Arsenal Debate – What happened to Francis Coquelin?

The Curious Case Of Francis Coquelin… by Goonerboy

Hi Gooners, as we eagerly anticipate the arrival and confirmation of Lacazette, I thought of a little something to distract us from the anxiety…

I stumbled on a report revealing that Chelsea are close to capturing Bakayoko from Monaco and I was wishing Arsenal was his destination until I decided to go on a scouting mission on the Tube. While watching, I saw that he is a good player but not that special so I decided to do a comparison with Coquelin albeit not a stats comparison…

While watching, I kept on wondering what has gone wrong with Le Coq recently because I remember when he broke into the first team, his impact was so huge that he got plaudits from far and wide as he gave us exactly what we had been looking for…

However, since the absence of Cazorla, he has been lost in the wilderness, losing a bit of something. In fact, many of us think Cazorla’s absence is the major reason. But what if there is also a Wenger factor? Sometime last season, Wenger stated he wants Coquelin to play a box to box role which is something he really is not good at – although if you remember his game against Stoke, he played that role brilliantly…

For me, I believe he is a specialist in breaking up play and passing it quickly. If he is focused on defending alone, he has no rival in the squad and you will struggle to find anyone better than him in that aspect in the league. The offensive side of the game is his only weakness.

Apart from his abilty, I admire his passion and love for the club. But most fans now see Le Coq as a squad player at best. Some even want to get Bakayoko and it makes me remember a certain Kondogbia we all wanted once upon a time.

For me, Coquelin remains a vital part of our team even if we need a new CM, Coquelin still has a lot to offer us and because he doesn’t cost us money doesn’t take away his value…

What do you think?



  1. At top form Coquelin is better than Bakayoko defensively and to me is only slightly bettered defensively by Nogolo Kante.He’s just off form because when he was playing well at that time he had no one to help him.He kept playing and playing with so much on his head.If he had someone to help at that time he could’ve retained his form.His defensive solidity has nothing to do with Cazorla’s absence.I still think he can be a starter because what he offers is so crucial.Only time will tell.He shouldn’t be sold because we need him.If you’ve done it before then you can do it again.

  2. What happened to Coq was that senior players went to A.W. to tell him the team had to use a dmf in front of the back 4. AW had been refusing to use one …. Arteta was not a real dmf. Coq was in the frame, played very well there and our results improved. The players were right. With Zhaka arriving and playing better as the season progressed ….. there is not often room for both of them. And especially now we use 3 at the back. He is what the article says … a breaker up of attacks and a feeder to more skilled players. He is NOT what AW asked of him. His future role is reserve dmf or … move on.

  3. We need to be honest with ourselves about our players. Let’s not say they are the best when they are good or say they are good when they are average. We don’t owe them so much loyalty

    Coquelin is a good player but had a bad season. Will he have another bad season?
    Should we take a risk and see how he does next season or sign a Top defensive Midfielder?

    Like I said, Coquelin is good but he is not as good as Kante, Matic, Schneiderlin, Carvalho, Kondobia, Gueye etc. Eleney is not the answer either

    I would sign another DM or box2box player with strong defensive skills to compete with Coquelin like Gueye or Carvalho

    Competition keeps players on their toes. If they get starts every match then they relax sometimes and slide in performance

    1. Those players you highlighted do not play in a team that goes gung-ho in attack, if you consider Arsenal set-up we play so high up the pitch that we leave our defence exposed, there are even times when our defenders also play a very high line and all this is Wenger’s instruction…

      What am saying is, some of the players you mentioned might struggle in our setup as we are so attack minded

    2. Idrissa Gueye or Fabinho for me actually Fabinho from Monaco has a great point. Gueye and Carvhalo don’t play in teams as attack minded as us but Fabinho does. Monaco play a very similar game style to us he is very solid defensively and can score alot off goals as well. I think he scored something like 19 goals and 9 assists last year as a D.M.F. I think he would be perfect for us

  4. I really like Coquelin, but I wonder if what has happened to so many of our Arsenal flops, has happened to him as well. Like many others, he looked okay as a youngster, but took a long time to get going, then went through a period of looking WC, and he is now back looking just okay again. I would definitely keep him as a very important squad player, but sadly I don’t see enough to have him as a starter at the moment.

    I think if he was used purely as a DM, he would be class, but Wenger seems to loath using an out-and-out DM, and prefers using CM type players instead…and how many times has that cost us! Arteta anyone?

  5. I really like Coquelin,But i get to know he he started to fear when the team lost to Bayer in the champions league ,but i will be happy if we loan him to other clubs before since Thomas lemar who be arriving and we have a lots of midfielders is best he does’t not stay and not getting playing time

  6. Coq has always been a decent player nothing more, the expectations of fans is ridiculous. When he can back from his loan we were so desperate that his petformances fans made out to be world class and put him on a pedestal the new viera etc etc

    he must have got a pay rise no doubt and this is what happens complacency, too many a times has he been flung aside by players I.e hazard who’s tiny

    Coq I would now play as a back up to our right back position he started off there and he has always been decent.

    If not sell him alongside gibbs,jenko,walcott, debuchy, martinez,scez, no more sentiments “British core”. Or they have come through academy

    If the penny hasn’t finally dropped with Wenger now it never will. #Ruthless#Manager#Successfulll

  7. Our central midfield needs a real working on during the pre-season. Infact I’d make it the single most important focus of our pre-season preparation.

  8. I think Santi and Coquelin were a really good partnership because Coquelin would win the ball and then give it to Santi, who would then pull the strings. Coquelin had a well defined role and performed well. Without Santi, Coquelin has tried too hard to play passes that he doesn’t have the ability to do and has focused a bit more on playmaking. This is not his strength. We don’t know whether this is due to Wenger telling him to be more expansive or Coquelin himself making these decisions.

  9. Coquelin best position is in place of Xhaka, for Mr Wenger to play Coquelin in an attacking position similar to Cazorla where he has to join the attack high up the pitch play tight passes and create goal scoring opportunities is as a result of Xhaka fragility in defending.

    Mr Wenger was forced to play two defensive midfielder for most of the season because Xhaka overall game possesses more flaws than strength. Coquelin is a superior defensive midfielder than Xhaka in all aspect of the game for the exception a a few penetrating long passes.

    Coquelin is better at closing the opposition down denying them space, intercepting passes, and tackling which is essential in a defensive midfielder game. What I believe Mr Wenger should have done last year was to kept Coquelin as Arsenal main defensive midfielder, Wilshere replaces Cazorla and the 34 million in transfer fee and £120,000 in weekly wages spent on Xhaka should have been spent on a better striker.

    Therefore, Coquelin has not lost form his simply played out of position. But surprisingly, Arsenal fans seems to see it differently.

    1. Lol what jack play one game wilshere


      Oh n yes he’s played more then one for Bournemouth but where is he now bk where he belongs on treatment table

      Coquelin is nothing special one decent season n your making him out to be makalele pipe down

  10. Le Coq is a great pure DMF, and very useful in a 4-2-3-1 like we used to play. However the new formation using 3 central defenders renders him redundant.

    The only time he would play now is if, for tactical reasons, Arsenal switch back to a 4-2-3-1 against certain teams in certain situations.

    However, as we all know, Wenger always sticks to the same formation regardless of the opposition, and therefore Coquelin’s future opportunities look very limited at Arsenal.

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