Will Coquelin win the battle with Schneiderlin to start for France?

The most important thing and almost certainly the primary goal for the Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin in the coming season is to cement his place in the starting line-up for the Gunners. He does not even need to improve really, although that would of course be great news for us.

To be fair to the young Frenchman, it was his consistency and the discipline he showed in that problem position of defensive midfield, as much as his reading of the game, work rate and defensive ability that made it such an impressive second half of the season for him.

So more of the same is just what the Arsenal doctor ordered and considering that the 24-year old produced what many saw as his best performance of last season in the final game, helping us to win another FA cup final at Wembley, bodes well for him this season.

He looked cool, calm and collected against the Singapore XI earlier today and hardly put a foot wrong, so I see no reason why he will not be regular starter for Arsene Wenger again in the coming months. Then, however, comes another challenge for Coquelin, on a personal note at least, and that is to break into the France national side.

That will not be easy as the French have some pretty tasty central midfielders including the likes of Pogba, Cabaye and Matuidi, but there is one man that I think is the main rival for Le Coq and it is the player who has been the subject of as many, if not more, Arsenal transfer rumours than anyone else in the last year or so, Morgan Schneiderlin.

So as well as the Premier League battle between Arsenal and Manchester United, I think we will see an international fight between our two DMs. I personally believe that Coquelin can win this but he really needs to be at his best.

What do you think Gooners?

Tags Coquelin Schneiderlin


  1. Nope, he’s not at Schneiderlins level who is a better, more rounded footballer.

    Plus with midfield options like Pogba, Matuidi, Cabaye as you say, I find it highly unlikely he’ll be given a shot at all.

    I know none of that sits well with the Arsenal > Logic portion of the fans here but…..tough sh1t.

    1. Schneiderlins better? In which dream world?
      You are aware that he was a B2B player for southampton? Wanyama was the holding CM and he allowed Schneiderlin to push forward, Schneiderlins done great in pressing higher up the pitch and worked well with Wanyama… don’t forget that he made his name in the B2B role and not holding CM role ^.^

      1. Yep cos Schneiderlin didn’t exist at Southampton before Wanyama joined. I’m not going to argue, it’s pointless as you have more experience in being an idiot.

        “Schneiderlin isn’t better than Coquelin”……take that outside the realm of an Arsenal forum and just experience how stupid you are to others. Ramsey is better than Pogba I hear too…

        1. Currently. Yes, Schneiderlin has had more of a platform to prove his capabilities. He’s also had a longer time consistently playing as a core piece and an opportunity to prove himself and grow as southampton have risen.
          As it was Coquelin’s first extended stint in the first team, I feel he was tasked with a simple role and we have yet to see what he’s fully capable of.
          The other things Schneiderlin does well, Coquelin was never going to learn overnight, and a lot of it is to do with having a deep understanding of the other players and the tactic intimately. If he is to evolve into DLP as well who can spread the play efficiently and set the tempo in our play that was never going to happen over the course of half a season.

        2. Charles stop being like a little kid who had his marbles taken. Your remarks to other fans points of view are really childish CB

    2. I’m relaxed with the idea that Schneiderlin is presently a better, more rounded footballer than Coquelin. Not convinced that it logically follows that we should have bought him and suggest it was an absolute no-brainer. I am equally relaxed with the notion that if Coquelin is given a chance next season then there is good reason to assume he will improve further. He got thrown in at the deep end last season and played 30 games, the vast majority of which he was better than decent. A pre-season, a newly found confidence and the manager’s backing will I believe pay dividends. Whilst the fans want the quick-fix injection of an off-the-shelf “better” player Wenger will always play the slightly longer game – he is keeping £25M in the Arsenal coffers with the conviction that Coquelin can become the player we want/need.

      And the beautiful thing will be that in say 3 months time, when Morgan is stroking it around Old Trafford and orchestrating the United revival and we have been brutally exposed by Coquelin and are outside the top 4 you can come on here and remind us what you said. Equally, if Coquelin steps it up a gear and we look solid whilst Morgan continues the recent trend of Soton players looking like fish out of water when they leave St Marys then I am sure you and others will be due some good-natured stick.

      1. I’ll leave you alone in caring about the “told you so” rubbish, I just want this Arsenal side to be best prepared for the new season given we’re so close to being a title challenger for the first time in a decade.

        Nowhere in world football among the best clubs in the game is there a player with half a seasons play as the only legitimate option for such an important role in a team. I love Arsenal but I’m not about to sit and spew delusion about Coquelin and label him better than established talents who’ve proven it over a number of years. Coquelin>Schneiderlin? Give me a break, that’s pathetic even by the scary standards seen on here at times.

        I’ve read countless times on here that…Coquelin is better than Schneiderlin, Ramsey better than Pogba, Ospina good enough to be #1, Mertesacker ‘criminally underrated’, Vidal is unnecessary, Giroud is top class, Ozil is a ballon d’or candidate, Benz/Higuain aren’t a significant upgrade/worth the money, Jack is the new Pirlo, Theo is 25+ goal ST, Sterling/Pedro aren’t better than what we have….

        Well I look forward to a domestic treble and a strong CL campaign with those kind of talents in the team. Makes you wonder why we haven’t done so already…..until you realize that it’s simply fan worship to the Nth degree.

        1. You will notice I didn’t once say that FC > MS – actually I said the opposite.

          Fan’s ideas about who is better than who is nothing more than banter – I’m surprised someone as serious as you can get so agitated. Whatever people’s thoughts are on the matter it isn’t going to change what happens in real life – it is though you are others are holding people with contrary opinions accountable for Arsenal’s prospects. Bit daft don’t you think? Going through your team list and then formulating lists of “better” players that we have to buy doesn’t strike me as productive or sensible. So what if Pogba is better than Ramsey? Even seen numpties on here wailing about Cech – it should have been Courtois or Neuer if we were truly “ambitious”. So your idea for being as best prepared as we can for the new season is to buy Pogba, Vidal, Benzema/Higuain, Schneiderlin, Sterling/Pedro and a new CB and bench Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud and Walcott? Or perhaps loan them out? Or perhaps I have misinterpreted you – you aren’t making a case for buying them – it is more a case that you are just eager for people to agree with your opinions on them.

        2. Shneiderlin may be more complete than Lecoq but if I had to choose someone to protect my back four between the two I would definitely choose Lecoq.Since we have Oz,Ramsey and Sancho to create goals,he s better suited to us as he just content himself to his job.Protect the slow legs of Merte.
          Remember Song who was a kind od Sneiderlin,no much protection for the back four.
          Go Lecoq

        3. City hasn’t done CLG and they have world class stars Man U just scraped through Liverpool Not there all with mega bucks stars. Arsenal have made more ground than they have,which proves a point that it’s team work and management that win things We can’t all be Barcelona think your views are very old hat now. If you can’t except that Le Coq can do a job as well as anybody you think Wenger should go for, best give us all a break so we can support the players we have and you move on. CB

    3. My predictions are getting closer and closer to be true,yours getting worse and worse , think you should give it a rest Charles every one is not in your thoughts. Have a nice day CB

    1. Yes looks good on paper – but a re-think may be in order, clearly something not quite right with this French team at the moment despite the star-studded midfield talent. Lost 3 of their last 4 games.

  2. My personal view on that is i dont see why le coq shouldn’t start in the DM role for france, he is good enough in my opinion!

  3. Like you say, first Le Coq needs to nail down that starting spot with the gunners, then we can talk about France. It will be tough, but not impossible. Consistency will be key. Just let him play his game and he most certainly will be France’s number one DM!

  4. Bayern is after Vidal, Juve wants 40m Euro.
    This one above all really hurts. He would have taken us to the next level.

    1. So I guess it’s time to say
      We were never in for him.
      He’s over rated.
      We are after someone better etc 🙂

    2. Ironically, Lewoandoski is priced at 35m minimum, which is what Bayern need to buy Vidal, a possible target of ours. I feel this is the deal Wenger is hoping to happen so we can get Lewa since our manager values world class players in the 35-50m range.

  5. No, not yet. He’ll get there soon but not yet. He might be in d team for Euro if he repeats the feat of last season but will sit on d bench.
    Arsene pls sign a Striker and a Dm and a monster defender!!!!!

  6. Well, Schneiderlin is a more complete player. Creatively he’s better, although Coquelin is now probably better at plugging gaps. This leaves 2 questions: 1. Will France use a DM and 2. Can Coquelin be better than Schneiderlin at DM.

