Francis Coquelin insists that playing time is more important to him than being played in his favoured position as he looks to consolidate his status as a first team squad member at Arsenal.
The young Frenchman is effectively first choice back-up to Mikel Arteta in the defensive midfield holding role, but despite the Spaniard’s bill of clean health has still found himself featuring in the centre of the park.
Looking back on his eight appearances so far this season, the 21-year-old told Arsenal Player he’s just happy to be on the pitch.
“I’m happy to get a few chances there [in midfield]. I enjoyed playing full back too last season, I will play anywhere, I just want to play. But I’m really pleased this season because midfield is what I enjoy most.”
While he’s so far garnered playing time in all three competitions, particularly impressing in the COC, the Coq made clear he is now used to being swapped in and out of proceedings.
“Well obviously it can be hard, when you have tasted the Premier League, and tasted the Champions League, you want to play every week.
“But that’s the same for every player, whether you are 17 or 32. I want to play every week. I’m a bit restricted because there are players ahead of me doing well, so I have to be patient, even though it’s hard, and when my time comes it’s up to me to show what I can do.
“I know if I perform well I’ll play. I think every time I’ve been selected this season I have done well, so hopefully there will be plenty more chances coming for me.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has reflected on the flat atmosphere at the Emirates in recent weeks and accepted it is the responsibility of his side to excite the crowd and not necessarily the other way round.
“We just have to play good games. The atmosphere comes from the team, not the fans, and we have to think like that,” Wenger said.
“The vibes come out with the quality of our game, the fans are behind the team. That is what is about us.
“I agree we had one or two flat games at home, especially against Schalke, even the game against QPR.
“I believe that it is down to the quality of our game – that is our responsibility.”