Last Sunday was a bad day at the office for Arsenal Football Club in general but also on a personal level for many of the players. And one of those was definitely our midfield warrior Francis Coquelin, and that was highlighted by the fact that he was the first man hauled off by Arsene Wenger as the boss tried to rescue something from the day.
In a way I felt a bit sorry for the young Frenchman, as the tactics of West Ham to sit back and soak up pressure did not suit his game, so he tried to help us create things but his passing radar was not working too well. He was also one of the players that failed to get rid of the ball in the build up to the second goal.
And while Coquelin has not tried to hide from the fact that our performance was nowhere near good enough, he has declared that all of the players have treated it as a big wake up call and have been working really hard all week to put things right on the training field.
He is looking at the positives that this happened so early and gives us as much time as possible to make sure that the game is not too costly. He sounds very confident that Arsenal will put it right starting with the away game at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Coquelin told Arsenal Player, “It’s been a wake-up call for everyone. Considering the recent results we had before that, going really well in pre-season, it’s disappointing and it was not an Arsenal performance.
“However, in bad things, good things can come out too. It’s good that it happened in the first game so that now we can pull ourselves together with 37 games left. We’ve got time to put things right and that needs to start on Sunday.
“Everybody realises that we need to put more in. When you look at different teams I think a lot of them are ready. You look at Manchester City when they played against West Brom, I think they played really good football.
“We need to pull ourselves together and it’s going to be a real test on Sunday because Crystal Palace have a really good squad. We know the quality we have and we need to respond straight away. We’ve been working really hard in training and we need to put all of the training effort into the game.”
As long as that does happen then I agree with Coquelin that the opening game disaster could turn out to be a good thing. But will we be able to put the disappointment to good use straight away?