Arteta on ‘phenomenal’ Elneny and changing his mind on Holding

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Mikel Arteta was full of praise for his players after they started the season with a comprehensive 3-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

After watching Gabriel mark his debut with a goal, Willian help himself to two assists and Mohamed Elneny run the midfield, the boss was full of praise for the trio of ‘new’ faces.

He also had warm words for Rob Holding, who he confirmed will be staying at the club.

Here’s what Arteta had to say when he faced the BT Sport cameras…

On a comprehensive win…

I wanted to see my team determined to come to this difficult ground against a really good team that has been promoted [and to play] with a lot of energy and do the things that we trained and have the spirit we have shown again today.

On Willian and Gabriel…

They’ve been training really well, to be fair. For Gabriel it was a big challenge to come to this small ground in the Premier League. I think he didn’t play for six months with everything that happened in France. Of the new guys, Mo Elneny again was brilliant. All the boys, they tried really hard. Once they [the subs] came on they pushed the guys again. We keep going.

On Lacazette…

He is in my plans and is a player that I like a lot. He knows he has Eddie on his back, or next to him, I would say, who is going to push him. Whoever is in better shape is going to play. The same for everyone in the team.

On Elneny…

Mo has been excellent since day one in training. He is a player that I know really well because we played together. I know what he can give us and how willing he is to improve. Today he was phenomenal.

On Holding leaving on loan…

I said to him, I changed my mind, you’re not going anywhere. Again, Rob is another one who stands for every value that we want at the football club. He had a really difficult time but he trained and persuaded he’s good enough to play for this football club and now, why do I have to let him go. He’s already playing, what more does he want.

On Aubameyang’s contract…

I’m really positive that we’re going to get it done and hopefully in the next few days you can get some news.

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goongot

Elneny plays in a similar way as matteo and also offers extra defensive stability. Still certain section of our fanbase hold matteo in high regards while totally disrespect elneny’sskills.

Duno

Who’s Matteo? That douzi fella?

atom

Elneny is a very solid squad player for us but you’re also talking about a 28 year old full international vs. a 19 year old coming from the French 2nd division. The excitement about Gendouzi is about his potential and relative calmness on the ball at a very early age and the player he might become. It’s similar to Jack in some ways where the excitement was more about the type of player he could become if the development arc continued.

Reality check

Guendouzi was 19 two years ago..

Redass

I say keep both

A Different George

That means he’s 21, cause that’s how it works.

Goonerrific

Until then he remained 18, because that’s how it works

Eche

Hahahaha

Public Elneny

In the past Elneny always struggled with the pace and aggression of the PL. He has a good engine, but didn’t have the physical explosiveness or aggression to be an effective tool in winning the midfield battle against teams who did have those attributes. He was also far too risk averse in his decision making on the ball, which was frustrating because he’s clearly quite accomplished technically In the last year he’s impressed in Turkey (slow paced league), vs Man City (basically a friendly, let’s be honest) and vs Fulham (about as low intensity as you ever see in the… Read more »

Gallerliyim

I watched a few Beşiktaş games before covid. I wouldn’t say Turkish football was slow paced. Low technical level but more high paced and frantic. Lots of dribbling, terrible defending, even worse finishing. And red cards, so many red cards. Very entertaining but maybe I was lucky with the games I went to.

A Different George

I think that was Liverpool, not Man City.

Chinaman

It is tough to tell KdB and Mane apart

Amos Kitonga

We want ceballos & xhaka in the midfield,and maybe elneny will come to join the two,that is if we don’t sign Thomas partey or auror.

LjungbergsPinkMohawk

Elneny is ok—but you can count on him to pass sideways and backwards and any momentum you had going forward. When all are fit, I could see him starting ahead of Xhaka alongside cebellos

Non flying Dutchmen

You didn’t watch the game then?

The Arsenal

Came to say this…Guess i was 8 hours late. Douzi is finished/

Adrian

It will be really annoying if we sell Elneny for few millions. He is performing good and we should keep him. Even if we sign Partey or Aouar, he can be good squad player. I like his attitude.

Steven

I like Elneny’s attitude

Hurensohn

We need some solid and relatively low maintenance players like that for squad depth too.

