Absence made comfy Coq grow stronger

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Francis Coquelin believes his loan spells at Lorient and Freiburg helped him build on the education he received at Arsenal by forcing him to operate outside his comfort zone.

Eager for his compatriot to gain first team experience, Arsene Wenger sent the French midfielder to Ligue 1 in 2010/11 and onto the Bundesliga in 2013/14 before a short period at Charlton, in late 2014, prompted a renaissance that has seen Coquelin retain a first team place ever since.

Reflecting on his time away from the club, the 24-year-old outlined the importance of experiencing a different environment after spending his formative years in the Gunners Academy.

“It was a great learning experience, Arsenal is a great club – a massive club,” he told The Mirror. “But you are kind of in a comfort zone as it is such a big club, you have all the facilities.

“To go away, go abroad and see a different culture and different football helped me a lot and I came back stronger.

“I always had belief in myself, I didn’t think it would happen that quickly as I was on loan quite a few times but when I went back I always had my belief.

“When the manager gave me my chance I grabbed it with both hands and just did the maximum I could to help the team.”

Coquelin also reserved praise for Arsene Wenger, a manager who has built his career on giving young players the chance to prove themselves at the highest level.

“He’s a great manager. He’s won everything and he always goes for younger players which is why I came here. He’s not scared to play younger players.

“It’s massive when you know the manager has your back and confidence in you. It’s a big thing and every time I play I want to give something back to him because he gave me my chance.

“Now I want to do really well for Arsenal.”

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SG_Gooner

abstinence made our coq harder

Nasri's missing chinbone

Reading this makes me love the coq even more than I already do.

There’s a sentence I never thought I would type.

Bould's Eyeliner

You have always loved coq. But now you have come out and shouted it to the (Arsenal) world. Well done.

Merlin's Panini

Someone should make a tshirt of that:
I ♥ COQ

in the style of I ♥ NY

He is Well Beck Now!

I won’t mind my Coq to go through the same level of Renaissance.

IamaGoober

Missed this guy so much over the last few months.

No disrespect to the Flamster, as lets face it, he has done his bit for the side, and considering his limitations as a player, I think he has done a fantastic job and if we win the league this year – I think a lot of it will be down to him.

Hopefully Le Coq gets up to speed quickly as we have lots of tough games coming up.

locksley444

Agree that flam did well, but ask yourself if another good DM signing would not have done the same and more even. If(and we’re not in pole position even) we win the season, a lot of it is not down to the flam. It’s not like we conceded at the same rate as with Coq in the side or had the same win percentage even.Flam did his best, but I’ll still be pointing to coq’s injury layoff period and thinking we could’ve probably picked up some more points then.

IamaGoober

I totally agree, Arsene should of got centre mid over the summer, who was as good as Le Coq and let them battle it out for a first team spot.. but as we all know, he didn’t do it, so all things considered, I think the Flamster has done pretty well for us.

H

If he becomes a club legend maybe they can erect a Coq outside the Emirates in his honour.

sanogo's missed kick

It’ll have to happen after the climax of his career.

H

Nobody would want the Coq to come too soon.

Thierry Bergkamp

These are so boring now

Merlin's Panini

no, they’re not. They never will(y) be.

Stefanos the little.

It’s a little coqie to assume you can speak for all of us.

the only sam is nelson

boring? Poppycoq!

Midwest Gooner

Did he say, “grabbed it with both hands?”

`

Sorry you’re tired of it. I guess it’s just too much for you to handle, eh?

ManeEth

Beast

shokim

I was very glad Coq came back to Arsenal and established himself in our midfield.

Our other loanees can take a leaf out of his book and learn from him.

Bubblegum

Always good to have a Coq ready to perform when required.

TheArseAndAll

I’m waiting for a by the numbers comparing le Coq with David Goodwillie.

Patrik Ljungberg

Or with Tony Woodcock.

jimbo1

or Willy Young

Goonerpanda

If we win against Barcelona, would it be a good idea to get 34 tattooed above my groin area?

racosin

lol..will be funny. but bad idea!

Merlin's Panini

“I grabbed it with both hands and just did the maximum I could… which is why I came here”

ahem.

dpro

“It’s massive…. It’s a big thing….” Coq of the class.

Trezy

Wenger hasn’t won the ucl and uefa cup. Otherwise, great comments from Coquelin.
Good to see him back.

Andy Mack

Well done to Coquelin for putting in the graft. Far too many Fifa manager ‘supporters’ really don’t appreciate the size of the ‘step up’ required to play top class football in front of thousands of fans. I’ve even seen some complete dickheads saying that if a player isn’t successful at 19 then he’ll never make it… What crap. Hopefully Afobe does well with Bournemouth and if he does then it will largely be because he got ‘learning’ game-time when we couldn’t give him. The guys out on loan now need to appreciate the opportunity and make the most of it… Read more »

Mike

He’s not won everything. He’s lost in every major final that’s true.

Pearson

“every major final” care to be specific? Was it one or two?
Does the FA Cup count?

Thierry Bergkamp

What he said is true. League cup, FA cup, Uefa cup and Champs League. So, while he’s won a few, he has ost in every major final.

Pomasi

What’s more true about Wenger he gave your name. Our beloved Henry was below average before joining us. You can go to your sp*rs blog then.

Trez

Actually, yes it does.
Then again, it’s a crime to point out anything that makes Wenger look bad according to some.

Zippit

It’s not a crime but it is pretty fucking dull. There’s a site called le grove where its universally welcomed. Head on over there for some like minded whinging.

Trezy

Unless your name is blogs or you’re his son or you own this site, you have no right to tell me where I should go or what I should say.
If Blogs had your mentality, this site wouldn’t be the best Arsenal forum there is.

Seeing Sounds

Objectively he has not won everything. I know this is an Arsenal dedicated page but let’s not turn a blind eye to such things. Arsene is an exceptional manager in every way but saying he has won everything is speaking against plain facts. But neither has he lost every major final. As I am sure you have noticed players speak in such terms of mangers or colleagues. Too often we see in the media “articles” saying Zidane says Ronaldo is the best player in the world. Of course he does and I don’t need to explain you the logic. Claims… Read more »

Trezy

Someone talking with sense, unlike the other guy who probably clears cookies to thumb people down for being “too negative” even if its true or fact.

Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

Coq has become a firm favourite.

Jack Wheelchair

Ohhhhhh…Coq/Cock…I get it now.

Possession

He’s a hard fucker…

naijagooner

I love this guy mainly because he’s got the grit and tenacity that I want to see more of in the squad. Players who are willing to get down and dirty if required. Hope he goes on to become a legend like Gilberto.

AntiSpud

And plenty of posters here wanted to break the bank for sami khadira ( no idea what happened to him). Maureen would definitely. This makes you think hunmmmm. There is definitely an idiot somewhere

Trez

Khedira has been performing well at Juve. Matter of fact, we could do with someone like him in our team

Woolwich Peripatetic

Love this guy but trying to get my head around how Lorient can possibly be a foreign culture for him?

kaius

“Foreign” can be used to described something other than a nationality – he means the club culture at Lorient was different to what he’d experienced at Arsenal.

James - yellow and blue and red and white - F

The french word for foreign – etrange – also means strange or different. The concepts are more related in french. All he was saying I suspect that he benefited from the change.

Evang. Simon

He can only get better with time…. Stay fit till the end of the season please… We really need everybody fit and firing from all cylinder

Okponesip004

I remember years back when he was always so impatient, always complaining that he be played in his preferred position or be allowed to leave. I guess the eye opener for him was when he went to smaller clubs and still couldn’t get proper game time especially in Germany where the little games he had was in right midfield . It made him realise some things weren’t just that easy. First thought that came to me when he was about to be substituted on Sunday was that he will react badly like when he was young but no, he didn’t..… Read more »

Tarquin Farquar

He nearly lost us the game Sunday when he began pushing mahrez. He lost his head. Sometimes the coq needs head.

Sammy P

To be fair he’s one of the main reasons we are still in a fighting position in the league so I think we can excuse him of is one bad game this season.

Arsene's zip

Yeah, he shouldn’t have reacted like that, but I think it’s fucking awesome that we have players with passion in the team. Him and Gabriel make us harder against teams that try to get in the face of our physically weaker players.

ClockEndRider

Find it difficult to focus on him trying to get a player off the pitch who was moving at a glacial pace quite deliberately while the referee openly connived. It is interesting that you focus on this point rather than his plus points or that it wasn’t Coquelin who tried to take another players leg off.
Some perspective please rather than just parroting whatever partial, halfwitted nonsense this weeks skint and happy-to-say-anything-for-a-few-bob ex footballer pundits on MOTD say.

kaius

Well said. Perspective please!

