Francis Coquelin gets a hard time from a lot of Arsenal supporters for not being good enough but for what he is employed to do, the Frenchman is pretty darn decent at it.

His job is to break up play and then quietly, tidily, and with a minimum fuss as possible, give that ball to a player who can actually pass it with a little bit of creativity and cutting edge.

He is the mallet to Santi Cazorla’s coconut, smashing all around him to free the Spaniard’s passing sweetness.

But what happens when you put him alongside another player of his ilk, one for whom passing is a talent only in so far as he’s competent with it?

You end up with a quite convincing impression of Denilson circa 2008, shifting it sideways as if his life depended on it.

Coquelin passes v Boro
Coquelin passes v Boro

 

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