Search

Euro 2012: Arsenal star could get surprise call-up for France v England

12:34 11 June 2012

Laurent Koscielny, France

Laurent Koscielny, France

EMPICS Sport

Laurent Koscielny may replace Philippe Mexes at the back for Les Bleus

Laurent Koscielny has admitted that he owes his call-up to the France squad to Arsene Wenger as the Gunners defender prepares to face England in the Group D opener in Donetsk.

Koscielny was uncapped by France when he signed for the Gunners two years ago and was considering playing for Poland, the birthplace of his grandfather.

But the Arsenal centre-back was called into the France squad at the end of his first seasonat the Emirates, made his senior debut back in November and won his fourth cap against Estonia last week.

And the 26-year-old said this week: “Nobody can doubt that I have improved as a footballer since I have been at Arsenal.

“I am clearly noticing that and it’s a personal effort with the help of the manager. For me, Wenger has been a key person in my life because of the opportunity he gave me. I will always be grateful to him.

“At Arsenal I have grown physically and mentally. The media pressure and environment is very different in France and England, as well as the game itself. I don’t know where I would be now if I had stayed in the French league. Perhaps I wouldn’t be in the reckoning for the national team.”

Injury to Tottenham’s Younes Kaboul and the poor form of Philippe Mexes has even raised the possibility of Koscielny starting against England in Donetsk, with a possible match-up against his Arsenal team-mates Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“The game against England is the worst way of starting the tournament, but the draw decided it like that and we have to approach it with the aim of winning the three points,’ said Koscielny.

“I know all of the rival players, but I hope neither Theo [Walcott] nor Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain] have their day. I hope they qualify afterwards, but only after France win this one.”

0 comments

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 17:14
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Although they spurned the chance to win the league title, Arsenal Under-21s still have a chance to reach the top tier of second-string football via the play-offs.

Yesterday, 13:15
James Harris in action for Middlesex

Middlesex seamer James Harris feels squad rotation is essential if the club are to successfully negotiate a punishing schedule during the coming weeks.

Yesterday, 12:16
Local league players and officials at Market Road with coaches Sarah Cleary (right, front row) and Natasha Ademakinwa (second from right, back row).

Female coaches are backing a campaign to give Islington girls what they never had – a genuine opportunity to play competitive football in the borough.

Wed, 16:59
Islington & Camden Under-15s

Islington & Camden Under-15s gained revenge for their English Schools Trophy defeat as they won 3-2 at Barnet and clinched the Middlesex championship with two games to spare.

Wed, 15:53
Islington CC cyclists in action

Islington Cycling Club plan to celebrate their third birthday and continue their expansion by establishing a junior section later this year.

Wed, 15:49
The Veras Academy squad at the EKF National Championships. Back row, left to right: Sensei Alton Brown, Sam Mrabet, Sensei Raphael Veras. Front row (l-r): Luan  Veras, Seyhan Cinar, Liam Veras, Luca Veras.

Islington-based Veras Academy secured a total haul of 10 medals – including one gold – at the English Karate Federation National Championships in Sheffield.

Wed, 12:34
Arsenal Ladies' Leah Williamson

Leah Williamson has dismissed suggestions that Chelsea’s league victory over the Gunners will give them a psychological advantage when the teams clash again at Wembley.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino admits ‘the gap is big’ between his Tottenham side and Leicester but says they mustn’t give up on their fading Premier League title hopes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe