Is Coquelin set to be Arsenal’s new DM?

Francis Coquelin had never really broken into Arsenal’s first team squad on a regular basis and it looked like he was finished at the Emirates when Wenger sent him off to Charlton on loan, but he played well at the Valley and when Aaron Ramsey got injured Wenger did the sensible thing and recalled Coquelin back to the fold.

With the busy Xmas period Wenger had no choice really but to play him against West Ham, and despite Wenger´s reservations, he put in a solid shift. Le Prof remarked after the game: “He (Coquelin) played very well, especially in the first half. He was very influential and then in the second half he fatigued a bit in the last 20 minutes, but he had a very good performance not only defensively but he also passed quickly, sharply and through the lines. Overall he had a convincing performance.

“It was a gamble, but I felt that we needed to protect with two players in front of the defence with Carroll on the long balls – we needed a bit of protection. I feel that he was the right choice.”

The fact is that it may have been more of a gamble if Coquelin hadn’t got any game time and had spent the last five months in the reserves, so it was definitely a good experience for the Frenchman to play at Charlton. Coquelin admitted that much when he said after the win at West Ham: “It’s been a long time for me without starting in the Premier League, but I think the loan at Charlton was very good for me and helped me a lot,”

“I got a lot of games under my belt, and I’d like to thank Charlton for that.”

With Ramsey no closer to returning to the squad, there is every chance that Coquelin will also play on Thursday against high-flying Southampton. If he continues to do a good job for the Gunners, will the fans stop calling for Wenger to bring in a new defensive midfielder?

Tags Charlton Coquelin Wenger


  1. It wouldn’t surprise me if wenger used him as an excuse, but my question is if he’s the answer why hasn’t he been used before ?
    IMO he’s a good back up DM

    1. Let’s not jump to concrete conclusions based on a game or two, most people said signing Flamini was inspired after his 2nd debut vs the Spuds, but he’s aids.

      Our problem is we have 3 DM who are all only backup worthy. For me I’d boot Flamini, keep Arteta as the old head, Coquelin as the young utility guy, and buy a top notch starter.

      But Arsene loves a completely average player in a key role…so coquelin it is.

      1. both Flamini and Arteta’s contracts expire this summer. And I remember seeing reports earlier in the season about Arteta getting a new offer, but nothing about Flamini.

          1. pretty sure this was a one and done deal for Flamini when he originally signed after simply practicing withe squad. He’ll go back to France to finish out his playing days. Did decently up until this season, too.

      2. The guy is 23 and is at the age now to prove himself let’s give him a chance I remember him at right back in for Sagna and a blinder with walcot then dropped so let’s see him at southhampton if he does well leave him there CB

        1. With the greatest of respect mate it’s that kind of unwillingness to cut players who aren’t good enough that is holding us back.

          Coquelin has been at Arsenal since what? 16? He proved he wasn’t up to task as a starter and has been at Freiburg, then Charlton. Enough’s enough. If we are to keep him, fine. But only as replacement for Flamini as a backup, which doesnt help us in our search for a top drawer holding mid.

          Bottom line, he won’t be an Arsenal starter so let’s just stop with the fingers crossed approach and proactive in the window.

          1. Charlie is right about this one. I mean, hopefully Coquelin proves us wrong. But we don’t have to keep waiting to find out. Let’s go for gold, and that player can only help Coquelin prove us wrong as well.

          2. He was played as a RW/LW for Freiburg the whole season; we all complain about how Cazorla, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere all can’t play the wings because they are central players but you expect Coquelin to have played brilliantly with relegation fighters freiburg in a position he isn’t accustomed to? I highly doubt you have seen him play enough to really know whether or not he could be an Arsenal DM starter in the future (if his performance stay at the level of his last match then I don’t see why not).

            1. uhmm, so you’re content for a player who couldn’t establish himself as Dm at Freiburg to play that role at Arsenal? If any player has the ability to play DM for Arsenal, I would hope to god they were able to cement a spot at Freiburg (with the greatest of respect).

