Elneny on his way back after AFCON final heartbreak


Arsenal’s midfield issues should be boosted this week by the return of Mohamed Elneny from the African Cup of Nations.

However, the Egyptian is likely to be smarting from defeat in the final as Egypt went down 2-1 to Cameroon.

Elneny had given his nation the lead in the first half, scoring a fine goal 22 minutes in.

But second half goals from Nicolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboubakar turned things around for Cameroon who won their first AFCON since 2002.

Elneny played last night despite missing the semi due to what was described as a ‘bad calf injury‘, so it remains to be seen if he was fully recovered or just patched up to play in the final.

Arsene Wenger will be hoping it’s the former, as we prepare to play Hull at the weekend, and then Bayern Munich in the Champions League next Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

57 Comments on "Elneny on his way back after AFCON final heartbreak"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Missed this guy. Always gets the ball moving quickly which is something we could have really done with in the last two games!

Bould's Eyeliner

Yeah–the closest thing we’ve had to a metronome since Arteta last really carried our midfield in ’12-’14. I would not mind seeing some good ol’ stable basics from our CM’s…

Bould's Eyeliner

And by ‘thing’ I meant person but was thinking of a literal metronome.


Interested to see how he links up with ox


OT, sorry, but i remember when Per shouted at Mesut while he didn’t salute the fans. Arseblog made an article about it at that time. And now nothing about Sanchez ignoring the fans and Mesut telling him to come back? Are we not better than the pundits who protect Sanchez and accuse endlessly Özil? Or should we put the same treatment to all our players?


Good to have him back… also some perspective after a frustrating weekend:

We’re only 3pts from second place… which means Chelsea aside we’re still relatively competitive in the premier league. We have the 4th highest wage bill in the league so in terms of position we’re about the right place.

Liverpool lost against Hull lol… not an excuse for us losing to Watford but yeah shit happens. Also dodgy first goal scored by Chelsea.

Being a “good” side is the biggest impediment to being a “great” side. It’s hard – especially in the premier league. Look at Pep a genius/god manager who despite winning everything under the sun is still finding the premier league a challenge – mitigating point; he had to play with our ex RB and LB lolz…

Lastly we’re by no means a powerhouse in terms of football destined to win everything in sight… The premier league today is vastly different from the one that our Invincibles dominated. Perhaps it has left AW behind… perhaps not… but people need to realize that it’s not as simple as getting rid of AW and auto win the league.


Most refreshing to read this. Gives me reason to believe there are still people out there who do use their brains ! #AFC #COYG

Bould's Eyeliner

Yeah honestly I disagree with almost everything except your last paragraph–comparing the game from over a decade ago is the reason why Trump won and Brexit happened. People fearing the future and looking to the past for comfort. E.G. Michael Jordan would have a much tougher time leading the Chicago Bulls to dominating the NBA multiple times, just ten years later. Something great happens, and the rest of the world tries to match it. Nature of how man progresses itself.

Ozil's left foot

Completely agree. Most people seem to forget there are 2 teams on the pitch. We are in the middle of a season, granted we are probably out of the title race there are games to be played entertainment to be had. Get behind the team and see if we can’t win the title race at least if we can influence it.


Wow, a refreshing perspective except that it ignores the fact that we’ve been in this position for the past 13years, Pep is in his first year whereas AW is well into his 3rd decade with the same team in the same league. “we’re not a powerhouse to win everything in sight” sure, even I’m tired of arsenal winning everything, we should take a break. “It’s not like Change AW and auto win the league” yeah but by keeping him are we going to win the league? Last year it was Leicester (not the highest paying team) this year it is Chelsea, next year would be someone else. I’ve said this before, we should plan for AW’s succession now, he’s still a legend to me so I’d rather give him a role in running the club and have a new manager. We shouldn’t be keeping a manager out of fear of losing out on CL places but to challenge for the league (may or may not win it)


But you ignore the fact that we were totally unable to compete financially for 10 of those years


I think we need to change the system and/or the personnel as Chelsea have to be more defensively solid.

Not sure if Arsene will do that.


Not sure if Arsene will do that.
……..You mean CAN do that?


On the day, I don’t even think Chelsea were more solid defensively. We had similar amount of chances, they just had a better keeper on the day.
See, the Chelsea match wasn’t as bad as it seems. It’s the Watford loss that made it look worse. We didn’t hav any right to show up at their place and humiliate ten like we did in September. Chelsea were at home, we were without a midfield, out manager sat in the crowd…
I know we’ve been here many times in the past, but this once, I’m not overly disappointed. And even if Sanchez and Coquelin had a bad day, I don’t think the performance warranted the 2s and 3s everyone on here rated them

craszy gunner

I don’t get this we were unable to compete financially nonsense…go and check the books and see how much profit AFC posted in those so called ”lean” years..in one of them we made £56m after tax..yet we did not have a DM…at a time when about £8m would’ve gotten us a decent one..


