More proof that Arsenal have the best DM in the League

Arsenal fans have been well aware of how well the young French midfielder Francis Coquelin has been playing, since Arsene Wenger recalled him early from a loan spell at Charlton towards the end of last year, because he was faced with an injury crisis. We noticed straight away because it was so unexpected and can only wonder what would have happened if Coquelin had been in the side from the beginning of the season and playing as well as he has been from the start.

According to a report in the Daily Mail today, obviously not written by their resident Arsenal baiter Adrian Durham, the Gunners may even have won the title – as we have outperformed all other clubs since Coquelin came back. But this ignores the fact that we also got the likes of Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey back in this period so I don´t think we can lay all the success at the feet of Coquelin.

But Le Coq has been brilliant. So I looked at the stats table for the league´s top tacklers on and it makes interesting reading. Coquelin is down in 32nd place with Chelsea´s Matic number one and Morgan Schneiderlin in second but the stats are cumulative so you need to look more closely.

With just 18 games played, Coquelin is by far the highest if you look at it that way. The table shows the amount of tackles won, take-ons and aerial duels – and also their percentages. It also shows fouls conceded and won, and guess what? Coquelin kicks butt!

He scores more points per game than Matic and Schneiderlin, and also beats them both on fouls suffered and committed, and aerial duels, while Matic just edges him on take-ons and Schneiderlin on tackles per game. But the Arsenal star has the best percentages of all three, so there is more proof that Coquelin has been the best defensive midfielder in England since his return to the Emirates.

So do Arsenal really need a new DM?

Tags Coquelin Matic Schneiderlin


  1. didnt bother reading post.
    yes le coq is brilliant. but if he gets injured? we need depth

    flamini no
    chambers too early to tell
    bielik not ready
    gilberto silva too old
    monica belucci too attractive

    1. Let’s retire the word “depth” can we? It serves no purpose in the team, Flamini is depth….I don’t want another Flamini. I want COMPETITION.

      This talk about any new DM being 2nd to Coquelin is nonsense. Initially sure, but I want 2 good options at DM and the best one in the first 11 and I don’t care who that is – protecting someone’s place in the team is not how you go about winning titles.

  2. What if coq isn’t playing ? I think le prof will use diaby and arteta as alternatives next season although I think mikel would be the perfect alternative to Santi new position.

  3. of course we do we need 2 top quality in all positions and d/m in no different either it needs another top player along side an already top player in le coq i think whoever we get in will do the job for us, me personally i would prefer top add a bit more height in this area by getting in kondogbia or carvalho just to give us something different, and bed in bielik in good time this is a very important position for us as it helps our defensive play stay stronger and protect our defense COYG

  4. Thiery Henry said arsenal needs 4 players to win the PL noted GK, CB, DM and ST, though some fans tried to ignored his opinion for me he is 100% correct. Ospina is doing well but he needs a help from someone with the same quality or even better than him, Seczny is very poor psychologically especially when the game is under pressure, he lacks ideas even his ball distribution is very poor, i think he should go. Per metesnail as his name explain, he is slow and can’t cope with the pace of the PL, so he should be replaced. In the DM position i am very impressed with the way Le coq operates, he is absolutely crazy but we need someone to come up in case he is injured or needs a rest, here Flamin should be shown his way, i am not sure about Diaby he is top class but i have lost my patient on him and he is not a DM anyway, his best position is box2box which looks to be congested with Ramsey, Carzola, Wilshere and Arteta all fit. Giroud is doing very well as the King Henry said but my worry is that he looks like his performance always depends on the performance of the entire team, he can not kill the game on his own and this is what the legend noticed. If you want to win the league your ST should sometime be capable of doing the magical, fooling defenders and able to penetrate in a tight defense. Giroud seemed not capable of doing those, his fricks, backheels, and hold up play are so good but not enough when playing with a team having 11 players in their own goal and i think this is where the King got it all. For the ST I prefer Laccazet, he is still 22yrs and very versatile he can win us a lot of penalties with his style of play. Can those guys opposing Henry comment let us know how many penalties Giroud won? and how many penalties won by players like Aguero, Costa, Rooney, Van persie, and Suarez to name few?. This is because he lacks tricks and he is slow, unsteady of the opposing players to commit fouls on him he is the one often do the fouls. How can anyone call Giroud a world class ST while he can not do what Defoe is doing????. Henry played well and he know what a better striker is made of.

