Coquelin: I needed a new challenge

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Francis Coquelin says the opportunity to test himself in a new environment proved to be a fundamental factor in his decision to draw time on his Arsenal career after a decade.

After falling out of favour at the Emirates the Frenchman swapped the Gunners for Valencia in a deal worth £12 million in January. Like Olivier Giroud, who departed in the same month, he maintains that he parted ways on good terms with manager Arsene Wenger.

“He’s someone I have a lot of respect for,” Coquelin said of Wenger in an interview with Clicanoo. “If I’m here in my career, it’s because of him. We left on good terms.”

On his reasons to leave, he went on: “It isn’t that easy when you’ve spent 10 years somewhere, but I needed a new challenge.

“You tend to get into a comfort zone when you stay several years in the same clubs.

“You try and challenge yourself, but it’s a bit harder. Here, I’m starting from scratch. It’s a new experience, a new training method, new teammates and a new environment.

“All that means I was thrilled by the project. There are interesting goals to accomplish. I’m focused on that.”

Would you believe it, having never scored for the Gunners, Coquelin only went and netted for Valencia against Malaga at the weekend? Interesting goals indeed!

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Pedant
Pedant

Too many of our players drift into a comfort zone, we can see this on the pitch.

They need to be challenged more so we see more improvements.

IamaGoober

Always felt Coquelin could’ve been a decent player for us had he actually had proper coaching on how to be a defensive midfielder, because as a ball winner he was quality, he just needed to work on his decision making and distribution from deep. I genuinely think he will make a decent career over in Spain. Good luck to him.

High gunner
High gunner

but isnt Wenger a good coach for improving players “decision making” and “distribution from deep”? Wengers defensive qualities on the other hand is another topic hahaha

COYG
COYG

We know why you are criticizing Coq.

Pedant
Pedant

We know why you need to go on a reading and thinking course (see my comment above, it isn’t specific to any player).

I’m still waiting for the apology Arseblog says you owe me on http://news.arseblog.com/2018/02/report-arsenal-to-visit-uganda-on-pre-season-tour/ for your totally unjustified accusation of racism.

Though it will require you to read and think about what I wrote, so might be too big a challenge for you given you haven’t understood my comment above.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Sorry COYG but you should really drop this. You’re wrong here

Greg
Greg

Wanker coyg

Rob67
Rob67

Hardly blame him can you ?

Gabriel is by all accounts, doing very well there too. He’s succeeding because he’s part of a defensive unit, that is coached as such. – (Sighs) -…..

Jack
Jack

If he was still here now he’d probably be getting a few games

John C
John C

Players and managers need to move around to keep things fresh. Only in very rare circumstances does spending a career in the same place work and even then there tends to be either a turnover of managers for it to work for players or vice versa for a manager.

Even at Utd under SAF only Gary Neville, Giggs and Scholes spent their whole careers under him. Beckham, Butt, and P. Neville amongst others were all sold. Top players were sold in their prime and replaced with new like Stam, Ince and RVN to name but 3. Backroom staff were regularly changed.

At Arsenal it’s become far too stale, the manager should have moved on or at the least moved players on far quicker, whether they were too old or just not good enough. It’s now going to take several years when the club should have been in a constant state of evolution managing this situation.

Rogerbij
Rogerbij

Im a big fan of keeping the players on their toes, like Coq says it gets harder to challenge yourself and you need to keep things fresh. Fergie used to buy 3 quality players every season, probably with the hope that 2/3 would be a hit. That made sure those in the squad were always fighting for a place, or they were out. Ive sometimes thought that 3 is the magic number, certainly I did the season we bought no outfield players!

John C
John C

I’ve always said if you buy 3 a year that leads to a complete rotation of a 24 man squad every 8 years and hopefully preserves a winning mentality and culture within the club if done correctly.

What Wenger has done in the last 10 years is show exactly how not to do it, this Arsenal side does not share in any respects the mentality or culture our winning sides of the early 2000’s had.

BenG
BenG

Every interview with a former player highlights the problem. They all say ‘we got into a comfort zone’, this is the managers fault, who also has been in a comfort zone for the past 10 years.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Who is allowing the manager to be in a comfort zone? I think that is probably the bigger problem…succeed or fail he knows he has his job and is the one allowed to decide if he leaves or not!

