Arsene Wenger has hailed the performance of midfielder Francis Coquelin against West Ham.
Arsene Wenger has revealed why he picked Francis Coquelin to start against West Ham.
The Frenchman says he chose to bring in the defensive midfielder because of the aerial threat posed by the Hammers.
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In winning the ball back seven times, Coquelin helped justify his manager's choice, and show he was right to recall him from his loan deal at Charlton Athletic earlier this month.
He told Arsenal.com: "It was a gamble but I felt that we needed to protect with two players in front of the defence with Carroll on the long balls - we needed a bit of protection. I feel that he was the right choice."
With a need to rotate the squad, injuries played their part too with Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky all ruled out of the match, but Coquelin appeared to seize his chance, certainly impressing his manager.
He added: "He played very well, especially in the first half. He was very influential and then in the second half he fatigued a bit in the last 20 minutes, but he had a very good performance not only defensively but he also passed quickly, sharply and through the lines. Overall he had a convincing performance."
Coquelin's display was certainly welcome, but with the transfer window coming up it's at a dangerous time for Arsenal fans - will he now convince Arsene Wenger he doesn't need to go and buy a defensive midfielder?