Arsenal’s season seemed to start in a state of crisis. The Gunners were beaten at home by Liverpool before being held by defending champions Leicester, at which time Arsene Wenger was scratching around for defensive players and being forced to use square pegs in round holes due to injury issues.
However, the following months have been a whirlwind of wins, with the Gunners claiming maximum points in six games on the spin in divisional action to catapult themselves up to joint top of the league, while newbie Shkodran Mustafi has settled well and Theo Walcott has pushed on in terms of form.
One man who gets little praise for his role in this revival is Santi Cazorla. The Spaniard’s neat passing has been a joy to behold in the middle of the pitch, so when he was injured in midweek action, many were worried ahead do the Middlesbrough game.
And the feared news has hit in that Cazorla has been left out, with Mohamed Elneny in (Granit Xhaka remains suspended).
Naturally, fans are worried…
Without Cazorla, El Neny-Coquelin is a bit too defensive a midfield pairing. Could imagine Ox coming on if we can't break through 2nd half.
— CD14 (@c_d_14) October 22, 2016
Missing an ideal midfield trio in Xhaka, Ramsey and Cazorla. Still, trust in Coquelin and Elneny to get the job done – good show of depth.
— TF⁹ (@TheFalseNein) October 22, 2016
Wish Wenger played Xhaka vs Ludogorets and then Santi would've played now. Oh well. Elneny needs to do well today
— Abdul (@Flaminiesta) October 22, 2016
Elneny-Coq is actually a btec Cazorla-Xhaka…
— RxT (@Iwobiesque) October 22, 2016
However, some are positive in regards to what the Egyptian brings…
People seem to already forget what Elneny gives us.
— BG (@XhakaSwiss) October 22, 2016
Elneny is underrated by our fans just cause we bought Xhaka. If there was no Xhaka, you would be delighted with him.
— OG (@VintageGiroud) October 22, 2016
Elneny can distribute passes like Carzola
— blvck boi (@Toonday_AFC) October 22, 2016