PROOF that Arsenal STILL need a new DM? Hmm…

I have seen reports this week suggesting that Arsenal still need to sign a new defensive midfielder in the mould of the Chelsea player Nemanja Matic, after young Francis Coquelin had an off night with a rare poor performance against Swansea City on Monday night.

The stats on the Arsenal website show that the French midfielder did not win a single tackle, make any blocks or clearances, win any aerial duels, or really influence the game much, with the fewest touches of the starting midfielders. And as these are his major jobs in the team it does look like Coquelin had a bit of a stinker.

On the other hand, you could say that Swansea´s tactics of sitting back and soaking up pressure meant that Coquelin’s usual reading of danger and breaking up the game was not really needed. You could also say that Swansea´s goal came without him on the pitch and suggest that he might have helped us to avoid defeat had he been on.

Coquelin’s stats this year have been awesome and even on Monday he managed to record the second best passing accuracy of the Arsenal midfielders, bettered only slightly by Mesut Ozil. What I would say is that Monday´s game was perhaps not suited to Coquelin’s talents, and we would have been better off with Arteta to set the tempo of the passing game, but the Spaniard is not available at the moment.

I am not going to say that we do NOT need to sign a top quality central midfielder this summer, just that it should not be at the expense of Coquelin. What do you guys think?

Tags Arteta Coquelin


  1. its hard to increase one’s stats when the team is parking the bus…..

    we always need a DM….since Petit, Gilberto and Viera era….there is always calls to sign another DM and yet Wenger does nothing….

    world class DMs like Matic, Wanayama etc…will not have off days….

  2. Totally agree. If a gk makes no saves in a game but keeps a clean sheet, does that count as an off-day? And say hypothetically that he did have a bad game (I’m sure he will have one eventually!) do you replace players on the basis of one game? He’s turned out season around over a long run of games and given us great stability and balance. It’s like people are waiting for any opportunity to jump on him.
    I don’t think we need a new defensive midfielder to replace Coquelin (he’s easily one of the top DMs around) but someone like Kongdogbia who could play alongside him (Cazorla isn’t going to be around for that much longer and a his replacement doesn’t have to be a replica), but also take up Coquelin’s role when necessary, would be ideal and would go a long way to challenging for and winning titles imo.

    1. I do like Kondogbia, the more I see of him the more I can appreciate his work ethic. I will admit to not watching much of him before the Monaco game but have watched a few games since (cause of the rumors) and yeah… If we signed him I would be happy.

      Carvaliho hasn’t had such a great season compared to what I thought he would yet that is the 3rd choice holding CM on my top 3 list that I would like to see… Obviously not all of them 😛 but 1 of them and as there are multiple choices (in general) I hope we can get a top player without breaking the bank.

  3. I still think Gundogen would be perfect for us, the season is long and we need 2 holding CM at least who can be relied upon, having Bielik develop could be a nice 3rd choice.

    Coquelin is fantastic at reading the game and making interceptions, he isn’t afraid of going in hard in 50/50s, he is happy to let others go forward while he stays back.
    The biggest flaw in his game that I can see is that he doesn’t make start enough attacking movements, he always leaves that to Cazorla who has excelled next to him.

    Gundogen is an intelligent passer of the ball while not being a stranger to playing a deeper holding role, his fitness is his only real main concern but that can play in our favour by having Coquelin who just seems to want to be better and better. The competition between those two could be benefitial as Coquelin has shown a ruggedness and resiliance but lacked vision while Gundogen will need to be ‘looked after’ (at least for a while while he builds up for the EPL).

    The flaw in one would be the strength in the other, they could push each other and Gundogens forward passing would mean they could partner each other… Would be easier to keep them both match sharp when we can bring one of them on (end up have both Coquelin and Gundogen on) for the last 20 mins of a game to hold a lead while still playing attractive football ^.^

    1. gundagan would be an option for santi new role he is a better jack wilshire who should now be an am back up

      Pedro>>Walcott,Campbell, ryo

      Gundagan >>arteta, rosicky


      11out 5in

    1. Kondabgia would be preferred….Schneiderlin is a B2B or CM

      we need a pure and proper DM

      1. Schneiderlin is a proper DM, he’s just capable of playing the B2B role. Try comparing Schneiderlin and Kondogbia on

  4. There wasn’t any tackle to be made in the time he was on, since Swnasea park the bus. Sometimes you are read too much into these, stats just to make an article..

  5. Coquelin didn’t need to do any defensive work hence the CORRECT decision to take him off (which some have laughably held up as THE reason we lost).

    Coquelin is excellent at all those things mentioned, tackles, interceptions, blocks, duels….but when we face a tram sitting back he’s a wasted body on the field because he offers nothing with the ball at his feet or when we have possession. That’s not a knock against him, just the reality.

