Elneny keen to impress after feeling the love

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Mohamed Elneny says the support of his teammates and a desire to keep learning has formed the basis of his Arsenal renaissance under Mikel Arteta.

The Egypt international appeared to have one foot out of the door when Unai Emery sanctioned a loan move to Besiktas last year but after a positive year in the Turkish capital and a change of coach at the Emirates he’s back providing much-needed competition in the heart of midfield.

The 28-year-old announced his return with a spectacular strike in a pre-season friendly against MK Dons and promptly followed it up with sharp displays in the Community Shield against Liverpool and the Premier League win over Fulham.

Those performances and his enthusiasm in training have been enough to persuade Arteta, a former teammate, that he’s a bonafide option in central midfield alongside Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos and new boy Thomas Partey.

Reflecting on the turnaround, Elneny told Arsenal Digital: “Before I came to London, I didn’t speak to him [Arteta] and I was a bit…. not stressed, but just thinking about what would be like.

“When I sat with him, I said, ‘The way you train, the way you want to play is the way I love to play’ and really I love the way we train, the way he is assisting everything in the club now and it makes me excited to give 100 per cent for the team.

“Under Emery, I was not playing much, that is why you can lose your confidence and your feeling to play. That is why when I went to Besiktas, on a one-year loan, I played always and brought the confidence back, and when I came back here I saw everyone happy for me to come back.

“Everyone was excited to see me back, and when I trained, everyone gave me good feedback, saying ’Mo, you did well’ and this makes you get your confidence back. I will build it and build it and every day I try to learn new things.

He added: “Yes [I feel wanted], all the time, every day. I think in any job if you wake up in the morning, try to learn new things and try to improve every day… this is what is always in my mind when I wake up. I have to go training, I need to improve myself in everything.”

With an attitude like that you can understand why Arteta welcomed Elneny aboard his boat.

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Biggles

Let’s hope he continues his improvement and shows everyone what he can really do on a consistent basis. It’s down, in part, to attitude as the article suggests.

CoNr

I have always liked Mo.. yeah ok he is not some super flashy player, he is very understated.. does his job well with no fuss, always makes an angle to receive a pass, and never seems to tire so can give it 100% every time, hoping he has a good season, and can really challenge the established midfielders we have for a regular starting place in the team

Teryima Adi

Yeah, he has a fine engine- a Bugatti I guess.

Daveo

His biggest strength is he has no weaknesses, which is genuinely underrated in football. In essence he is Thomas Partey-lite. Partey is good across the board. Elneny is solid across the board. But so many players have a few very very strong areas that catch the eyes of fans and the media, but they caring some very glaring weaknesses – the most prominent example of this is our own Swiss midfielder (but he is far from the only one – and I’d even say the majority of players are more like this than the “rounded” type). That takes special tactical… Read more »

prvhc

The problem is, he has no strengths either.
Which is why he was a 5m purchase in the winter window and nobody , except a couple of Turkish clubs, are interested in him.
Yet strangely every once a year he suddenly becomes the midfield messiah to Arsenal fans.

Daveo

He’s not the messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy…

Thomas Partey is the Messiah!

Tankard Gooner

That reference will never be not funny.
I died! 😀

Sharkasan

That made my day!

Mpls

Maybe I am missing something, but I checked all the comments above and your ‘messiah’ snipe seems unnecessary.

Why would you want to put up a false statement so you can attack fellow Gooners?

There’s more positive energy around the club these days. Even the pundits have eased up a little. Let’s try to enjoy that a bit while it’s here.

There are ways to disagree without taking shots at each other.

prvhc

‘Attack’ !?
Elneny does nothing noteworthy in midfield when he plays for us and that’s just how it is.
This is not just my assessment either, three managers have refused to play him and the only reason he’s still here is because he was too expensive for Turkish clubs.
Elneny can say what he likes because he has a career to revive, but as Arsenal supporters on a blog we can atleast be objective and honest about his capabilities and utility.

Teryima Adi

Cut the Brother some slack.

