Arsene Wenger has revealed that it was his decision to not include Francis Coquelin in the side which was defeated by Chelsea last week.
The Gunners surrendered top spot in the Premier League for the first time in almost a month after Guus Hiddink’s men snatched a 1-0 win courtesy of Diego Costa’s strike after Per Mertesacker’s sending off.
That defeat at the Emirates stadium saw Mathieu Flamini criticized heavily for failing to handle his role in defensive midfield effectively.
And according to Wenger, Flamini’s counterpart Coquelin could have featured in last weekend’s London derby.
“He was quite available for the Chelsea game but I thought it was a bit early. Today [against Burnley] he looked quite comfortable and without any problems.” the Arsenal boss said
Coquelin was finally allowed to make his return from injury on Saturday as Arsenal secured a place in the next stage of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Burnley.
Alongside the Frenchman in midfield was debutant Mohamed Elneny who has impressed Wenger.
“I felt he started a bit cautious, played a bit secure. He became more adventurous, he had some good shots on goal.” he added
“His mobility, his work rate was exceptional and for the rest, he needs to adjust to the power of the game in the Premier League. This was a good welcome today and certainly he has learnt a lot today.”