Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has reiterated that he had to dig deep and display ultimate self-confidence in order to show the form which has come as a surprise to many.
On loan at Charlton and with his contract running out in May, Coquelin was nowhere near succeeding at the club, but his transformation has been astonishing. Brought back due to a injury crisis, Coquelin is now the first name on the team-sheet.
However it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Frenchman and he has revealed that his mental strength was tested and that self-belief was of paramount importance.
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“I never got the chance to have the run of games,” Coquelin told Arsenal.com.
“The manager gave it to me and I can show for the first time what I’m capable of.
“It’s not to be big-headed, but I’ve always had confidence in myself. I knew I could do good things and he’s given me the chance, so now I can show it.
“Every footballer has been asked questions. Sometimes you’re down, sometimes you’re up and you need to grab your chance when it comes. That’s what happened with me, I’m very happy with it and I’m trying to keep my place in the team.”
We lacked balance during the first half of the season and Arsene Wenger’s decision not to bring in a holding midfielder clearly backfired, but Coquelin has come in and at least showed what we’ve been missing since the departure of Gilberto Silva.