Wenger confirms Elneny, hopes he can play against Stoke

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Arsene Wenger has confirmed that FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny will join the club, and is hoping that the 23 year old could have his paperwork completed in time to be part of the squad for Sunday’s trip to Stoke.

Speaking after the rambunctious 3-3 draw at Anfield, the Arsenal manager said, “Elneny will join us. We will see if he can qualify for Sunday.”

Wenger is also hopeful that Alexis Sanchez could also add some freshness to the team, but remains somewhat on the fence about his participation.

“I will be cautious now,” he said. “There is an opportunity that he will be in the squad for Sunday. He will have a definite test on Saturday and Friday and Saturday will be two important days for him.

“It is not impossible that he will be involved.”

Even if it’s not from the start, to have him as an option from the bench would be fantastic.

The Elneny signing is expected to be confirmed officially tomorrow.

65 COMMENTS

      • No offence, that’s the silliest thing I’ve heard. You want to replace our most defensive minded player (that we have available) with someone who is more box-to-box?
        I think either Ramsey or Ozil will be replaced if Elneny does come into the starting XI.
        Even though he scored and overall didn’t play too badly today, Ramsey is once again not doing enough defensively and needs a kick up the backside.

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        • I don’t think he’s here to play Ramsey’s position. And Ozil?? No.
          We don’t know enough about him to say he’ll be box-to-box for us. If you recall, Coquelin struggled to make his place here as a box-to-box or more forward midfielder, only to return from loan purgatory to become ‘Le Coq’ in the end, as it were.

          Arsene has a pattern of playing ‘ball playing’ defenders and defensive mids. I’m guessing he’s going to be a player that can play either DM or B2B for us as needs dictate.

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        • Ramsey not Ozil. I’m not one of his haters and like him but he needs to put team ahead of attacking instinct (unless Wenger asks him not to, which would be wierd). The goal he scored was great but him and Flamini don’t work well. Flamini drops off and stands right infront of the defense, while Ramsey likes to push forward…this leaves a great hole in the midfield and today made Liverpool feel like they were Barcelona.

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          • Neither Ramsey nor Ozil (huh?). I think Elneny is going to be moulded into the CDM Wenger needs, like Arteta (CAM for Everton), or even Coq (who used to play wing, CAM etc too before his calling). Arsenal needs a ball-playing CDM, and attacking instincts can be curbed and redirected at a young age.

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    • No chance! Do you really think away at Stoke Wenger would just throw him in having not trained with the club or probably all week? He probably can’t speak English! On the bench at best.

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    • Easy now. The guy’s taking a massive step up both in terms of level from the Swiss league to the PL, and also in technical level from his team to ours. He’s going to have to adapt his game.

      I think he can do it, but Gabriel is my model for him. Give him some time to settle in and grow.

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    • I can’t imagine a player coming off of a long break that has never played in the PL before will go right into the lineup in an away match at a tough place to play like Stoke, though you never know with Wenger. Just glad he is on board so now we have much better depth there. Just wish this type of purchase could have been done in the Summer when everyone was crying out for a DM to backup Coquelin.

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      • What long break would that be? He has been playing at Basle FC all season up until last week (and has already scored 6 goals for them, so far this season). His English is apparently quite good since that was the common language used by coach and players at Basle fc. We didn’t get him the summer, but we have got him now, do stop whinging, Mark.

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    • For someone who is suppose to be a DM competing with le coq, l haven’t seen much of his defensive action in youtube, most of the clips about Elneny is his goals. How good is he actually? Can he compete with Le Coq?

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      • I think that’s more to do with YouTube than elneny. If you search for videos of Gilberto you will get his goals and assists instead of ‘positioning’ and ‘tackling’

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      • Not surprising there are not too many folks spending their evening hours compiling the glorious video highlights of proper defensive midfield positioning, tackling, and distribution by players in the swiss league.

        It’s a natural bias of editing to show the goals.

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    • I really hope he does sign, even though I would have been more comfortable with a better known quantity, but regardless of which dm we got i still feel nervous of putting him right in and hoping its fine mid season, language familiarity issues and so on, i really hope the training is intensive for him in mock ups so he gets atleast some idea of what his team mates are going to do in response to opposition moves. think kos/mertesacker for obvious if unfortunately timed example, that said gabriel is doing ok, so maybe im making a fuss over nothing?

