Monday, November 28, 2022

Wenger pleased with Swigyptian combination

Arsene Wenger says he is pleased with the high tempo passing that Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny brought to Wednesday’s 3-0 win over West Ham United. 

The Swiss (107/120 passes) and Egyptian (70/71 passes) looked slick alongside each other in the centre of the park as Arsenal produced their best performance of 2017 to bolster their chances of securing a top four finish.

While Francis Coquelin, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey are all back in contention for Monday’s game with Crystal Palace, you’d imagine the boss might be tempted to stick with the duo.

“The fact that the speed of our passing [was there],” said Arsène Wenger when asked what he liked most about the pairing.

“In the heart of the game, it is not only the quality of the passing but the speed of our passing that is needed for the way we want to play, because we have quick strikers so it’s important that we feed them quickly.

“On that front, the quality, the speed of the decision making becomes very important.”

“I must say that our passing was quite good, our combinations were good and the continuity of our concentration defensively during the 90 minutes was very positive.”

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Lack of speed in our passing has been a definite deficieny in our play this season. I have to say I think Xhaka has been guilty of it over recent weeks, but he was much better on Wednesday. I think Elneny’s high energy style is maybe infectious and encourages that.

Can we make the top four? Anyone know what our run-in is like, compared with City, United and Lpool?


I won’t make any predictions, but this about the run-ins: On paper Liverpools is easiest- they’re done with the big clubs, but we have 2 games in hand- Sunderland and southampton. We’re 6 points back from them. We need to win both of those and gain any extra point to get past them. United’s looks tough, perhaps a shade tougher than ours, we’re on even matches. City’s seems comparable to ours, we have 1 match in hand on them, and we’re 4 points back from them. So we need to win the match in hand and one more than them… Read more »

Cliff Bastin

But pool seem to get all their points from the big clubs.


We need to put our head down and win our games. The rest will take care of themselves.

Out of the remaining 9 games if we get somewhere between 22-24 points, I believe we’ll make it.

canon 10000

A positive result against Man Utd or Spurs just might work as nitro boost. But we have to chalk out results against teams like Palace and Stoke.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

We’ve always been good at chalking out results in places like Palace and Stoke. A positive result in our big matches will go a long way, but a victory over the Sh*teheads would likely be the hardest one in my opinion–they know the history, and especially after last year, I have a gut feeling that they’re trying to finally pull one over us this year.

COYG, we need to keep ‘footballing heaven’ and hell in the right order on the table that counts.

Simon Patterson

Really think this is the best combo we have at the moment. Start with these to and add the pace of the Ox late in the game when the other team is tiring. Hopefully we can keep the winning streak alive on Monday 🙂

Crash Fistfight

I like mushroom soup, blogs.

Phil Collins fan

And I like dolphins.



Leah\'s Left Foot

Huh huh huh! Yes you do……


And tbf i liked Interstellar….that type of film sends me crazy thinking bout it. Likethat film Inception. Damn

Bould\'s Eyeliner

It was great until McConaughey decided that the best way to communicate through extradimensional space was by tapping a bookshelf that just magically happened to be connected. Some serious Hollywood laziness there…


just one game. Let’s not get carried away but I hope both of them can keep it up


Still not sure that it’s the long term answer but there’s definitely no reason to change it at the moment. The frustrating thing about Ramsey and the Ox is that they are completely capable of doing what Elneny does and much more. They both have the energy and the physicality to provide what he does in terms of pressing and defending off the ball. The other key attribute that Elneny brings that Coquelin especially lacks is to make himself an option for the defense to pass to, thus occupying another of the oppositions players and giving Xhaka more space and… Read more »


Jacob, whilst I agree with your comments regarding the Ox, I disagree regarding Ramsey. He hasn’t got the positional awareness, nor the technical ability plus he’s not a team player. Crucial for mid field.
Meanwhile I like the Xakaleny combo, it’s effecient and refreshing….

Dennis the menace

Ramsey and Ox are what they are, they can’t play like Elneny cause that’s his natural game, his the robust dependable midfield workhouse with defensive awareness, and the canny ability to keep the ball circulating, he isn’t expansive with his passing, but alongside Xhaka or another deep lying playmaker he doesn’t need to be what you are asking from Ramsey Ox is not their natural game, they could never do it on a consistent basis, Ramsey thinks his a 10 and Ox is a high risk/high reward player like sanchez. He has barely featured this season, and not due to… Read more »


Do you not worry that neither can beat a man nor carry much of a goal threat? While I agree its been a while since Ramsey showed the correct positioning for that 8 role, he has done it in the past, and without wanting to turn this into a Wenger bash, we’ve seen more discipline focussed coaches do this with players at other clubs, coach a player into being stronger in their positioning and shape in the team. It moght be really reductive to think this way, but all the things that Ramsey and the Ox lack for the role… Read more »

a different George

You know, I actually saw Ozil go back more than once against west Ham to provide cover. Also Walcott, pretty consistently.

nimble foot

These are the variables in the teams play, but people yap on about how the team plays the same way for every game. They know WHU don’t have ball playing CBS so the pressing is different. If in that situation we force a mistake, the fruit of the mistake is most likely to spill in midfield where you have Ozil a master at exploiting space and Xhaka a great long range passer. As opposed to having Elneny pass it to the side.

uncle D

I miss Pat Rice man management coaching skill. What qualities has been brought by Steve Bold?


