Despite Saturday’s aberration against Tottenham, Francis Coquelin is still the best player we have in his role at the club.
Despite Wenger’s open expression of frustration and disappointment at the player not heeding his half-time warning, it’s safe to assume that he will be lining up in our next Premier League starting eleven.
Despite his downturn in form and struggles sans Santi Cazorla, he still brings much more to the table than either Arteta and Flamini at this stage, and Elneny, for all his endeavour, still seems a bit lightweight and lacking in aggression by Premier League standards.
He also has a lot of room to improve.
Even though Coquelin is now 24, that is still young compared to many top flight holding midfielders, and especially those who play in such attacking tactical systems. In many ways, he is still learning his position, and it seems likely his decision making will improve.
Ideally, the summer will see the arrival of a top class player who can also play that role to provide competition but also the ability to rest and rotate out Coquelin if he experiences other future downturns in form or fitness issues. Of course, we also said that last year, and the fear is that Wenger sees Elneny as having already ticked that box.
Either way, as one of the only players at Arsenal with both the aggression and physical capacity to fill the role of ball-winning catalyst, his position within the squad should be secure.
He has all the hunger and passion that fans want to see from their players, as demonstrated time and again by his reactions to goals and victories.
He just needs to learn the tactical and situational nous to be able to apply that in the best way for the side and himself.