I don’t believe Wenger was skimping on players out of choice.


I guess Leicester were a financial powerhouse to win last year eh? It’s not always the team with the most money that wins. Arsenal just gave up trying to win because others have more money.


“Go and check the books” are the books in Anonymarse’s house??
I’d like a look at them too!


Wenger has built some pretty solid teams in the past … he has also bought / developed some very good defensive players. Seems like he probably can do it.

Leicester were lucky. Nobody else has managed to do that in a long time.

Thierry Bergkamp

2008 when they should have won the league and bottled it, had nothing to do with finances.


Exactly, I remember the cup final where we lost to Birmingham city and what did that have to do with finances? We’ve been in leading positions in Jan at least 3-4 times in the past 10years but have slipped from there by Feb. In fact, when Rooney the looney was asked about Arsenal leading in Dec he said they’ve been in such positions a lot of times and haven’t won the league, so wait till March. I felt insulted then, but we’ve proven him right almost every other season. I don’t expect Arsenal to win every season I only want Arsenal to fight for it, be in it. I also don’t understand this mentality of get behind your players all the time, if they play well we’ll praise them if they don’t we criticise them. If u r supporting them always where is the motivation to play well? When ur child does well u encourage him/her if they make mistakes you have to point it out – I’m not asking u to get ur banners out but doesn’t mean we applaud crap. There has to be a middle path. I support Arsenal I don’t care who plays for Arsenal I expect them to play with passion. If they don’t I’ll criticise them, we can’t be a nanny club!


Very true


So gutted for him. He scored a nice goal and deserved the winners medal because he’s generally a good guy. But such is life. Hope he picks himself up and helps us come back with at least a point from Munich.

Toure Motors

We might settle for a draw but I take your point!

Thierry Bergkamp

Didn’t Egypt have anybody better to take that free kick at the end?


Perhaps the most adaptable midfielder we have. We can pair him with anyone, though he works best with Xhaka.


I agree, i think we should rest him for the weekend and play him against Bayern munich next week along with Xhaka.


Agree they have been our best partnership after cazorlas injury imo. The only duo that can defend AND pass the ball.


such an efficient midfielder. i think we should use him more often than coquelin. nothing against him but elneny is just plain better than him. i thought that whenever xhaka was paired with elneny they looked solid combination and maybe our 2nd best option after cazorla-coquelin.

but i still xhaka-ramsey midfield pairing showed a lot of promise until xhakas red and is the midfield pairig with most potential. damn i think i might get downvoted for this comment to abyss

Heavenly Chapecoense

Coquelin was once injured and we had problems.


Coquelin also played against everton, city and Chelsea and we were really poor offensively in all those matches. Not to mention defensive mistakes

I like the lad but he is a bad fit to our current formation


Here’s the thing – we have a raft of midfielders, and they’re all different from one another. So saying one is better than another is like saying “pickled peppers are better than frosting”.

Now, I love pickled peppers on my sandwich, but if you put them on my cake I’m going to cry like Yaya until the party’s over.


We all know that bees are better on cake than peppers anyhow.

Alexis The Beast Of London
Alexis The Beast Of London

Egypt lose just completed a weekend of heartbreak for me. After arsenal disaponting match I was hoping on atleast tapping some of Elneny’s joy but it wasnt meant to be. Who says you need a girl to have a bad heartbreak is surely not an arsenal fan. #Heartbreakkid. :,(


Egyptian Arsenal fans, got the worst out of all this. Losing a midfielder in a time of crucial need, and losing the final. I just hope he’ll be okay and play well.

(PS: That’s the Iraki flag in the tweet, not Egypt’s)

Why Not

You literally took the words out of my mouth. At least it wasn’t bacon.

But i shouldnt be eating that apparently.


I noticed that re: the flag. A touch embarrassing.


Ha – losing him for the whole tournament only for him to return having lost is as Arsenal as drawing Bayern. Welcome back Mo!

Lord Bendnter

Had a tiny spark of happiness when man city were 1-1 with Swansea. Some minutes later that spark faded away.
This week has been crazy for Arsenal and anyone to do with anything Arsenal. Hope Brother ElNeny gets a good rest and comes back stronger.
Oh well, at Arsenal, we all stand together, no matter the weather.

