Francis Coquelin, Per Mertesacker, Mikael Arteta and last weekend by JA
Hello guys, hope y’all havin a fine uuhhhm happy transfer window….
So of late, two grown heads at Arsenal have come under criticism; Per Mertesacker and Mikael Arteta and it’s all about they’re slow, they’re old or they just don’t cut it.
Now I’ll go query by query. Slow they are but also smart. The reason that people get worried about Per is that he can’t run after Sturridge, or Aguero, or any one fast, but I’ll tell you this; If your sweeper at any club whatsoever ends up chasing strikers so many times that it becomes notable, then there is something wrong with your defence. Center backs, and more specifically sweepers, are designed for interceptions, just like holding midfielders. It’s the job of the number 4 to run about marking strikers. It’s the job of the number 5 to watch out for opposition passes. Personally, I’ve watched Per stifle Tevez and Aguero on the same pitch on the same day. This is because his number six and number four were good enough to give him the time to mark the passing lines towards both and intercept passes before they reached them.
The reverse though Is true. If Laurent had a partner more drawn to the ball like himself, then it would be a whole lot easier to beat him with a simple pass behind him and even his great pace would never recover. We need to appreciate players putting the weakness of those around them in perspective. Now Per has his weakness exposed because of who is around him, but imagine if Laurent had to play with Monreal, absolute catastrophe!
Same case for Arteta, he looks slow and out of his depth when alongside a faltering number 8 (box to box) A case in point is the game against Dortmund in the first leg. Ramsey was always upfield like a support striker, leaving Arteta to chase Aubomeyang, Mikhtarian and God knows who else on his own. A deep six is designed for the stifling role, just to make sure that the pass to the striker never gets there, or if it does, it’s delayed enough for his defense to pick it out. His other job at a team like Arsenal is to be available for a pass at all times which he does so well. It’s not so much a requirement for a deep lying midfielder to play risky fancy forward passes but it’s an added advantage. He’d be more useful playing a simple pass to the nearest option.
Finally, I watched a replay of the Hull City game and noticed most experienced players, if not all, tried to avoid playing a pass to Coquelin even when he was in a great position.To the normal A.O.B mind,they’ll say it’s a ploy by Wenger to foil Coquelin but I think it would be easier to convince a young player not to pass to him than an older one. I noticed that Rosicky, Cazorla, Mertersacker and Monreal all opted for each other rather than pass to him, and that he received a lot of passes from Joel Campbell, Hector, Chambers. My interpretation of this gesture was that in training, he’s probably less assured in possession, resulting in a luck of trust in his ball skills from the seniors.
I, at one point, saw Monreal reprimand him for attempting a complicated crossfield ball which ended up far away from its target (Monreal), so in my view, Coquelin should quell his desire for always attempting the difficult pass and keep it simple so the senior players can gain trust in him. Even being a senior, you’ll notice that Arteta or Xavi or Alonso, or even the great Matic try to keep it simple when playing out of defense.
Otherwise, I think his positioning is good, passing range is average, he is an average tackler and a good interceptor.
Alright.till next time.have a great weekend.