Doghouse

Many thumbs down but I can see your point, can’t remember many games he let us down or many he was motm either, ok he’s not a flair player, he’s a solid mid who rarely gives a free kick away especially around our box, whether closing out games or starting when we need to get a settleability about us he has attributes to both, happy to see him back.

prvhc

‘Attack’ !?
Elneny does nothing noteworthy in midfield when he plays for us and that’s just how it is.
This is not just my assessment either, three managers have refused to play him and the only reason he’s still here is because he was too expensive for Turkish clubs.
Elneny can say what he likes because he has a career to revive, but as Arsenal supporters on a blog we can atleast be objective and honest about his capabilities and utility.

Cultured Determination

Xhaka’s lack of mobility and intelligence hinders us when we need to defend.

Daveo

Before the last EPL game against Liverpool Xhaka has been really good in games against Liverpool, Man City, and Chelsea, because we have let them dominate possession and played on the counter. Defending deep in a structured system and then passing quickly out to forwards is a strength of Xhaka. He’s strong, good positionally and tactically when defending against possession football, good passing range (with a bit of time and space), and good in the air. But, then Liverpool and Klopp clearly did their homework and adjusted from their defeats against us in the last EPL match. They targeted Xhaka… Read more »

Neder

Xhaka isn’t actually all that great in the air. His stats over 90 minutes since the 2017/18 season show that he attempts 3.4 aerial duals per game, but that he wins only 1.6 of these.

Daveo

I did see those stats when he was compared to Partey in a few articles recently. Nonetheless, he’s definitely not weak aerially, but Partey is of course better. Will you accept “solid in the air”?

Homer

Well said.

Teryima Adi

Interesting angle

Tungor_Adams

He plays safe, which is not the same as being a complete player, far from it. He is to me a bit like say parkour, well aware of his strengths, as is arteta. We will not see elneny and Xhaka together to many times, they both tend to play very safe, even if Xhaka has more range in his passing portfolio.

Tungor_Adams

Say parkour lol, my sincere apologies to the one and only Ray Parlour 🙂

B JACK

The only Arsenal midfielder I can picture doing parkour in their spare time is Ceballos. Not really sure why…might just be his hair.

Gus Caesar

Spot on. He’s not flashy or showy, he doesn’t moan to the press or use a social media team when he’s not starting matches and he always strikes me as an excellent professional. Rare that he makes a decisive contribution in an attacking-sense and arguably a little risk-averse in his forward passing, but he’s always been a solid 7/10 player who we can rely on. His kind of player is exactly what every good squad needs – a Darren Fletcher, Ray Parlour type who is just Mr Reliable. In my view, he’s probably more helpful to have in the squad… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Three months ago, I talked about giving a chance to El Neny and got plenty of downvotes. He never got his chance at Arsenal before. He only got 10 mn in games here and there. Now that we have Partey, he may be the replacement if there are injuries

Dave cee

Basically what Gilberto did I would say, and he turned out alright

Cultured Determination

In other words he’s our ray parlour. Every team needs a ray parlour.

perfectpires

ray parlour not only worked hard for the team, but got forward a lot more and scored more goals

sydneycarter14

It’s a bit odd, really, that a strong El Neny season will hold us in good stead this year. Consistency is key, and when we need to see out games, his contribution, if positive, will reap returns. A draw salvaged, a narrow margin defended, all this regularly will make us favourites for top 3.
But I desire more. And I know it can happen under this fantastic manager. City has to be won. If we do, then I’ll start believing that Mikel is magical.

Snc

Dun understand the hate on this guy, mo can be the engine in the squad. With arteta direction, we probably can see the best in him. Coyg!

Sachin

Elneny is a sweet guy, great for the squad but not so much for a midfielder. I expect he will be more than just a sub or Europa player under Arteta. He is eager and Arteta will give him the shading he needs to up his game. C’mon Mo!

Ray's Parlor

Happy I never saw much hate on him (and wouldn’t understand it either). Wonder if the boss can use his strengthes well (getting ball into good mid positions) and hide his weaknesses (bit slow on the turn, technical deficits). But hey, if you got a guy like him with his likeability and attitude…can only help the club. Happy for him!

loose_cannon

I don’t think there was a lot of hate per se, more frustration with his limitations. He came into the team that was crying out for an absolute bully of a midfielder and he wasn’t that. He was, and still is, a solid squad player but at the time we needed a “midfield general”, or at least someone with the physicality to be a big tackler at the base of midfield. He also gets hit with same (unfair) tag as Xhaka where we haven’t qualified for the CL since he’s come here.

kinghenrythe14th

Not sure of your last statement; I seem to recall him scoring against Barca

loose_cannon

I stand corrected, he arrived in January 2016 and that was the last season where we qualified.

sAMa

Watching him the past few games just feels like he never improved but with Partey in the team now they are going to form a solid partnership.

