Arsene Wenger led Arsenal to a third place finish and FA Cup trophy during their 2014/15 campaign. The season itself conjured up many romanticised stories and ideas for fans to ponder over, but much of what has been learned about Arsenal’s squad is simply untrue.
I have therefore decided to debunk four of the biggest myths of The Gunners’ recent campaign, in the hope of killing any false perceptions in preparation for next season. Let’s take a look at the list:
1. Coquelin the Saviour
Francis Coquelin’s reintroduction to Arsenal’s first team came at about the same time The Gunners’ season really started to pick up. Wenger’s men went on an outstanding run which put them within touching distance of Chelsea at the top of the league, and much of this success was put down to Coquelin’s work in midfield.
However, a much more likely explanation for this explosion in form is the fact that many of the club’s best players – Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud in particular – returned from injury at around the same time Coquelin started to find first team opportunities.
In truth, much of Francis’ impact has been down to chance. The player himself – although extremely promising at a young age – has matured into a not-so-special player. The Frenchman is certainly a keen tackler, with excellent defensive positioning and work rate, but his quality on the ball has deteriorated since his days as an Arsenal youth, perhaps down to his prolonged exposure to clubs who, with the greatest of respect, do not play football at a standard anywhere near Arsenal’s. A side like Arsenal needs to have a holding midfielder who can control the flow of play, and Francis is yet to prove he can do so.
Fans may think he saved our season, but it is very likely that we would have achieved even more if a certain Spaniard was available all season – which brings me onto my next point..