Francis Coquelin can hardly be described as temperamental. His main attributes include being able to read the game fairly well without making rash decisions, his robust tackling despite his slim body size, his high work rate, and his ability to start counter attacks with his good passing rate.
There have been rumours that Arsene Wenger wants to make Francis Coquelin a permanent stay in midfield but despite the cautious acknowledgement from Arsenal fans of Coquelin’s recent performances, most fans feel this should be a temporary measure as Wenger searches for a more robust defensive midfielder who will provide better cover for the back four. This was especially evident when Arsenal played Southampton and a certain Victor Wanyama took a stranglehold of the midfield with his size and mobility being a key factor.
However, maybe the key is not in replacing Coquelin but placing the right personnel next to him. There are two candidates; Mikel Arteta is very good at reading games probably due to his time as an attacking midfielder. He is able to sense where the danger lies when an opposition attacks and thus is always at the right place at the right time. The problem is his lack of pace. Whenever the opposition would manage to pass the midfield, Arteta would struggle to keep up. Coquelin can learn a great deal from Arteta and his tenacity in the tackle means he can act as a sweeper whenever anything goes past Arteta. Both players are good at passing and creating counter attacks which can be key to the type of football Arsenal want to play.
There is nothing Mathieu Flamini loves more than to get stuck in relishing the thought of ramming in to opposition players full throttle. The advantage of this tactic is that it scares the opposition and makes them realize that they cannot take Arsenal lightly. In this instance, Coquelin is meant to act as the calming influence in midfield. He is again meant to act as a sweeper cleaning up whatever goes past Flamini. There is no denying that Flamini is not able to read the game but his presence adds bite to the midfield.
I have never seen Coquelin and Arteta play together so I cannot comment on that partnership but Flamini together with Coquelin proved to be a masterstroke against West Ham. If Wenger continues to use both Flamini and Coquelin to protect the back four, then maybe Arsenal won’t need to buy a defensive midfielder.