Did Coquelin become Arsenal’s Matic at Man City?

Coquelin could be a new Vieira or Arsenalโ€™s own Matic by Sam P

If Francis Coquelin can continue in the way he has been doing recently for Arsenal, it will be a truly remarkable turnaround for the young Frenchman. And not only could it rescue an Arsenal career that was looking on very thin ice, it could also solve a problem that many say we have had since Patrick Vieira left in 2005.

I know I might be getting a bit ahead of myself here, but Coquelin has just passed a massive test with his disciplined and determined performance at Man City. And that was just the latest in a string of strong performances since Arsene Wenger recalled him from a loan spell at Charlton due to our injury crisis in central midfield.

Mathieu Flamini could well be worried about when he will next get a game, as Coquelin has really grabbed his chance by the short and curlies. He spoke recently about how his various loan moves have helped and it seems to me that they have helped his state of mind as much as his match sharpness.

You get the impression that Coquelin has realised how close he was to failing at Arsenal and has become like a new player, with the aggression and drive to match his technical ability. You might think it a bit too soon to compare him with Chelseaโ€™s Matic, and it is really. But donโ€™t forget that Matic failed at Chelsea and they had to buy him back for big money when he clicked.

And take a quick look at the stats comparison between Coquelin and Matic in this Metro report that shows the young Gunner amazingly winning in all sorts of areas like tackling, clearances, blocks and defending in general.

Time will tell, Gooners, but do you think Coquelin could really become our Matic or even better, our new Vieira?

Tags Vieira Wenger


  1. coq did well against city but still need a solid cdm like schendrlin + Bayern could sell javi Martinez & replace him with khedira those would be perfect replacement ofr flamini & diaby

    1. Oh look, leo’s back.

      What’s up mate. Still at it with the transfer news I see. Yeah schendrlin would be awesome. I see other big teams going for him in the summer so Wenger would be wise to start talks now and if possible make him sign a pre contract (highly unlikely as his team is doing well).

      We all know how long our transfers take.

      1. Great win yesterday ,thanks to the lads but still not impressed especially how we win back the ball. Wenger needs to change that.We always wait for the opposition to misplace a pass or wait for it to go out. When you lose the ball you need to hustle the player until he loses it or gang up on him and deny him space to make a decision. The more time a player is allowed on the ball, the more dangerous he becomes. Hope Wenger works on that because its our biggest problem

    2. Actually at the minute Le Coq’s stats are better than Schinderlin’s.
      Look at the passion he plays with, the guy is a natural leader on the pitch.

    1. Better than Arteta / Flamini? Yes
      As good as Matic / Schneiderlin? Too early to say – he needs consistency!

      Check this stat comparison so far from the few games he has played.

      1. For 30 mils? No thank you, I think AFC is good by passing on that. Honestly even Destro fails to impress me in the EPL, I guess I must be proven wrong but this league is not really made for Italian strikers. One could argue that Pele adapted but trouble is Southampton does not rely on him alone. With or without him they put quite some performance.

        1. not impressed by destro aswell, he is a poacher much like klose- not saying that level but that mould.

          dont think he would improve us much an roma want 20-

    1. Why do we need a new striker who is not better than what we are having? We are not short there. Did we just send Sanogo to Palace on loan?
      Think this rumour is way off. Destro does not even make it at Rome where Arsenal reject Gervinho is a star striker

  2. Solid performance by Le Coq again, city didn’t know what hit them.

    Coupled with another good midfielder full of running and a master at reading the game he could be what we’ve been missing. Cant wait for the old Ramsey to come back (with or without the goals but same workrate and energy). Sad TR7 is at the climax of his career as he brings such calmness an maturity in that midfield alongside Coq.

    If Wenger can pre-secure a contract with Snedelline (sp – but you all know who am talking about) and extend/improve Le Coq’s contract I would be happy with this as I don’t see Flamini / Diaby / and even Arteta getting back in the team.

      1. Haaha. Last season’s Ramsey men. (Rambo).

        The all running, energetic, robust, no fear, no nonsense, complete midfielder we witnessed last season.

  3. Well done Coquelin ,and credit to all the players.They played like real gunners.Wenger was spot on in terms of tactics. This was the sweetest victory of the season.

    1. Well!
      I think what I enjoyed most in the game apart from the display from our boys was the:
      Ooooooooospinaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      from the fans.

      Ospina is gradually becoming the most popular player among the fans !!!
      3 clean sheets alreday!