SharpasFc

Get yourself to Specsavers if you don’t think he’s improved…or maybe you were watching a different game!

Jeremy DG

Never been a huge Elneny fan as a player but he’s been excellent recently and he seems like a top pro and a lovely chap. Happy to fall in love again if he keeps improving

A Voice in the Noise

Amazing turnaround for Elneny. Wouldn’t have thought I’d see him play for us again following his loan move, but a positive attitude, hard work and a 100% commitment to the team should always be rewarded – even if he may never be the star of our midfield.
Nice work from both coach and player!

Man Manny

I see Elneny as a Francis Coquelin type of player.
Such players function better as part of a unit rather than a stand-alone.
I hope the arrival of Partey helps Elneny the way Santi helped Coq play to his potential.

Teryima Adi

Mo Elneny is dealing well with the ‘non-negotiables’: fall in line Mesut.

Warm

Surely an example for Ozil to learn from. Hard work does get u back in!

Daveo

You only have to read Ramsey’s and Wenger’s recent comments on Özil to know that isn’t going to happen. He’s a precious type that needs to feel special and almost that he deserves different treatment to others. That does nothing but divide the squad when Arteta’s goal is players buying into the team, playing for each other, and squad equality. Is it any wonder Özil has found himself in this situation (after seeing more or less the same with [late] Wenger and Emery)?

Biggles

I’m not sure what Elneny and the other players will think about the news that Ozil was apparently paid an £8 million “loyalty bonus” by the club in September, despite not having played since March! I suspect that they won’t be happy he can’t show the same attitude and application that other players have.

Alex

Funny that a club can unveil confidential information to the media and no fan wonder how it comes… Would like to know how many millions Borges and his agent got to sign the contract, because they did get money, guys… Btw, Guendouzi was giving so much passion and energy and blablabla and he fell out of favour the same. Btw bis, the other players do have also the same bonuses… wake up, not only Özil has a salary and bonus. But yeah, Özil is the bad guy, bouhhhh….. just that under MA, when he was allowed to play, he was… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Mate, leave them to it.

Come next May, the Anti Ozil Brigade will all be running around like ants trying to avoid a kettle of boiling water and asking each other why we’ve failed to hit top four – because the creativity in our Ozil-less midfield has been more or less non existent.

Still, we’ll have a nice horse shoe shaped trench for the ground staff to fill in during the close season.

Biggles

Ozil was mentioned in the post that I replied to. What is undisputable though is that Ozil is easily, in financial terms, the biggest example. You mentioned Guendouzi – yes, he’s certainly no example to follow BUT he cost £7million against the £42million for Ozil, and let’s not start to compare salaries shall we. Ozil’s performance began to deteriorate, with ups as well as downs, ever since he was awarded that massive pay rise – which was down to the management at that time that was panicked over the loss of Sanchez for no fee earlier. However, he hasn’t exactly… Read more »

Diaby's Left Peg

Ozil was slipping before the new contract. The only reason the club gave it to him was the embarrassment of losing him and Alexis on frees, not his performances leading up to it.

It seemed like an obviously bad idea at the time, especially given the seeming lack of interest in him from the other big clubs in Europe.

Qwaliteee

Before the new contract now…?

Oh well, a variation on a theme of ignorance.

Naked Cygan

I am no fan of Ozil, but the idiots who agreed to give him this ridiculous contract should be blamed too everytime someone bashes Ozil.

#define

The overwhelming sentiment here a few years ago was to not let Ozil go after Alexis left. Now people here are trying to revisionist, masquerading as prognosticators. While Ozil was a known commodity , a soft player from Wenger teams that prized skill above all, the rapid move towards a hard pressing game left him behind. His lack of adaptability is where we got hoodwinked.