    To answer the first question – I think they won’t. They have a robust midfield that can act with two B2B players instead of one DM. If they chose to us a DM they have Kondogbia to pick from as well and are more likely to want a player who can join the attack and not just be a defender who is in front of the defensive line. That’s not to say Coquelin wouldn’t have a role in the French team if they wanted him to, but I just don’t see an international team of France’s caliber using a rock like that.

    To answer question two I think he CAN be a better DM. The reason being is that our midfield is now operating in a different way. In effect we utilise our DM to cover gaps across the whole pitch. You’ll see Coq slot in front of the CBs to shield them, slot in alongside WBs to help them pressure and also falling in alongside the B2B in order to create a screen. Most DMs are used sparingly in wider positions as it disjoints the team, but Coq is used consistently to gap fill until we can reposition. This is where I feel Coq absolutely demolishes most other players (except maybe Matic) as he has an excellent ability to find these gaps and deal with the problems before they arise. This pre-emptive problem solving is great and if he continues to improve his all around game will probably see him be one of the best pure DMs around. Schneiderlin will always have too much forward motion in his game to actually act as a pure gap filler, and so Coq CAN be a better DM then him.

    All of that said – who would you prefer in your team Coq or Vieira? To me, I would still say Vieira because for all of his defensive accumen he could step into the midfield and make the ball talk too. Same with Gilberto. They could plug gaps all day, then step forward and create. Coq is just not really that player, he might become it, but right now he certainly doesn’t have it and when he tries to do it, he loses the best part of his game. This is why I still feel Schneiderlin is a better player, although Coq is better as a pure DM. At the moment the Arsenal formation TOTALLY suits him…but against 80% of our opposition Schneiderlin is a better choice. Only really against the Top 6 would I really pick Coq over Schneiderlin. Weird to say it like that, but then, players like Mikel and De Jong made careers being wheeled out in those games where the extra screen would be useful.

    In short – Coq probably won’t play for France, doesn’t mean someone else would be better for Arsenal.

  7. Now Chelsea is about to close Pedro! Damn people are really buying players in these transfer windows – how strange that they are not sitting around waiting for top,top, top, players maybe if the opportunity presents itself and the price is right and the sun is setting in the east!
    Damn Arsene get to work – or is Akpom like a new transfer?

  8. Schneiderlin is a better player and has had 3 good to excellent seasons while Coq has had half good season so far. Just because he chose United doesnt mean every player that plays for arsenal is better. Let us be realistic, schneiderlin is a complete midfielder who will play more for france as he will be playing for a big club in Manchester United.

    As for Coq, well this coming season will be the real test. He has to grow as a performer and not just depend on defensive skill, otherwise he will become another de jong like player. For starters I wont mind that but to be a great footballer you need to be a complete footballer

    1. hmmm Makelele never grew that other part really well and he nailed a starting spot in early 2000s

      1. So, france lost three of their last four match, throw in le coq and that’ll change.
        They, need makelele, so they better use le coq.

  9. Pires was never a starting player during his tenure with the national team. They had Zizou, and a bunch of greats.
    He was still superbe for us and a legend.
    I for one, even if I lived in France in 98 and got to love thenational team, dont care if he doesn nail a starting role as long as he keeps beating the drum for us like he has done.

  10. As far as France is concerned, let’s calm down for a moment as none of those 2 are in line to start for their national squad… There are 2 or 3 players at the same position better than them.

    If players like Kondogbia, Imbula, Sissocko, Pogba (usually first choice), Matuidi and Mavuba are already fighting for the first spot (all of them are just better than Coquelin and Schneiderlin is a better and more experienced player too) I wonder where someone like Coquelin, who had half of a good season, would pretend starting for France…!!

    I hope, this time, Wenger will keep Akpom and give him more games. He is better than Sanogo and I wonder if he is not even more reliable than Welbeck. Thierry Henry said that he was “a true finisher”.

    Hopefully more signings coming, because with the current squad, there is no way we are getting close to win the league, no way …

  11. I for one hopes he doesn’t make it into the French team-

    = fewer injuries, more recovery time, more focus, less pressure and so on

    As long as he is superb for Arsenal (and I think he has been consistently) then I’m happy

    Assuming he was fit he would be in my first 3 names on the team sheet! agree?

  12. We don’t neccesarilly need a DM, I don’t expect wenger to buy a DM ever. Flamini N Arteta will cover still beilick is big enuff to step up, With Ramsey N wilshere rotating once a while. What we need is a striker, I dnt care about that kid.

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