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  1. Every other year we’re top and everyone gets injured. Now we’re top and things can only improve on the injury front, I hope and Elheny on the way. There has been no major crisis yet, thanks to pure grit. A draw at anfield certainly doesnt constitute one. If we can kick on its ours. Feels like now or never. COYG

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  2. Great news about our new signing and in a position the team has been crying out for.

    With some massive games still ahead im glad the manager is determined to be cautious with the return of Sanchez. He’s like the jewel in the crown.

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  3. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • What are you on about? Who did he really have on bench to be used effectively? Ox has been all over the place, Gibbs doesn’t always work & Arteta just coming back from series or injuries.

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    • Seems like you don’t understand the first thing about Arsenal nor football.

      Please elaborate on your subs for today’s game and try to make sure you don’t end up with egg in your face.

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      • Ive always understood the saying. But having egg on my face brings me only happy memories. Popping the load of the amazing sausage and egg baps I used to eat from the bakery behind my school. And I was always told I shouldn’t eat pork. Bacon is so nice.

        I miss England.

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  4. Agree on swapping Elneny for Flam but if Arsenal -are- going to win anything this season, the Flamster has played a crucial role.

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    • Agreed, Flamini has been much better recently than I expected. But if Elneny isn’t meant to replace Flamini until the Coq comes back, then I don’t see why we would buy him in the first place.

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      • Well because both flamini and arteta are the wrong side of 30 and need to be replaced sooner rather than later, elneny being only 23 will hopefully be an important part of the team for many years to come

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    • for me flamini gets start in every cup game until the semis when we might have to have a think, though having said that, with my other comment r.e Elney learning the team, it might just be worth 30 mins in cup for exp

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  5. To be fair, though the Flam hasn’t torn up any trees but he hasn’t done much wrong either. He has been rather decent. It’s going to be really interesting to see how the gaffer intends to use Elneny and what the young man has to offer. Welcome to the Arsenal, Elneny.

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    • He was a passenger tonight and went forward too much for my liking, but yes, he’s basically committed no gaffes. Still, I’d like an upgrade as Flam on his best day still gives us far less productivity from DM than Coq does.

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    • Agreed. Plus Flamini brings passion to the team. It’s an intangible that doesn’t show up in statistics. You can’t help but get fired up when you watch guys like Flam, Kos, Coq, and of course Sanchez out there. BFG, özil and Arteta can leave you a little cold at times. That’s why I’m pumped to see TR7 back in the squad. The little Czech maestro is a fighter. Hopefully he can wind down his career at Arsenal in style over the next few months. Another chip shot against Sp*rs, perhaps?

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    • Elneny should be deployed beside Flamini in a difficult place like Stoke, for more defensive solidity. Ramsey can come on as a sub. Ramsey’s presence in that CM position though effective in terms of goals, leaves Flamini and the back four too exposed. Elneny’s passing is excellent and he was only required to push forward in Basle for that reason. He’s more a DM than a box to box midfielder.

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  6. I think Famini’s done a good job for us but the partnership with Ramsey hasn’t worked as well as hoped. El Neny arriving and the options he offers can only help.

    Wenger has hinted at more activity in the market. Is there any evidence this is true?

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    • I can’t imagine any team in the top half of the table that would consider Flamini a starter.

      He was excellent in 2008.

      2008 was 8 years ago.

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      • I think he sits behind Le Coq, and Probably Wilsher and Arteta (when match fit). For 4th choice I think he is fucking excellent.

        I think he is excellent anyways. Refreshing to see decent players, and seemingly humans, like Mr Flamini, rather than the jumped up ego-wankers most footballers tend to be.

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  7. El Neny in for Walcott. JC on the left and push Ramsey to the right where he can link up with Bellerin – Ozil – Giroud. That way he doesn’t have to make runs from deep and has more ground to cover to backtrack. El Neny doesn’t seem like a destroyer but more a holding midfielder. Flamini will do the dirty work and we’ll have Walcott as sub or even play him at CF and give Giroud a rest if the opposition is playing a high defensive line.

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  8. Considering we have lost key players, I think the squad has held up well against the pressure and opposition to keep up the title challenge. Well done to all of them. Do we need to sign anyone else? I think from now to the end of the season we have enough firepower to see us through. We should have won tonight, but against a Liverpool side full of spirit and who have beat Chelsea and Man City, we didn’t do too bad.