Dave cee

No, I’m with Diabys left peg, it was obviously a bad decision at the time…or let’s say at the least, a concerning decision that has proven to be a bad one. Personally, I would have sold him or let him leave on a free. It was pure desperation stuff fuelled by egotism and PR

Daveo

Especially as those idiots had the inside information that Wenger and Ramsey have divulged a little about recently – that he doesn’t train hard and wants and needs special treatment. It was a difficult situation given the bad press of losing Alexei, not because he really didn’t want to win, but more because we didn’t have a lot of quality around him at that time. Mesut was one of those and it would have been a bad look to lose him right after. In hindsight, we made the wrong decision. Although hindsight is 20/20, Arsenal knew Özil’s personality and work… Read more »

Teryima Adi

The contract is not the problem, his performance is.

Qwaliteee

Pray tell me who did ‘cover themselves in glory’ under Unai Emery? And under Arteta, Ozil played every single league game prior to lockdown. After lockdown, the team – minus Ozil – barely scraped half of the Premiership points available to them and finished 8th – our worst finish for 25 years. And before anyone starts pointing to this year’s FA Cup, he helped us win three before that. This business of Ozil ‘playing badly since he signed that massive contract’ is an ignorant default myth. I’m just wondering how long it will take some of you on here to… Read more »

Qwaliteee

“Despite not having played since March”

What on earth would that have to do with a Loyalty Bonus? Loyalty Bonuses are for the length of service – not appearances.

And anyway, for the billionth time, who selects the team – Arteta or Ozil?

Sometimes Bigs, I really wonder if you’re trying to be deliberately obtuse or just on a wind up. Either way, you’re talking absolute rubbish.

Dave cee

That last paragraph, I couldn’t have said it better, just substitute Qwalitee for Bigs

Qwaliteee

My opinion is different from yours.

Thank fuck for that.

Stiggie

Elneny will give you a 7 every game. Really consistent and will do the basics very efficiently. I have really liked him this season

Rebeldispatch

There is an awful lot to be said for a happy warrior
Look he never is going to win player of the year but if you need a bit of calmness in the last 10 minutes he is the man

A Different George

I think he is actually a bit better than that. He can look to advance the ball rather than pass back or square when instructed; similarly, he is willing to play a more attacking role–a Ramsey role–when needed. He is not, will never be, as good as Ramsey, and he will never be confused with Santi or Ozil seeing an attacking pass before anyone else, but with his engine, willingness to play however his manager wants, and intelligent play, I think he is good enough to start pretty regularly in all but the best Prem sides. Hopefully, we are (become?)… Read more »

Gunnerali

Elneny is a decent & honest player who rarely let’s the team down, happy to have him in the team. Even great teams have one or two steady, unflashy players in them that do an honest job supporting the “star” players.

Cranky Colin

Henderson at Liverpool.
Elneny at Arsenal.
Ship stabilisers, team players , ( don’t score goals), title winners!

adriano

I’ll just say this because everyone forgets or doesn’t even know…I think in his first 3 seasons at Basel he had like 4 or 5 goals total…Then in the first half of the season when we signed him, he scored 5 awesome long-range goals. He consistently took long-range shots with us for a while, scored that beauty against Barca, but then was out of the team.
I hope he gets his shooting boots back..he’s just way more talented than he gets credit for. Wenger dropped him and he needs a manager that has his back.

Kaban

only that…he has scored 2 goals in total in 5 years. just saying…

Savage

Hopefully more confidence and a feeling of acceptance will help him become more of a risk-taker. If he can contribute more to our attack, he could be here for quite a while still.

allezkev

Yeah, pretty much thought that his Arsenal career was finished but Arteta will give you a chance if you genuinely and honestly make the effort and Mo has done that by grabbing this opportunity with consistent performances so good luck to him, he really appreciates the club he’s playing for and gives everything.
He’s 28 and under contract until 2022 so he’s showing how much he wants it and Arteta is showing if you make the commitment that he will give you every opportunity.

Public Elneny

Struggles a bit in high intensity games

Positionally he’s fine, but seems a little slow to react to fast-moving defensive situations sometimes.

Technically solid, but falls back on conservative decision making too often, even when the situation is calling out for the opposite. He has the ability to be way more proactive than he currently plays

Good engine but doesn’t really have that burst of acceleration/power when it’s needed.

