By Joe Brewin

Francis Coquelin says that Arsenal’s youngsters look forward to Carling Cup ties more than any other game.

Arsène Wenger has traditionally used the competition to blood the Club’s rising stars in the first team and this season is no different.

The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emmanuel Frimpong and Ignasi Miquel were all used in the Third Round-victory over Shrewsbury Town last month and Coquelin says the cup provides the highlight of the year for his Arsenal peers.

“It is such a big competition,” he told Arsenal Player. “Arsène Wenger has been playing the young players for quite a long time.

“Maybe last year he played a stronger team but usually he plays young players so obviously all the younger players look forward to this competition for their debuts.

“This year we have started again and hopefully he will do it again. “

Coquelin has followed the likes of Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny into Wenger’s side in recent weeks while Frimpong has also made his mark since the start of the season. The duo were midfield partners in Arsenal’s victorious Youth Cup side in 2009 and he’d like to reprise their partnership at the top level.

“Obviously I would like to play alongside Emmanuel because I have been playing with him since I came to Arsenal,” said Coquelin.

“It was really great playing with him against Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup - it reminds me a bit of the FA Youth Cup. It might happen in the Premier League too but I don't know when.

“I would say he is more physical than me. He can run around a lot, he is strong in the challenge and he can win the ball back really quickly. I would say I am a bit more of a technical player.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
25 Oct 2011