He is the definition of tenacious.
It’s fair to say Coquelin’s career has never really taken off at Arsenal (as shown by his appearance stats below):
2014/15 – Arsenal 5 (4 sub)
2013/14 – Freiburg 16 (8 sub)
2012/13 – Arsenal 11 (11 sub)
2011/12 – Arsenal 13 (4 sub)
2010/11 – Lorient 13 (11 sub)
2009/10 – Arsenal 2 (1 sub)
2008/09 – Arsenal (1 sub)
Could Arteta’s injury woes open the doors for Coquelin to get more game time?
He has a robust style that endears him to the supporters, and he loves the nitty-gritty. But why has he never succeeded in the mighty red and white? I could understand if you said he doesn’t fit our style of play or he has a poor range of passing. But in my opinion he ticks both boxes. Coquelin has had some ripping performances in the past too…the Man U game that didn’t exist (perhaps the only positive to come out of that game) and a game against the spuds come both to mind. Arsene likes a bargain so what better deal than a player already on our books?!
Coquelin’s biggest hurdle appears to be our manager’s perception of him…and it appears once his mind is made up there is no going back. Arsene has praised Coquelin recently but they’re the type of quotes that lead you to believe he’ll be on his way out at the end of the season. We’ve heard it from Arsene before “He’ll have a career and hopefully he’ll make it here…which in Arsene talk equates “I don’t want to hold him back so I have allowed him to leave”.
I agree with our manager most of the time but I disagree with him greatly on this one. What does Flamini and Arteta offer the team that Coquelin doesn’t? Experience you say. Yes that may be so. Coquelin has played in a number of different teams and has been in the Arsenal system for some time now (not to mention he still hasn’t hit his prime), so I think he’s got enough experience. What else? Arteta may have better passing skills but does he use them at Arsenal? Even then, Coquelin is no slouch. Flamini may be tough and fight tooth and nail but one could argue the young Frenchman is displaying more of a desire to succeed. Can Arteta play in the full back position if needed (red card or terrible run with injuries)? Flamini can and so can Coquelin. Flamini played as a full back during our terrific Champions League run in 2006. Unfortunately for Flamini he was never born with blistering pace but it appears to be dropping off rapidly.
It just doesn’t make sense that Arsene would splash the cash when he has the right person for the job standing in front of him. When we’ve needed a DM in the past this is who Arsene has turned to:
- Gilberto rested -> Flamini (already an Arsenal player) is given a chance
- Flamini leaves for Milan -> Denilson (already an Arsenal player) is chosen
- ..my mum taught me that if I had nothing good to say that I should keep it to myself -> Song (already an Arsenal player) given the go ahead.
- Song departs for Barcelona -> Arteta (already an Arsenal player) is selected to play their despite playing as an attacking midfielder for large parts of his career.
Notice a trend there?
So Arsene, forget splashing 25 million on a DM. Spend it on a CB and/or another attacking player. We’ve got the defensive midfielder we need already, plus a couple of younger ones developing in the reserves. I know he’s not the highly fashionable “gorilla DM” that everyone cries out for, but he’s one of our own and he deserves the chance. Don’t agree? Well watch this and then make up your mind.
It was written in the stars…
By Oz Gunner