'I can give balance to the team'

By Connor Armstrong

With 18 appearances under his belt so far this season and with just one of those coming from the substitutes bench, it’s impossible to dispute Francis Coquelin’s status as a first-team regular.

But why is the Frenchman so consistently named in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI?

Francis feels that he is capable of offering something extra to a squad already laden with flair players.

"I don’t take anything for granted," he said. "Obviously we’ve got a massive squad with lots of quality players, so I’m trying to do my best every time I’m out there on the pitch.

"At the minute I’m the one starting quite a lot of games, but you never know, maybe tomorrow it can be someone else.

"The most important thing is that the team perform and get the points and if it’s me, perfect, and if it’s someone else, so long as it does the job - that’s the most important thing.

"I think defensively I’m probably the most defensive-minded player in the middle, so if I can give the balance to the team then that’s what I’m trying to do. Hopefully I can carry on doing that in the coming games."

With another crucial fixture edging ever nearer, Francis hopes to be given the opportunity to start once again on Sunday and spread some festive cheer among the supporters.

“I think it’s going to be what all footballers dream about," he said. "It’s a massive game. It’s going to be on every TV in the world as well, so hopefully we can give great pleasure to the fans and hopefully the result will go our way."


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