I still wouldn’t be surprised to see Coquelin back in on Monday. I hope he leaves it as it is.


Basel base! Ive been gunning for it since forever!

Dennis the menace

same here, its our strongest and most robust platform


He’s not the only one that’s pleased. Their second half was delightful.

Lord Nicki B

I personally called it the Swiss connection, because of Granit being Swiss and Elneny being signed from a Swiss club

canon 10000

Okay but I draw the line at Gran-ny.


It’s cases like this that really really emphasise the importance of tactics – something that’s underrated by pundits and fans alike. With a working midfield suddenly the whole team looks better. Puts paid to all these idiotic comments like ‘Oh he’s not running enough and that’s why we’re losing’ or ‘the players aren’t playing for Wenger cause they want him sacked!!!’ It’s like with Leicester – Ranieri tried to shift to a possession game all season, and Shakespeare’s won 6 in a row just going back to their counter attacking style. But all the old pundits parrot this line of… Read more »


I’ve been saying this for ages. His insistance on using the same tactics that won him league years ago is what is hurting us. We have one of the best squad and its down to the manager to get the best out of the squad . If something doesn’t work its up to him to change his tactics or formation , to get the best out of them. Instead he sticks to what he keeps doing and until he is forced to change like how coquelins injury forced him to play elneny. When iy was clear that he should’ve changed… Read more »


Exactly. We simply don’t have the personnel or the type of players he won the league with previously. Wenger has to adapt and/or start spending big.

Crash Fistfight

I thought our last title-winning team was based around pace and power (sprinkled with guile, obviously). Yes, the cliché about “Arsenal’s problem is they always try to walk it in” was around even then, but we scored loads of goals on the counter attack (the Vieira goal against Sp*rs springs to mind) – I always felt it was more dangerous for the other team than for us when they had a corner.

Accommodating Fabregas and the move to a wider pitch was the start of the passy-passy around the D until we fall asleep football.

a different George

I think Conte changed formations to take advantage of Chelsea’s strengths and hide their weaknesses–not out of some commitment to “modern” tactics that Wenger no longer understands. So, David Luiz’s liabilities in a back four are well known (7-1!), but his rashness turns into a positive with two other centre halfs around him. I don’t think Wenger is wedded to specific formations, though he is committed to attacking football. Against West Ham, we played with interchangeable false 9’s (sometimes four of them)–even if on paper it was the same 4-2-3-1.

The Night Elf

I prefer Egypswiss


Precisely. If the club prides itself on technique, n the academy n philosophy r all for passing n moving, then naturally we shld b having midfielders n attackwrs who r quick, mobile n technical. Technical means the players’ gotta have gd ball control to control a fast moving pass. Fast moving ball makes a lot of difference in a game compared to slower moving. Tempo, movement etc r key… n tts wat elneny n carz bring… they r constantly moving off the ball to receive passes n recycle quickly while the rest cant do it.

Oh Dear

what lang-wich is that??

Ty W.

Glad to see Elneny get a run out, reminds of Arteta. Always available, quick to pass, and accurate.


They have always played well together in my opinion. Xhaka long passing with short movements vs Elneny short passing high energy continuous movements. Xhaka is given more time when other players try to keep a tab on Elneny position.


Here we go again. He says one mention and it gets over extrapolated. Midfield is still an issue. We beat West Ham and suddenly Elneny is the next best thing to Swiss cheese. No mention of Giroud’s goal and how more effective he was than Welbeck. No mention of Gabriel and Mustafi combined. Its what you want others to see. Elneny did OK but majority of the passes were safe short passes. At 12’06 and 73’59, he was no where near robust enough with challenge or ball control and it could have (did) led to two dangerous opportunities for the… Read more »


Flamini isn’t on the team. He is irrelevant to whether or not Elneny is an effective addition.


Which is to say, more specifically, comparing Elneny to Flamini (on passing sets alone, no less!), is pointless. There are several midis on the team. The question is who proves to most effective on the pitch, now? Not 2 seasons ago, not next season. Ramsey has been generally underwhelming: lots of give aways, fairly terrible defensive awareness and effort, etc.; Coq has been also lacking all over the place: give aways, over-pressing, too many untactical fouls; Ox has been sporadic, at best. Xhaka is the other starter. So, having a metronomic, rational, hard working pairing for Xhaka seem like a… Read more »


Elneny has made more difficult passes this season than Ozil. The fact you think flamini “makes more forward passes” shows just how naive you are. Elneny is a much smarter player than Flamini. Def an upgrade any day of the week.

Original Paul

I hope that Alexis and Ozil will stay, the news is they want to.
I also think we are going into “top four mode”…and will get there and it will be exciting! I also think that The Arsenal understand how the fans feel and will make changes and spend some big money.
Maybe that’s just me, but COYG!

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x