Arsenal ask Francis Coquelin to end their midfield hunt

Jamie Sanderson July 25, 2012 News 87 Comments

Arsène Wenger has handed Francis Coquelin the opportunity to become Arsenal’s next great defensive midfielder, and with it, save the club a substantial sum of money.

Arsenal scouts have been to France, Norway, Belgium and then back to France in the hunt for a prime defensive midfielder in the last 12 months, but they are yet to appease Wenger.

Yann M’Vila, Kara Mbodj, Lucas Biglia and Étienne Capoue have all been extensivily watched, and have all been subject of positive reports, but none of them have fully convinced the Frenchman they can be a quality alternative to Alex Song.

Wenger had made signing a more natural holding player a priority this summer, with worries that Song’s new found roaming style often leaves the back door open in critical matches.

But doubts over M’Vila’s temperament, Capoue’s maturity and whether Mbodj and Biglia can adapt to the Premier League, have left the Gunners boss unwilling to take a chance on any of them, with all boasting fees in excess of £10 million.

Instead, 20-year-old Francis Coquelin has been promised an opportunity he might not get again. After a year spent as Song’s deputy, he will now be assessed as to whether he can become his main competition, on a full-time basis.

Coquelin has grown up significantly in the last few years, helped by an experience-building loan spell with French side Lorient, but there have still been question marks as to whether he is ready for a permanent graduation.

Wenger will make a decision in the next week or so, with the madcap travelling and intense training in Asia a perfect chance to test Coquelin’s character, maturity and talent at it’s limits. Should he succeeed, he will be allowed to keep the number 22 shirt on a permanent basis.

Coquelin has impressed in several audtions in big matches in recent months, but must now prove he has progressed enough to oust, or even compliment, Song in the Arsenal engine room.

A steady performance against a Malaysia XI has set the tone, but he must show more in Beijing and then Hong Kong in the coming days, in order to seal the permanent promotion.

The ball is very much in his court.


  • Thomas From Hertfordshire

    Good times!

  • I appreciate the article, and Coquelin certainly deserves his chance imo, but please stop perpetuating this myth that Song is the defensive midfielder of the club. It gives the impression he is a restless moron incapable of staying in his position. In almost every single game he has played for the club, he has either formed a part of a defensive midfield partnership with someone else, for example when he did that with Wilshere, or there has been a midfielder behind him who sits in front of the defence. Arteta arguably played behind him last season (he certainly didn’t play in front of him!), Diaby has done it in the past, and even Denilson was deployed in that position. Song has almost always played a role where he assists the defensive midfielder, or his midfield partner, and attempts to participate in attacks from his relatively deep position. He is our most physically strong and imposing midfielder (who plays regularly) but this does not mean he is our defensive midfielder.
    So yes, Coquelin could certainly compliment Song, either by playing behind him, in front of the defence, or alongside him in that 2-man screen. IMO he has everything you’d want in a defensive or central midfielder: he’s strong and quick, seems to have very good stamina, is aggressive and very good at tackling, can pass well, is very intelligent and positions himself well generally. As long as he can stay fit, he can certainly be a great player. A different type of player, but perhaps a similar level of talent to wilshere?

    • well said Bro!! It knda pisses me off when people say that about Song…

    • At the start of last season, Wenger experimented with a 1-2 midfield setup with Song as the anchor man. So he’s obviously capable of playing in that role. When playing with Wilshere or Arteta he plays in a pivot, so he’s supposed to push up if either of those players drop deep to escape pressure higher up the pitch.

      Song is definitely a defensive-minded midfielder, and also started as a defender – therefore he even has the defensive mindset in his instincts and behaviour on the pitch.

      I wouldn’t call him a Makelele-clone, he’s not that type of defensive midfielder. But defensive midfielder, he is.

    • Davi, u surely havent watchd arsenal in the last 2 seasons. Song have been the backbone of arsenal. Without him, arsenal struggled both in attack n defense. I dont think thea is any player who can replace him thats in wenger’s reach. Only yaya toure can beat him in Epl..

    • I disagree – Song is undoubtedly a defensive midfielder. That doesn’t mean he’s a third centre-back, but a CM who can tackle and defend as well as play attacking football to an Arsenal standard.

      That’s really the reason Wenger hasn’t found lots of players to sign to fill the role – Arsenal quality DMs are few and far between.