      1. Oooooooooospina!!!!.
        Seriously, the team seems to respond to this. Maybe the crowd staying involved is a good thing. These guys showed 90minutes of strong play for once

      2. I think it is a bit early to judge Ospina playing at Arsenal, he did not have much to do in the Man City game.

        However I watched him in one of the World Cup games and he was outstandingly good, awesome even. The commentators were even debating whether he was the best goalie at the WC. Based on that performance I would say that he has come to Arsenal to be the number one goalie, not to sit on the bench. But as Maltese gooner says, let’s not put too much pressure on him.

  4. Maybe.


    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Overhyping a player does not help said player one bit.

    Just let him do his thing without any sort of pressure.

  5. Solid performance from Le Coq….I like how we grew in confidence as the game went on, it just shows how much damage conceding the early goals used to cause…even in the beginning of second half City through their kitchen sink at us but we could handle it and could have embarrassed them with 3 more goals on da break….if we continue to be that solid in defense and abit sharper on the counter we will be tough to beat..

    The entire team played well but I just wanna mention Santi, Le Coq and Bellerin,
    top performance

    The team I would like to play wen we are firing in all departments is man united,
    they are long overdue a 4-0 hiding

    1. how? i would welcome either of them- but they are like us- competing for fourth

      they would only sell for a joke offer- thats not arsenes style.

      who are u suggesting in jan?

    2. Maybe his time just arrived. I said few weeks ago that all he has to do is to take the chances offered now while Arteta, Wilshere were out. He learned pretty fast.

  6. Great performance by the Gunners this weekend,tactically disciplined and mentally strong performance.Everyone on the field did their job really well.

    But one great victory should not make us lose sight of the important issues that need to be dealt with. Yes Wenger and the whole technical team got everything right for this game,tactics were perfect and the boys seemed motivated.I congratulate Wenger for all of this.Now moving forward,i have been a Wengerout person for the last 4 months now but after yesterday i’m willing to give this man another chance.A club must improve every season in all aspects of the game.

    Arsenal have improved their squad in the past 2 seasons but it has not exactly been in the departments that we desperately needed.So regardless of this fantastic win there are still problems to solve,namely:

    1)Medical team or our training methods,i don’t know whats up with us and injuries but this problem needs to be solved immediately,imagine if le Coq got injured now.We should do something so that our injury record becomes as good as Chelsea’s.

    2)Players needed in vital positions,BFG played well on Sunday but it does not change that he is slow,soft and not tactically aware of everything around him…we need a centreback of quality,with enough pace and intelligence…oh and one that is a good tackler…e.g. Hummels,Varane,Godin,Howedes etc..

    CDM is another problem,Le Coq has been great but imagine if he got injured now?we would be back to Flamini…so i suggest we get another sitter,someone better than Le Coq so as to rotate the two to avoid injuries…e.g.Wanyama,Schnerderlin,Gustavo,etc…

    These are the urgent positions,a ST would be welcomed but only after signing the above players.

    So for me to accept Wenger as Arsenal coach next season he would have to:
    1)Finish 3rd on the log.
    2)Make it up to semi-finals of UCL
    3)Make it up to final of FA Cup.
    4)Find necessary reinforcement as listed above for the team.
    5)Sort out this injury issue we have,i don’t know how but he must find a way.
    6)Show the level of tactical awareness he showed against City for the rest of this season.
    7)Show to us that the players are driven and motivated.

    Gunners we are so close to having a world class team…i’m excited.

      1. And who gives a shit if you think knowing gives a shit. And who gives a shit what you think!?

        Who made you GOD @budd.

        People can voice there opinions without you interjecting Captain of The AW thought police wing.

  7. Will Wellbeck be the next Henry?
    Will Chamberlain be the next Robert Pires ?
    Will Ramsey be the next Dennis Bergkamp?
    Will Bellerin be the next Laureano Mayer?
    Will Campbell be the next Paul Davis?
    Will Diaby be the next Dr Who?

  8. This “beast”, “enforcer” thing is getting to be a bit of a nonsense. A proper out and out CDM is all about discipline, positioning, intelligence, awareness and composure. I think lots of Arsenal fans are getting confused on this; the physical box to box enforcer type (eg: Toure, Sissoko, Vieira, Pogba) is entirely different to the full on 100% defensive screening midfielder. Any “beast” we may have our eyes on would be to replace Ramsey in the set-up we normally employ.

