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Arsenal’s Coquelin glad to provide the balance in Gunners midfield

Arsenal’s Coquelin glad to provide the balance in Gunners midfield
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Francis Coquelin is happy to remain an unlikely vital cog in Arsene Wenger’s lineup.

Arsenal recalled Coquelin from his loan at Charlton earlier this season, and the Frenchman hasn’t looked back, playing the role of the defensive midfield enforcer that the Gunners had been crying out for.

He excelled once again against Leicester City on Tuesday evening, as Arsenal leapt back above North London rivals Spurs and into the top four.

With the vast array of attacking talent for the Emirates outfit, Coquelin acknowledges that his role is an important one, and says he has no problems with instructing the likes of Cazorla and Sanchez to get back and defend when required.

He said: “If it needs to be said, I am the one who is saying it. Everyone can tell each other off, so that is a good thing.

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“We are all fighting for each other and the spirit is good in the team, so everyone can say what they think.

“With every player we have got going forward, you need a man with a defensive mind as well.

“If I can give the team a good balance – because we have got quite a few players going forward – hopefully we can get back to keeping clean sheets soon.”

Coquelin realises that retaining their place in the Champions League is imperative, but hasn’t given up all hope of launching a late title charge.

“The most important thing is for us to get into the top four next season,” he continued.

“It is going to be hard for us to win the title as Chelsea are quite far ahead, (but) if we stay consistent and keep winning games, you never know what can happen.

“I always had confidence in myself, so I knew I could do big things. Arsenal are a big club with quality players so when you get a chance you have to take it and show what you can do.

“It took a bit of time for me, but in the end I got my chance and I am just trying to do my best for the team.”

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