    • Finally, someone who understands football. I am sick of these Arsenal bloggers who think they know it all trying to pigeon hole a player because of his physical attributes. Song is perfectly capable of staying back and being disciplined when required, but Arsene has said more than once that he has licence to go forward when appropriate as he surprises the opposition. Also, if you have a player capable of the type of through balls he plays, why would you waste that talent merely playing as a spoiler? I think they still can’t get past the fact that Song has turned out to be the talent that AW always knew he was rather than the ‘not fit to wear the shirt’ specimen who was so disgracefully booed as a 17 year old.

    • Whoa, hang on. Just because Song has chipped in with a few quarterback assists this year, people are jumping on the bandwagon and saying that somehow he’s an attacking midfielder and not a defensive midfielder. What planet are you living on. He’s always been a defensive midfielder. His job is to sit there and shield the defense. His physiology and natural style are that of a defensive midfielder. He’s not a runner or a dribbler, he’s a mugger, a stalker and a hustler. He’s 100% a defensive midfielder. It’s what he’s best at.

    • this says it all about song! deeplying play maker

  • Francis Copuelin may have the heart but not the muscle to control midfield, he could do a job at leftback since Andre Santos has push on forward. Emmanuel Frimpong is returning seen, he look like a good candidate, Kyle Bartley could do a job there also.

    • No Coquelin is very strong. In the League cup game against City, De Jong looked maybe a little bit stronger, but didn’t exactly get the better of him. Coquelin also has a lot of pace for a central midfielder, which makes him hard to avoid.

    • QuartzGooner

      Coquelin is a strong tackler who is physically capable on the pitch.
      He has covered at right back, but not at left back.

    • Good call davi , where would we b without Songs assists last season? I would like to see a solid defensive MF shielding the defense however Song’s incisive assists would not exist if he played that role. When Cesc was here he was able to play more defensively but with the current squad his forward forays are necessary.

    • what then do you say about Busquet of Barcelona..?

    • @reggaeo – I think arteta did a fine job in protecting the defence with help from Song and the other midifelder, but we didn’t look so good when arteta was missing. I thought Wenger should have played coquelin in that situation, but he opted to go with Ramsey and Rosicky, and that ruined the balance of the side, hence why we missed arteta so much.

  • I have been telling people this for ages. Coquelin has really come good & will be an excellent DM. Far more effective, defensively, than the grossly overrated & overhyped Yann M’Vila.

  • Coquelin has shown maturity and adaptability. Have to correct you though on Kara Mbodji, who I am sure you must have skipped when saying they would all cost over 10 mill ; 2 and below is more realistic for a top Norwegian Premier League player although some like Diouf and Lindegaard have gone for more. I agree when referring to the doubt over whether him and Biglia can adapt

    • Agree with you here. An additional point on Mbodj though is the squad size regulations in the premier league which mean his inclusion in a squad would mean the possible exclusion of another promising player. So even if it’s not as big of a financial risk, it’s a risk in that it may impede the development of other players.

    • Actually, the best players from the Norwegian Tippeligaen are sold for more than £2mill, I can assure you.

      The hopeless Carew was sold for €8.5 mill back in 2000, Annan to Schalke for like €6mill a couple of seasons ago, etc.

      A lot of the players in Norway get picked up when their contracts start running out, hence the cheap prices you are referring to. Mohammed Abdellaoue to Hannover for €1.5mill is a great example.

      Kara Mbodj is not Arsenal quality, not yet anyway. Biglia might be(!)

      Coquelin is awesome, and will prove his worth.


  • Coquelin IS the future, any one dissenting needs their nads spaying

  • i would like to see flamini make his return if that is the option that is going to be made, we would need cover as both frimpong and coquelin have both proven to get injured throughout the year (coquelin on a number of occasion last year) andw well diaby (bless his socks) couldnt stay fit if he was a running machine.

    • I think Flamini can’t even shag his girl friend let alone play for the mighty arsenal again… He lost his touch, flair, hardwork etc.

      Ruined his career and went down faster than a pair of cheap hookers!

  • Coquelin or not we still need someone in that middle,at least that will give francis enough time to mature and be his own man.what about carzola’s rumour, how true is that?

  • The coq deserves his chance,by the way eastmond looks to have matured from the eastmond of a few seasons back.

  • i’am of the opinion that Le Coq should be given his opportunity to prove himself plus with Frimpong and Kyle Bartley i really don’t think we should sign another defensive Midfielder. it’s quite pointless investing in youth if we don’t give them an opportunity.