    Jury is out for me on Coquelin – only 7 games. All I can say is that not many players, even the big names being flouted around, could have done much more for us than he has thus far – he has been pretty faultless and should only get better.

  9. Have been saying this for quite sometime now,just trust Le Coq and give hime more game time am very certain that he will flourish and establish as on of the best DM in the world.He is a Scheneiderlin type for sure.Becoz Flamin and Arteta,Diaby won’t be of much help next season just get another DM,nurture Chambers and Bielik to that role and let Wilshare and Ramsey be box to box midfilders with the help of Uncle TR7.

    Le Coq means someone amazing at the midle of the Park.love from Tanzania

  10. I still think him in a full fit arsenal is the man and I have said this for a long time now. You could even play Mathew on the right next to him

  11. We should sell Coq this very window for 50mil before next season comes n he slumps in performance like most one-season-wonder arsenal players!! Just like we should have sold Ramsey last transfer window for 65mil and Jack in 2011 for 30mil n Shezz last window for 15 mil. See how poor they all became ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™
    only Santi should not be sold, he is ever in form. And Ozil too, Ozil is the next Messi, unplayable n winning matches. I miss him ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    1. @pi
      If you had been watching him, Le Coq has always been a solid player. He just never got a good run of matches due to bein low in the peckin order after Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere and Ramsey. Even when out on load and played in numerous defensive positions, he held it down. Big ups for him taking his chance an runnin with it now that he’s finally got a good run of games…
      We’ll see what happens when Jack and Mikel comes back.

      1. @NY_Gunner, exactly, some are reacting as if Coq is a new phenom, opposite is true this dude has always shown promise, I remember him getting a 2-3 games run in the team but got injured, and lets face it he was behind Song and Cesc. His loan move to Freiburg was a disaster because they intended on playing him on the wing. Observing his maturity its still amazes me how some people can say we need so and so as if those names being floated around would offer anything different than what he has offered, the kid can tackle, reads the game well, strong in the air and very quick, plus he’s versatile I’ve seen him play LB for us before. I wouldn’t not dismiss him but probably add someone in the summer and use the money for a quality CB in this window.

  12. am I forgetting someone??
    oohh!! we should have sold Wenger for 200mil after the invincibles era..when was that?? I started watching arsenal in 2005 n I am not soo much into history

  13. Whoever told people that teams are built by buying players has not only spoiled the game but polluted the minds of fans as well. Reading comments here, one gets the feeling that the reason why Francis is not being rated by the fans is that he is not a big name signing. Yes his career was about to go downhill principally because he thought he was ready when he wasn’t but in the 7 games that he has played he has proved to be better than your Matics. In the 2011/12 he made a mistake of thinking that he was ready, threatening to leave the club if he was not given game time. Wenger had to come out to state that Francis was now a first team payer so he should wait for his chances. In that season, he played everywhere because of injuries to key players and he also got injured himself. Since then his career started to go downhill, going for loan spells in Germany where he failed to impress. The reason why he remained at Arsenal this season was that the club was short of home grown players otherwise he would have been offloaded without anyone caring.

    The loan spell to the championship should have signaled to him that if he does not redeem himself he would go the route of other promising Arsenal youth players (Frimpong, Lansbury, Emanual Thomas, etc). He has thus combined his technical abilities with right attitude to produce what we see today. At 23 years he is of the right age to accelerate to become the best in class. In the next 11 premier league games he will have less pressure to perform at the highest level and that will help in his integration into the team.

    I do not like the idea of comparing one player to another because styles differ from player to player. The player here wants to liken Francis to Patrick yet they play different roles. One was a box to box mid fielder while Francis is a DM. Matic is a fast track bully like Wanyama, while Francis is a smart, fast game reader and tackler. I have watched so many Chelsea matches in which Matic was caught out of position with poor finishing by opponents saving him the blushes, while Wanyama will be a regular red card candidate if he were to play for a team like Arsenal. Mvila and Inter are struggling in the less impressive Serie A yet some here want Arsenal to buy him to replace Francis. Schinierderlin thrives at the saints because they play two holding midfielders hence he may struggle at Arsenal where we play one holding, one box to box, a number 10, two wingers, and a main striker.

    People must therefore desist from thinking that that which glitters next door will glitter at Arsenal. We must be happy that Francis has made a break through rather than have money spent on acquisitions that may turn out to be flops when we need them most. If Francis continue with his performances, any DM that will be bought will come to compete for a position with him, and if that player flops it will not affect the team big time.

