Elneny: Arteta has told me he needs me on the team

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After yesterday’s opening day win against Fulham, Mikel Arteta labelled Mohamed Elneny’s performance ‘phenomenal’; comments that suggest the Egypt international might have a role to play at Arsenal this season.

Returning from a year on loan with Besiktas, it was expected the Gunners would sell the midfielder as they look to raise funds for a squad rebuild, but as things stand it’s looking far more likely that others, including Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, will make way first.

Whatever happens in the final weeks of the transfer window, Elneny says he’s grateful to the boss, a former teammate, for the opportunity to showcase his talent in Arsenal colours.

“I feel really happy and I have to thank Mikel Arteta for giving me a chance to play,” Elneny told Arsenal Digital. 

“I know it’s not easy to be on loan and come back to Arsenal and I’m really happy because I made everyone feel like I was not away from the team. This makes me really happy and I have to thank Mikel Arteta because he helped me a lot to feel like this.

“He speaks to me always, saying things like ‘we need you on the team’ and he is always giving me good feedback and always pushing me to get the best from me. I’m really happy to be here.

“I’ll give 100 per cent every day in the training and if they give me a chance to play, I will always give 100 per cent. Because it’s the best for me, to play always in regular games and to give 100 per cent to the team, to help the team to win and make sure that we’re going to build a team to be strong in the Premier League.”

Having been at the club since January 2016, Elneny is one of the club’s longer-serving members of staff. Having experienced the tail-end of Wenger’s time in charge and the start of Unai Emery’s ill-fated spell, the Eygptian is well-placed to speak about the changes he’s seen on his return.

“We feel like we are more aggressive, like everyone just wants to give 100 per cent,” he explained.

“This was what we missed in Arsenal, because at Arsenal we always loved to play football but we didn’t care [enough] about giving 100 per cent. But now we can see that everyone does, even the kit man!

“Everyone has to give 100 per cent because this is a great club and everyone has to work really hard to push this club to win the Premier League, to win everything, because we have quality players, we have the facilities, we have the family. Everyone is great in this club.”

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Tony Hall

Well if Xhaka and Elneny continue to put in performances like that every week no one will be complaining!

David C

And we have some nice rotation with Dani and Xhaka. I was surprised when we loaned him out. I think he’s better and more steady than Torreira or Guen.

GMR

It’s a damning indictment of previous managers if the players were allowed to get away with ‘not caring if they gave 100%’. I hope that’s some form of mistranslation because it’s dreadful if not.

Onenil

It was dreadful.

Benito

But that’s the true often times in the past players show a lack of commitment in the game

allezkev

Didn’t Walcott mention something along those lines after we’d lost another game we’d dominated. I think he got dropped for a few weeks after those ill advised comments.

loose_cannon

It was against Palace I think and he captained us that game. Blogs went in really hard on him IIRC which I thought was very odd, everything he said was true and needed to be said.

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

The problem with theo was that he didn’t lead by example either. Once he was thrown in the dying moments to push for a winner .. and he jumped over a 50-50 .. if he didn’t have the attitude .. he had no right to point fingers at the time

loose_cannon

Well that’s just it, a lot of players pull out of 50-50 challenges (and rightly so, see Nketiah v Leicester), but when Theo did it, suddenly it became a scandal on here. Just came across like a bit of an agenda to me but of course, it is a blog so it’s someone’s personal opinion.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

The worst I have seen with our players, happened a long time ago. Drogba started a counter attack from our defence. Denilson chased him for few meters and decided it wasn’t worth it. He stopped, started walking and Drogba crossed the entire field and scored. I knew his career at Arsenal was over at that point.

Brent McD

I give you Exhibit A: Mesut Ozil

jamesc

If Arteta turns Elneny into a solid player then that chisels in his abilities as a top, top coach

Hass

I think Elneny has always been a solid player just not really used as such. Arteta knows he needs a good squad to compete and Elneny is a great squad player to have

Santori

Arteta has not turned Elneny into a solid player IMO.

Elneny has done it himself on loan.

Elneny was never convincing but a spell out on loan has done his confidence good and he is also a much more mature player now at 29yrs.

Blaming previous managers is silly.

Arteta has barely had much time with Elneny pre-season. This is to the player’s credit.

Billy bob

Elneny is a player I would like to keep, excellent attitude and great squad player

ChickPEA

Arteta is truly a great man-manager. His resurrection list is starting to be pretty impressive: Xhaka, Mustafi, AMN, Ceballos, Holding, and now Elneny.