HopelessGooner
HopelessGooner

“Who is allowing the manager to be in a comfort zone?”
Although I’m gonna get a lot of hate for this but the answer to your question is the supporters of the club who willingly for many years now kept accepting, supporting and paying a lot of money for mediocrity and a top 4 (now top 6) prize..
And as far as the owner’s concern it’s not broken so why fix it..in other words owning Arsenal is a great business (the money keeps flowing no matter what happens so why fire wenger)

HopelessGooner
HopelessGooner

You’ll know how desperate we became when you realize that Ivan (who was appointed by a panel included Wenger) is the only one the supporters put faith on for change in this Club

hahahaha

On a similar note. I think we should go and get Doucoure. He says he wants to play for us. And I think he really is going to thrive in a big team. We missed out on Kante. It would hurt just as much if we miss out on him.

GoonerGeoffers
GoonerGeoffers

Generally one needs a new challenge once they have achieved all they can…

GoonerGeoffers
GoonerGeoffers

Not when they are not being challenged at all ?

renaissancerosicky
renaissancerosicky

Tbh that’s precisely when you need a new challenge. When the place you’re at simply isn’t challenging you. All Coq could aspire to here was to get into the team ahead of… Xhaka? Mailtand Niles? Elneny? He gets into the team ahead of that hollywood pass liability anyday for me. Elneny of course hasn’t earned wenger’s favour, and Maitland niles is used sparingly. And despite this Coq wasn’t making the teamsheet.

A move was probably the best step.

Squiggle
Squiggle

I wish we could have seen more from the Cazorla-Coquelin partnership.

I’m glad FC found a good club. Some people said he wasn’t good enough for Arsenal; now he’s fitting in well at one of Spain’s three non-RM/Barca big clubs, currently sitting third in their league.

shokim
shokim

Ten years as a Gunner and our Coq did not score for us. Joins Valencia and he finds the net not long after… What gives?! But happy that he has found a new challenge.

John C
John C

I think what’s more worrying is that Batshuayi has scored 5 goals in 4 games for Dortmund, maybe we have to reassess what we might expect from Aubameyang?!

shaka
shaka

i wonder if what we are seeing is that slowly all players loyal to Arsene are being eased out. Szcz, Giroud, Coquelin, Theo, Gibbs etc…. and maybe Wenger is also making a point, that these players are really good, and when they go elswewhere, they perform at a pretty high level. Better than some of the players we were encouraged to spend some F..king Money on.

Seriously…Isnt Szcz better than Ospina, Giroud better than Welbeck, Coquelin better than Xhaka, Theo better than any winger ( oh we dont have any), Gibbs better than Kolasinac? Next to leave are probably Jack and Ramsey.

shaka
shaka

i really feel sad when a long term gunner boy leaves.

Gibbs hurt a lot, and so did Coquelin. Having watched them grow up.

I would prefer to keep our boys than have a store bought team, even if it means being less successful.

Wenger could do the job with Song Denilson etc…..I do feel inhouse talent which has grown up with the quick passing is better for Wengerball.

Anthony
Anthony

I think in some cases buying in the talent has inhibited us.

When you sign a player for £35m-60m pay them in the hundreds of thousands per week, it’s almost expected that the team looks to that person as the one to carry them. Similarly, that person almost expects to be the game changer.

It works for a while maybe, but then things go stale. Because bringing in one mega money player every 2 to 3 years isn’t enough as those players expect more than their getting from their team mates.

When we look at that team, Song Denilson Cesc they weren’t mega money buys, they’d all come to us young, and for their flaws they played some beautiful football.

That 30odd yard pass from Song to RvP which he took a mid air volley and scored against Everton was sublime. Reminded me of that pass that Bergkamp plucked from the air against Argentina – even if Dennis’ was better 🙂

While there was something missing from that group of players – a Mertesacker perhaps – and they didn’t win any trophies, albeit the cup finals against Birmingham and Chelsea being missed opportunities, the football they played was sensational at times.

Hopefully we can rediscover some of that fluidity coupled with are more recent cup successes to turn this season into a bit more of a success. I’d certainly take a Carabao and Europa League win!

lari03
lari03

Yes, good move. He was the player with the highest performance rating over the weekend according to the guardian la liga team of the week.