Francis Coquelin has really seen his Arsenal career take off as of late, and has revealed the secret to his success at the Emirates, as reported by French publication Ouest France.
The young Frenchman has been superb since being recalled from his loan spell at Charlton Athletic, and has proved to be exactly the type of player we need in midfield.
He has revealed just why he has been so successful in recent months, and claims Arsene Wenger’s instructions for him to sit deep and defend make us more defensively stable.
“To win the ball back, to play the ball forward quickly [is what Wenger asks me to do]… I am difficult to muscle off, even if I am not huge. I didn’t fare too badly against Fellaini against Manchester United,” he said.
“After that, I am not really needed in an attacking sense. When you have [Alexis] Sanchez, [Santi] Cazorla, [Mesut] Özil, [Olivier] Giroud, [Theo] Walcott, [Danny] Welbeck in front of you… I am here to take a weight off the load on those guys there.”
We have been lacking a dominant defensive midfielder for years now, with a number of the players utilised in that position showing far too much attacking intent. Coquelin has shown a willingness to sit back and do the dirty work, and we look far more solid with him in the side.
His Arsenal career looked all but over at one point, so it’s incredible to see that he has become so vital to our success in recent months.
The 23-year-old is confident we can overturn the deficit against AS Monaco this Tuesday evening, and knows we have the attacking quality to score three goals.
“Yes, we can score 3 goals,” he continued.
“We have always known how to bounce back, we have just won at Manchester United in the cup. This time the roles are inverted. Monaco are favourites and we have nothing to lose!”
We will need to balance attacking intent with intelligent defending if we are going to get the job done, so Coquelin could once again prove hugely important.