Lettra

If we can scrape the money needed for the midfield positions anyway .. I’d say we keep any player that is of use and currently playing unless they are on super high wages . So Kola , Sokratis ,Özil and the likes I like Chambers I think he is underestimated and will have a big PL future but if Holding is staying I think should be sold we have to get rid of CB’s Fulham could certainly have done with him today. Any player we do use regularly this year will get offers in coming windows when the crowds are… Read more »

Mayor McCheese

I think the thing to remember is that we have a ton of football to play in a shortened season, so the more the merrier. Elneny will get games. He should stay.

PeteyB

Elneny was solid today, and even a goal threat a few times. I imagine Ceballos will take the regular spot but its going to be a slog of a season. Elneny has shown that he’s worth having around.

Anonymarse

He certainly seems to fit in the current system. Seems smart to keep him.

Diaminedave

‘it’s going to be a slog’
something like 10 months of games to be fitted into 9 months. Got to look after the players. Can’t remember but Elneny does not seem to get injured a lot, seems to keep on running …could be much needed attributes for this particular season.
Really impressed with his ball control in tight areas, didn’t get flustered.
Fits with the unit

Artitty

I’m all for Holding staying! It’s a long season ahead made weirder by the pandemic and if he’s happy and Mikel’s happy, no harm. Not like we’re getting a good offer for him in this market anyway.

TUMANG BOKABA

Hes Holding on.

Homer

Lets not all keep Holding our breath on this.

Pete

Did you see Holding do this: https://youtu.be/P-6LOyYM4NI?

YaGunnersYa

His tekkers vs Fulham just proves what we knew all along… Our Holdinho is way better than Cannavaro

Jordan Tan

The biggest difference between this this season and lasts is… now we actually know what we are doing. Good riddance, Emery. Welcome, Arteta! In some weird way, it feels like he’s Arsene Wenger 2.0, a younger, more contemporary version with the same beautifully pragmatic philosophy.

Goonerrific

One down vote – Unai, that you?

jw1

AKB. 😎

Clemz

I like your choice of words bro

Jordan Tan

Thanks bro!

DAF

Elneny always gives 10% to be fair. Seems a real positive influence at the club. Always a legend for this https://twitter.com/ElNennY/status/947111775866114049

DAF

100%, 100% not 10% !!!

Swifty

110%

Amacranian

Any advances? Going at 110%

Artitty

It just wasn’t mean to be, Arsenal and Emery weren’t a good fit.

Artitty

Oh I totally misread that yikes

Saka

10% is too little. Lol

Reality check

Elneny is a very good option to play as a holding midfielder. May not be big tackler but very good position and work rate. Seems to have developed some authority to his game.

Derich

Good coach most get the best out of a good player. Arteta is good and he will manage Eleny well.

Jeremy

If he only gives 10% then we have one hell of a player when Arteta manages to eke the other 90% out of him 🙂

Qwaliteee

Well, if there’s a man who can do it, it’s Arteta.

ramgooner

I think we should keep all of them except Torreira and Sokratis.

Matthinc

I’d have let Luiz go too. I wonder if the 1 year extension is now feeling unnecessary?

btw

That extension might have won us the FA cup

TommyGun

I think that extension helped us sign Willian and also provides someone to help Gabriel bed in. Our Brazilian contingent clearly like having him around and he has been far more solid as part of a back three. Arteta seems to be getting decisions right. I do trust him on this.

Pepe The Frog

As far as I’m concerned, Luiz has earned that extension (there’s a pay cut there too I heard). Monumental in our FA Cup run. And he’s a huge personality in the dressing room, not just in terms of how he can help Gabriel settle down at the club but also in terms of how he can help the youngsters (Saka mentioned how helpful he is when he signed the contract).

Matthinc

Yes, I take all those points. Purely on his football over the course of the season though, he’s not been good. Something does feel a bit backwards about paying someone for a year to do all that dressing room stuff, when they’re such a liability on the pitch.

Qwaliteee

I wouldn’t call him a liability. Mustafi, yes.

Luiz isn’t that bad.

Qwaliteee

Yes, well said.

His influence and positive attitude in the dressing room has been a big plus. You only have to see the rapport he has with Ian Wright (post FA Cup Final BBC uptakes) to see that he genuinely loves The Arsenal. I can forgive a lot of eccentricity when the heart’s in the right place.

Qwaliteee

*Outtakes

Qwaliteee

I would keep Lucas Torreira. Great squad player at least. We’re going to need strength in depth if we’re going to challenge properly. We’re only one or two injuries from being thread bare in each position. Anything can happen – even our central defence has been given a good hiding in terms of injuries and we’ve been fortunate enough to call on Rob Holding.

I’m glad that Arteta seems to be sticking to his guns about not letting anyone go for an unreasonable price. That’s a big tick in the box with me.

Tungor_Adams

Elneny dosent make match winning passes, when we have fielded a team of midfielders without the eye for game changing passses, elneny is a easy target. Arteta has been absolutely brilliant in how quickly he has got elneny to both maximize his strengths (work rate, positioning, calmness, risk minimizing expert) and integrate those so efficiently, can’t see him leaving.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Comfortable 3-0 away win. Lacazette scores. Auba scores. Gabriel scores. Willian transforms our attacking play on his debut. Elneny slots back in beautifully. Leno looks comfortable on his return. Confident play throughout. No injuries. No red cards. We’re in with a chance of being top of the table after the opening weekend. What more could we have wished for today?

baz00r

Love the third kit. My favourite strip in quite a while.

Qwaliteee

It’s popular in our house! My missus went out to visit the Armoury with our two daughters during the week and they all came back with the same shirt – the third kit. They kept on and on about the pink trim.

Come the game yesterday, we all settled down to watch, there’s me and my youngest boy in the red and white and the girls in their third kit. It’s Fulham; I’m expecting us to play in our red and white, right? Wrong!

The girls went mad. So, the result from Chez Qwaliteee was Lads 0 Girls 3.

Granit(e) hard!

What a performance, make no mistake, derbys are never easy, even if it was against a league 1 team, never mind a premiership opposition. Well, for me, the best compliment goes to Arteta…he is one hell of a coach, and now rightfully manager… he is able to bring out the best in these players, while still fostering healthy competition…Elneny, Xhaka, Mustafi, i can go on and on. What i tjink is happening is with all these recent positive results, the players trust him now because they know, when you follow what he is coaching you are most likely to get… Read more »

Derek

Yes dont get t00 carried away…its a Fulham side and wait till we get a proper game of the magtitude and likes of Man City And Manu(re),Chelsea

Giuseppe Hovno

you mean the teams we beat earlier this year?

Biggles

Yes, but we’ve got to keep beating them on a regular basis. Despite the recent improvement against “top teams”, we still have an awful record against them over the last five or six seasons in the PL. The “proof” that we’re really changing in the PL will be in the results “pudding” so let’s wait and see, and then we can celebrate (hopefully).

Qwaliteee

Yeah, the only result you’d have enjoyed Biggles is if they’d announced at full time that Laca was actually on his way out for a few measly quid – to raise funds in your Kroenke Appeal.

Snc

We are finally playing with a purpose and direction. The difference in arteta and emery is so obvious. Arteta is able to improve and bring the best out of the players. Simply look at xhaka, elneny, amn, holding, ceballos to name… Thank fcuk we got rid Emery.

laudgunner

Some player just need time and experience (bad ones) to simply adapt and understand their potential.
Elneny and Xhaka have really turned this around and SAVE the club of millions of pounds.
Mistakes will come, but we can trust them. Patience is needed. Especially AFCtv, enough of attacks.
No wonder, our players dont sell anymore.

Reality check

Really relieved we are keeping Holding.

Naked Cygan

Keeping Holding was a great idea, it was not a good idea in the first place to let him go with all the injuries. Elneny is a top man, always solid, never amazing but always solid. We wont get much for him, and I am not sure keeping him hurt us is the salary department. He can be a great backup to Xhaka and Dani. Laca and Eddie pushing each other is another great move by Arteta. One area we could improve is with Hector, he defensive work is OK, and his crossing is not good enough. This is an… Read more »

Mark

Honestly forgot that Arteta played with Elneny. Have always liked him as a player and glad he is back with Arsenal and not on loan again. We really need some depth in center mid and he certainly is one that can step up and you know what you will get from him. I think he will be a player Arteta trusts and uses a great deal.