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  9. I really hope he can play against Stoke. Hughes team can play good football and
    be physical.Arsenal better know there are no easy games in the epl.
    Pellegrini complained MC were denied a penalty.With so many managers
    complaining of errors by refs,there must be some truth.
    Football matches must be decided by footballers and not mo.
    If these mo continue to influence the results of games they shd be investigated.
    You never know.

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  10. I think Wenger figures Elneny as backup for Santi as opposed to Le Coq. On youtube he seems a decent dribbler and would compliment Coquelin as opposed to playing second fiddle to him. In my view its the likes of the Ox,Gibbs and Theo that will see their playing time diminished as Ramsey is pushed the attacking wing. Theo will most likely alternate with Giroud as style demands, Chambers and Gibbs go back to their fullback positions as backup as the Ox is probably sent out on loan and Debuchy is sold.

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  11. Away at Stoke is always a fixture I dread. But I have a powerful vision when I close my eyes. It’s the 65th minute and Elneny comes on for Flamini. Out of the mists of the Brittania pitch, Elneny rises like an Egyptian pharaoh. He firmly plants his spikes in the groin of Ryan Shawcr*ss, and heads a looping Özil corner into the net. Perfect start to an Arsenal career.

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  12. I think what he means is he hopes Elneny will be available for Stoke.

    but to expect him to come in and immediately be in sync with the team is completely unrealistic and more the dream of a subset of fans who will always think Flamini is the issue.

    Flamini did well today blocking off plenty of dangerous moments.

    he isn’t Coquelin with the younger man’s dynamics so he will play a bit more discipline sitting slightly deeper. In that Ramsey and him found a good combination both against City and in the very high pressure match at Olympiakos.

    but lately Ramsey has become slightly disassociated venturing too far forward.

    Again I mentioned the importance of a Santi type player more so than a Coquelin player in reinforcing us. Ramsey is dangerous going forward but is not as good at retention as Santi and when he does lose the ball, we immediately have an issue because of the gap between him and Flamini. And he loses the ball too frequently.

    In the game after his goal, you can see Flamini trying to calm Ramsey down and asking him to protect the back more.

    Also another problem for us today beyond this was our wide players Campbell (who looked a bit tired) and Walcott were not as switched on to Liverpools diagonal runs into the box. We were better switched on in the second half but were all over the place ball watching on this first half. No amount of Coquelin can help if the wide players fail to help the fullbacks who were constantly caught out on both flanks.

    We need Ramsey to be a bit more discipline and we can recover the equilibrium we have been successful with in midfield. Still plenty to play for.

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  13. The other thing is all this media poppycock about us dropping points.

    Yes Leicester is back beside us but for GD. But City drew blanks at home, hardly stuff of Champions either. And the media’s favorite horse Spurs lost dropping points.

    Plus Liverpool may feel the draw is a mini victory for them but they’ve dropped closer still to midtable in 9th!

    And for all the talk(excuse) about injuries at Liverpool, as Wenger predicted, they pretty much fielded a first choice team.

    Aside from Ibe, most of those players featuring are experienced first team players for Liverpool.

    They may point to Coutinho missing but we are without Alexis AND Santi.

    they may complain about Sturridge but we are without Welbeck

    They may go on about Lovren but we are without Coquelin.

    So in reality, despite our issues and theirs injury-wise, we have shown better resiliance and team depth.

    That’s despite them spending 26m on Firmino for a 3 goal return this season. That’s despite 32m on Benteke (who featured).

    Giroud put in a shift both defensively and scoring two goals. Could have got more but that Numpty McNulty gave Firmino the MOTM instead.

    The media will try to swing this as a victory for Liverpool In reality, the sort of Gherkinpressing style will likely tire them out further when they next face United.

    We came back twice which shows great character away at a difficult place with a team with less injury issues than made out and one that followed media presciption of buying every next name touted as good value to no avail as they are close to mid table and no where near even Europa spot.

    Sure Klopp is in it for a short while but what’s the excuse? Liverpool maybe Brendan Rodger’s team but it was a team also endorsed fully by the media until recently of spending and having depth. Leiecester spent 17m on the entire squad and are doing better than them.

    Typical disingenuity from the media as per usual.

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