Even if all these guys don’t become first-teamers, it might at least earn the club a fair amount of money for the ones we will eventually sell. Well done Mikel.

Vaibhav Pandey

That’s a sign of great manager, turning question mark product into stars and kicking out dogs to have only Cash cows and stars in product portfolio 😀

A Different George

I think it’s the combination of man management, the player’s confidence in his understanding of the game–and his actual understanding of the game. So Torreira (to use an example we are forgetting about) looked much better pre-lockdown coupled with Xhaka, when each made up for the other’s weaknesses–instead of telling Torreira to play up the pitch, where he is both mediocre and lacks confidence.

Though the difference in the play of Mustafi is still the most amazing.

Lacaubapepe

Can he resurrect Ozil?

Johnny 4 Hats

Arteta so far…

Turns a goalkeeper lacking first team appearances into a £20m asset.
Turns a directionless youth prospect into an England international.
Turns a want away midfielder who has burnt all his bridges into a consistent and trusted CM.
Turns a hugely unpopular defender into a first team regular again.
And now turns a forgotten loaned player into a solid and positive squad member.

Just imagine what he could do if Stan gave him some money…

'desi'gner gooner

Then you could add ‘Turns Silent Stingy Stan into a good responsible forward looking owner’ to your list.

Cruize

I imagine he will go on holiday?

Anonymarse

Perhaps he will buy another chunk of Texas

Cmdn

He turned Martinez into 20M? How? Ofcourse strip every fucking player of their own achivment. Martinez also didn’t start under Emery in EL and did really well already early in the year – that didn’t happen, was born when Arteta came in.

Johnny 4 Hats

By creating a defence that didn’t go to pieces and was able to protect Martinez while he found his feet. I’m not taking away any *gratuitous swearing* achievements of the individual. But if you think Martinez would have come in and been the success he was under Emery, then you are living in dream land.

Hi-Jay

He brought in a great GK coach too. I’m sure it played a part.

A Different George

I agree with you about Martinez, but even if you are wrong about him, the list of achievements is pretty impressive.

Jamie

I’ve never understood what was wrong with Mo in the first place. He is always Mr steady 7 out of 10, selfless, decent player, great temperament, great physical build. We spent money in Guendozi who (admittedly young) is basically a poor man’s Elneney. I think some fans seem to think every CM has to be Fabregas. You need these players that just sit in doing a job. Look at Deschamps, did absolutely fuck all, got the ball, gave it to someone else and plugged gaps. But would’ve walked into virtually any team in the world. Great to have Mo back!

A Different George

It never hurts though that the “someone else” you give the ball to is Zidane.

DublinGooner

Arteta’s management style seems to be a combination of the best of “Stroller” and Wenger.

Qwaliteee

Glad I’m not the only one to have noticed that.

Between them, Graham and Wenger won 1 Cup Winners’ Cup, 5 League Titles, 8 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and an unbeaten season. The future bodes well – if Arteta is given the reasonable financial assistance from the board that his plans deserve.

Charlie

I think Ceballos is the best midfielder so it’s a direct contest between Xhaka and Elneny to play alongside him. Ceballos only started from the bench because of a lack of match fitness.

Justno

We can win with or without ceballos, have you seen the stats without Xhaka? Miserable.

Daveo

I looked at 19/20 premier league data and this is interesting viewing. Essentially, 48 pts from 26 games with Xhaka (1.6 ppg); 10 pts from 11 games without (0.9 ppg). Neither is great, but definitely better with him. (The extra game is the Villa game last year when we were down 2-1 and Xhaka was subbed and we won 3-2). I’m still not sold on Xhaka as the long-term answer (see Tim Stillman’s piece outlining some of Xhaka’s legitimate limitations). The biggest problem for me is we have been struggling to control games against mid-lower table teams with Xhaka. Yesterday… Read more »

Ska

I think we should really stop going on and on about Xhaka’s limitations (that Stillman piece was redundant and boring) and let Arteta decide if and when to upgrade.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Stats on results when a player is in a game means nothing. It can only have a value for the pair of goalkeeper and CF.

Dave cee

Yes, but Elneny wasn’t here last season, so kind of doesn’t matter

JACK

Ceballos is not the best midfielder AT ALL not at Arsenal not at Madrid. Honestly when he returned to Madrid I was happy I didn’t think we needed him this season. But he’s here so he adds something to the team which is good but to claim he’s the best midfielder is a joke.

Matthinc

He’s quicker on the turn and has better close control and more ambition/creativity than Xhaka. Not sure we’ve seen enough of him yet, really, to compare them head to head and make a judgement. I was super glad to see him back given our lack of midfield incision and that he seemed the most incisive last season post-restart. I have to say, despite seeing those stats above, I still struggle to identify what it is that Xhaka does that brings such a significant change to the team. Perhaps his decision-making is really good? We all know he can be a… Read more »

loose_cannon

Elneny has looked immense the last couple of games. He’s always had good energy but he’s combining that with the quick positive passing and off the ball aggression that was missing from his game before Arteta. If he can keep it up, maybe he could be another “internal solution”?

Anonymarse

If he can do it against liverpool that suggests he’s going to be pretty useful

Jeremy DG

All this clamber to sign shiny new players (and for the record I would like us to sign a midfielder and think we will) we tend to forget the players we have are very good footballers and need Actual coaching to get the best out of them. Who thought Henderson was good enough to anchor the premier league champions? Who thought Milner would play such a pivotal role at the age of 92? Klopp did, and he coached them, he put them in a functioning system and it brought the best out of them. The point is, a team is… Read more »

Spectator

Amen to that!

GoonerNiaja

Leicester winning the league with no name players comes to mind

A Different George

Henderson is a great example. Never a bad player, but people were talking about him as player-of-the-year. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are both very good, but nowhere near as good as they look in that team (I think Tierney is probably better than Robertson).

gunner17

the logical and sensible conclusion to this is that Elneny stays beyond the transfer window to help the team…

Daveo

Yeah there isn’t much point in selling him since he has little value and his wages aren’t that high and he adds a very consistent and solid player to our squad. I don’t expect him to start every game (probably not even most), but there is very little value in selling so let’s keep him around. It was really good to see Xhaka involved in a game where we dominated a team in midfield too. Been a long while since we have soundly beaten a team and without a complete battle (often not the winning side of the battle) in… Read more »

Man Manny

“Even the kit man!”
Wow!
With that attitude, it’s just a matter of time before Arsenal rule England…and Europe again.

Gunnerlocutor

Mo is 100% (or more) into giving 100%!

Gudang Bedil

Don’t forget Mo was once a two time Arsenal player of the month. Or is it only once? I dunno but he was great when he gets the chance.

Alan Wayne

Emery got the job and said most players need a tweek or two then he pushed out players who could play now Arteta is playing these players and not Emery, s players so proven point the players needed tweek or two,

Dave cee

For me, seriously, it is his place in the team to lose now. He played brilliantly against Liverpool and very well again y’day. We may not even need Partey if Elneny can keep this form going. More than happy if he sticks around for the season. He says he loves the Club, I believe it.

MumbaiGooner

The players would give 110% to a manager who gets them to believe and share in a single, cohesive vision. They should do that otherwise too, but then I have not seen a poor manager get good productivity in offices. The problem with Emery wasn’t that he was a bad manager – no bad manager would have delivered Sevilla the Europa League. The problem was that Emery tried to put his stamp on a team that was helmed by Arsene Wenger. He wanted to overwrite that in some way (it reflected in how Arsenal played). That made him a bad… Read more »

Tony Akers

Elneny looks a more accomplished player than he did before. Let’s hope there’s more to come . A great team performance against Fulham bring on West Ham .

The Arsenal

Cant knock a guy who through pure hard work can resurrect himself from the ashes. Add Partey/Aouar let go of Torrerira/Guendouzi, and suddenly are midfield options looks great.

Cobwebs

Tremendous squad of hair being assembled. Looking forward to seeing Elneny, Luiz, Willian and reborn Guendouzi all on the pitch together.

Ben EagerBeaver

If it’s just for hairs’ sake, no please. I’ll pass.

Peter Herb

So happy to have Mo back. He was always a hard worker before the loan and it seems that UE had no idea what to do with him. The boss clearly does and Mo is showing us every day that he is all in!

Santori

I’m his biggest detractor. BUT he has done well since coming back in and the loan spell clearly done him good plus he is now 29yrs and more mature. I think with him, we don’t need to go chasing unicorns for now (Partey) which almost makes it somewhat easier for Edu and Arteta in market. IMO we should just chase down LCM now bar say Laca leaving we may need Edouard and of course should we be able to secure a back up keeper for 1.5m (Runarsson) fine. Keep Bellerin as well. Just focus on the LCM get in the… Read more »

Jean Paul

We see great achievement already in form of effort… everybody in the same page and things slowly clicking. No more porous defense, we see five defenders lining up to block with forwards stealing the ball and attacking. Fantastic fantastic effort all around.