Edward Stratmann for Licence to Roam
Positionally conservative and disciplined was Coquelin throughout the contest, as he rarely pushed forward, which importantly provided the necessary cover to the Arsenal defensive unit. Mathieu Debuchy would’ve particularly appreciated his compatriot’s support, for Coquelin regularly dropped back and covered Debuchy when he pushed forward.
In addition, his marking of mainly Cheikhou Kouyate , but also Stewart Downing was crucial in limiting their respective influences (although Kouyate scored, Coquelin was not at fault). Whichever man he was marking at the time, he stuck tight, ensuring they were kept well within his reach, ensuring they didn’t have the impact Sam Allardyce would’ve hoped for.
The way he positioned himself to block the passing lanes to the West Ham attackers, and help his teammates pick up the likes of Andy Carroll when they dropped deep was also hugely beneficial, for it alleviated his central defenders from having to make the often tough choice of whether to step up or stay put.
Flaming must have loved having anyone else thinking of defence foremost beside him. He gets a lot of flack for his performances of late but there are not many that can play in that anchor role and cover for both fullbacks, a midfield, and slow centre-backs.