Laurent Koscielny insists that his focus is on improving at Arsenal and not on whether he will be selected by France for Euro 2012.
The French centre-back only spent a single season in the top flight with Lorient before making the switch to London and subsequently has a much lower profile back home than some of his contemporaries.
Despite his apparent disadvantage, the 26-year-old insists that he is pleased with his form this year which has seen him make 39 appearances for the Gunners.
“This [season] goes well for me,” he told French publication Le Parisien.
“I’ve been here two years. I know the players, the atmosphere and the opposing teams better. I can develop myself well in the field and to give the best for the team.
“I’m here to grow, helping Arsenal to finish in the top three and play Champions League next season. After, people will judge whether I deserve my place [at Euro 2012]. Everyone has an opinion, but I do not focus on what others think of me. I’m focused on my goal.”
Eric Abidal’s recent liver transplant looks likely to rule out the Barcelona man from the European Championships, but despite the prospect of an extra space being available in Laurent Blanc’s squad, Koscielny made clear he wants to earn his place for the right reasons, not be called-up as a de facto replacement.
“The coach will make his choice. I have always said that to be called-up, I must make especially good performances at club level. If I’m in the squad for the Euros, it will not be because of the absence of Eric (Abidal), but because I deserve it for my performances on the pitch.”
You can’t argue with that last statement. Amazing really that doubt lingers over the participation at Euro 2012 of not just Koscielny, but also Bacary Sagna. They play England in their first group game, a match which could potentially see them go head-to-head with Theo Walcott.
Cheers to @SiuFay for the heads up on the interview.