Francis Coquelin is an odd player.

He’s one that divides the fan base, with many seeing him as a brilliant defensive midfielder while others believe he’s not even close to being good enough to play in that role for Arsenal long term.

The truth, as with most of these things, actually lies somewhere in the middle.

There’s no denying that he has impressed since his recall from Charlton, but there was a reason that he was at Charlton in the first place which shouldn’t be forgotten and one year is not quite enough to facilitate a total overhaul with a player.


He is far from the complete deal but there is no escape from the fact that he seems to be working very hard to improve the weak areas of his game, and with every performance he looks more solid and reliable, less prone to have to chase the ball down like crazy because he’s lost it and more accurate with his passing.

In fact, against Watford on Saturday he was playing some very impressive balls and on one occasion I exclaimed, to my empty living room ‘what a pass!’ as he played a short reverse while surrounded by Hornets. It was Ozil-equse and I did chuckle when I saw it was not the German but Le Coq.

His stats from the game make impressive reading and long may his development continue: