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.”

Live Blog Transfer Window Live July 25

 

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Arsenal Quizzes

Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more

Arsenal Transfer News