Backpage roundup: Djourou still In Wenger’s plans, Coquelin’s ‘Play me or lose me’ threat, Sagna criticises English players and Baines linked with Arsenal

Djourou Still Has Arsenal Future – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has said that Johan Djourou still has a future at Arsenal despite the fact that the centre-half wanted to leave the club in the summer transfer window.

Djourou made just 14 first-team appearances for the Gunners last season and hasn’t featured at all in the club’s 2012/13 campaign. He was reportedly looking to leave Arsenal in search of more playing time last month and a few clubs were interested in recruiting him. However, he wasn’t able to seal his exit in time and now finds himself as the fourth-choice central defender at Emirates Stadium.

But Wenger isn’t annoyed that Djourou is still an Arsenal player. In fact, he says that it was him who blocked the Ivorian’s exit this summer.

In an interview with The Sun Sunday, Wenger said: “I didn’t let Djourou leave as I love him as a player, and he loves the club.”

 

Coquelin Gives ‘Play Me or Lose Me’ Ultimatum

Defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin has said that he wants to succeed at Arsenal but would want to leave the club in the winter transfer window if he isn’t given more playing time in the first half of the 2012/13 season.

The French starlet made 17 first-team appearances last season but hasn’t featured at all in the opening three matches of the new campaign despite the fact that he is the only true defensive midfielder available at Arsene Wenger’s disposal at the moment.

The summer sale of Alexandre Song had Coquelin dreaming of more game time but that situation has worsened instead of improving for the 21-year-old and it is starting to worry him a bit.

In a recent interview with French magazine L’Equipe, Coquelin said: “In July, I met the coach and he told me I am a full member of the team and he relies on me. Looking at who we have signed, they have trust in me. Alex Song left for Barcelona and they didn’t (sign) another defensive midfielder.

“When I didn’t play in the first three matches it made me think about it. But I know I will get an opportunity and I will seize it. Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla are great players, who have more experience than me. But during training sessions every morning I am not behind them.

“I am 21-years-old, I know I cannot be patient any more. This year is the right season to make a name for myself at Arsenal. I have given myself six months and then I will take stock. If I see it is blocked, I will go somewhere else. But for now I know I have the qualities to make a name for myself at Arsenal.”

 

Sagna Criticises English Players

France and Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna has criticised the attitude of English players and said that the things they do are a lot worse than the actions of the much-maligned French players.

Les Blues have received more than their fair share of criticism and punishment for some of their players’ conduct in recent tournaments but Sagna believes that his international teammates are like ‘saints’ compared to troublemakers in the England team.

In an interview with The Sun, Sagna reminded the critics of Wayne Rooney’s shameful outburst in front of the TV cameras and said: “I don’t understand why [the French are criticised]. When you look at the behaviour of English players who go up to cameras and say ‘F*** off!’, the French are saints.”

 

Baines Linked With January Move to Arsenal

The People claim that coach Arsene Wenger will try to sign Everton’s English left-back Leighton Baines in the winter transfer window.

The offensive-minded defender is rated at around £15million by the Toffees and has been a target of Manchester United for quite some time. However, the Red Devils signed Alex Buttner this summer and the lack of interest in Baines might force his current employers to drop his price a bit, and that’s where Wenger could swoop in.