              You’re just another fan who is swayed by a decent 90 min shift from a player. I have no exception to him being a backup player, and I said as much above. But come on man, you don’t make strides simply by making the replacement players better!! We need a top drawer STARTER, and Coquelin is not that guy.

          3. How about cutting Diaby 1st?
            Flamini appears to be in his last season with us as no new contract offer yet.

            Let Coquelin play more this season and lets judge him at the end of it, to say he isn’t worth it now when he is only 23 is a bit premature, to say he isn’t starting material is fine… as he can still develop, some players are late bloomers.

            Next season we could have Arteta, Coquelin and a new signing with the though that Arteta may be in his final year. The year after we would have 2 holding CM who are adapted to our play and at least 12 months experience in the EPL.

            But yeah… we should make knee jerk reactions and get rid of him now >.<

            1. Didn’t say we should get rid, read my original post. My gripe is with fans suggesting he can placate the DM role after a decent game vs West Ham. Give me a break.

              He could serve as good backup, but he’s never shown the promise to be a starting DM and he’s been here 7ish years. To suggest we should just “wait and see” what he brings is a terrible mentality to have at a club the size of Arsenal.

              I want ambition from the club. Fans pay the highest prices in Europe and you’re telling me we’re happy to bring a lad back from Charlton and see if he can fix a position we’ve been struggling with for years? Same guys who likely call for Wengers head when we do poorly, yet you’re actively encouraging mediocrity. Good stuff.

          4. Charlie I’m not saying don’t buy a CM all I ask is see if he plays well then make your judgement I think he could be a great asset CB

            1. I’m not disputing that luko, I just don’t want Coquelin used as a reason not to buy a wanyama type player.

              1. Nice talking to you hope it all works out in the end we definitely need a boost to end this season You have a happy new year CB

    2. Thats the issue right there – He’s a good back up DM, but not good enough if we have ambitions of winning PL and CL. Knowing Wenger, having all of our best defenders back will make Wenger say that they’re like a new signing, so Chambers will be the “new guy” on the CB. Same thing with Coq on the midfield. Noone will come in in January and we will end on fourth. Right before the summer window opens, we are promised massive spending with a huge budget, but our needs will not be stimulated – and we end up just like this in december 2015 as well.

      Oh to be a gooner!

    3. Coquelin is just an excuse and a pLot not to get a new DM… he won’t even get a nod ahead of a fully fit Arteta whom wenger rates so highly….. Its so predictable, i think i’ve read that chapter before….i’m yet to see how the fairy tale ends

    4. Like you sais,the guy was a bench warmer and later on shipped onloan meaning he was not good enough.
      Now the time of the transfer window approach and the need to spend in order to reinforce is known,Wenger decides to call him back,make him play and oh surprise,a revelation,he is doind very well(in your dream) and we don t need to spend on a solid DM.
      Classic Wenger,the guy is clown if he wants to fool the supporters with this one.
      No offense to Coquelin,he is a decent player but not what we need in order to compete with the big ones.
      The transfer window is close so I wait and observe but id wenger does it again, don t correct his mistakes and don t buy a DM and a CB,I wish Arsenal miss his fourth place trophy,the fans turn the hell against him and he get ass kicked away by the board for not delivering.
      How a man on a 8 million salary can be so cheap with money not even belonging to him is a mystery.
      I hope that even if we finish fourth but he does not reinforce the team in the winter windows,the true fans turn against,boycott the merchandise in order he got the boot.
      in one word,do your job and spend.

      1. You are a typical ignorant ‘fan’.

        Why does Wenger get 8mil a year? Because his BOSSES think he is worth it.
        Why do his BOSSES think he is worth that much?
        He has done what has been asked off him admirably, that is how!

        Wengers fault we haven’t spent?
        Nothing to do with the board right? How there is a lack of support from knowledgable people on the board? The last one we had supporting Wenger helped us to go unbeaten, Dein was tossed out like last weeks garbage and what was the fans reaction? Blame Wenger for all failings since >.<

        I've said before and will say again.
        Dein and Wenger are friends, they worked together and Dein use to be the man who went and got the guys Wenger wanted, this is clear in how Wenger wanted Vieira signed before he signed for us so Dein made it happen. Wenger wanted Pires and Real was close to getting him, Dein went out and got him.
        Dein made a prediction that we would need investment to continue winning while paying off the stadium, he approached Usmanov who agree'd to… Dein got his man YET AGAIN. This time though the board I belive got greedy and thats why they made a pact to not sell any more shares and made claims that we would not be in the situation where we have a share holder with the majority.

