To be perfectly honest, I am surprised that the Arsenal midfield warrior Francis Coquelin has not already been called up to the France national squad by Didier Deschamps. I understand that his early years with the Gunners did not go as well as hoped and his loan spells with the French club Lorient and the German Bundesliga outfit Freiburg did not light any fires, but since his return from the Championship club Charlton around halfway through last season, Coquelin has been as consistent as he has been impressive.
But no call up was forthcoming and so Coquelin knows that he must continue to excell and improve for Arsenal if he is to catch the French manager’s eye, as he explained to Arsenal Player. Also, the fact that the European championships next summer will be held in France is giving the combative 24-year old even more incentive to force his way into Deschamps’ plans.
He said, “Every player wants to represent their country and the Euros in France is something massive for any French player to be a part of. To be part of the squad would be amazing but there are loads of things to do first and the most important thing is Arsenal.
“If I play well here maybe I will get a chance for France, but the most important thing is Arsenal. As any French player would, though, you want to play for France and hopefully it can happen one day.
“It would be unbelievable. I won the Under-19 Euros and it was something unbelievable as well. To win the Euros with the French national team would be even more crazy. If I perform well here, maybe I will get the chance to play for France but I think the most important thing is to stay focused on Arsenal and then things will come along.
“To play in front of a home crowd in France would be unbelievable with the support of all the French people. We have to wait and see, and work hard, that’s the most important thing.”
Coquelin has already made a strong start to the season at club level. For me the Frenchman has been our best player of the first four Premier League games and his stats continue to be right up their with the best in Europe. But with a lot of competition for places in that central midfield role from players like Schneiderlin, Cabaye, Matuidi and Kondogbia, Coquelin will have to keep his standards very high to have a chance of playing in the tournament.
That can only be good for Arsenal though, as the player is aware of what needs to be done. Will he make it do you think?