Debuchy backs Arsenal to regain top form

Despite his great optimism, Debuchy couldn’t help but admire the quality of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.

By Rituraj Borkakoty (reporter/chief Sub Editor)

Published: Sat 15 Nov 2014, 12:29 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 10:44 PM

Dubai: During his time at Newcastle United, Mathieu Debuchy was good enough to make heads turn. The Frenchman’s fine form at the right back position for The Toons eventually convinced his illustrious compatriot Arsene Wenger to make him one of Arsenal’s top summer signings along with the dazzling Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal’s French defender Mathieu Debuchy with students of Arsenal Soccer Schools at the Sevens. — KT photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Having played a key role in France’s impressive World Cup campaign in which they lost to eventual winners Germany 1-0 in the quarters, the 29-year-old Debuchy arrived at the Emirates Stadium in July this year with the aim of taking the next big step in his playing career. He got off to a flying start as the Gunners stunned league champions Manchester City 3-0 to take home the Community Shield title in August. But the former Lille player suffered a horrible ankle injury after making just four Premier League and two Champions League appearances for Arsenal and was ruled out for three months.

“There is a huge sense of pride when you sign for Arsenal, so obviously it’s frustrating now to see the team from the stands. But it only makes me more determined to make a strong comeback and help the team achieve its goals,” the affable Frenchman told us after holding a soccer clinic at the Arsenal Soccer Schools at The Sevenson Friday.

“Now I am much better. I work out everyday with the physio and hopefully I will be back in full training in December.I can’t wait to be back on the pitch.”

Surprisingly, Arsneal’s lack of consistency in the new Premier League season doesn’t worry Debuchy. “There have been a few injuries. After the international break, we hope to comeback stronger,” said Debuchy whose team now find themselves at the seventh position – 12 points behind leaders Chelsea — in the league after 11 games.

Does he still believe Arsenal can challenge for the big titles this season? “You come to a big club like Arsenal because you want to win titles. Yes, I still believe Arsenal can win titles this season,” he said.

Despite his great optimism, Debuchy couldn’t help but admire the quality of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. “They have a very strong team with some very good players. They have played some great football this season. But I hope that our team would get back to the best form soon.”

The versatile player, who began his career as a deep-lying playmaker, believes the French national team have now the erased the ghost of many embarrassing episodes that had tarnished the image of their football in recent years.

“Those things (the ugly spat between players and then coach Raymond Domenech at the 2010 World Cup, Patrice Evra and Samir Nasri’s foul-mouthed rants at former French internationals and journalists) are now behind us. We are only looking ahead with a team full of very good players. Now when we play at the Stade de France in Paris, the atmosphere is very encouraging. The French people have begun to love their national team again. Maybe we can say it’s the start of a new era,” he said.

With France hosting the Euro 2016, Debuchy expects great things. “Having played very well in the World Cup, we are excited about the 2016 Euro. The team is progressing well.We have some very good young players. Paul Pogba is one of them. He is a great talent. In fact, Paul can become one of the best players in the world in future. So with players like him in the team we have a good chance of winning the event in front of our home fans.”

Debuchy believes Zinedine Zidane — the architect of France’s 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs –– can one day become the national coach. “Yes he (Zidane) can definitely take that position in future. But right now our coach is Didier Deschamps and he is doing a fantastic job.”

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