In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 3 Midfielders

Continuing my analysis of the current Arsenal squad by JA


This is where we are blessed with a lot in terms of numbers, potential and quality. Due to the sheer numbers in the middle, breaking down categories will be a little hectic, so we’ll review one by one player looking at their strengths and weakness, making the verdict right after.

Francis Coquelin; The French defensive mid has been around for long, showing potential with no purpose. This season though, he knuckled down after certain eviction stared him in the eye. We can say that had the seniors not got injured, he would never have gotten the final look in, but then still, that would be on him, considering he’d been given multiple opportunities in the years before. He positions himself pretty well and suits the times when we have to be cautious of a quick break. He often tries to stay deep enough, behind the line of attacking midfielders, but high enough out of the defence. He is pretty good at interceptions, but this is mostly because of his starting position. He’s strong but smart in the tackle, case in point, a typical training ground advice tackle on Agbonlahor in the final saw us survive a dangerous runner making things complicated by getting into the box. He’s surprisingly good in the air and has a good combination of passing ranges, though not exactly spectacular. He dribbles just fine, and has the vision required from any midfielder playing for the top of the table teams. He’s not the fastest runner, but not exactly slow. Fact is that over the last few months, he has done all that is required to be classed a world class defensive mid , the only problem is he hasn’t done it long enough to be called world clas , so I’ll class him as potential to be world class

Jack Wilshere; The English maestro broke onto the scene with his robust style amazing everyone, but injury after injury have forced him to not achieve his potential just yet. Truth be told, I think Jack is one of the most incisive players we have on our books because of his energy and ability to dribble, to some, this means he should play right behind the striker. Personally, I think he should start quite as deep as Rosicky does, to give him the space to run with the ball. His passing range is not really that wide, he’s excellent when playing short give and goes, not so much when he has to play it long. He positions quite excellently in attack, and really poorly in defence. He’s really aggressive but not so accurate when it comes to tackling, he’s not so good in the air, neither is he at interception, but he is a pretty accurate shooter when he does attempt to score so what position he should play? Over to you Arsene, But personally, I believe, he has potential to be world class.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain; This is another pretty versatile one His close control and dribbling suit him to attacking midfield. His pace suits him to the flanks, his engine suits him to the box to box role . Personally, I think he and Jack are the closest replacements we have for Mozart and Santi when they are finally gone. He’s not the most accurate passer at any range, but one of the most accurate dribblers, he’s got pace to burn and the energy to go with it, not the best in the air, and his positioning lacks a lot both defensively and offensively. He’s not an accurate ball winner both through tackling and interception. Really not anywhere out of the raw material just yet, but I think 16million was worth it. Potential to be world class

Aaron Ramsey; The Welshman is a really good midfielder. Pretty versatile too even though he prefers to limit himself. A very accurate tackler, positions well enough defensively, and excellently offensively .He’s very good at interceptions, and can dribble for fun, he’s got the engine of a Rolls Royce and can run for days, pretty accurate when shooting and is strong and aggressive, great in the air with an excellent and accurate passing range. In an extended run of games, he’s one of the most consistent players we have at the moment. In my view, he ticks all the boxes. World class

Santi Cazorla; The diminutive Spanish maestro is one of the most complete midfielders on our books. Great in the tackle, positions excellently all the time, possesses immense passing ability and can dribble through the whole Man City midfield on his own (FACT!!!). He’s not the fastest runner, but like old Per in defence, why run, when you can simply stroll into the right position as others run. Pretty good at interception, and tackling. In the air, well, he kind of sucks and is not really aggressive but still he makes up for it with positioning. I can go on and on but this guy is; World class

Mikel Arteta; This Spanish veteran was initially an attacking midfielder. Mr Arsene thought he could be defensive, and he pulled it off. Despite all the negative press from pundits and analysts, this guy is really great. Say what you want, but his positioning is up there with Per and Santi (I think it gets better with age). He’s an accurate tackler and pretty smart at interceptions. Excellent passing range, good in the air, not fast – though he covers that with positioning. Despite the rarity of incident, he is pretty aggressive when he makes body contact with opponents and is very accurate when he shoots. He’s a leader too and provides calm when required. If this guy wasn’t in the evening of his career , he does everything pretty well to qualify for the world class tag ,but I doubt he’ll play enough games for us to see how crucial he is anymore so I think he can be classed; Great player

Mathieu Flamini; The Frenchman has seen his best days, but not much left in him really. He positions pretty poor for a guy his age, starting too deep – like he’s afraid to confront his opponent when he finally comes out to attack the ball. His tackling is not so accurate, he’s verbal, and can get everyone else but himself organised. His passing is pretty average and the range is limited. His shooting is accurate, and he’s good in the air. Pretty aggressive but not so much in the engine. He’s slow, really slow (maybe that’s why he starts too deep because he thinks he can meet his opponents halfway). I think he’s an okay player

Mesut Ozil; Talk about vision, talk about Ozil. Well the word vision misleads people into thinking of through passes. I think this is from the days of Fabregas at Arsenal. Mesut can play a pretty good through pass but his most dangerous passes seem to be cut backs and what some people like to call square passes. Not really the slowest runner out there, and he can dribble. He is not very strong, but makes up for this with smartness. Defensively, he lacks a lot. Not very accurate when tackling, can only apply pressure through closing down. Not great in the air. His positioning doesn’t give opponents much trouble. Offensively though, you never see this guy coming. He just lumbers along into dangerous positions gliding from one side of the pitch to the other. Not the most complete midfielder when compared to Cazorla and Ramsey, but when it comes to vision, it puts him head and shoulders above them offensively. I think he’s World class

Tomas Rosicky; The Czech captain is a pretty robust midfielder with great vision and dribbling skills. He possesses a pretty wide passing range and a great sense of position. He is no slouch when it comes to pace and can outrun anyone. He is also a very accurate shooter. Injuries have robbed us of seeing his full potential, though I think we’d have seen it somewhere else if it showed since he existed in the selling era. Despite his rarity of play time, I think he is world class.