We gonna fight we gonna charge, we gonna stomp we gonna march,
Through the swamp, we gonna mosh through the marsh.
Don’t matter What color, all that matters we gathered together,
To celebrate for the same cause, don’t matter the weather,
If it rains let it rain, yea the wetter the better.
They ain’t gonna stop us, they can’t, we stronger now more than ever.
(Lyrics stolen from copyrighted source)

chippy's chip

Bit early for the bubbly bendy



uncle D

Elneny and Perez, Theo and Ramsey! Which are better so far this season? I am not sure…


gotta tell you that celebration looked funny. im not being racist or anything , ofcourse they have the right to celebrate however they want. it just amused me..thats all

Lord Bendnter

It’s called ‘sajdah’
Muslims do it as prostration to God at times of great joy when they wanna thank God for it. It is also done during Muslim prayer.
It can also be done in FIFA celebrations, it’s actually quite common amongst Muslim footballers especially in the Middle East and North Africa. DemBaBa has done it in the EPL. It has been done in EPL, French league, Italian league, Spanish leave, heck even in NFL. So it’s not that uncommon.

Why Not

How is it racist exactly?


You are not being racist? Just plain ignorant.


Missed the guy, gotta be one of the best deals of Wenger era along with Giroud(his doubters should know he cost less than Chambers) and Kos

bob davis

Hopefully he’s fit and well.

Be great to see him start for us on Saturday against Hull!

cheesed off

Poor bloke!! He is coming out of the frying pan and into the Arsenal inferno!!!

chippy's chip

Will be good to have him back just as xhakas ban ends wenger wont know what to do so no change there then.


He shouldn’t change things.

If you look at Chelsea (and Leicester last season) they benefit from an extremely stable squad selection. Relationships are forged and the team reaps efficiency.

Naturally we differ slightly as we have CL football to content with which both these teams have/had the advantage of not having to deal with (the media won’t mention this of course)

But even if Ox and Coquelin are a little unbalanced and still relatively raw in telepathy, it will pay to persist with it given the Ox brings something going forward (as oppose to Elneny). When Granit returns, there will be better opportunity to return to a more established partnership with Coquelin.

Otherwise I’d stick with Ox and Coquelin let them work out the kinks.

Besaides, Elneny is only just back from AFCON.

No Change. It would be unwise.

Steven Simpson

I would try the Ox and Xhaka. Ox likes to move forward and is showing some excellent passing ability too. He has been our best player in the last two games, whilst Coquelin is limited going forward and has just experienced a defensive nightmare!! Xhaka is much more comfortable sitting deep and Im sure will be eager to prove himself, making amends for letting the team down after that red card.


I feel bad for him and Egypt. It seems heartbreaks are the only thing surrounding Arsenal these days.


Not exactly a game changer but better than nothing. We are so thin in midfield.

Next match against Hull is no given. They won their last match against media pundit’s favorite Liverpool, the team who hasn’t won a title in OVER a quarter of a century since the PL was established.

We need to find a good balance till Granit returns.

People tend to big up Coquelin and he is an excellent player but he finds it hard to adapt to certain players.

As I mentioned, Flamini did a great job last season tailoring to Ramsey, less so Le Coq who together seeped in 13 gaols in 7 matches.

This last two matches, Coquelin has been poor.

I’m not sure why some people have a go at say Mustafi when Coquelin has been decidedly weak. Ditto koscielny last match.

Granit for all the criticism seems to be able to bring out the best in Coquelin. But the player of course he plays best with is Santi.

Elneny/Coquelin has been OK at best. We tend to miss some offensive power going forward with the twoi because guess what, Elneny tends to pass from side to side (which if he were Flamini he would be criticised but since he isn’t they would prefer to cite statistics of his passing competition, never min they are mainkly passes sideways or backwards)

Bottom line, we could have done with another player who could bring an extra dynamic going forward. Noty to say Jack is without fault but its a shame we could not convince him otherwise to stay on the peripheral of the squad. I think Wenger was rather relying on Ramsey (particularly after the good Euro he had) but the Welshman has been a disappointment thus far.

Hopefully when Granit returns, he will have learnt from his repeated transgressions (again a gentle reminder that Koscielny had a fair share of needless reds, OwnGoals and penalties conceded first season, not to mention VIera with his reds throughout his career).

I think the reason we have been poor may be down to the midfield balance. The engine room is not consistent at the moment. Granit can provide the consistency along with Coquelin, we can prosper again up top.

There is still plenty to play for.


Listen up.. every option is better than Coquelin! In terms of quality on the ball, he is not even close to Elneny. Also, people on this forum have been comparing Xhaka and Kante, saying how Kante would be a much better buy.. these two players have vastly different tasks on the pitch. The guy you should compare to Kante is Coquelin- who also is supposed to protect the back four. Well.. he is not even close to Kante in any regard. Sell him, and get a top class DM. Elneny is way better, but not good enough/physical enough to fill the void that is our DM position.


I like Francis (thought it best to not refer to him as “Coq” following my first three words) and let’s not forget he was our dm saviour not so long ago…can we stop picking on people please?
I also like Gibbs.


As much as Coquelin was as they said “like a man trying to jump onto a runaway golf cart”, Elneny is even weaker.

This much I give Elneny though, he’s a pair of lungs.