        Please tell everyone what happened to our share prices when that pact was made?

        If you said they rose then correct, they did rise and then the board opened up to sale of thir shares to Silent Stan, like an American profit tycoon is interested in anything other than profits from the area he enjoys.

        Since Dein left and the debt largly paid off, please tell me what man Wenger has been able to get out of all the names we have been linked with? Prior to Ozil the last signing who I recall Wenger spoke out about as a player he would like and we got was Arshavin, which if I am not mistaken was the record transfer for us till Ozil… Gazidis came to Arsenal a few months after.

        Why not blame the board for being weak? Do you have to be another mindless fan or do you want to look at all the facts surronding the years? If you did then I know you will not point soley at Wenger!

        1. mikdemia or pugh the magician
          You blind and mindless defender of Wenger you dare call call me ignorant,you fool.
          Stop with your excuses blaming every one but Wenger,you won t have me with this one.
          Now every one,I say every one have found out Wenger for what he is,a deluded stubborn man.This weak team was assembled by him,the players choosed by him.
          Moureeno and Pellegrini came and found team assembled by others,so they could be excused for needing time to adapt to what they find but they assessed the problems and solve them as soon as possible.Your old idol of a coach supported by a greedy ignorant board leaving him all the power just want to win on the cheap.Guess what,that not possible,you cannot pay peanuts and get quality players and hope to win trophies with the like of Wilsher,Arteta,Flamini,Monreal and co
          You bunch of propagandist Wenger sbire will leave Arsenal ship as soon as he leaves or is kick out.

  2. Here we go again!!! Cos he played well against westham…. Does that make him a replacement for G.Silva in DM we’ve lost a long time ago?? Cmion, stop posting frustrating articles and suggesting for cover-ups… Why not buy a proper DM and defenders… Jst 2 players(a DM and a Defender) this Jan and it solves the problem, then we’re good to go

    1. Agreed. Wenger was talking about Ramsey/Jack/Artetas absences, so maybe a midfielder is a possibility…perhaps we’ll see the Sissoko thing come to fruition now they’re managerless.

      Would be good cover at B2B and a powerful/pacy alternative to our midgets. Could be the right club to see him go up a level.

      1. TBH I see both Jack and Aaron as B2B CM and if Ramsey can get his form back then he is our ‘new Vieira’.

        I do hope we can get a good enough holding CM, I like Schneiderlin, this is because we have so many midgets though 😛

  3. Coquelin is this year’s LANS. I expected he would be Flamini’s replacement for next season but now he came back earlier I assume Wenger will say he doesn’t need an extra body there now. Either way I think Coquelin would be a much better option than the strong Loic Perrin rumors we’re dealing with at the moment, and a CB should be a priority right now.

  4. I think that what Coquelin has shown in limited minutes is that he can play in the PL. To what level remains to be seen but it probably means that Wenger won’t have to bring in a DM this window unless someone like Schneiderlin becomes available. So no Kim Karlssen this year.

  5. I think the more pressing issue for us is which formation we are going to adopt into next season. Wenger usually likes to have arteta as the 1 in a 4-1-4-1 but I think this formation is becoming too much for arteta to do by himself, last season ramsey covered every blade of grass but now it seems he tends to stay further up the pitch in search of goals which leaves mikel exposed. Neither jack or ramsey are defensively disciplined or tactically good enough to play that dm role but I also think that cazorla probably offers the most creatively in the midfield four and ozil wont be benched.

    personally I would be happy with aaron and jack on the bench if we got in a powerhouse to sit in front of the back four, but I also think two deep lying midfielders who alternate at attacking and defending would provide greater opportunities for squad rotation if we factor in jack ramsey and coquelin who are b2b midfielders (not really sure about coquelin playing that role by himself yet)

    1. Well thought out 🙂

      I would like to offer a thought, we need more than 1 top level player per role, ideally 2 if we can…

      Wilshere and Ramsey = 2 B2B (Crowley as youth looking to step up)
      Cazorla and Ozil = 2 ACM (Zelalem as youth looking to step up)
      Coquelin and ???? = 2 Holding CM. (Arteta as aged player)
      Could ???? be Chambers if we sign enough cover for CB?