    1. Top post. If people didn’t already know it Wenger couldn’t have been anymore clear and candid in a recent interview when he got asked about filling gaps in our 1st team/squad in the transfer market – to paraphrase him, he said: “It is a lot more satisfying to resolve these problems from within rather than automatically start rummaging for the chequebook”. I think you have there the essence of why Wenger elicits such a volatile love/hate thing from a sizeable proportion of the supporter base; it is very hard to not think highly of the principle he is promoting but frustrating for the instant gratification crowd who want the quick fixes. Less secure managers than Wenger do not have some of the luxuries he can indulge himself with. It is a lot more fun for most fans to see new big name players come in to your club rather than take comfort and admire the slow-burn pleasure of one of the guys coming good and stepping up after 8 years of development and investment.

    2. @The Analyzer
      Always look forward to reading your assessments dude. Like the way you lay it down/out…

  14. Le Coq has been surprisingly impressive since his return, no doubts.

    But he has to put in these kind of performances on a regular basis before he can actually be termed as the solution.. And so far he hasn’t done badly at all. If he can put up the kind of performance of yesterday in away ties of the UCL then there’s no reason why Arsenal cannot conquer Europe.

    The most impressive side of his game for me yesterday was his vocality and organization. There was that time where he threw his body in the way of a Navas’ cross after Alexis had lost the ball. Coq quickly sprang up and mouthed his displeasure to the Chilean; that is something Arsenal has been missing.

    And also he was able to calm the team and tell them to focus while everyone else were basking in delirium at Giroud’s game clincher.

    All in all, our Le Coq has being impressive, and long may it continue.

    ASIDE: L. Koscielny is one of the most underrated CBs in world football. It’s definitely no coincdence that clean sheets are becoming a regular part of Arsenal’s game. Hopefully, we don’t lose him to injury between now and the season’s end.

    And has anyone noticed that since Bacary changed employers, his new employers haven’t been able to muster a win against us?

    I’d still prefer City to win the title over Chelsea any day thoug. What do y’all think?

    1. You are with me on Man City winning the league this season ahead of Chelsea. If they can get three points at the bridge, they can be sure that we will return them the favour by beating Chelsea at home. The only problem with City is that they have been very erratic this season. By the way tomorrow Chelsea are playing Liverpool in Capital One cup. Hope they get knocked out by the pools.

  15. Love le cog passing pace and his love for that rold in the team…but his contract is up on june 30..we need to sign him up asap….I might be wrong but im having flashbacks of flamini when he broke out that 1 season then left for milan….I really dont think le cog would do that tho..not now that he knows he’s first choice in that roll..but no need to risk it wenger sing him up plzzz…if u not gonna buy a dm atleast kep the 1 we got

    1. Good point although the financial situation is somewhat different and Arsenal are able to offer him a reasonable contract whereas with Flamini the rumour is that the contract offer made to Flamini was well below what Milan offered. It was at the height of the penny pinching days.

  16. Coquelin always looked like a good player but we’ve seen so many who didn’t make it in the last 10 years. I was surprised that he didn’t make the breakthrough earlier but very happy to see him reaching the level required to play for Arsenal. Time will tell but i’ve seen enough good games from him over the years to think that he might have what it takes. Hasn’t been mentioned but for a young player he kept his discipline impeccably. Fantastic to have such a demanding game in the defensive midfield role without a booking and without many fouls from what I can remember.

  17. The events leading up to yesterday’s win:

    It is Saturday evening and Wenger is chilling at home watching season 8 of Scrubs. He gets a text message from Mourinho ‘ check the Chelsea result. You’ve been swagger jacked blud’

    Wenger flies into a furious rage and calls a team meeting in which he outlines the tactics played yesterday.

    After the win, during the SSN interview, you can see Wenger is typing on his phone. He is texting Mourinho ‘who got swagger jacked now mother******’

  18. Well played and credit to him but pls stop this over reaction now. One game wont make him anything. Let us be patient and give some run of games and see where he is come april and how performs against Chelsea and Man united.

  19. Coquelin had a great game but lets not get carried away he a good player.
    SANTI was awesome I don’t think he has played a better game for Arsenal.

  20. the boys go and beat manchester city at their own ground , and , leo is back , how can my life get any better . leo is the king of truth and the beared of such genuine fatcs . this man makes my day , the whole site has been lit up by your presense leo . where on earth do you be during the season mate , we could do with your insight here every week .

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