Up until now, Mohamed Elneny has always been a relatively safe option for the Gunners. In the final years under Arsene Wenger, the Egyptian became one you could expect a decent performance from without anything flashy, and with no mistakes. However, this season the fans don’t want to see him and feared the worst when he started yesterday.
Elneny, Mkhitaryan come in
Iwobi, Ramsey move to bench
Xhaka, Koscielny out with injury
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) 7 April 2019
The Gunners may have been more accommodating of their midfielder had he been thrust into a double-pivot alongside Granit Xhaka or Lucas Torreira, however, the fans were left in despair when he was found partnering Matteo Guendouzi going into their tough clash with Everton at Goodison Park. Merseyside is never an easy place to go, and it seems Unai Emery got this one monumentally wrong.
The argument for his selection will be that the Spaniard has one eye on the Europa League, his side has the first leg of their quarter-final tie this Thursday against Napoli and Emery will be eyeing up his 4th success in the competition. If the Spaniard is happy to sacrifice the top four for the Europa League then it certainly is a brave decision, and if it means playing Elneny every week in the Premier League for the rest of the season then the fans will certainly not be happy.
You can read the Gunners’ reaction to Elneny’ start here:
elneny guendouzi midfield bloody hell
— mikaelhajje (@mikaelhajje) April 7, 2019
Hopefully this is Elneny's farewell appearance.
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) April 7, 2019
Oh Elneny please god no
— DNNY (@HEXORCIZT) 7 April 2019
Why tf is elneny playing
— mahdi (@momahdi123) April 7, 2019
Elneny and Guendouzi……Reallyyy???????
— Aquib (@aqigooner) April 7, 2019
Elneny and Mustafi, not a good day
— Tasha (@Tasha67_) 7 April 2019
Arghhhhhh Elneny starting our midfield is going to get dominated
— #9 (@LoadedLacazette) 7 April 2019
The Gunners were right to fear the worst as they never truly got started at Goodison Park and fell to a dire 1-0 defeat, one that could have been avoided too had the right personnel started.