Tarquin Farquar

Straight over your head. Will dumb it down next time.

kaius

Most of the Coq jokes are just that, jokes. But you used yours to criticise him as well? Allow me to use this to make a couple of points. Make no mistake about it, if Coquelin had been carded for that while on a yellow, it would be more a reflection of a ref failing to manage a big game occasion, than any fault of Coquelin. We’ve seen a referee do something similar to Theo this season after his number came up. He didn’t like it much either, but unlike Mahrez’ petulant reaction, Theo just clapped the crowd and kept… Read more »

Hashtag

The ref was already showing himself to be card happy, the sending off of Simpson was soft, and Coquelin was already on a yellow card. Sure we want to see passion, but too often the refs are looking for an opportunity to be the star of the show, or pehaps he was looking to even things up, so don’t give them the opportunity! I love Coq, and Sunday is the perfect example of why we all watch football (still buzzing when I think about the goal), but it could have been very different if that Mahrez / Coquelin encounter had… Read more »

Andy Mack

The Simpson sending off wasn’t soft. He’s spent the 1st half kicking the shit out of any Arsenal player near him. His 1st yellow should have been for persistent fouling.

kaius

Hashtag, Coquelin was on a yellow and he had to be careful to stay within the limits of the rules. In my opinion he did that, and the “card-happy” ref agreed, or he’d have been off. The incident didn’t “boil over” so there’s nothing to excuse Coquelin for with that particular incident – there’s no precedent for penalizing a player for that. You said “you can’t defend Coquelin just by saying it’s up to referees to get it right”. That is literally the job of referees. The Stamford Bridge incident, like the RVP incident in Barcelona were ISOLATED incidents, so… Read more »

kaius

Hashtag… are you saying Gabriel at Stamford Bridge happens “very often”? No, it doesn’t happen very often. Still wouldn’t be the player’s fault if it did; a wrong decision, is a wrong decision.

Save those “stupid” criticisms for actions that ACTUALLY cost games – such as Eboue’s intervention at Anfield.

kaius

Not having any slander against either Coquelin or Gabriel. It’s as if people don’t see the multiple incidents our opponents get away with on a weekly basis. Gabriel was exonerated by the FA, and Coquelin is not Coquelin unless he’s playing on the edge. These games are gonna get much rougher from here on in, and we’ll expect our players to stand up and be counted so let’s support them fellas.

Pomasi

How is it a bad decision when he is just telling a “blind” your name is on the board and I have never seen a yellow card been given for that.

chechen rebel

Previosly, the coq didn’t have staying powers when he shuffled to france then germany then charlton. Now he has staying pewer and lasts 90 minutes

Stillmatic

This Coq is such a tough, aggressive and perfect fit in our beloved Arse.

Bosc:minister of defence

A Coq is always welcome in the Arse

Naija Gunner

Bkimey!

Naija Gunner

Blimey! Thats too bloody [email protected]

Jaywon

I loved the way he pushed mahrez to get off d pitch quickly even if it cld be dangerous as he was already on a yellow card but I can hardly remember a player being yellow-carded for such offence.

Paul

Is Elneny ever going to play again?? Or was he bought purely as a backup to Coq?

Andy Mack

It’s his first half season. He’s still trying to fit in. Give him some time man.

Paul

Not blaming him for not being played…just asking a question… “Man”

Ozdrexler

I suspect he will get a decent run in the match against Hull.

True Red

No need to rush him into the team. Integrate him into the Arsenal way first. I think he’ll get a start on Saturday or at least an appearance off the bench

Zippit

At first the coq didn’t fit. But he pushed hard and now he’s filled a gaping hole in the middle.

Zippit

And on that note, there’ll be no more coq jokes from me!

Merlin's Panini

In unrelated news I’ve just seen Rooney is out for up to two months. That’s one less diving cheating fat potato head to worry about when we play United in the league then. We should really smash them again given we’ll most likely have Santi back plus Alexis may have found form by then too.

We just need something similar to happen to Kane and Aguero and the league is as good as ours.

Jack4343

Stories like this just add to my you of him being out there. His work rate and love of this club was the deciding reason that I proudly wear his name and number on the back of my Arsenal jersey. Well done Coq!

Mr.Wood

Anyone competing with him for a place in the starting lineup has some stiff competition!

bonkers

Grabbed it with both hands you say? Quite the Coq we have

dholio

I love Coq but if Leicester are going to be gutted up in the summer similar to how Southampton has been for the past few years, then can we make a cheeky bid for Kante? Imagine Kante and Coq dueling it out for the DM position or maybe even the two of them playing together for extra security? If it’s an option in the summer Id take him over Vardy and Mahrez.

uncle D

So many…..Coq suckers here!!

Jos Boy

Why do I feel like I’ve read this exact article before? Deja vu?