Gideon Zelalem, Krystian Beilik, Serge Gnabry, Maitland-Niles and the other kids haven’t really played enough to warrant a rating. Abou Diaby might never play for us again..


In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 2 Defenders
In-Depth Analysis of the Arsenal squad – Part 1 Goalkeepers

Tags Coquelin Ramsey Wilshere


  1. All these great and
    world class players.
    The team these guys
    play for must have won the
    EPL 6 times and the ECL 3 times.
    What was the name of the team again?

    1. haha Seriously…..they’re either world class or going to be world class at Arsenal according to folk on here. Shame the results clearly don’t reflect that.

      Teams full of world class players consistently challenge for the CL. We might want to get a Premier League title challenge under our belts before we start naming this or that player world class. Drastic over-use of the term.

      Only world class midfielders we have are Cazorla and Ozil. Rambo is a great player. Jack/Ox have world class potential but are only good players right now. Then we have Arteta/Rosicky/Coquelin who are good players. Coquelin also does not have world class potential.

      1. How can Ox/Wilshere be classed as potential world class but Ramsey not be according to you?

        How can you class Coquelin and Arteta in the same group when Coquelin clearly made a massive impact on our season by replacing Arteta. Surely a guy who in his first 20 PL matches was top 3 in the whole PL for his position can’t be dismissed as “does not have world class potential” so soon.

        1. Maybe because it’s my opinion and i’ll class whoever i want whatever the hell I want.

          I didn’t say Rambo lacked world class potential I simply listed him as a great player…surely anyone capable of being great at 24 can hit world class heights without it needing to be stated.

          Same sense conversely applies with coquelin, he is not a great player…he’s a good one. And at 24 he doesn’t represent someone with world class potential. He’s massively overstated on this site and by arsenal fans in general. He’s had a good half a season to date and he’s been labelled potentially world class.

          1. I agree with everthing you say,with the exception of Coquelin,lets reserve judgement on him until the coming season i believe hes showed the tactical awareness in that position to be a top player for us barring injuries,all he really needs to improve is his ball distribution ,which i believe will come.
            @JA,another weak article my friend

        2. You tell em Tidan 2 It’s a fact and true without Coquelin at that crucial stage we would not have finished in top 4 end of Story. Now let’s get off the subject of our team players and give them the benefit of doubt come Charity shield against Chelsea, then we still have time to strengthen if we need to CB

    2. Without a doubt we have one of the best midfield in Europe. Cazirla and ozil are simply world class and can be in the starting eleven of any European team. Ramsey is quality but lacks consistency, he needs to improve on different aspects of his game. Jack is arsenal,he has lots of talent and willturn into a world class player once we win the title. Lecoq really impressed last season and showed he has the potential to be one of the best DM in the league. But is lecoq alone enough???is Wenger planning to use arteta as a backup to lecoq??? We need a strong holding midfielder, I don’t think we can count on arteta.arteta is a good player but not the best when he is used as a DM. We need a top DM. Hope Wenger doesn’t plan to use arteta as a cover to lecoq

    1. We are the dury, so I guess they are on trial here???

      So the verdict is ours…

      My personal opinion is:

      Flamini; 3 years sentence with a lower French team

      And Rambo is top dog in the cell, ozil is putting his weight about well and is improving his reputation, Jack can be an alpha inmate but he will get bullied in the showers without the right men around him! So no DM role for him.

      Rozza is gonna get probation I suspect.

      Arteta can still handle himself well but the years inside have obviously taken there toll. I give him another year before he is released for good behaviour.

      1. Santi is an assassin, and the Ox is a bruiser who is fast and no doubt talented but picks up too many injuries when scuffles break out. He needs this to stop happening or his promising rise to the top echelon will be in tatters.

      2. Funny. But u did not put it well.
        …something like
        Arteta: Good player, just a good to have in the squad but no more as a first team player. Passes the ball in sideways and backwards but never forward.

        Verdict: Not good enough anymore for Arsenal as a first team player and should be necessarily sold in order to bring in a solid DM.

  2. We have depth indeed but a couple more world class Sanchez level type players will raise the roof at The Emirates

  3. if Sanchez is injured we are finished….thats why we need a backup for him badly

    1. Hafiz, TELL THEM WE JUST NEED A SOLID AND MUCH BETTER STRIKER & A DM!!!)))))))))))))))))))))

    2. we have walcott and chamberlain literally waiting on the wings to take his dpot. we will be ok. I am not usually thrilled with this make do attitude but we cant have worldclass players sitting on the bench..this is not barcelona or real madrid..

  4. Why are people freaking out about sanchez not playing a few games? We will do great without him. Don’t get me wrong he’s a fantastic player. But arsenal aren’t a one man team. we struggled at the start of last season because of all the new signings, injuries,and the WC. we won’t sign many players this Transfer window. A good pre season and we’re ready to go.

  5. Somehow I feel that even Arteta forgets that he used to be an attacking midfielder…
    and when he plays the defenders (Mer n kos) tend to rely too much on him – they use the tactic of passing to him and he must do the ball distribution. this narrows our options a bit…cause could’ve meant 1 extra midfielder that an opposition has to mark.
    My verdict on him – Although i appreciate his club loyalty and leadership, he’s miles away from the way we play with Coq in DF role.. not good enough cover for Coq.

  6. I like this:



  7. u THINK ozil and rozza are world class? Dude lemme help u out, quit thinking, they’re World class players

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs