Francis Coquelin has described his first training session at Arsenal, and claims it was like “war”, as reported by the Daily Star.
Coquelin has been phenomenal over the last season and a half, and has quickly become one of the most important players in our side. He didn’t always look like breaking into the Arsenal team however, and things could have been very, very different for the young Frenchman.
In a recent interview, Coquelin has spoken about his first training session with the club, and talks about how different it was from anything else he’d experienced.
He recalls seeing two players fighting, and reveals that he had a fight with legendary Arsenal shot-stopper Jens Lehmann.
“When I left Arsenal I wasn’t sure whether I would come back,” he told the Arsenal Magazine (via the Star).
“I remember my first training session with the first team and it was war. I said to the boss at the door when I left, ‘This is different!’
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“I remember seeing two players fighting in training, and I had an argument with Jens Lehmann as well and I was thinking, ‘Wow, where am I?’
“Two weeks later we had the European Under-17 Championship and I was more worried about whether I would be alright to play in that [than whether I would get a deal].”
Thankfully Coquelin was offered a deal, and after a number of difficult years at the club managed to break into the starting XI. He doesn’t look like relinquishing his grip on that spot anytime soon, and while we are badly in need of reinforcements in that area, it’s hard to see any player coming in and displacing the 24-year-old.
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Hopefully he remains injury free this season, and continues to have a massive impact with his phenomenal improvement.