By Walter Broeckx
The Manchester City match was a very disciplined performance from the whole team - and there were a few amazing things to mention.
David Oooooospina hardly had to make any saves but whenever he had to do something he did it just like in the previous games in a calm and cool way.
Hector Bellerin. I know I have been telling you about him and how I rate him highly to become our right back for the rest of the century when Mathieu Debuchy gets a bit old.
I know Bellerin is still work in progress. And that is the amazing thing about it. If you didn’t know he was only 19 you look at his performance and you would think that he was an experienced right back that has seen it all. No, this is just a ‘kid with a milk beard’, as they say it in Dutch. No experience, just a handful of starts and he was outstanding once again. Learning fast this kid.
The same can be said about Nacho Monreal. No longer a kid but he is one of those that gets the blame whenever things go wrong. I think Monreal has shown not only in this match but also in the matches before that he really is a good left back and also that no matter where the manager puts him he will do his best. He isn’t flashy, but he’s solid, reliable and ready to work hard.
Santi Cazorla is something special. A person of small stature. ‘What could he do in such a tough league as the Premier League’, some said when Wenger signed him a few seasons ago.
Well he certainly showed what he can do in his first season. Scoring 12 goals and claiming a lot of assists as well. Last season he also suffered a few niggles and had some injuries. And as usual then the moaners came out and say that he should be sold.
And even at the start of this season he wasn’t at his best. But since he got back to the level he had in his first season and I think he is now even raising the bar to an even higher level.
Finally a word about Francis Coquelin. I hold up my hands about the fact that I didn’t know he had this in his locker. I admit I thought he was a goner at the end of this season.
A few not that successful loan spells, Wenger hinted vaguely at ‘some problems’ over the last years, but maybe these problems have been overcome now and he has found some balance in his personal life.
One of the things I had when seeing him in the past was that I thought he was too nervous on the ball. Now he seems to be calmer.
Wenger told him that he didn’t need to fly into tackles to impress him and that he should use his head. And since then that is what Coquelin has been doing.
This was all revealed when I saw the highlights last Sunday. The images that were the most important for me was when we scored our second goal. Most players ran towards Olivier Giroud to celebrate.
"If he continues like he did in the last month he will be a fantastic player for Arsenal"
Coquelin also ran towards the players but he showed the change he has made. He started shouting towards every Arsenal player and pointing to his head and making signals to calm down and to keep cool.
“Use your head,” he screamed with his voice, gestures and body language. Keep on doing what we have done all day long and we will be fine. And that was the moment that Coquelin won us the match. A few seconds of a player keeping his cool when it was most needed. Maybe even more impressive than his stats over the 90 minutes.
In a way I think he is doing what Mathieu Flamini did in his first passage at Arsenal. Finally in his final year of his contract he suddenly grew into a massive player.
Coquelin seems to be doing the same thing. If he continues like he did in the last month he will be a fantastic player for Arsenal. Manchester City was his big test they said. He won me over.