Savage

Elneny had a full season of game time on loan, and I just wonder if he’s already looking sharper? The main challenge is we need a bit of creativity from midfield. Even so, I love watching him play – always busy.

Ben

My Arsenal is reclaiming the lost glory. Happy days are once again back at The Gunners

Obama Young

Elneny passed the ball forward again and again today, progressing the ball smartly every time he could.
So much for the narrative that he only passes sideways or backwards.

Dave cee

I never understood why Emery packed Mo off last season. He has always been a decent player for us and provides some much needed depth in the squad. Happy to see him getting a proper chance and taking it

Tungor_Adams

He had a great game, the fact majority of his passes are not with intent to brake opposition line is fine as long as he shifts the ball as quickly and accurately he did, to a player with match orders to do just that. Elneny showed his strengths are also to be reckoned with along side more creative and risk taking midfielders.

Teryima Adi

Arteta is a legend in the making.

Qwaliteee

Well, trophy-wise, he’s already achieved as much as Terry Neil ever did and more than Bruce Rioch, in less than a year.

(That said, we all have to thank Bruce for signing Dennis Bergkamp – although David Dein pretty much set it all up)

Santori

I have been a big critic of the Elneny purchase and stand by them. BUT I think he has matured as a player (particularly the loan has done him good) and based on his pre-season plus today, I have no hesitation to say I feel we should just keep him in squad. Don’t go chasing the unicorn expensive signing in Partey. Elneny today I felt kept the ball well, was not panicked under pressure even close to our goal line receiving and worked the ball out well for us. I can see him as surrogate to Granit. when the Swiss… Read more »

Santori

The other thing about Elneny which is positive for me is his height. BOTH Granit and him have played in at Cback as makeshifts before and both have slotted in well. I feel if our new Cbacks start to kick in and develop some sync that we can then afford to go into a back 4, add more presence with a LCM/RCM further forward on either side of the DM. In which case the DM then becomes a sort of third leg of the midfield or a front spur of the 2 Cbacks able to drop to cover the Cbacks… Read more »

Santori

I’d keep Holding particularly if market offers are poor. No reason to send him on loan or sell for low. I think we should assess on Chambers. BOTH Mustafi and Calum on the mend so may have difficulties attracting suitors till maybe January window but could come in for another 15m+ We can weigh up either of Chambers or Holding then. BUT meanwhile particularly with new Cbacks to bed (Sideshowbob such an iffy player who frankly this season should just be back up to back up emergency card), I’d have Holding around. Mangalhaes off to a good start, Mari will… Read more »

Arteta The Heir

I rate Elneny. Dont believe of course he can be a world class holding midfielder but I rate him much. I believe that statdna is more than ok. But our first team coaching staff couldnt develop the players the last Wenger years. Elneny is a statdna singing. No other clues for this company, apart from preventing us extend emery’s contract (thank you!!), just saying that.

Now that the Heir rules this land, we can make a step forward.

Gms

Great win. But it’s Fulham

Qwaliteee

Come on mate, give the lads credit where it’s due.

You can only beat what’s put in front of you. Fulham 0 Arsenal 3 – what did you want? Liverpool 0 Arsenal 10..?

Qwaliteee

Pleased for Rob Holding.

I said a few months back, when Mustafi got injured before the Cup Final, that Rob would do a good job and that he was one of the centre backs that really ought to stay.

Of course, it got voted down – but then again I would imagine that was from people who hero-worship a man who took us out of the ECL and, to date, has kept us out of it. Hopefully he’ll be moved on – if he’s allowed anywhere near the team again, we will pay the ultimate price yet again.

Elneny again

Elneny has the skill and the ability for sure, it is clear that he lacks self confidence. Elneny passing capabilities are phenominal as same as box to box cabilities but he has to be brave enough to use them.

Jane Pearce

This squad is looking pretty good!