Tag Archives: Francis Coquelin

Going…Going…Gone…Sanchez, Walcott and Coquelin

So it has been a busy week in the transfer market for Arsenal.

Sadly, but predictably, it is players leaving rather than coming in.

Firstly we had the news yesterday about Francis Coquelin joining Valencia for £10-ish million.

Coquelin’s departure means that only Jack Wilshere remains from our 2008 FA Cup youth winning team.

He was on his way out in 2014 after being shipped to Charlton Athletic on loan. But as quick as he was out the door, he was back in.

Reports were he had emptied his locker and was walking out the door with a box of his gear his loan deal set to be made permanent when Arsene Wenger stopped him and told him he was required for first team duty. I am not sure if it was that dramatic, but from that point forward, he always gave 100%.

He was never the best player in the side, he was massively flawed, but he had the heart and desire and, over the last few years, has played a big role for the club.

Coquelin leaves Arsenal with 2 FA Cup winners medals in his cabinet. When you think Coutinho left for Spain with nothing, it shows how much others are under performing.

The Frenchman is certainly one who will be applauded if he ever returns to Islington.

Last night the news broke from the reliable David Ornstein on Twitter that Arsenal were prepared to let Alexis Sanchez leave if a replacement was found.

The situation has then not changed from the summer, when Arsenal were happy to let Sanchez leave as long as someone else came in.

A late deal for Thomas Lemar fell through, leaving Sanchez to stay at Arsenal.

In the summer, Arsenal decided to hang on to Sanchez when a suitable replacement was not sourced. This transfer window I think it will be a different story. A deadline day deal will be done even if someone does not come in.

The final bit of news is with regards to Theo Walcott.

It is a risk for Arsenal to let a man who scored 19 goals last season leave, but he has become surplus to requirements in the formation we are currently favouring.

It does leave us with a shortage of natural widemen, and that will need to be addressed if we ever to play 4 at the back again.



Francis Coquelin demands number 14 jersey at Arsenal

French central midfielder Francis Coquelin has claimed first dibs on Theo Walcott’s number 14 jersey next season if the Englishman leaves the club. Coquelin believes he is the heir apparent for the shirt number made famous by club legend Thierry Henry.


That is a load of rubbish, and the headline itself probably got a load of your knickers in a twist.

I also hear that Mohamed Elneny wants to wear number the number 1 shirt in 2018/19 and Hector Bellerin wants to wear a Petr Cech style hat with his top knot sticking out.

So rumours surfaced earlier in the week that Mesut Ozil would only stay at Arsenal if he was given the number 10 shirt. This is literally a made up story for RTs and hits. As fake as my Francis Coquelin demands number 14 jersey at Arsenal headline on this blog.

Firstly, I would be surprised if Ozil signing a new contract hinges on the shirt he is going to wear.

Players are motivated by 3 things:

    1. Money
  • Success
  • Love of the club


Now we can get rid of number 3. Ozil is motivated by money and success. And probably more money than anything else.

I imagine Ozil would wear Joe Willock’s number 69 (wah-hey!) if we were to pay him £300k a week.

It really is a non-story. People coming out and saying Jack does not deserve to lose his jersey and others saying Jack is always injured, give it to Ozil if it means he stays.

Why does it matter what number you wear? Whether it be William Gallas in 10, Abou Diaby in 2, Or Ozil in 11. It is just a name and a number.

Bring back the days where everyone wore 1-11 without the names on the back. But the marketing and sales boys would not have this. Getting a name and number is just to generate money for the club with idiot adults who still buy club shirts with a name and number on the back.

Ozil should be playing for Arsenal because he wants to be at the club, not because of the number on the back of the shirt.

And if he really is demanding the number 10 shirt to stay, he knows where the door is.

The number on the back of the shirt is not important. The performances on the pitch are.


Most honest view of the Arsenal situation


City are really good

After 11 games, Manchester City are already 8 points clear. 11 wins and 1 draw. With a goal difference already of +31 (Liverpool finished 4th last year with a GD of +36), they are an awesome outfit with threats all over the pitch, and off the bench.