    • hi all, im a arsenal fan whos from just outside whole family are rangers fans and im sorry but anyone who thinks kyle bartley is good enough for arsenal hasnt seen him playing on a regular basis,he couldnt get a game for a rangers team who realy struggled last season,looks a yard slow and hasnt got enough disapline or positional sense,hope he proves me wrong if he gets his chance,but i wasnt convinced.hope we sign cazorla would be a great addition.

  • AfricanGooner

    HERE WE GO AGAIN! givin youngsters a chance to learn in the first team! this is why RvP is leaving. i luv Coquelin but we need a player for now not 1 who is goin to learn on the job. we tried replacing Cesc with Ramsey but it failed coz he was not ready. We need a DM who is ready NOW! 1 who can stick to his job n will allow Songinho to go forward like he loves to do. Plus i honestly think Coquelin is too skillful to play DM! i think he wud make a great RB.

    • Mehn check out Busquet..if Barcelona could do that and still win tons of trophies, i wonder what you’re thinking.

    • If u were arsene obviously we could have a DM.But who at arsenal sticks to defense save PER alone the rest play attacking football.Song is a defender and good at it.Depends on the managers priorities,if not Kos,Verminator,and the wing back would stay at the back.In short whoever is signed or even Le Coq must play like arsenal do-attack first.

    • USAgoonerintheUAE

      We didn’t try to replace Cesc with Ramsey, we tried to replace him with Wilshere but Wilshere hit a horror injury spell that kept him out of play the entire season so Ramsey was forced to step in. I think we could use a great DM but just like the article pointed out there aren’t really any options for us right now, so I’d rather give Coquelin a shot than buy an inferior and unproven player who is ineffectual like we did last season with Park just to fill the position. We’re obviously not done in the transfer market but it won’t be a DM and Coquelin is a strong player and he really has a chance to step up and show what he’s made of. GOONER4LIFE

    • AfricanGooner

      Barca were already winnin trophies b4 he came in. we habnt won anything in 8 yrs! Barca had conceded the least goals 3yrs in a row in the league b4 he came in. its not like they were struggling. we have this habit of always depending on youngsters to be our saviours at Arsenal eg The OX n Wilshere.

    • We didn’t really try to replace fabregas with anybody. We signed Arteta to play a different role, and our tactics adjusted. Song was given more freedom, and the playing in Cesc’s position had a slightly more defensive role. There are so few players in world football who could replicate what Fabregas was doing, so the attacking/playmaking responsibilities were more spread.

    • Quick question – where did Cesc, the man we really needed to replace, come from..? Whose shadow did RVP walk out from? What about that french guy we bought as a 21 year old from Juve after he scored just 3 goals in 16 appearances for them…I think his name was Terrence Henri or something? Yeah, this youth project never produces good players. Coq has potential and will IMPROVE the team. But if you’re so against that happening, who would you rather see us bring into the squad?

  • american gooner

    Ever sice we were linked to Yann M’Vila, I felt it was unnecessary since we had LeCoq. He’s gonna be just as good as M’Vila if not better. I for one, will not grieve if we end up not signing him cos in LeCoq, we have one of the brightest French prospects, Arsene has brought through another gem!

  • Darren Fernandes(theo_2218)

    I really dont think Le Coq had a great game yesterday!Being a DM needs to clean up after an attack goes awry or play breaks down but i felt he was trying to over complicate things!Also in the first half there was lack of protection in front of the defense(for example the goal).I hope he improves but it shouldn’t be a case of losing out cause we are one signing short!It’s happened before;hope it doesn’t occur again.

  • I won’t agree with what you said about our youngstar learning in the first team. Wilshere was young and still learning when he got into the team and did you see what great fit he achieved.the likes of sceznu, kibs etc . I feel coquelin should be given his chance since he has not let us down any time he is called upon

  • kara would not be that expensive! I don’t think he is good enough either but definitely not that much money for him.

  • Afrikan gooner has said it all, his comment stands d best and i subscribe to his ideas

  • Le coq is a talented central midfielder and is better on the ball than Song was at his age….

  • king Adetowale

    Good comment @africangooner, arsenal are lackin trophies cos we re fond of usin small small boys, let us take a look at years back wen we av a big men ɪ̣̝̇Ω̶̣̣̥̇̊ our squad, we win trophies. Premier league Ȋ̝̊̅Ƨ̣̣̣̇̇̇ nt for boys but for men. Arsenal 4life

  • I watched every match of last season in which coq featured in. Outside the hamstring travails he experienced towards the end ,I think he was outstanding both if DMF and in RF. capable is how I’ll describe him. He is strong,quick and intelligent. For the DMF position,I have to agree with Wenger’s view that we don’t need any new signing. If coq’s given the chance,I think he’ll surprise a lot of people. He’s an excellent talent.

  • Very worried he is always injured I bet he will not finish the season without an injury.Then how can we put trust in him?
    This is one of the crucial positions we have been trying to feel for so long,and Wegner must act wisely on that department.This is the same position which makes our defence to be exposed all the time.may Frimpong can do better there.

  • Coquelin is a good tackeler pacy and aggressive but he is not yet ready for first team football, his passing is average and to succeed at arsenal you need to be a good passer of the all M’villa on the other hand is very similar to coquellen but is miles above him when it come to passing the ball.
    Remeber you dont need to win back possession if you dont give it away. if your passing is not upto the mark you will always give away possession.
    Also the goal Malaysia scored against us it was songs and coquellens responsibilty to close down the player, look at the amount of time he had to take that shot. we will keep conceeding goals until we do not start defensing like a team. Every player needs to close down the opponents through out the 90 minutes.

  • if im not mistaken M’vila is the same age as Conquelin and plays in an “inferior” league, which mean he’d also need time to adapt and Conquelin has already adapted, that kid great, i dont care how old a player is, if he’s good enough he should play and Conquelin is certainly more than just good enough, more disciplined than Alex Song, infact if we ever played the 442 formation i’d like to see him playing next to Arteta because they are both disciplined.

  • Steve Woolf

    Totally disagree. I normally love to see the younger players coming through but Coquelin hasn’t got the tenacity of a Flamini the calm of a Gilberto the flair of a Petit or the power of a Viera. He’s not a n answer to what we need in midfield no matter who he plays with. A much better prospect was Ozzie Ozgayup (sorry about the spelling!) who our dear leader RVP advised to leave us for pastures greener.

    • Wow, I’d have said he has elements of all of those players, particularly flamini.

    • JohnnyMaverik

      Yea because people were overjoyed when he started to play Flamini more often. For a long time he was one of our joke players, then he put in a run of good shifts at left back showing he had a defensive head on him, Wenger gave him a chance in the anchor role, and people raised their eyebrows, couple of seasons later we’d just lost one of the best DM’s in the country, the best IMO, on a free.

      Coquelin has never been given a proper chance to show whether or not he can or can’t fill that role on a regular basis for the first team. He has done for the youth and reserve sides it has to be said, and at 21 it’s time to either give a proper chance, or start thinking about letting him go somewhere he’ll get more consistent playing time (obviously the other option is to keep him as backup, but he’s made it perfectly clear in the past he does not expect to spend his footballing career filling that role for anybody).

  • I think with Eastmond, Frimmy, Francis and Jack we would be foolish to spend money bringing somebody in from abroad to play centre-of-the-park in the league, it is not a ‘slot right in’ position, hence Arteta last summer. And I am amazed how big they have all got, Eastmond looks fearsome these days…I wonder if we may see him step back onto the centre of defence…

  • le coq is jus brilliant.he has really empressed me for his age.i think wenger is doin great job by giving him the chance 2 express himself.yes,i get it when some say we don’t need to constantly test young players at the highest level but there are certain times wen u c that the youngstars possess the needed maturity,skill and physical stamina 2 compete and then you’ll ask yourself ”why not?”Take 4 instance wilshere,cesc-wen he was first introduced,obi mikel,song himself….and of late oxlade-chamberlain.

  • Igor Stepanovs

    I know its nitpicking Jamie but Coquelin is 21 as of a couple of months ago. Not 20 as stated in the article.
    I think Coquelin is ready and has all the right ingredients to be our number one choice defensive midfielder. When everyone is fit, Coquelin Wilshere Arteta should get the starting roles. I rate Coquelin very highly and Song is too undisciplined to fulfill that role and doesn’t seem brave enough in the tackle like Coquelin. I think if we start Le Coq for a year he will become a beast.

  • I don’t know much abt chuks aneke. But I think he should b considered too.

  • Igor Stepanovs

    I disagree with everyone saying Coquelin isn’t ready because of his passing. Someone even said he doesn’t have the “tenacity of flamini” I disagree completely, I think that is one of his best qualities. As a defensive midfielder you can have the ability to win the ball back and do a simple pass to start moves going but Coquelin has a good array of passing, I don’t know where that opinion has come from. Since I was at his debut I knew he had the potential to become and immense DM.

