Francis Coquelin said that his role at Arsenal was to get back possession and move it forward, and that hea s not needed offensively.
a Retrieve the ball and move it forward quickly,a explained Coquelin in an interview with Quest France and translated by Arseblog.
a Ia m hard to move [off the ball] and even if Ia m not huge, Ia m very relaxeda after all I just managed to beat Fellaini at Manchester United.
a If I do my job Ia m not really needed offensively. Not when wea ve got the likes of Sanchez, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck. Ia m just here to take a weight off those guys.a
Although Coquelin signed a new deal last month, he said he feared for his future seeing how the rest of his class had fared in football.
a I have to say, yes [I had doubts Ia d make it]a as recently as four months ago for that matter!
a When youa re young and you go abroad, you take a risk, especially when you come to Arsenal. At first I didna t want to go. I came for a week-long trial and saw the guys really slugging it out in training. In life you have to take risks though.
a Only two Gunners have made it from my generation, a side that won all the youth titles. Just Wilshere and me. Therea s also Gilles Sunu, who plays in France, but the others are all in the second and third divisions in England.
a Ia ve always had self confidence, my only regret at the time was not being able to show what I could do. It nearly happend, then I got my chance. If I had to leave tomorrow though, I wouldna t regret a thing.a
Ita s been a very long journey for Coquelin at Arsenal, and he says he never took any shortcuts during the entire time.
a Ia ve never cheated on the training front. At 16, when I needed to do cardio work alone, I did it. When youa re at the start as a footballer, you hate that. Then I stabilised my private life at a time when I really needed to do so. For a couple of years I was with someone who had children. It empowered me.
a Ia ve also taken all the positives from my season at Freiburg, even though it was a struggle. It was good to experience something else. You realise you have absolutely everything at Arsenal, I knew it already, but still. I kept my head on my shoulders, I knew where Ia d come from.
a I only played 16 matches [in Germany], and they made me play left or right midfield, which is not my joba but I worked so hard physically over there a 12 kilometre runs working on power in the forest, then in the afternoon split training, twelve 1000 metre sessions on the banks of the river.
a Ita s very strict and thorough in Germany. After training youa re forced to spend an hour helping your muscles recuperate. You work. Since then though Ia ve never been injured. In France, young people think theya ve made it too quickly.a