Why we should all love Le Coq! 🙂
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|
|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! 🙂