Francis Coquelin Vs Fernandinho: Picking Up The Best Midfielder

With both Arsenal and Manchester City competing for the Premier League title this Season, it is inevitable that each and every member of both these teams would be compared. A good team is always built on a solid defensive midfield department, and the history of the Barclays Premier League proves this fact.

Looking at the Arsenal squad that won the Premier League title a decade ago, it was their midfield that laid the foundation of a title winning team. With players like Vieira controlling the reins, Arsenal became only the 2nd British team in history to be regarded as Invincible.

Here’s how both Francis Coquelin and Fernandinho compare with each other.

Interceptions

To judge a good defensive midfielder, one thing that is taken into account is his ability to bust the attacks of the opposition. For this to happen, there is nothing better than an interception to stop the flow of play and dictate the game. Here’s how both Coquelin and Fernandinho compares with each other in this regard.

Fernandinho Coquelin
Matches Played So far 11 10
Interceptions per match 1.72 2.9

Thus, as evident from the stats mentioned above, it is the Frenchman who has a lead over his Brazilian Counterpart in this regard. However, it should come as no surprise when you look at the composition of both teams.

While Coquelin enjoys the company of Cazorla, Sanchez and Ozil up ahead of him none of whom likes to have a tackle, Fernandinho has Toure and Fernando to help him out in tight situations. Therefore, Fernandinho isn’t alone to do the defensive work in the Manchester City team while it all falls on the shoulders of young Coquelin when it comes to Arsenal.

Take Ons and Headed duals

While take on is a stat that you don’t normally associate with a defensive midfielder since it is the duty of wingers and strikers to do this job, teams like Manchester City and Arsenal always build their play from the midfield. Therefore, when the attacking department is crowded with man marking from the opposition, it is the job of the defensive midfield department to create a chance on goal.

Here is how both Coquelin and Fernandinho compares in this regard.

Fernandinho Coquelin
Successful take on Percentage 33% 88%
Successful headed dual percentage 48% 50%

Despite his additional physicality, it is surprising to note that the headed double proportion of the Brazilian is left than Coquelin. However, when you take a look at the height of both these defensive midfielders, Coquelin is just 1 cm short than Fernandinho.

As far as successful take on percentage is concerned, Coquelin is miles ahead of his Brazilian counterpart. With his mobility on the ball, his desire to go forward and his intensity that is evident in every game, Coquelin is always ready to take that forward leap to help his team-mates further forward. Fernandinho, on the other hand, leaves the attacking duty to the likes of Yaya Toure and thus plays a more laid back role.

Attacking duties

While we have taken a look at how both these players are faring when it comes to stopping the opposition, it is also necessary to compare their prowess when it comes to terrorizing the opposition with their attacking qualities.

Here’s how both Coquelin and Fernandinho compare regarding attacking duties.

Fernandinho Coquelin
Chances Created 12 3
Assists 1 0
Goals 2 0

Thus, when it comes to bailing out his team in an hour of need, the Brazilian is way ahead of Coquelin. One of his 3 goals that he has scored so far this Season came against a heavyweight Chelsea side and for those who watch Fernandinho regularly, it will not come as a surprise that the desire to attack the opposition goal could be found in abundance in Fernandinho.

Conclusion

As evident from the stats mentioned above, Coquelin leads the way when it comes to defending. With a higher take on, headed dual and interceptions per game, it is definitely the Arsenal midfielder who holds the reins in this regard.

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