I have to admit that I was pleased to see the name of Francis Coquelin in the Arsenal starting line-up to face Man City away. I had been worried that having Granit Xhaka as the holding midfielder would be very risky as the Swiss international does not seem to be defensively disciplined or focused enough at times.
So despite Xhaka being in the team as well I was happy to see Coquelin included as I thought he would be playing alongside Xhaka in central midfield with Ramsey further forward, giving us extra strength if a bit less penetration. With illness keeping Mertesacker out of action and with Mustafi and Chambers still on the injury list Wenger clearly had a problem and I thought he had gone to a back four to solve it.
Then the game started and it turned out that Coquelin was being employed at the centre of a three man defence. Was this massive game against the most potent attack in the EPL really a good time to play someone in any position for the first time?
And if Wenger was determined to keep the same shape why not use Elneny who has played there a few times before? A Sky Sports analysis after the defeat suggests that the decision to use Coquelin in a back three badly backfired and although the Frenchman said differently he did replace Coquelin before an hour was up.
So was it just a poor performance from Coquelin who struggled to cope with the Man City pressing and completed only 65 percent of his passes, or was it Wenger’s fault for playing him in that position for the first time in his first EPL start of the season?