Many Arsenal fans were surprised when Mohamed Elneny aimed a cheeky dig at former Gunners boss Unai Emery for not giving him a chance.
The Spaniard publicly claimed in the summer of 2019 that Elneny wasn’t in his plans. (Goal) He urged the Egyptian to move on and that didn’t quite sit well with the former Basel man, who always worked hard for the team.
Elneny told Sky Sports on Friday: “If you are good, you will play. If you’re not good, you’ll be on the bench or out of the squad. This one, I love from Mikel because it’s fair. If you train good and you train hard and you’re ready to play, he’ll give you a chance to play.”
“This one, I missed before with Emery. Emery was not giving me a chance to play. That’s why I got a chance to go to Turkey and prove myself. I’ve come back and I’m happy about myself now.”
We figured that Emery wouldn’t have been too pleased with those comments. However, it looks like the former Arsenal boss is still really fond of the Egyptian, who he claims is an ‘extraordinary player’.
Emery told UEFA: “Many of the players I coached [are still at Arsenal]. I have fond memories of them: Hector Bellerin, [Calum] Chambers, [Rob] Holding: exceptional guys; [Mohamed] Elneny, who is an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person.”
The Insider’s View:
Fair play, Unai.
The former Arsenal boss could’ve easily responded to Elneny’s comments with a dig of his own. However, he took the higher road and that really is admirable.
However, it’s a war when the whistle blows on Thursday. He would love nothing more than to kick us out of the competition. Hopefully, Elneny and everyone else at Arsenal will want to prove a point as well in the two legs coming up.