represents something close to novelty.


I’d also like to add Ighalo to the mix. I know he’s a less fancy name, plays for a less fancy team but inspite of this he was the highest scorer in the English leagues.

If he continues his form in the latter half of the season, he deserves to be given a thought. Also considering this deal would be easier to pull off than lukaku and aubemayang even though the likes of atletico Madrid are also interested.


I assume the Africa Nations Cup is still a biennial headache ( been a few years since we have had an African player)? I know that Egypt are poor at the moment but knowing you could potentially lose a key player for the 6 busy weeks is a pain. Same goes for a certain Gabon striker if we go for him. Not a reason for not signing them of course but worth remembering when looking at the whole squad to ensure we are not over reliant.


The African Cup is an excellent reason not to sign African players in key roles, imo. Imagine if someone as important as Özil had to fuck off for months to play on rock hard pitches in the middle of the season every couple of years.

No thanks.

Ozil's Eyes On Wenger's Hot Thighs

I’m sorry but this is actually quite a stupid thing to say. It didn’t stop Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Bolton from signing the likes of Eto’o, Drogba, Kanu, Lauren, Toure (Kolo and Yaya), Jay Jay Okocha among a host of others – all players who at some point contributed immensely to the achievements of their respective club sides at different periods despite appearing at the ACN. The likes of Giroud and Walcott are not even fit to shine the boots of some of these guys. If you asked me if I’d swap some members of our current squad for some… Read more »

Andy Mack

I think many of the top teams thought that the ACN would change to 4 yearly when it became firmly established, but it didn’t. Now a player has to either be A1 talent or ultra cheap for the bigger teams to be interested. The big teams have less ACN players than in the recent past and the smaller teams are the ones that take that gamble. The bigger teams have a lot of South Americans as their Cup doesn’t effect the European season. Wenger became very careful with ACN players since Kolo came back from one with Malaria, and although… Read more »


As mentioned, Elneny will be just as much coming in to provide cover for both Flamini and Ramsey. I think from what little I know of him, he has an engine and can make incisive forward passes and the occasional long distance strike. Its a question of timing and expediency over best choice. Wenger had 6 mids start of season – Santi Coquelin Flamini Ramsey Arteta and Rosicky. I was slightly surprised he retained both older players because they would face wear and tear issues. That said, 6 for 2 spots was a decent odd. However he cannot await to… Read more »


Elneny strikes me as a good cross between Ramsey and Song.

Andy Mack

Again, no mention of Jack or Ox, so 8 for the 2 positions.


Arteta’s issue will be fitness. Elneny has an opportunity to replace Arteta or Rosicky. We may have a slot for another mid to come up from academy or brought in as and when the two senior players step down this summer. Flamini (a much better player than many give him credit for, and future owner of the club) is still useful to keep from off the bench over next season or two particularly as he has good utility and experience covering a number of positions. Main issue is now. Rammini have held up against City AND in the very high… Read more »

Vladimir Petrovic.

In 24 hours we got linked with Bung your mum then Troy Tweeny. I know who’d i rather have.


The Troy Deeney story is so funny. Presumably tomorrow we’ll hear how we’re in for Lee Cattermole as a considered playmaker and Wee Jimmy Krankie as cover for Debuchy at right back.
Utter nonsense.


I have little doubt that we got linked to Troy deeney cos Bellerin picked him in some sort of favourite 11 he has played with, Bellerin explained that Deeney helped him a lot when he was on loan at Watford. Something as tenuous at that would be all that it took for some half pissed journo to come up with the transfer story.,

David Hillier's luggage

For half pissed journey, read Deeney’s agent


Don’t you love Google Translate? – This is what it had so say about Eleny’s absence from training (opening sentence):

The Christmas holidays are over, the FCN will rise again in the pants.


This is my first ever post after being a “voyeur” for many many years. I like that the signing is happening so quickly. I don’t feel the need for a top top money signing but…. (and I caveat this by saying the evidence is scant). I watched the Elneny vs Fiorentina and the Chambers vs Bournemouth videos one after the other in that order as they were easily accessible at the same time. On that evidence i would play Chambers every time. Elneny seemed wasteful with the ball and I didn’t see him tackling. Chambers on the other hand seemed… Read more »

Geoff Capes

His hair is truly lovely. Do you think he uses products or is it naturally that beautiful?

Die Hard Gooner
For all gooners who are still in doubt what to feel about Giroud. He is gonna become a Legend.


Thank you Die Hard. Just what I’ve been saying for three years now!

My Name Is Jeff

That’s all well and good, but can we get back to talking about just how damn good The Jeff is? Dude is killing it!

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