Francis Coquelin has been sensational this season, and has been integral to our fantastic form in 2015. He claims he wants to be the new Patrick Vieira at Arsenal, but he may be trying to emulate the wrong former Gunner.
Vieira is unquestionably one of the greatest ever midfielders, and he was phenomenal during his spell at Arsenal. The Frenchman was exactly what we needed at the time, and his powerful presence in the centre of the park was too much for many to handle.
“I’m not going to say to you I am [the new Vieira], obviously I want to be but I think it’s down to the performance I put in every week so I’m just trying to give me best every game so hopefully I can do that in the long term,” Coqueling is quoted as saying (via the Daily Mail).
Despite his destructive and aggressive style of play however, Vieira was not an out-and-out defensive midfielder, and he regularly contributed farther up the pitch. Coquelin is not in the same mould as his retired compatriot, as he is far more comfortable simply breaking up play and letting others impact the game in the final third.
The 23-year-old is in many ways more similar to Gilberto Silva, who was the real midfield destroyer in our Invincibles squad.
The Brazilian was nicknamed ‘the invisible wall’, which is something Coquelin should aspire to be. The role of the defensive midfielder in this day and age often sees their impact go unnoticed, but if they don’t immediately stand out then it usually means they have done their job well.
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It would obviously be fantastic to see Coquelin mirror the success of Patrick Vieira, but would it best for Arsenal?
For the moment at least we just need to hope he keeps performing the way he has been, as we are still looking to push on in both the Premier League and the FA Cup.