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 Sport Stories

Alex Pritchard in action for England Under-21s

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Pritchard was pleased to make his return from injury and get his first appearance under Mauricio Pochettino against Everton on Saturday.

Eric Dier:

Tottenham’s Eric Dier has been pleased with his performances in his new role as a holding midfielder, but he admits he doesn’t know if Mauricio Pochettino will continue to play him there.

Harry Kane ran clean through on goal in the first half but saw his shot saved

Tottenham were left to rue some wasteful finishing as they were held to a goalless draw against Everton in an entertaining encounter at White Hart Lane.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Mauricio Pochettino has urged his player to focus and cut out the errors that have undermined their start to the season

Mauricio Pochettino says basic defensive errors are to blame for Tottenham’s slow start to the season – not their tardiness in finishing their transfer business.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder