Better than Schneiderlin, Leiva, Fernand(inh)o| equal to Matic: Wenger already has a top DM


Why we should all love Le Coq! πŸ™‚

For the last few years, I, together with many fellow Gooners, have been banging on for the need to sign a top class DM, but not this time round. Arsene grew his beast all by himself: our very own Francis Coquelin. I knew he is a good player but delving a bit deeper into his key stats – and comparing him to fellow DMs at our main competitors – he impresses me even more. Francis Coquelin really now is our Beast of a DM we have been longing for for so long. Since he, quite miraculously given his loan spell at lowly Charlton till December, established himself in the team, Arsenal have done extremely well in the second part of the season. This was of course not all down to him, as Ospina, Giroud and Ozil, and indeed the rest of the team, also played a major part in our fine turnaround in 2015.

The stats below sum it all up perfectly for the Le Fab Coq.

DM Pass Success % Aerials won per game Tackles per game Inter-ceptions per game Blocks per game Clear-ances per game
Coquelin 85.9% 2.5 3.2 3.7 0.4 3.1
Schneiderlin 89.3% 1.8 3.7 2.6 0.2 1.7
Wanyama 84.1% 2.2 2.9 1.9 0.2 1.6
Leiva 87.2% 1.6 3.9 1.6 0.3 2.3
Matic 86.4% 2.1 3.6 2 0.2 3.3
Carrick 89.6% 0.8 1.4 1.7 0.6 2
Bentaleb 86.8% 1.4 2.3 2.5 0.3 1.9
Fernandinho 88.5% 1.3 2.8 1.8 0.2 1.4
Fernando 91.1% 1.6 1.4 1.6 0.4 1.8
Le Coq’s Position 8th 1st 4th 1st 2nd 2nd

PL performance data only – all data from ‘Whoscored’

So, amongst his peers, other than Francis’ pass success rate, he is doing very well. He is the best in the air, even better than the beasts Wanyama and Matic, and in a league of his own in terms of making interceptions, producing almost twice as many of these compared to Matic. In a head to head Coquelin wins three disciplines and Matic also wins three: a draw; but all other DMs above lose out against him. That is how good our man is, and it fully explains why Wenger is not looking for a replacement this summer.

Arsene wisely signed up Coquelin before the end of the season and nothing is nicer than seeing a youth player making it to the big stage. I must admit I did not think Francis was going to make it, but he did; and I hope Oz Gunner, one of my all-time favourite bloggers on BK, is reading this post, as he was the one who always stood behind the Frenchman and will be very pleased now with Le Coq establishing himself properly within the first team.

There is a decent argument for getting a back-up for Coquelin, though. We don’t have another equally good DM at the moment. Having said that, Wenger has many options and will feel that he can take the risk of Coquelin losing form, or getting injured. Arteta and Flamini are (currently) still around and on the day they can do a decent job. Wenger also has options to develop Debuchy or Chambers into a backup DM, or try one of the youngsters. Would I welcome another dedicated DM? Yes of course – and steeling the very young and promising Bentaleb from the Spuds would be very nice indeed – but it is definitely no longer a priority: with Fab Francis we finally have our Beast of a DM. Yippee! πŸ™‚

By TotalArsenal.

26 thoughts on “Better than Schneiderlin, Leiva, Fernand(inh)o| equal to Matic: Wenger already has a top DM

  • Hi TA,

    Agree with you, and Le Coq played the full 90 mins yesterday without a sub for backup. That’s either Wenger wants to build on his game fitness or he does not have a backup for the DM position.

    Will leave the rest till later.


  • Hi TA.. Nice post..
    I’m with you for Coquelin.. I was unrated him before and wished he’s gone forever.. But last season change my view.. He is great..
    I still can’t believed that happened.. But every season we saw one or two players made a quantum leap.. And transform themself like a butterfly.. Hahaha.. That’s what I loved most being a Gunner.. Hehehe..

    I don’t know about Wilshere.. I didn’t rated him also.. And still.. Hahaha..
    Maybe another miracles happened.. And he will become our next butterfly.. Hehehe..

  • The stats for Coquelin are impressive. However,if the team and him are unable to
    win ,you can bet noises will be heard why Wenger didn’t do this or that.
    The thing is all teams are under pressure with massive fees .I feel the dm at Mu will
    be under the greatest pressure. Failure to compete for the epl by Xmas will not be taken
    lightly. Because this is a team which thinks it has a divine right to the epl year in,year out or every other year.
    Thank goodness for Chelsea/MC/Pool and Arsenal .Otherwise the epl will be so boring like in Spain.I for one will give up watching soccer .

  • Yes Steve.. Quantum Leap.. Hahaha..

    And TA.. No need to develop Chambers and Debuchy for DM.. We have more than enough DM already.. I.wonder why many Gunners want Chambers as a DM..?? We still have Beilik there.. And.our Captain and also our best midfielder Cazorla.. Hehehe..

    Talking about Wilshere.. Wenger said that he could play wide..
    Why Wenger seem to have a difference view for Wilshere.. When we all know he shine in England team as a DM..??

  • Ko Henry,

    Jacko can play wide, but he always cuts in. Like the game we saw yesterday. He is a box-to-box player, and a good one.


  • Everything has been said about Coquelin. Chelsea and MU have been the bogey teams for Arsenal for the last ten year,imho.In fact Wenger hasn’t beaten the special one .Then there is MU.
    Wenger’s record against this team is atrocious due to his kami kaze attack style.All the rd has to do
    when the flood gates are open. Isit any wonder he lost 8-2. In fact he was lucky not to have
    been axed following such a humiliation.
    If Coquelin wants to prove his worth,he must help the gunners to get the better of these two teams.
    IndeedWenger has to beat the top teams to win the epl.

  • Hi MY Gunner,
    True. However we have not only Coq to step up, but also the rest of the team to step up in order to beat the top teams. Its not the players, but the mentality to beat the top teams.

    This is my 2 cents.

  • TA – A good reminder of just how good Coquelin is. Indeed, the stats would simply back up what we have witnessed.
    I too thought he had blown it with his loan move to Germany, where it seems the coach did not take to him on any level. Back playing, albeit in a lower grade, with Charlton was probably just what he needed to restore his confidence. It is also understandable why he was reluctant to leave? I mean, why come back as a last resort stop gap, and be humiliated all over again?

    But thanks to AW in just telling him to keep it simple, and just do the thing he can do, it worked. But as you say, the team around him started to build his confidence, not least by the ever willing Cazorla, which helped getting him to the level he is today. Like I said yesterday, but for the training ground accident to Hayden he might still be at Charlton, such is how fate works?

    None of this disguises the fact that we do need a back up, at least to his level of ability. The said Hayden is still in the frame until proven otherwise for me. Or to put it Arseblog’s way …
    ‘Once Coq’d, twice shy’ πŸ˜€

    There may be several reasons why certain players did not travel on this tour, current fitness level being the key one. But even a reaction to various injections, like for malaria, could be another. Although I still suspect passport issue in J R-A’ case, especially if neither parent could travel with him if he was still on theirs? He only just turned 17 remember.

    They do have the Emirates Cup to show what they can do, but with the format of this competition, they only play twice I think? And the last one is only a week before we have West Ham to kick off to the new season. They are not going to be slow to use their extra fitness as a weapon either, so that mini tournament against strong opposition will be geared at hardening off the primary squad?

    I am not going to bother with the post match comment concerning Wilshere because it clearly fits my fantasy …

    But to HT and TA – At no point in my observations on Ozil did I say he would be sold. Far from it, I think AW is keen to build the attacking strength around him.

    In parallel, I think, in a half dream state, I saw Zelalem’s problem πŸ˜€

    Talking of he, it was his persistence in keeping the ball, and eventually played the short pass to Bellerin, who, with a quick drag back and away ….before the ‘on a sixence’ cross for Akpom’s 3rd. The boy is good, but …….


