A Fond Farewell.

So, Mr Coquelin leaves the squad.

A player who resurrected a failing career in a manner which will inspire other players. He is proof that endeavour pays and his reward is a fat contract with a top Spanish club. Well done, Francis.

I cannot say that I have been a fan of Mr Coquelin, in fact to me he represents all that has been wrong at Arsenal over the past decade – a reliance upon players who simply are not good enough to propel my club forward. Neither good enough in defence nor attack, his skills lie in hard work, hard tackling and playing simple balls to more creative players. This may be harsh as we have had the occasional glimpse of a player who has great skill and can distribute accurately from midfield to attack, sadly, it was a rare glimpse.


Squad players are necessary. We have many of them. It must be galling to be either on the bench or not even there week after week. To spend all that energy in training trying to impress the manager but rarely having a first team appearance. Knowing that only if a couple of players are injured you will have a chance.

Of course €30+k a week is a decent recompense for such trials.

Coquelin is only 26 y.o., played over 100 games for us, won 2 FA Cups, a Charity shield and became a multi-millionaire. Not bad for a man who was on loan at Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton in a career that seemed to have stalled.

Upon his return from Charlton Le Coq was a revelation in his DM role resulting in Mr Wenger calling him “the long-term solution”, it wasn’t to be .

Will he play first team football at Valencia? I guess so though Valencia currently sit 3rd in La Liga, 5 points ahead of Real Madrid, which must mean they have a settled team.

Valencia must be happy with AFC,having sold us Mustafi for €40m and used just €12m to buy a decent midfielder.

Thank you Francis Coquelin, Goonerdom wishes you well in your future.

written by Big Raddy

41 Responses to A Fond Farewell.

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.
    Good luck Francis.
    No more Coq jokes 😦

  2. fred1266 says:

    I have to say I like Coq a lot and wish he got more game time over xhaka

    In his day Coq was one of the best, injuries really stalled his process

  3. fatgingergooner says:

    Never scored a goal for us. I think he’s decent but just doesn’t have enough all round game for Wenger to play him. He could really flourish at Valencia. I aways get the impression that Wenger feels a defensive player is a waste, espescially in midfield, and if a player is going to play HM then they still need to be able to have a great range of passing and the ability to join in attacks. The fact he converted Artrta and Cazorla into that role says it all really.

  4. fatgingergooner says:

    I hope we win tomorrow so I can really enjoy the Liverpool City game. I have a sneaky feeling Liverpool might beat them. They tend to raise their game against big sides and VVD will have given them confidence. Just a shame Coutinho didn’t wait until after this game!

  5. VP of Oz says:

    FGG in regards to your comment on the last post about medias take on downward spiral etc. I find it interesting that in comparison, ManU (who in our best AW years were our biggest competitors so I use them as a benchmark in Arsenal & AW progress in last few seasons) have spent almost $1bil on players and yet the majority of the starting team against ManC were Fergie players. Furthermore all the comments about Arsenal transfer debacle and mockery etc. over player contracts being run-down and yet ManU entered this season with 10 players running their contracts down. I just dont get into it and instead focus on the catch-cry, COYG!

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    Fair play VP,

    To compare to another side though, I know it’s slightly different because Coutinho had a longer contract, but the way Liverpool have cut their losses and strengthened the side elsewhere is possibly something we could’ve done. We could’ve given ultimatums to Sanchez and Özil a year or so ago and said ‘sign or I’m selling you’ and used the money to rebuild, but instead we are in this position. Liverpool did similar with Suarez too.

    Maybe it’s easier when the Liverpool players have made it very clear they want to move, whereas it’s possible that our 2 have strung the club along a bit and given hope that they would sign, but if you are Arsenal you have to take control of that situation and take the initiative.

  7. VP of Oz says:

    Yes, but what would the media and certain fans be saying now, if it was us that had spent almost $1bil on players and most of them were not starting 11 material and if we had had 10 players with contracts running out this season. It would be manic mayhem.

    As for liverpool, they are tiptoeing at the moment because I think the Ox is the Coutinho replacement and the money was spent on VVD to help their defensive woes yet they still need to spend and entice a top keeper to replace mignolet. They made a lot of money off Suarez and what have they really got to show for it. No trophies thats for sure.

  8. VP of Oz says:

    and as for talk of Sanches and Ozil, Sign or Go… yes but it could be that there is no point cutting your nose off to spite your face if AW could not recruitment same or better players in the marketplace.
    With all the money, agents and image rights etc. its not a simple process anymore and it takes time to unravel the complexity of a successful deal that works for both the buying club, the selling club, the player and the selling clubs incoming replacement player etc.
    All the ducks needs to be in a row before the shooting can start

  9. chas says:

    Thought this was interesting.
    2 out of 100!

