Coquelin on quitting tennis for football, explains why he’s happy at Arsenal
Written by Renzo on November 10, 2011 23:30
Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin revealed that football was not his primary sport as a child as tennis was the one he used to practice.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, the Frenchman explained that it was his cousin who talked him into making the switch after he asked him to join the same training club with Coquelin honestly admitting that in the beginning he only considered football as a hobby as he wasn’t one of the best in the group.
Now at Arsenal, the 20-year old also explained that a young player simply cannot say “no” when the Gunners make an approach as he described the North London club as one of the biggest in the world and one where players should be proud to be part of.
Coquelin had a bizarre start to his season as he was forced into the starting eleven when the Gunners travelled to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and was also involved in the 2-1 North London Derby defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, last month, with the youngster impressing in both games.
On his early days, the Frenchman said:
First of all I didn’t want to play football, I was playing football but just inside my house and outside my house with my friends.
I was playing tennis, then one day my cousin said to me, ‘You should join the club, it’s really good, it’s fun’, so I just thought, ‘Yeah, let’s go and try it’ and I loved it and kept playing until now.
I’m not going to lie, at the beginning I was alright but I wasn’t great and I was a bit chubby as well so I was playing for fun.
I only realised [that I could be a professional] when I was 14 and the best club in my area scouted me.
I remember everything [of when I joined Arsenal], I was a bit scared obviously, having lived in France, I was only 17, I was young.
But still I don’t regret anything, I’m pleased with everything that happened.
When I was, maybe, ten years old, I asked for an Arsenal shirt as a Christmas present with my name on it.
And now I’m playing, I don’t know if God helped me or something but when Arsenal come you can’t say no.
I got back from Lorient where I was playing a lot so I think it’s crucial that I can settle in the dressing room now.
I will try to fight for a first team place. I have to keep focused, keep training hard and give 100 per cent every chance I can get.
Then I have to grab it and show that I can play. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world so to be part of it is just crazy. It’s unbelievable.
Every day I wake up I am happy because I come from a small town and now I am at Arsenal.
It’s great for me and sometimes I just don’t realise it. I just enjoy every day.