  • The team doesnot really need another DM. We are always quick to attack them DM when we concede goals but where will be the defenders. Of all the defenders who played last season, only Kos was consistent in his presence and form. Even Scezny, he was good but not spectacular. With better goalkeeping and a much more reliable back 4, the burden on DM like Song would be diminished allowing them to roam forward regularly.

  • Great player at very young age! Tough,strong,good passer and more important good ball interspersion. But please Wenger we need one strong defender.

  • i gooner stan

    i feel AW has done the best decision.i think we need to sign a CF,the no cesc used to rule as we wait for Eisfeid to mature.the club needs to be stable financially at the same time compete.

  • I have so much believe in Francis Coquelin. He will come good and will become a great arsenal player for a long time. That I am certain about. I say let’s have him there. What more, the lad is so versatile. He’s definitely what we need.

  • I quite like him but no way is he yet good enough to play in a team that wants success at the top end of the premier league and in the champions league.He certainly did his chances little good yesterday with an adject display in midfield(although admittedly better than the woeful Arteta)and the way he watched their goal scorer run through unchallenged would horrify me if it was a serious match.

    • These friendly matches shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Coquelin handled himself well against players like De Jong and Rooney (he actually played well in the old trafford disaster), and against Spurs, in serious matches. I’d be inclined to read more into those performances than a friendly.

  • Nigerian man

    I like Coq better as a RB. Am not sure at all of his capacity to handle the DM position as the highest level. Is anyone here seeing the calibre of players paraded by our other Premier League rivals?

  • I have always said it on twitter that we can do without a DM for now. I personally trust Coquelin and I think he can save us money. If the club is going bullish and willing to spend like never before then I will want us to buy a DM.

    But if signing a DM will impair the signing of a creative midfielder then I will have to say no.

    Song can play there, we have Coquelin, TV, JD and even Frimpong. We only need to change our defensive tactics and we will be fine. Song or whoever is playing the DM role has to be told to play as a DM and not as a DLP.

  • le coq iz a distinguished player who has all that iz needed to be great at DM..he’z even gat flair…all those who are saying he iz not what we need or that he iz still young to play in the first team,this season iz le coq’z time to shine and storm the big stage that iz the premiership…so i say…….WATCHOUT!!!

  • I think le coq’s best game Fø̲̣̣я̅ arse*l Ȋ̝̊̅ڪ †ђξ game against Spurs @ †ђξ lane, he had (40mil)modric ιϞ his pocket all day long…..†ђξ young boy deserves his chance. Last season I remember Lille wanted τ̅☺ snip him away, we wld have been sorry if it would be foolish not to give him †ђξ chance this season.

  • Coquelin looks an excellent all round footballer. Not sure that he has that instinctive defensive intelligence that a top quality holding midfielder requires.

  • On a side note, why haven’t I heard anyone around talking about how the youngster Chuks Aneke play, he was always calm and composed and didn’t looked phased at all and even demanded the ball a bit and has a nice range of passing and a quick burst of pace .. One to look for I believe [sorry for going off topic]

  • Typical Wenger, fucking clueless. He doesn’t understand what it is to compete anymore. You don’t win things continually recycling kids who then end up leaving anyway because they never fulfil their ambition or get poached. This is the reason Arsenal compete for nothing and never will.

    Song IS a DM, if he’s not playing in that role then basically Arsenal don’t have a DM. That means they have three in the middle and none of them have a clue about the defensive side of the game. That’s why Arsenal conceded shitloads of goals and can never compete for anything.

    Will Coqeulin change that? No. The whole thing’s a big fat waste of time. Wneger is a cunt whose destroying the club with his tight arse bullshit. Wish he’d fuck off.

    • Pete your a nasty bit of work, go back to playing your football manager games because in real life son you do have a clue

  • arsenal4ever

    Sanderson you suck!!!! Wengers top target was Martinez. Do your homework before posting shit like this. No wonder you are a Metro reporter!!!!

  • thank god , we arent gone buy/spend 15-20m on DM and give Coquelin a chance, i prefer we spend this sort of money on carzola rather wasting lot of money On DM

    AND ARSENAL4EVER please free to F.O. if you dont like Jamie work and come here to insult him

  • Bheki Tshuma

    Thank u for your comments all of you. You really made my time. It seems Alex Song has almost everything needed in an attacking midfielder & a defensive midfielder. We have the experience of Rosicky(who rarely gives the ball away) & Arteta. We have real class in jack, Coq, Ox, Miyachi, average but soon to be good gervinho, ramsey & frimpong. In midfield, i certainly don’t see where we can fit another player in. Tell me one player available who is as good as Gilberto was when we signed him as a world cup winner? Its at the back that we want a cover for TV5 & KOS, but Per & djourou are not bad as most would love to believe. Upfront we need a natural striker who is two footed to compliment poldi/giroud. Forget about traitors, we shall win the league. @ udehsam, Sergio Busquets is the best ever thing to happen after Claude Makelele.

  • wenger uses a system where his three men in midfield have specific jobs – the anchor, the box-to-box (transition) man, and the attacking central midfielder.

    when he talks about his central midfielders, he often makes reference to these roles.

    for most of the past few years, song has been the only player we have who has been exclusively used in the anchor role. all the others – wilshere, ramsey, coquelin, frimpong, diaby, rosicky, arteta – have been tried as the transition player, while song was kept back.

    the innovation last year was that song started to roam forward a bit, to almost act like a box-to-box man himself at times, but i think this was because of arteta knowing how to cover song’s position better than any of the other players, thus allowing song to push forward.

    i think, rather than buying a new defensive midfielder, wenger will choose to have two box-to-box players in his midfield from now on. song, arteta, coquelin, frimpong, eastmond, lansbury and henderson will vye for these roles, while Wilshere, Ramsey, Diaby, Rosicky, Eisfeld and Aneke will compete for the attacker position.

  • Can I just say that, except for a few random vents, the comments on this article are pretty damn good. Instead of transfer speculation, serious talk about positions and player choices. Seriously, thanks guys.

  • Pls idiot stay away from this site!dont come and fòul up a healthy debate going on here .Jamie top post again..I have Bn secretly praying for Eastmond to come good since he broke through couple of seasons ago. That Boy was quality against Liverpool .

  • Don’t know where you got your info from but M’Vila will be an Arsenal player by September 1st.

  • Holly crap!!! Jamie Sanderson is back?????????????? I gave up and started looking and commenting on Jeorge Bird’s site!!!

    I know this is going to sound stupid, but a few years ago I thought it would be Eastmond who took that defensive midfield spot and NOT Coquelin or Frimpong, that was how impressed I was with his performances against Liverpool!!! But I have come to realize that I was PROBABLY wrong, and that those two are ahead of him. I still hope he can prove me right somehow and make it here in some capacitiy, but I’m not going to make any assumptions like I did before!!! I like all three players a lot because they all offer different strengths to the play of Arsenal, and if all three stayed, we wouldn’t have to buy another defensive midfielder for at least 15 years or longer, depending on who is rising through the academy!!! Great to see this site up again!!!

  • Jamie, do you have any idea about the fitness of Gnarby and Toral..?
    Do either have a chance of being fit for the games at Dartford and Chesham??

  • JohnnyMaverik

    Hope he doesn’t overlook Frimpong as a possible candidate as well. Still recovering from his injury atm of course but impressed in a defensive role for Wolves last season, very solid and more technically gifted than many people, including himself it has to be said give him credit for.

    Got to say I’m a fan of M’Villa though, great work rate, often puts in really important tackles and a wonderful passing range. Quite similar to Song though and not sure he’d but any more than another mercenary more than willing to use the club as a stepping stone to the more lucrative options in terms of wages and quick glory.

  • Personally I understand why Mvilla is rated. However, at the prices being discussed for Mvilla its a no brainer to drop that and promote Coquelin, who IMO is clearly not just going to be a premiership-level player but actually a world class player. He is technically advanced, good athleticism and his brain moves just as quickly as his legs.

    If Arsenal just lets Coquelin play, I would say that he will quickly become a first choice in the French team, no matter where else Mvilla goes to play. Because Coquelin is a more natural defender and his passing is already at a level where he can quicky equall MVillas offensive output.

    Sometimes its good to realize what you have at home is as good or better than whats in the shop window.

  • to put this cat amongst the pidgeons, we get routinely attacked for not supporting the national team because of our heavy international basis (although that jhas changed recently).

    would we be having this discussion still if le coq was english? or would we be saying hes englands future, let him play?

    and anyway, I think frimpong, when back, will be a beast, shame about his injury.

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