      I would hope we go back to the 4-2-3-1 as well

    1. Best defender in Ligue 1 past 3 seasons. Most French absolutely livid he didn’t go to the WC, treated like most are who don’t play for the best teams…as second rate. He’s quick, tenacious, and puts his head literally anywhere.

      I hope we get him, miles better than Reid or any other realistic name we’re being linked with.

    2. Far from it he is the bEst French defender in liege 1 and third overall behind thiago Silva and my favourite nkoulou. Who are all playing for big teams. This makes him the best attainable target if we’re looking in France he is as good as vermaelen and he is also seen as a leader for saint etteine and statistically he is up there with the best in the leauge.

      I would also take a punt at djilobodji from Nantes. They aren’t a big team so they can’t put up a fight if we went in for him. He is 6’3 fast like kosc he is very strong and aggressive and at 26 he would be coming into his best years.he is a left footer making him ideal for the role vermaelen had.he averages 14 defensive actions per game,79% heading duels,56% tackling. And is ranked the 2nd best defender this season. Both of these are higher than per,kos,chambers although France isn’t as good as here.He was linked with a Dortmund move in the summer and his secondary pos is dm.

      He would make the perfect low pressure signing and could develop into a real defensive force for us. He has a 4.4m market value so he wouldn’t cost more than 7m. We could even loan them sanogoo if he can’t find a premiere leauge club.

      1. Out of curiosity, how do you rate Koscielny in the french defender list?
        For me he is the best 😛 Shame we can’t clone him lol.

        Good post though, those are nice stats and your right about his age, didn’t we get Kos when he was 26 as well? or was it 25? I would say we have and are benefiting from the timing, would be nice to do it again ^.^

        1. Quiet highly Arguably the best, kosc is better than perrin, What I said was Perrin is the best French defender in The French leauge and stats prove that asŵell.

  6. I think I’d rather have Alex song back he’s exactly what we’re missing and he’s available, oh and he’s way better than coquelin or flamini.

  7. if he becomes are new dm- say goodbye to any trophies in the near future-
    hes too inexperienced to deal with such a vital role.

    matic wins the player of the year in portugal- as a dm ffs- its hardly a glamour role.
    that should have sent alarm bells ringing – but no we never even put a bid.

    we let a team who rejected him get him back- in a JANUARY WINDOW

    oh well flamini it is

  8. he’s had one good game, thats not nearly enough evidence to make him a starter. Seems a decent backup, but is Coquelin going to win us the league or other big trophies? I highly doubt it. Wenger has been talking about a new midifiedler in the press conference today and said we are light in a certain area and he mentioned Wilshere, Ramsey, and Arteta. I dont know if this means he is looking for b2b midfielder, or a CDM, but I really hope its the latter or we are just wasting transfer money. Wenger needs to get somebody in the mold oflike Schneiderlin/Matic/Carvalho very badly. All great passers and shield for back4. Flamini is not good enough, and Coquelin is a gamble still, and Arteta is aging and injury prone. This and a CB, and our squad is set. Sadly I always fear for the worst and dont expect much at all in these transfer windows.

    1. Well said, I would say Coquelin has done enough to be trusted with being brought on to help keep the lead for the last 20 mins or so and to play in the League cup next year.

      I would like to see him get more time with us though, people say he isn’t good enough but people was saying Jenkinson isn’t good enough for us before the season started, now people are saying Wenger shouldn’t have loaned him out…

      I would hope we get a good holding CM to replace Arteta, I know Wenger likes him in that role but I am stupid enough to think if we got a player who could do what Arteta does (keep possesion well) in the holding role then Wenger will let that player have the chance to make the spot his own.