    VAR fails the football test in more ways than we could have imagined
    by Barney Ronay in the Grauniad

    The game is too emotional, and the experience within the stadium too important, for it to be reined in by a system that does not cater for either

    One of the most striking aspects of the rolling-out of video assistant referees in English football over the last week is the almost daily reminder of the powerfully collegiate nature of referees. Gathered in significant numbers the refereeing community will come on like a particularly strident all-male lobbying group, flaring their neck muscles, explaining their judgments in that strangely tetchy technical language, asserting their right to be respected and supported with an air of lingering threat, like Fathers For Justice in shorts. This is their time now. And they’re going to fiddle with their ear and look stern and pensive for just about as long as it takes.

    The other striking thing about VAR only became clear to me on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge as it was used for only the third time inside an English football stadium. The fact is, for all the expertise, the manpower, the money spent, VAR just doesn’t work in football. It diminishes the experience of watching in the stadium. It skews the game decisively one way. It is one of those ideas, like bendy buses, or communism, that would simply be better off abandoned.

    This isn’t an opinion that will hold any water among those already bound up in the mini-industry of promoting, implementing, and generally waving through the latest digital intrusion. It is also a largely pointless opinion given football seems bent on sticking with VAR. But none of this prevents it from being the correct opinion.

    Not only for the obvious reason, which is the basic paradox at the heart of the VAR system. Digital referee technology is only tolerable if it is used as sparingly as possible. This seems unarguable given the experiences in Australia and Germany. And yet such restraint is impossible in football, where the default atmosphere is one of unmetered confusion, where the outrage dial is always set at 11, where every straw is the last straw.

    Refereeing decisions are not the real problem here. The real problem is the ludicrously disproportionate attention devoted to discussing refereeing decisions. The number of actual injustices, as opposed to disagreements, is minuscule next to this overwhelming fog of rage.

    Let’s face it, people are the problem here. Like the block button on Twitter, like silent touchlines and anger management courses, VAR is just another attempt to cope with and soothe and manage their feelings of disempowerment and alienation. It is people’s rage that demands this, more than any meaningful search for objective truth. Just as the real answer here, as to so many things, is for everyone to calm down a bit.

    So, you conclude warily: use it as little as possible. Save it for the howlers. At which point the question arises of why bother using it at all. The idea seems to be that VAR will correct or overturn two out of every hundred refereeing decisions.

    And yet, long experience suggests this is an entirely fruitless search for absolute answers. This is not cricket, where TV replays can establish the definite truth of angles and nicks. More than any other sport football constantly presses itself up against the limits of its own laws, relying on continual judgment calls simply to function at all. There is no objective truth in football. Instead the idea is to play the game at the very edge of what is defined as football and what is defined as foul, an interpretation of various physical movements that depends on the application of a set of descriptive words. What amounts to a grey area is itself a grey area. The areas for debate are always up for debate.

    It is in order to worry away at this inbuilt uncertainty that the entire experience is currently being diminished. At Stamford Bridge the time spent watching a middle-aged man stand very still looking sad while another middle-aged man watched television in a bunker brought a kind of dissolution. In those moments the air seemed to have been sucked out of the ground, a drowsy numbness falling across the crowd, an awareness of being subject suddenly to invisible outside influence. Whereas, for so long the whole point of the spectacle, the thing that has always marked it out, has been the chance to lose yourself in that communal experience, the joy of complete abandon that for so long was the essence of English football grounds.

    In the end a lot of this boils down to what you think sport is for. If it is to be a distantly consumed third person spectacle, a series of coloured blobs moving on a screen, just one part of the digital leisure experience, than perhaps it does make sense to analyse endlessly the precise, elusive mechanics of why a man has fallen over.

    Another point of view is that football has drawn its strength and its fascination not from its precision, but from moments of ragged, oddly shaped, endlessly evasive beauty. In his American football novel End Zone, Don DeLillo describes sport as “a benign illusion, the illusion that order is possible … tending always to move towards perfection”.

    DeLillo is talking about a sport of precisely regulated phases and patterns. The beauty of football is that it carries something of this, but still evades categorisation by pure mathematics, that it is strange and startling in its beauties; and for all the attempts to categorise, still essentially emotional in nature.

  10. chas says:

    ….Riley, the director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited, said experiments have shown that it is on average required only every two or three games and qualified his target of 2% by saying that select group referees currently get 96% of decisions correct.

    “If we’re saying that 4% of decisions are wrong, a 2% improvement is good for the game,” Riley said. “As long as we don’t increase interference.”

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Erik

    He was a worker and we liked that, so good luck to the fella

    Like Chas, I’ll miss the Coq lines, and I’m sure Holding will too 🙂

  12. mickydidit89 says:


    Don’t we want City to beat Pool, or are we still going for the league?

  13. chas says:

    Absolutely bang on from Big Weng.

  14. chas says:

    But we want City to get beaten at some point, surely?
    What is the likelihood of a team below us beating them?

  15. fatgingergooner says:

    If this season has shown me anything, it’s that being in the CL ain’t all that, so tbh if we aren’t finishing 1st then I don’t really care about the rest of it. So on that note I want City to lose so they don’t good unbeaten.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Palace were a dreadful missed penalty away from beating MC. I think we will do them at Fortress Emirates.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Another entertaining 0-0 at the Bridge. LCFC unlucky not to get 3 points.

