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Francis Coquelin for England?
The key to Arsenal's great form
Coquelin has been a crucial part in Arsenal's resurgence this season. Since being recalled from his brief loan spell at Charlton Athletic in December, Arsenal are top of the form league (see below) and boast the second best defensive record behind John Terry, sorry I meant Chelsea.
Arsene called him back initially to provide cover during an injury crisis which saw Ramsey, Flamini and Arteta sidelined. Now he is a key to the way Arsenal play. He sits in that 'anchorman' position, breaking up play brilliantly and has the composure to pick out the correct pass. Matic does it for Chelsea. Busquets for Barca. It's a key role in modern day football and many clubs struggle to find the right player to fit the mould.
At International Level
Francis Coquelin has played at every level for France from the Under 17's, right through to the under 21's but a call up to the national squad has evaded him thus far. He is still young though and it's pretty safe to say the French first team coach must be keeping an eye on his progress.
The problem Coquelin faces is the senior French team is inundated with established midfield players, which will make his task of muscling in all the more difficult. Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton knows this difficulty. After captaining the Under 18's international team and appearing at every youth team level he only made his international debut last season, at the age of 24.
Alongside Schneiderlin, there are a number of other players who can play that position, including Cabaye, Matuidi and M'Vila. All relatively young and all experienced at international level.
The senior England team is in a much publicised transitional period, with the last remaining 'golden generation' retiring after a bitterly disappointing world cup. One position we haven't been able to fill is that deep lying midfielder, that anchoring player that can reinforce the defensive line. Coquelin is perfect for that role.
Hodgson tends to favour either a midfield diamond or two holding midfielders with three attacking midfielders in front of them. Jordan Henderson, hotly tipped to be the next England captain, would hugely benefit a player like Coquelin supporting him in any formation Hodgson could choose.
Surely the FA need to consider approaching Coquelin about switching allegiances and playing for England? He could be just as important at international level with England as he currently is at Arsenal. It must be worth a try!?
Eligible to play?
Coquelin has been with Arsenal since 2008, which makes him eligible for British citizenship. Also, as he has only played for France at youth level, this makes him eligible to play for England according to the rules introduced by FIFA in 2004 - as long as he has a British passport.
So the question posed should be: 'Dose Coquelin want to play for England?'
Only he knows but I would love to find out!