- Islam Saad
- Journalist – BBC
May 9, 2022
Numerous criticisms received by the Egyptian player Mohamed Elneny during his career in the football stadiums, especially from the Egyptian football fans, reached the point of bullying, and it culminated during his participation with his country in the last African Nations Cup, and also during the two 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Senegal.
But Elneny, 29, responded to his critics on the field with a strong performance during his recent participation in four matches with his team Arsenal in the English Premier League – the Premier League – which he played in full after he remained on the bench for long periods during the current season.
Prior to last April 20, when Arsenal faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the player had not appeared in the squad since the beginning of this year – when he participated with the team in its match against Manchester City in the Premier League for only six minutes – nor did he play ninety minutes. Complete with Arsenal, this season, only three times, including two matches in the English League Cup.
In general, this season seemed to be Mohamed Elneny’s last with Arsenal, as his contract with the London club expires this summer, as he only participated for a few minutes in seven matches out of a total of 35 official matches for the Gunners this season.
The injury also caused Elneny to be absent for some weeks at the start of the current season, when he contracted a hamstring infection during his team’s friendly match against Brentford.
In the face of diminishing opportunities for permanent play for the Egyptian player, offers have been received from several private clubs, according to Al-Nani’s statements to the “Remontada” program, which is shown on one of the Egyptian channels, and presented by former football player Ahmed Hossam Mido.
Hamdi Al-Husseini, deputy editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Al-Arabi magazine, told the BBC that Elneny does what the coach offers with full commitment and this is what distinguishes him.
In his team Arsenal’s match against Chelsea in the English Premier League, a match that was postponed from the 25th round of the competition, the Egyptian international participated from the beginning until the last minute in the match that ended in favor of the Gunners with four goals for two goals, as coach Arteta pushed him to compensate for the absence of his injured colleague Thomas Partey. .
The match witnessed the brilliance of Elneny, who until recently was going through a difficult period, especially after the failure in the African Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers.
The Egyptian team lost the final of the African Nations Cup 2021 – in Cameroon at the beginning of this year – which is the second final in which it is not successful with his country after losing the title of the Gabon version against Cameroon in the final, and after a bad start in the last African Nations Cup, El-Nini’s level gradually increased During the tournament, he was awarded the best player award after the Côte d’Ivoire match in the round of sixteen, but this match, which ended in penalty kicks, witnessed Elneny’s refusal to take one of the kicks to be chased by arrows of criticism and bullying through his official page on Facebook.
However, El-Nini did not pay attention to what was said on social media by some Egyptian fans, and at the end of the African Nations Cup, he was chosen in the ideal formation for the tournament announced by the Confederation of African Football.
Mohamed Elneny said, in statements to Arsenal TV, after the end of the last African Nations and his return to London: “I was hoping that we would win the African Nations Cup even once. There is no player in the current team who won this very important cup for us in Egypt. We lost on penalties, and winning it is determined by fate. We were broken after the final, but the public’s reception of us somewhat reduced the impact of the loss…”
Mohamed Elneny was able to reintroduce himself again with his club and became one of the eleven players who start the Gunners matches in the Premier League, as he participated in his team’s match against Manchester United in the 34th round, which Arsenal won 3-1, as well as in his team’s match against West Ham, which the Gunners ended 2-1 in his favour.
Elneny continued his brilliance in his team’s match with Leeds United on Sunday, which Arsenal won with two goals to one. Elneny participated in the match as a starter and played the entire match, providing a good performance that won the approval of the English club and its fans.
In appreciation of the Egyptian player’s performance, Arsenal tweeted a set of photos of Elneny’s participation in the meeting:
Nasser Al-Nani, the player’s father, told the BBC that his son has had determination and determination for a long time. He always puts in mind the need to be fully prepared for any opportunity to participate, and therefore when his coach, Mikel Arteta, asked him to play in the last matches, he was ready and played 90 minutes efficiently. Against big teams like Chelsea and Manchester United.
Regarding the bullying that Muhammad al-Nini was subjected to, he says: “Bullying is something that does not bother Muhammad because he is a player who has ambition and always focuses on his goal. Those who bully give Muhammad many advantages, and some of them have not played football at all.”
And about the player’s ability to withstand this amount of criticism, Hamdi Al-Husseini says: “This is due to the player benefiting greatly from a long European professional experience since 2013 in the Swiss Basel and then Arsenal, passing through the Turkish team Besiktas on loan..then returning to Arsenal, each These experiences reflected positively on his personality, which has become strong and unbreakable in the face of all these criticisms.
Mohamed Elneny joined Arsenal from Swiss Basel in January 2016 when Frenchman Arsene Wenger was coach of the Gunners, and spent the 2019-2020 season on loan with Besiktas.
After it was reported that the player will soon leave the Gunners Castle, the player’s recent brilliance and coach Arteta’s praise of his performance on and off the field indicate that Elneny may stay with Arsenal for another period, especially as he previously stated that he is ready to stay in the team, even if he did not guarantee basic play.
Mohamed Elneny began his career with Al-Ahly of Egypt at the age of five, then moved to the young Arab Contractors at the age of sixteen, to quickly join the first team before starting his professional journey outside Egypt with the Swiss Basel in January 2013.
In his talk to Ahmed Hossam Mido, on his “Remontada” program, El-Nani tells how his mother, a young child, accompanied him to the Al-Ahly Club from the city of Mahalla al-Kubra to Cairo, where she started her day at three in the morning in order to take him to Cairo in order to catch up with training at ten in the morning, and what This entailed walking on bumpy roads and then taking the train, which is more economical, and waiting for the public transport bus, because the financial situation only allowed this method, so that they could return after the training to their home.