    1. I’ve disagreed with pretty much everything Henry said (not so much the re-hashed bullet points he reeled off but the lack of context, inconsistency and no acknowledgement of the “real world’) elsewhere so won’t repeat it here.

      9 out of 10 penalties are won for going down too easily with an assumed right to collapse in a heap with any form of contact. Very few are down to defenders bamboozled by skill. To deride Giroud for not going down enough and winning penalties may appeal to you but doesn’t float my boat. Simply hate clenched fist pumps from players when they “win” penalties.

      Lastly, you say “if you want to win the league your ST should sometime be capable of doing the magical, fooling defenders and able to penetrate in a tight defense”. I’ll defeat that argument with two words – “Diego Costa”.

  5. Arsenal will NEVER EVER win a trophy with the current manager. This is a manager who hasn’t won a single trophy in 9 years, the title in 10 years despite having amazing players. All of them have left at some point because they’ve realized they could go somewhere else to win titles, all of them have brought it up to Le Prof the idea of changing tactics and he refused them. RVP even had a general meeting with wenger to discuss the future of the club and he didn’t like what he heard so he went to UTD and won the title the year after. I mean if you can’t pay attention to what’s right in front of you might as well get your head checked out. I support the players we currently have because they give their best but the manager is a complete donkey, he should’ve played walcott from the start and played welbeck alongside giroud in the second half. Instead he plays Ramsay on the right and kept playing little passes all game long (75% possession) i mean that is laughable because he came to this game not to lose, he did not come to win this game in the fear that he might lose it. How negative is that from a manager who has this much experience?

    1. Yes, because when playing the Champion elect you go gung ho and let them counter attack you…

      Wenger waited until the second half and then switched the team to go more attacking by sacrificing Coquelin (who’d been arguably our best player on the pitch). From that point on we peppered the Chelsea goal and couldn’t break them down – wouldn’t have mattered who was on the pitch because they defended like crazy. You talk of Wenger’s fear but really it was just intelligent management that didn’t quite pay off. Go ask Man Utd if they’d have preferred a point or a loss.

      1. you honestly think you’ll win the league with wenger? good luck with that. We disagree there, i don’t think wenger will ever win the CL and he won’t win the league during the remainder of his contract. Let’s get a manager who has not been found out like 10 years ago by mourinho.

        1. You sir are retarded……. There’s many reasons why arsenal haven’t won the tittle in 10 years and if you’ve been following football for a long time yous know exactly what I’m talking about. From your arguments you make I’d say you been watching football for 2 years and listen to what the media n so called pundits say. You’re sad man

    2. “Arsenal will NEVER EVER win a trophy with the current manager”…….it was always going to be downhill after that – trumpeting your post intro with something that is patently false.

      Well at least you concede that “donkey” Wenger has assembled some “amazing players”. How does that work? The Gooners who live day to day with such immense pain as you obviously do are the ones who have the unfortunate gift of knowing all the answers that Wenger plainly doesn’t have a clue about. If you think playing Walcott instead of Ramsey was the key to beating Chelsea then good luck to you – always clever to assert something as fact when it can never be proved. If Wenger had played Walcott and we lost 0-1 to a Hazard goal it is my guess you would have been on here saying the precise opposite.

  6. Look at the table and try to figure it out if we need new players or not. Chelsea to far away.I personally would be happy if we would get a player in Kondogbia. He would play alongside Coquelin if needed, and also rotate with him.

    22mil are fine, he killed us last time, by bossing the middle of the pitch. No inferiour to very overrated Popga at all.

  7. Coquelin is a legend in the making. His efforts are the main reason we have had a great run of games. A key player for us.

    I’m not sure we can (or should) better him, but then what do I know?

    He also (touch wood) seems strong and robust, which considering the position he plays is all the better. That said, if he does get an injury it will probably be a bad one – hope not!

    Ideally another defensive minded player in that position would be great, especially if they combine defence with attack in the right moments.

  8. Errrrr Not at all. Le Coq is best holding midfielder in league end of discussion. If he isn’t good enough in anyone’s eyes then no one will be!!!

  9. keep downvoting me, it goes to show how far off the grid and easily manipulated by the wenger brigade you really are. This man has lost to mourinho how many times now?

    That alone should be enough to send him upstairs, we’re at the same point we were last year. Same points, and this time we won’t get pot 1, this time we’ll be playing in a much tougher group in the champions league next year so don’t be so proud of 2nd spot.

    1. It has been so long that Arsenal have been taken seriously from the football world that fans have started to forget what it means to be a big team. We are no big team and fans are totally fine with it. What is funny though is, paying high ticked prices and yelling and boing champions off like boring this and that. Like kids who want to find excuses to cover up our failings and give meaning to it.

      Just imagine people are out there who claiming things like : I would rather win nothing then play like Cl and win everything. Thats is simple bs.

      Being supporters is what we need to be, and no brainless fans.

      1. i’m honestly dissapointed at our fan base, like these people its ok to never win the CL, to not win a damn title in 9 years, to not have won the league in 10 years. If mourinho doesn’t win the league he looks like he wants to hang himself, wenger has NEVER WON the CL, just think about that for a second. He’s had almost 20 years in management and he’s never figured out how to win the CL, even Di Mateo has won the CL, benitez has won the CL

      2. You would have had a point except Madrid fired Mourinho for that same reason, they want to win in style, same goes for Barca and Bayern, no big club should use relegation tactics to win trophies, it’s a disgrace to the sport.

    2. Hail the great Allan Pardew for defeating mourinho,infact lets get both pardew and pochetino to manage us next season

  10. Please stop calling the boss a donkey. I known he is responsible for Arsenal success on the field of play and by extention a healthy balance in the bank. And thus carries a lot of load on himself. Do you think donkey is a dummy being? No it is a hardworking, enduring and a honourable being. It is the animal being that carried our Lord Jesus Christ to the triumphant entry to the City of Jerusalem. Hossana! I personally will like a top CB, Varane? To be added to Rhino’ Koscielny and de-Abreu. And a top LB be added to Monreal and Gibbs. Can Chambers be made a holding player? But his slow pace could hinder him. I think the boss should allow Jenkinson to stay in addition to Debuchy and Bellerin. If he does that, he may not need to bring in a new RB. We definitely need a top striker to complement Giroud’s effort, Lacazette? We already have so many options in our midfield that is being marshal by Coquelin. Will bielik be ready next season for Arsenal? I think he better wakes up. At his age Pele has won the World Cup. I think the boss should keep going with his current midfielders without and new addition in the Summer. Would the boss sells Wilshere to Man City for £35m? Only God can tell. I think if the boss gets the above done with his positive alterations included, Arsenal will surely challenge for the Barclays Premeir League title next season from the onset and win it.

  11. Yes we do need a new DM. Maybe not to replace Coq but certainly to challenge him. The problem is there is no point in buying dead weight so he has to be class and that means we have to rotate the squad. Our problem is rotation doesn’t actually help a team – Chelsea have used the fewest players in the PL and won thanks to that. We need to be able to keep a consistent team while rotating in cup competitions and being able to rotate maybe 1 player a game. In the DM position that means buying someone who can also play B2B so that we don’t have to rotate out the DM every other game or so. But yes – for squad depth we need another DM, for quality sake it seems like Coq may be the answer as he’s alot like Gilberto in doing the dirty work and just moving the ball quick and efficiently (though his passing still has room for improvement).

  12. @DENNIS. It is insulting and criminal.le prof deserves respect. the club has gone thru bad situations that were cyclical,things are just bng straightened out. even mourinho,who always needd a joke,controversy,issue,derisory,illogical-logic to augment his team performance and drags like of you in his trail, couldnt ve done more. who stood out in chelsea on sunday?. you couldnt even remember we won fa cup and cs. arsenal needs players who got magic like what kanu used to do, until then it will be difficult.

    1. I think you’re delusional my friend and i don’t mean to be rude or insulting. People are judged on results and wenger has NEVER won the CL and hasn’t won the league in 11 years. FA cup is not what it used to be and for a club of arsenal’s stature to qualify for CL/win an FA cup in 10 years is not good enough. It is because of naive fans such as yourself that we’re still in this predicament and we won’t win the league EVER under wenger.

