There have already been a few Arsenal players that have come in for some criticism from the Arsenal fans and members of the football media, even though we have only played two Premier League games so far. But while the likes of Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey have been largely forgiven for the opening day disaster already, thanks to their showing against Crystal Palace, the same cannot be said of Francis Coquelin.
Perhaps this is because a lot of us feel that the young Frenchman was pretty lucky not to be sent off for a second yellow at Selhurst Park. Arsene Wenger has backed the combative central midfielder and suggested that it was the vocal home fans and their attempts to influence the referee that forced him to replace Coquelin, but he really was riding his luck.
So the Sky Sports report in which the former Gunner Charlie Nicholas suggests that Wenger still needs to sign another DM is far from being unusual.
Champagne Charlie said, “Arsenal are strong and I’ve tipped them to win the Premier League but I would still like to see them sign another holding midfield player.
“Francis Coquelin will be walking a tight-rope every week because of the way he plays and he’ll pick up suspensions, so another defensive midfielder would be good. Wenger’s got Mikel Arteta, who can do a job there, and he’s also got a couple of young kids who he wants to fill that role, but I think he’ll let Mathieu Flamini go.”
I think we might be jumping the gun on the lad a bit here. Coquelin played 22 EPL games last season and was never shown a red card. In fact he was only booked five times. For the amount of tackles and duels he is involved in, that shows me that he is usually very accurate with his defensive work, as shown in his stats on Squawka.com.
Maybe he is not quite up to speed yet this season but he was already better in the second game, so Arsenal fans should remember how good and important for us he was last year and give Coquelin a break. I do not think we need to sign a defensive midfielder, mainly because only one of them could play. Do you agree?