    It’s that reason why a new DM is necessary. One who can do all the defensive work but also play. Coquelins quality is undeniable, the roundedness in his game is the limitation. He is a more efficient Jon Obi Mikel, we still need our Matic.

    1. Totally we need a new DM…

      Petit (DM) and Viera (B2B / CM)

      Gilberto (DM) and Viera (B2B / CM)

      Fernandinho (DM) and Toure (B2B / CM)

      Wanayama (DM) and Scheiderlin (B2B / CM)

      Kondabagia (DM) and Pogba (B2B / CM)

      Spend the money Wenger or leave!!!

      1. It looks like people downvote posts solely because of the poster. Hafiz is right, we can’t settle with our squad as it is now. Coquelin is amazing as DM, but he will have his periods where he should not start (as in totally out of form or injured). Should we then rely on Arteta or Flamini? The answer should not even have an option – Of course we shouldn’t. So then we buy a new DM – but ambitious as we should be, do we buy someone designated to be a back-up member of the first team, or do we buy someone equally good or better than our current best DM? Again, ambitious as we should be, the latter is the way to go. Going back to Rahman – the only way to get such quality without spending would have to be by getting Khedira, but he’s not a DM, therefore not an option for this cause. Ergo – if Wenger does not clash out money for a proper DM, he lacks the ambition to take this club to the top of PL and CL, and should not be in charge.

  6. What puzzles me is since the heady days of Gilberto etc we have needed a class DM to defend the back 4 lke we’ve needed a striker to score goals,like we’ve needed a goqlkeer to stop the ball going into the net. Song?, Flamini?, Arteta? even Wiltshire who couldn’t tackle a hot dinner.Le Coq has been a revelation but world class?Afraid not.
    The world and his uncle knows that if we are to reach the heights, that’s a laugh, aclass international DM is top of the shopping list pluss of course an extra proper striker and goalkeeper.

  7. We do need another dm but not because coq had a bad game. The game was played high up the field and it was down to our attackers to win the ball high up the pitch and score. if you ask me the worst player on the pitch was aaron ramsey.. his constant fannying around on the ball cost us vital moments to score. His flicks and tricks broke down our play in promising area’s and then to top it off our finishing made fabianski look better than he actually played.. excluding one or two top quality saves all of our shot were straight down the middle and all together we lacked killer instinct.. We looked like we had nothing to play for because have already secured a top 4 place… Same old arsenal then.

  8. Pretty Rubbish article! Can’t comment saying arteta would have been more suited to the game when you don’t know how the game was going to turn out… also he isn’t match fit.

  9. The Swansea match highlighted Coquelin’s weakness – he isn’t that great on the ball. When a team sits right back you don’t need a DM (especially if they don’t commit players) and you need players in the middle who can shift the ball quickly. Coq can’t do that. He was not having a great game but it was because the game didn’t suit him at all. This is where quality players like Matic or Schneiderlin or Kondogbia are a different gravy because they can step into the attack and make a difference. This is the difference between a one dimensional player like Coq and some of the greats of his position. Coq is perfect against teams who’ll attack us, but once they retreat, his usefulness diminishes very quickly.

  10. Yeah he had a bad day. That was obvious. But I suggest that he had a bad day because there was little motivation in the game and a lot for Swansea. On any other day he would have closed down won the ball more and arsenal would have won that game 3-0.

    People here have read may too much into that game. Come united arsenal will be back motivated because it is united away.

  11. The business of singling out individual players for ridicule every time our team loses is very hypocritical. What happened on Monday is that our team lost focus and played to the tune of Swansea which in the end proved costly. There is no reason why Wenger should have left only small players on the pitch against big players in the last twenty minutes of the game. The so-called technicians can never break down teams which have sat back and are defending intently. That is why I think Wenger erred by removing both Giroud and Coquelin. Whereas I have no complaint against Wilshere coming on to replace Coquelin it was a mistake to remove Giroud and bring on Walcott. If Walcott was needed because of his speed he should have replaced Ozil but Giroud should have stayed on because we need his aerial ability. As was witnessed at the end there was nobody to handle aerial balls at the end. Of late Wenger has developed a habit of substituting Giroud when he is not sick and it has proved costly for us. Giroud is not only a striker but also a defender of set pieces and a winner of aerial duels. Hence removing him greatly exposes the team. As a matter of observation when the going gets tough we need to remove the technicians and bring on the muscle men because they can bulldoze their way. Coquelin and Giroud are muscle men whom we need when the going is tough. The others are Wilshere, Oxlade, Ramsey, Welbeck and I may add Rosicky because of his direct approach and Sanchez because of his strong determination.. The likes of Ozil, Walcott, Cazorla, Gibbs get easily overwhelmed by stubborn teams. It is difficult to determine whether we would have responded better with Coquelin and Giroud but I feel we would have put on more pressure after conceding and maybe could have forced a draw. The only time you can remove Giroud is when Welbeck is available because of his size.

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