Arsenal take on Swansea City on Monday night with the chance to right the wrongs of their disappointing 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium earlier in the campaign.
The Gunners led that match in Wales 1-0, but a weak final 20-minute showing allowed the Swans to recover and prompt heavy criticism of the North Londoners from pundits and observers alike.
It was a performance which lacked midfield organisation, intensity and pressure out of possession and the calls for a new defensive midfielder were as loud as ever.
Yet, fast forward six months and the situation couldn’t be more different as former Charlton Athletic loan star Francis Coquelin has come into the XI and performed far beyond anyone’s expectations.
|Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Defensive Duel Winners per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Touches per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Appearances|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Coquelin has been an absolute revelation for Arsene Wenger’s men and he leaves opponent Jonjo Shelvey trailing in his wake in six key midfield categories.
The Frenchman - more defensively minded than his upcoming rival - has recorded more tackles, interceptions, effective clearances, ball recoveries and defensive duel winners per Premier League clash.
Furthermore, he averages more touches of the ball than Shelvey, although the former Liverpool ace does possess excellent vision and distribution, illustrated by his higher average of accurate passes.
It is set to be intriguing encounter at the Emirates Stadium, a place where the Swans have enjoyed their fair share of success since gaining promotion from the Championship.
However, with Coquelin and his teammates in such good form, the Gunners undoubtedly start the game as favourites and will be keen to record their tenth victory in their last 11 top-flight matches.