He’ll do as backup for this season, but I think he’d look a much better player in a slower paced league

loose_cannon

Happy for him, comes across as a genuinely nice bloke and it looks like things are going to work out for him here when he wasn’t really being given a chance under Emery. Can’t remember the last time it felt like we had genuine depth in the 6 position.

Cultured Determination

I’d start elneny in a midfield 3 with ceballos and partey. Start elneny over xhaka any day.

Naked Cygan

Management of the players confidence plays a big role in your results. You can have a bunch of average players, but if they play with high confidence they can give you big performancess come match day and win you the games. I feel like sheffield united and wolves played like that last season, and now you see it with Everton, Leeds, and Villa. I feel Emery drained the shit out of the team confidence and Arteta is slowing bringing it back.

Goo-nerd

How to impress me? Play at least one forward pass per game.

btw

I suggest you check out his stats from the last game he played for us

Goo-nerd

I suggest you check out his stats from the multiple seasons he played for us.

Tungor_Adams

It will be easier to impress you if you actually watch The games, he has made me raise an eye browse a few times for truly fine forward passes, not many but well taken most of the times

Goo-nerd

Bruh I watch the games – kind of presumptuous of you and hurts my feelings a little bit 😉 If he turns into a quality midfield option I will love it. No Elneny hate here – just takes more than one or two games to impress me.

Arsenalfanperson

Elneny has always been a fine player, he does everything he’s asked to consistently. He’s not a match winner or a difference maker when you need something specisl but that’s not his job. Although that goal against Barcelona was a cracker.

Hi-brid

I feel Elneny is too often damned with faint praise, e.g. he’s safe, he doesn’t give the ball away, etc. when, in fact, these are crucial qualities for any successful midfield. Yes, he needs more creativity alongside him, but I don’t see why, if he has that, he couldn’t contribute substantially to a very good team. Even The Invincibles needed one or two ‘functional’ players.

MontrealGooner

I do like his attitude a lot! I also think he’s improved massively since returning from his loan. I think he adds depth in the midfield too.

Tungor_Adams

It is obvious for all to that watched his 1st games this season that; 1. He is totally committed to our cause and Arteta as manager 2. He acts with confidence and a clear idea of how to express his strengths to beat benefit the team.

Will he start now that Partey has arrived? Probably not in the key games, but he is a perfect profile to ad depth and ensure rotation can happen with real competition for places. Elneny and Partey are both like valuable new signings

Santori

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54513321 Not sure where to post this but another very insightful interview with Wenger. Helped build the club with his early success and then the continuity in CL to bring in funds to self finance the stadium. Had opportunity to jump ship to RMadird twice but kept the course with us. Feels we have not gotten the best out of Ozil partially bc of current game but in many ways despite liabilities, he is still an incredible talent we could have done more to unlock. Very interesting view on minority with loud voice making life difficult in supporter section. But… Read more »

Santori

Elneny’s role would have been heightened had we signed Aouar but likely less with Partey. Granit and Ceballos probably will form other part of triangle if/when we revert to a back 4 and a midfield 3. but we will need rotation and BOTH Willock and Elneny will have to come in. Elneny has improved after being out on loan and given more maturity at 29yrs so he will be very useful and indeed has shown he can help work the ball out from deep, has the engine to provide legs for us. I feel we are still maybe one light… Read more »

Santori

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54529839 Partey. I rather like this chap’s attitude. Why not? Go for it at least at this point of the season. He was very keen on a midfield partnership with Granit so hopefully they can bring the best out of each other. But Ceballos is key this season. Its night and day without Ceballos at the moment. If he gets to push higher with a better base with Partey, we can have more invention and numbers near opponent’s box. Granit’s long range delivery also will come in handy for quick release when we turn over the ball in our half,… Read more »

Granit(e) hard!

I have read comments prior to mine and the varying points of view on Elneny are undoubtedly valid..but, all i can say is Arteta is one hell of a coach, we heard it before he came and he has proved his exceptional man management skills since he was here, so i wouldnt write Mo off yet, he is doing ok now, might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but he can surely put on a good shift, and for that, he’s got my backing..every team needs good squad player and he is beginning to look like one under Arteta IMHO.