  • Just as a final thought HT, I don’t think Steve was saying you take those players and plant them in the first team and you would get the same result.

    It is about style of play. Bam bam bam and the ball is in the opposition box. Yes, on this occasion the opposition was at a lower level. But remember, this was at a time when they were happy to sit back in numbers. It was this goal that opened up the game later on.

    Don’t focus on the individuals or the opposition. That is almost as negative as TA’s point about ‘tradional’ wingers. My choice for the wide option is certainly not traditional in the ‘hug the line’ sense, as he could play across the line. Flexibility is the keyword, not rigid boxes.

    I said in my last post that the way to beat PTB teams is on the counter – FAST counter, as was shown by the trio of under 21’s, and Wilshere. Overwhelm in numbers is the way to score.
    There is another dubious link with us buying PEA, who is the right type, and flexible position wise.
    Another time another place, that could have been Akpom out wide, or Ox, with Iwobi in the middle? Pace makes the style, but it does not mean we need to abandon the patient build in other games.

  • Gerry,

    Allow me to end your sentence.

    zelalem is good but we have too many players with that quality.

    His passes are good but being a box to box player, we can’t give him first team chance. Sadly, but his defensive skills are good, so play him as a DM?


  • Great pot TA and a fitting tribute to Le Coq. I really do believe he is the main reason we turned our season around last season. When he first appeared a few seasons back, it was obvious he was a very brave player and I am really glad he’s made the grade.

    My only concern is your comment about Arteta and Flamini being decent replacements. I agree entirely that they are decent, but I question if decent is good enough?

    Incidently I saw a note on a site on another site a while back, saying that the Emirates crowd were struggling to find a song for Le coq. Someone suggested “who let Le Coq out. Ooh ooh”. To the tune of who let the dogs out. Wonder if it ever caught on?

  • I shall take great satisfaction in saying it was Oz Gunner and myself who first championed the cause for Le Coq, yes we were the original Coq lovers !……it has taken some time, but you lot have finally got there and become Le Coq suckers !. πŸ˜†

  • I, too, championed Le Coq along with Oz from day uno at AA.
    The Emirates should just sing out the ‘hokey pokey’ and add in Le Coq….
    “You put Le Coq in-You put Le Coq out-You put Le Coq in and you shake it all about. -You do the hokey p…. .”

  • NijSG – I am singing his praises when he is good, but that does not mean I’m measuring him for a first team place this season. I don’t think he is 18 yet. But he is a player to nurture, and may be in the COC he could strut his stuff, depending on who we draw?

    Would you put Ozil as DM?

  • For those about Le Coq, we salute you! πŸ™‚

    Cheers guys. We are all agreed then that we need not too worry about le DM anymore. Wenger might be waiting for the seasonal SQ fish to land in his carefully positioned net…. And it is likely to be an attacker ala Sanchez.

  • Gerry, no I wouldn’t, and zelalem is better than ozil in defending, although ozil tries hard to get back when he loses the ball last season but somehow zelalem is the better deal back.

    I dunno about Hayden or other youngsters, as I have not seen them play yet.

    And, on COC, Zelalem is the one that we would like to see more. More than the others.

    Before yesterday I heard how good he is, but yesterday I saw him doing his stuff box to box. Coming back to defend next to Coq and helping Bellerin and getting forward in just strides (I feel that the pitch was small though, or its that the players are big), getting passes over the defense, wow. Iwobi has more game time, but if Zelalem started there would be more goals. But that’s how the Gunners start so well…


  • Um Gerry.. nope I haven’t been to arsenal site yet.

    But no worries, we have sufficient backup.

  • Sorry NijSG – I was responding to TA’s above.

    When talking about future talent, it is a bit like the X-factor, it is that bit on top of looking good?

    Indeed Coquelin had it when he was younger, and we nearly lost him. So even that is no guarantee.
    Sadlly, I think Toral is going through those ‘between’ years. But I wouldn’t write him off just yet.

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