By Chris Harris

Francis Coquelin believes he will make a better impression if he gets another first-team chance - because he would have learned his new position by then.

The 18-year-old arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2008 as a central midfielder and won the Youth Cup playing in that role, but in recent months he has been switched to right back, making the opposite journey to another young Gunner, Craig Eastmond.

Coquelin endured a baptism of fire in his new position when he was plunged into an FA Cup tie at Stoke in January - Arsenal lost 3-1 and the Frenchman was criticised in some quarters. Coquelin admits he found it hard at the Britannia Stadium but insists he will prove his quality when he has had more time to understand the demands of his new role.

"It was a hard game for me, it was my first game [in the first team] since West Brom and I hadn't really played right back before," Coquelin told Arsenal TV Online.

"I played a few times in training at right back but in a proper game I had been playing in midfield so there was a big difference in my position. There is a big difference as well between Reserve League football and the first team so it was a hard game for me and next time I hope I will do better. Maybe the fans did not know it was my first game in that position.

"It is good to be versatile because I can play right back and midfield now. Arsenal gave me a chance at right back and they think I can play in that position so I am learning it and I hope it will pay off."

Subscribers can now watch our exclusive interview with Francis from after the last Reserve League game against Chelsea. He discussed:

  • a good result for the second string
  • his first 18 months in England
  • learning a new culture and language
  • his progress so far
  • the advice Arsène Wenger gave him
  • what he needs to improve
  • playing at right back in the FA Cup
  • his hopes for the future

Subscribers can watch the interview in full now.

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2 Mar 2010