Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin arguably had his most disappointing performance since breaking into the first-team, as his side crashed to a 2-0 home defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.
The French midfielder has been an inspiration since the turn of the New Year, putting in a number of wonderful displays and drawing comparisons with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic.
Towards the back-end of last season, Coquelin was undoubtedly among the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders, and he was widely regarded one of the Gunners' key players.
However, a lack of genuine competition for his place could have a negative effect and on Sunday he looked extremely laboured against West Ham, a trait you wouldn’t normally associate him with.
|Tackles||Interceptions||Effective Clearances||Def Duels Won/Lost||Aerial Duels Won/Lost||Pass Completion %||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Charlton Athletic loanee was far from his dominant and busy self as he contributed very little in the Gunners’ midfield.
Shockingly, Coquelin posted zero tackles, no effective clearances and just two interceptions, as the game’s standout holding midfielder was in contrast the Hammers’ 16-year-old debutant Reece Oxford.
A lack of West Ham attacks can’t exactly be accredited for the 24-year-old’s lack of telling contribution as he won just three of eight defensive duels, an alarming statistic considering his ability.
Moreover, Coquelin posted a below-average pass completion rate of 85.4%, compared to West Ham’s Oxford who on the other hand competed an incredible 95.2% of his intended passes.
It’s not the time to panic or make any rash decisions in the transfer market, but overall it was a Gunners performance which poses plenty of questions regarding their title aspirations.