Francis Coquelin seemed to be out for blood against Crystal Palace and could have easily seen red for his troubles.

After the first yellow, the Frenchman was already skating on thin ice and by the time Wenger finally took him off with half an hour of the match still to go, I’d say he was a very lucky man. The boss, however, disagrees.

“I don’t believe [he should have been sent off],” Wenger said. “He didn’t deserve a yellow card. The pressure was on to get him sent off. I had a hesitation at half-time but I felt that the pressure was already there. After the last foul I thought there was not much room for a decision.”

He continued, “He put his hands on his head because he thought it was not a free-kick, not because he thought he would be sent off.”

Wenger went on to speak about the pressure from the fans getting to referees, insinuating that the crowd were trying to get Coquelin sent off, which, in all fairness, is true. However, this doesn’t equate to not deserving it.

“Every time he intervened, the crowd were behind it and put the pressure on the referee,” Wenger said. “I felt that it was 60 minutes played, I didn’t want to take him off but I didn’t have much room.”

When the manager finally took the 24-year-old off the pitch, everyone breathed a collective sign of relief, as we could have very easily been down to 10 men.

Coquelin being overly aggressive was a problem when he first came back off loan – one which I thought he’d grown out of. However, when he has his tail pulled, he still bites back to this day and it worries me that a sloppy tackle could result in him getting sent off regularly, or, even worse, ruining someone’s career.

SOURCEArsenal
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A twenty-something writer living in North London. Likes caffeine, food that’s bad for her and Arsenal. Dislikes avocados, rudeness and Arsenal.