Its amazing how the fortunes of a young man can change in a couple of days, sometimes months. You could be nothing today and boom! just in a few days you are being talked about around the world.
This is a tale of a certain Francis Coquelin, the young french midfielder who was playing his football in the lower league just last month, some 45 days ago but whose name’s now on the lips of every Arsenal player, fan, staff, ex player, in fact every football lover.
All it took was a young man set to prove himself and he did just that when he got his chance. Coquelin’s not one of those Bendtner types that claim to be the best player in the world and just stay there mouthing rubbish and doing nothing, we could all see how he improved in recent years.
On December 6, Francis Coquelin put in a battling performance for Charlton away at Nottingham Forest. His Arsenal career looked to be over. But in the space of just 43 days the young Frenchman is seemingly irreplaceable after a masterclass in shielding his defence in the 2-0 victory at Manchester City.
Such a display from the whole side has led to questions whether the penny has finally dropped with Arsene Wenger. And after years of trialling several players, he may have found a new midfield general.
Coquelin’s commanding influence in midfield in shackling City play-maker David Silva was one Arsenal fans have longed for since the days of Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira.
At just 23, his sense of leadership from the first whistle was evident on Sunday. The fact that Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny were rarely called upon in Manchester was testament to his performance. It’s no wonder, the club is already in talks with Coq in line with offering him a new contract.
The midfielder who was deemed surplus to requirements in the summer has done a good job of reviving his Arsenal career and IMO (in my opinion) deserves to SIGN DAT THING.
Coquelin won 100 per cent of his tackles, 7/8 of his aerial duels, made six interceptions, 11 clearances, and his passion and desire on the pitch went down a storm with the traveling supporters.
While this was just his 13th Premier League start, Coquelin is no stranger to the Arsenal shirt although he has often deputized at full back, something which makes his renaissance all the more surprising.
The worry with the former Lorient teen was never his ability to tackle or his tenacity, but his passing, positional sense and know-how.
However, he was cool in possession (with an 87 per cent passing accuracy), always had an eye on Silva and showed his maturity after Santi Cazorla opened the scoring in the first half.
”I took him from France at the age of 16,” Wenger said of his compatriot. ”Today he is 23. He has gone through some difficult periods but he’s a learner from his experiences. I’ve always kept faith in him, because I told him three months ago that he needed to play somewhere.”
“‘He accepted to go down to Charlton and had convincing performances. Now he’s come back, I’ve played him and he’s done very well.”
All thanks to injuries to Flamini and Arteta which has allowed us to unleash THE COQ, something we might never have seen had those players stayed fit.
More of such performances as the one against city and Coquelin could cement his place in the first team.
Truth be told, I still can’t get over his performance against City. It was so good that for a moment I thought we did not need to sign another player and that a whole team was perfect but…
DisFemiSef wrote some days back and was asking which we would all pick if we only could make one signing, a CB or a DM and I have found my answer now.
A CB is what we need. With le COQ in such a form providing the perfect cover for our sometimes shaky defence, a CB should be our top priority this January. Not saying we should not sign another DM but with the emergence of The Coq, we could suspend that till the summer.
The midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the season, but talks over a new deal are now underway and the Gunners are confident of securing the Frenchman to a long-term deal in the coming weeks.
Coquelin’s new contract will complete a remarkable turnaround in his status at the club over the past few weeks.
Le Coq has now overtaken Flamini, Arteta in the pecking order in that Arsenal DM position and it would take a miracle or an injury for any of them to start ahead of him again.
Our captain’s place is still safe apparently, but he is a different type of player to Coquelin. And there are strong rumours that Wenger will add a top quality player, possibly Morgan Schneiderlin, to the Arsenal squad in the summer, meaning that Flamini could well be surplus to requirements and the same will be true of his fellow Frenchman Abou Diaby who is out of contract in the summer anyway.
Flamini does not have long to convince the boss to keep him and if Coquelin continues his current form, he might not get many chances either. So are Flamini’s days at Arsenal numbered? That’s left for Wenger to decide.
Coquelin has made five consecutive starts for Arsenal, culminating in his excellent performance in the win at Manchester City on Sunday.
So let me reiterate what I said earlier in case it has somehow slipped from your mind. I think Wenger can leave that DM spot to Le Coq for now and focus on buying a defender. He could reopen negotiations for a DM in the summer that’s if he hasn’t started any already and let Coquelin have till then to solidify his place in first team.
This is why I love football, everyone can have their opinions.
And that there, is mine:D..
Have A Lovely Day.