You would expect a team who have spent £500m on incoming players to not have a weakness, and it is probably a failure of previous managers that they have not been in the hunt for the last 3 league titles.

In recent years, Manchester City have not only spent big, they have spent well. The likes of Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus will be amongst the best in the world sooner rather than later.

In Kevin de Bruyne, they have the best player in the league, perhaps one of the best in the world.

They remind me of Arsenal in 2004. Match winners all over the pitch. For Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Ljungberg and Vieria, read Aguero, Silva, Sane, Sterling and de Bruyne.

What sets them apart from the rest this season is what they have off the bench.

Against Arsenal they were able to bring on Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernado Silva. There entire bench cost over £200m. They spent nearly £200m this summer alone, yet only two of the 5 incoming players started.

Incredible strength in depth. You could make an 11 out of their B team that be a challenge for every other Premier League side (Bravo, Danilo, Kompany, Mangala, Delph, Gundogan, Yaya, Foden, Zinchenko, Jesus, Bernardo).

They have already beaten Liverpool (5-0), Chelsea (away, 1-0) and now Arsenal (3-1) this season.

17 games played in all competitions, they have yet to lose.

City are really good

Arsenal are not as bad as expected

Some fans were expecting (almost hoping) Arsenal to get destroyed.

Whilst it is no doubt that the better team one, City attacked and defending as a team, Arsenal competed for much of the match.

We were not humiliated like Liverpool, and the 3-1 scoreline was boasted by a debatable penalty and an offside 2nd goal.

Arsenal have been heavily criticised and written off by many in the press but, Manchester City aside, there is no much between Manchester United in 2nd and Arsenal in 6th – just 4 points in fact.

Through in Europe, into the League Cup Quarter Finals, and in the race to be best of the rest in the Premier League, the hundreds of words written about our demise are clearly agenda driven and for hits.

Let’s remember we have actually won trophies in recent years. Liverpool and Spurs, who are often written about in positive terms, have been pot less for a while.

With Spurs at home up next, Arsenal must win. And we should win. As we are not as bad as many make out.

Alexis can leave

And you can throw Mesut Ozil into that as well.

If you do not want to be at Arsenal, you know where the door is.

We have had bigger and better players than Alexis Sanchez in the past, and we will have bigger and better in the future. If you think Alexis is too good for Arsenal, that he is bigger than Arsenal, please join him going through the exit door.

Alexis is a terrific player, but he is an individual. Someone who wants the glory. A player who seems to only pass to others who he knows will pass back to him. Someone who throws a strop if he is not passed the ball – even if others are in a better position.

When he is scoring 30 goals a season, and winning us games on his own, you can understand the shrugs of the shoulder and mood swings. But when he is not performing to the high levels, it is detrimental to the team.

Sanchez now reminds me of Thierry Henry in his last year at the club. He does not want to be here, is underperforming, and is blaming everyone else.

Just 1 goal this season, he has given the ball away more than any other player, and only Olivier Giroud has a lower pass completion percentage.

His attitude stinks.

Coquelin must leave

Francis Coquelin’s desire is never in question. But maybe instead of trying to gee-up the away fans with aggressive hand movements, he should concentrate on his own game.

He is average and has been horribly exposed at the highest level time and again.

Against Manchester City, he was playing centre back. Not his natural position, but over the years I have seen the likes of Michael Carrick slot into defence and do a job. Coquelin just does not have a brain.

It is incredible to think that it was 3 years ago, Arsenal were telling him his time at Arsenal was over, and yet he is still our only specialist defensive midfielder.

The fact that we have not signed an improvement on Coquelin in 3 years is misconduct of the highest order. It is disgraceful.

For the B team in the cups, he thinks is a cross between Xavi and Iniesta. He is hopeless.

He will be 27 in May. He should have been shopped out years ago.

Why is he still there?

VAR is needed

The only part I disagree with.

Arsenal have been on the wrong end of some decisions this season – Watford, Stoke and Manchester City – but VAR will ruin the game.

In its current form, it will slow the game down too much. Recently I saw a referee take 3 minutes to come to a decision.

Goal line technology has been brilliant. One reason why is because FIFA demanded it will only be bought in if it was instantaneous. VAR is anything but.

I am not a fan.