  18. chas says:

    Yep, that Palace chance will not come round very often – hence the worry when it wasn’t taken.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    I wrote a couple of few ago about a FC Købennhavn player called Danny Amartey, he is a quality DM, Sadly, Leicester signed him for a paltry €6m.

    Better than Elneny.

    Perfect Coquelin replacememnt

  20. Ant says:

    If only Santi had not had that horrific injury..the pit bull wouldn’t have left

  21. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Raddy. 🙂 Farewell, Le Coq. I thought his attitude and cockiness was a welcome addition to the team and I will miss this. Good luck.

  22. chas mobile says:

  23. chas mobile says:

    Intelligent design – yeah right.

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    That hawk-moth wins every party trick hands down. Very cool indeed.

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh ok, the invincible thing
    Nah, still want City to win today. Don’t believe they’ll go unbeaten, well, certainly not while we’re only in Jan.
    Then again, I do want us to be in CL although I get the case for not bothering 🙂

  26. chas says:

    I know the likelihood of City going unbeaten is still small but 22 games into a 38 game season is still scary.

    One of my Geordie friends is on a skiing trip with his Geordie mates at the moment, which reminded me of when I joined them on this annual winter carnage in early February 2011.

    On the minibus transfer to the resort we were receiving goal updates from the Newcastle v Arsenal match. After 10 minutes we were 3 up and the Geordie boys were resigned to their fate. Brave Sir Robin scored a fourth on 26 minutes and we went in 4 to the good at half time.
    Anyway without recounting what happened in the second half, safe to say, I was a tad pissed off at life, football and Phil Dowd at the result.

    To get to the point, later that same day, Wolves beat Man U 2-1 for the red mancs’ first defeat of the season and I was happy to have received the consolation prize of it being Invincibles Day.

    I’ve just looked it up and it was 5th February 2011 which is the latest anyone has gone unbeaten in a season since 2004.

    By mid January in the 2003/4 season, we’d had 7 draws compared to City’s 2 this season.

    Our draws included this injury-time penalty miss …..

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Great vid. Most striking thing for me is the reminder how many real fighters we had in that side.

  28. Eddie says:

    there was a new post and no announcement, disgusting.
    I was commenting all day yesterday on the old post.

    aha, DidIt wrote the post, sorry, I didn’t realise. Given all the time you had without the blue light, you probably penned a few crackers. Looking forward to reading those.
    Not sure what you mean by boring – Fred, Lemar, Malcolm and Martial are coming to the Ems next week. Sanchez, ozil and Feo all going north, happy dayz. At least we don’t know what to expect. With current squad we have learnt not to expect too much too often. Once in a blue moon sheer brilliance, the rest of the time mid table performance. Bring on the new blood I say
    Eddie says:
    January 14, 2018 at 8:26 am

    President Emmanuel Macron says the French baguette should be listed as a Unesco cultural treasure
    Eddie says karp should be listed too

    Eddie says:
    January 14, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Troy Deeney turns the game around again, he is a terrific influence on Watford. They were 2 goals down and very nearly won the gam ein the end. We need a leader like Deeney. Ok, minus his illustrious past

  29. Eddie says:

    chas @8:38 – brilliant clip, thanks. So the Newcastle was in 2011. That means I kept been for 7 years now. I was at a lecture about queen raring when the game kicked off.

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    Disgusting. Revolting. Absolute pure smut.


  31. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie Daaaarling

    Big Raddy says:

    January 13, 2018 at 9:43 am

    FGG I or someone else will have a go at writing the 9.24 suggestion.

    In the meanwhile

    There is a New Post

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I hate to write this but it seems as though many of you will agree, I am looking forward to the Pool/MC more than the Arsenal away at B’mouth.


  33. chas says:

    Took me a few seconds but I think I know what queen raring is now. 🙂

  34. Eddie says:

    nothing rude. Forcing bees to make queens or artificially creations. Nothing to do with sex I am afraid

    thanks micky, but that’s like 23 hours too late.

  35. Eddie says:

    is Lacazette a striker? As in ‘Ollie is a forward’

  36. Eddie says:

    artificial creations. before you point it out.

  37. fatgingergooner says:


    Probably because you will get to watch better playersplaying better football. When on top form though, I’d still choose watching Arsenal over anyone else, and I reckon a lot of neutrals would aswell. City have been fantastic this season though, a nice antidote to the boring crap that comes out of United and Chelsea at times, and the park the bus tactics of the lower teams.

    Really frustrating this morning waking up to Klopp, Pep and Mourinho fighting it out for Sanchez. We are supposed to be competing with these clubs, not giving them our best player for nothing. Wouldn’t suprise me if Dick Law was pushed out of the door on the back of this farce. If I was Wenger I would keep him now until the end of the season. At least that way he can’t be labelled with selling another star player to a rival, unless of course a bidding war starts in which case he might be able to take advantage and get some inflated price for him.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post.

    FGG, Agree

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