  9. Perrin is 29 (if i’m not wrong) ….getting him is Laughable considering he’d be out of gas (thats if he got any) anytime soon……and we’d be back in the hunt

    1. What’s laughable is your idea a 29 year old defender is “out of gas”. Campbell/Adams/Bould/Keown all played to what age? Terry is the best defender in the league this season at 34.
      A defenders peak is later than other positions given it requires less physicality and more experience/game smarts. All the best YOUNG defenders in the worlds are 26/27…so how is 29 past it?

  10. Francis showed promise in the early days, becoming a regular at Kos’ former club before he demanded game time at Arsenal or he would leave. He was brought back during the season we lost so many players and played in many positions. He was sent to Germany on loan but failed to translate his potential into real class. He came back and was never able to break into the team resulting in him going to Charlton on loan. It could be that he is starting to translate his potential into real class, time will tell.

    My understanding is that the club will buy a world class defensive midfielder in the next summer transfer window not in January. I am not sure the names being thrown around are world class by any standards. DM role requires an intelligent player who can read the game, opponents movements on and off the ball, movement of team mates, and concentrate for the whole game. Physical presence and ability to shield the ball are other key qualities but secondary to the one I mentioned earlier. Players being thrown around have physical presence and ability to shield the ball in abundance but lack intelligence and concentration for 90 minutes. Even your model Matic is not well resourced in intelligence and concentration. More often than not he is caught with the ball or out of position exposing the back four.

    Players that play attacking midfield normally have intelligence in abundance. If one could be found who has physical presence and ability to shield the ball, then such person can make an excellent DM if he is in his mid 20s. To understand my point just notice how Pep transformed Lahm into a holding midfield. He described him as the most intelligent player he had ever worked with. Instead of concentrating on the DMs we know lets also think about players in other positions who can become world class DMs. I personally think Khedira is intelligent enough to take the Arteta role. He has physical presence and can shield the ball well. I would not begrudge Wenger if he signs a precontract agreement with him so that we can get him for free in summer. This will leave the club with further resources to strengthen other areas.

    The current squad can take us to third this season including retaining the FA cup.

    1. his Germany loan was a failure because of bad coaching. They played him on LW every match, which he clearly doesnt have the attributes for, and then just benched him the rest of the season. Don’t think its fair to say Coquelin’s loan failure was completely his fault.

    2. @ the anal liser
      you belong to a group of guys out there defending Wenger and his madness.
      I don t get how like him you can come with so crappy excuses.We gonna buy a DM in the summer window crap..
      It was the past summer window the DM was needed,Wwenger sat on his arse the all transfer happy with half of the need of the team, when everyonwe was telling him that we needed a DM.
      The man and his group of propagandist is always delaying things to the futur.
      He will see off his contract with a full bank account and not any trophy(he doeas not care) fopr the supporters.
      He may be better than many others managers technically but his incapacity to create a team of winner put him low in the rank.
      I hope the fans tell him his truth if he mess up this transfer window like the stoke partisans.

  11. Coquelin was always promising and put in a decent performance. I’ve always liked him because he’s a good lad to have in the squad as a back up DM or like against the Hammers when two DMs are needed and can also be an emergency full-back and/or defender. He’s still fairly young and may develop into a starting DM who knows but for now he can be an upgrade on Flamini.

    My ideal scenario would be both Arteta and Flamini running out their contracts in the summer replaced next season by Schneiderlin and Coquelin. Also I wouldn’t mind seeing Le Coq and TR7 occupy Arsenal’s engine room against Southampton, especially since they will be without Schneiderlin.

  12. Coq played phenomenal and his tackling is top notch, his passing was also great! I think he’s undersized but everything else looks great IMO, definitely an improvement on flamini/arteta

  13. If you listen to WENGER he has no intention of buying anyone in the Jan transfer window.
    He will say Coquelin can do the job. This man will never change he is the new age Scrooge.
    4th place at best but that is not a guarantee this season. WENGER OUT.

  14. seen enough of flapping flaming flamini.. the coq is a better option since we ain’t buying anyone in january as usual

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors