Well when I say ultimate, this recognition for one of the current Arsenal stars does come from a former Gunner who was probably the last to do the job well enough to help the Gunners to a title. Gilberto Silva certainly did that, playing in 32 Premier League games in the season when Arsenal were crowned champions of England without a a single league defeat.
Maybe Patrick Vieira would be the the one to give Francis Coquelin the ultimate accolade but the high praise from Gilberto, reported in the Evening Standard, is a pretty close second.
The Brazilian midfielder has been very impressed with how Coquelin has done since Arsene Wenger recalled him from a loan spell last season to cope with an injury crisis. And not only does the former Gunner think that the Frenchman has got his discipline just right in that really tricky defensive midfield role, he believes that there is a lot more to come as he has seen a steady improvement from the youngster.
The 39-year old said, “He has improved a lot in a short space of time, and he’s still young. But he still has some way to go.
“He does a good job and an important job, when you’re in his position you must hold the pitch for the team. He knows he doesn’t need to go forward to help out the other Arsenal players.
“He’s improving every game, he’s developing a better understanding with the players around him. But he needs to show that over more than one season.”
Let’s hope that Gilberto is right about Coquelin getting better because just like last season, his stats this time are incredible and show him to be outperforming more established EPL players like Matic, Schneiderlin (everyone in fact) in that key position.
So just how good a player and prospect have Arsenal got?