The curse of Francis Coquelin: The stat that proves Arsenal must drop midfielder against Hull
The Frenchman has often been a regular for the Gunners over the course of the season but Arsene Wenger may be better off leaving him out on Saturday
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may choose to ring the changes against Hull City after the humbling at Chelsea last time out and there’s one player in particular who should be fearing the chop.
Francis Coquelin was swatted away like a fly as Eden Hazard raced past him and through on goal before slotting home to finish off a memorable solo effort in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge.
But that shouldn’t be Wenger’s primary concern when he considers whether to drop the Frenchman against the improving Tigers.
Surely far more damning is Coquelin’s stats over the course of the season and how he appears to be hindering the Gunners more than helping them.
Perhaps just a coincidence rather than a fair reflection of Coquelin’s ability and his importance to the Arsenal team but they really do not make for pleasant reading for fans of the north Londoners.
Arsenal have only won 41 per cent (nine) of the 22 games that Coquelin has started in all competitions this season, while they have, quite remarkably, won all 13 where he hasn’t been involved from the off.
In Coquelin’s defence, though, he has at least made 34 successful tackles in the league, the joint second highest of any Arsenal player behind only Granit Xhaka (38).
The Gunners will be looking to recover following consecutive defeats against Watford and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea when they face Hull on Saturday where, if he starts, Coquelin will undoubtedly be desperate to break his personal hoodoo.