Could Francis Coquelin be the next Gilberto Silva?

WTTGT Writer: Jay James Waller

Back in the summer of 2002, a rather un-Brazilian Brazilian arrived at Arsenal Football Club. His style of play was never flouted with any of those fancy flicks, tricks or samba skills we have come to associate with his countrymen; though, he will forever be remembered for the way in which he graced our shores with such a calmed elegance, confident solace and a grace which very few defensive midfielders have been able to emulate since. And, the rest as they say was history…

Fast forward nine years, though, and we are now in 2011 with a whole new generation of young guns ready to take the stage. While the current crop has had some notable apples that just weren’t quite ripe enough, one of the juiciest picks of the bunch has to French defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin. Those who follow Arsenal’s reserve and youth teams week-in-week-out, will be in no doubt of this boy’s talent. Composed, resilient and assured on the pitch, sound familiar yet?

Fresh from his man of the match performance against Tottenham, Francis will feel that this is a new beginning for him after a painful encounter at Old Trafford. Having played for his native France at every youth level, he will be looking to make himself a regular for club and country. While Coquelin is primarily very much a defensive midfielder, his versatility means that it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see him deployed at right-back in the coming months with Bacary Sagna out of the side with a fractured fibula.

The media always like to compare upcoming players, but could Francis Coquelin really be the next Gilberto Silva? Time will be the telling tale in this story, but Francis is very much his own player and should rightly be judged on his own merit. He has a fantastic future ahead of him and with the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and Coquelin himself coming through the ranks, the future of Arsenal’s defensive midfield looks as promising as ever before.


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7 Responses to Could Francis Coquelin be the next Gilberto Silva?

  1. davi October 11, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    The only similarity I can see is that coquelin's positioning and anticipation are very good. On the other hand, gilberto was, as you say, very calm, and generally won the ball back without expending too much energy. Coquelin is much more energetic, more willing to go to ground to win the ball, and is more capable of going forward and contributing creatively, while gilberto's main attacking threat was his occasional late (and usually dangerous) run into the box. Coquelin is more of a tackler and a passer than gilberto, and is actually a lot more like flamini, imo.

  2. david October 11, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    very much more the flamini/diarra mould

  3. [email protected] October 11, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I think the COQ will be way better than all of our recent DM's other than PV4.

    This boy has got drive, agression, passing, defense, attack and most of all a super engine. Reminds me of a hybrid of Alonso cross Viera!

    People do not have a clue how good he could be if surrounded by a good team and allowed to flourish!

    As for now the current Arsenal team are not good enough hence league position :-(, but there's still a long way to go!

  4. head October 11, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Jack + Coq = Future midfield.

  5. [email protected] October 11, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Could not agree more but I also likened him to Flamini. Her is my article from a few weeks back

    External link removed (see 'Note' at the bottom of the article). Admin.

  6. ruelando October 11, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Really a energetic young man, i think he also can play more forward too, i would love to see him in a 4-4-2 formation VAn persie playing behind Cham or park

  7. WC October 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Coquelin needs to master the dark arts. I love The Invisible Wall and he was a gentleman but he was also very good at slowing the opposition pay with small fouls in irrelevant areas. It's a bit underhanded to make small persistent fouls but it's important in winding up the opposition and breaking up their rhythm. That is one of the things we are missing in our midfield enforcers – a master of the dark art of fouling, shirt tugging etc.

    Call it sneaky or whatever but alot of the best defensive midfielders who when and how to foul.

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