  13. Coquelin’s ability is no longer in question from anybody. He’s a monster and has made himself undroppable. One of the attributes which is so important to his game that no one talks about is that he’s unbelievably good at winning headers, which takes pressure off the defence as much as everything else he does.
    That said, Kongdogbia would be an ideal signing. Could be the Vieira to Coquelin’s (less invisible) Gilberto role. Would be able to play alongside Coquelin but also take his place when Francis has to miss games. Cazorla has been unbelievable this season, particularly how he’s taken on the more defensive role, and will be a major player next season but he’s 30 now and unlikely to be here too many more years. Kondogbia could be eased into that role. Perfect 3 to have for those 2 positions with Ramsey also a fantastic option.
    With respect for their efforts and injury difficulties, Flamini, Arteta, Wilshere and Diaby can all be moved on.

    1. Agreed except for moving on Wilshere. He’s English and we need to fill our quota. As far as English talent goes he’s still right up there so it would be stupid to sell him. Not being forced into the team or to play on an injury will do the kid good and he is still remarkably good in tight situations and being able to pivot defence into attack which is something we sometimes struggle to do against high press teams. Having a top 20 instead of a top 14 will really help the team to avoid injuries as they can rest on minor knocks instead of turning a spreign into a tear. Arteta is worth keeping for his experience but Flam and Diaby should be moved on.

      1. I really disagree on Wilshere. I just don’t see what he’s done to give people such a high impression. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play well against decent opposition. The manager is under pressure to play him but he’s just nowhere near any of our other midfield options so there’s no point in keeping him around imo. Rosicky is still miles better and he can’t get into the side. Same goes for Walcott.
        I love Arteta and the only reason I’d say to move him on is if we get Kongdogbia or Schneiderlin or someone because that would make him a bit obselete. There’s just no point in having 10 players for 2 or 3 positions.

      1. Nothing but he’s nowhere near Coquelin as a DM and if we were to get Kongdogbia or someone, he just wouldn’t have a place in the side. If he’d be ok with that then fine I suppose, he’s easily the best/most likely to ever play of the 4 (flam, arteta, jack and diaby) but still well off compared to Coq, Cazorla, Ramsey and Rosicky, and Kongdogbia, were we to sign him.

  14. Liverpool lost to Hull, heh priceless.

    Also Dortmund made their way to DFB Pokal final after beating Bayern, even without Reus. Impressive from Klopp.

  15. Coquelin gets injured next season, might as well say goodbye to the title .Same mistake Wenger made about not getting another CB until it was too late. Koscielny is out for a month or two and by the time he comes back its too late. If Wenger doesnt get a CDM this summer he should be sacked right on the spot. So tired of his mediocrity.

    1. I am sure you will acknowledge though (actually I am far from sure) that having what is effectively back-up 11 in your squad as good as or at least very close to the quality of the 1st X1 is way more difficult to implement and manage than most fans are willing to accept. Even the “2nd X1” of the European elite teams are significant downgrades on their preferred starting X1. Key players getting injured in any team has the ability to de-rail a season and is to a certain extent down to a throw of the dice. Chelsea have no comparable back-up to most of their team, played almost the same X1 all season and suffered very few injuries, Costa aside.

  16. This idiot thinks it is all but statistics and points per game and well what Chelsea were not even interested in attacking to show they need points,matic is superb and is better coquelin and as per the real world top 3 it is busquets,matic,pogba.
    End of story period.

    1. “End of story period”. Really? Not even the beginning mate. If you honestly think Paul Pogba is a DM then you shouldn’t be involved in a discussion on the matter of defensive midfielders. And Busquets is an up-market Arteta with little physical or combative ability – a very gifted link man at the base of the team. You are not comparing apples with apples. They may be better all round players than FC and playing at more successful clubs but in terms of a screening, ultra-disciplined destructive DM in a 4-1-4-1 formation FC is light years ahead. In terms of tackles won, % duals won, aerial duels, % successful aerial duels won, blocks, clearances, interceptions, defensive errors, defence score….he beats all 3 in every category and in most categories it is not even close…..he murders them. Busquet’s stats in possession and passing confirms what every one can see – he is a great ball-player. Pogba’s surging game and attacking threat is similarly reflected in the stats. Matic is not significantly better in possession or passing but does offer more going forward – but it is not like he is prolific (1 goal, 2 assists). And FC has more technical skill than he is presently displaying but it is under wraps because he is doing exactly what he is being told to do and no more.

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