It all started on July 7th 2010. Laurent Koscielny was announced as an Arsenal player, Arsenal paying around £11 million for the centre back. Koscielny’s journey at Arsenal started off in the most Arsenal fashion, blowing hot and cold; sometimes performing match winning tackles and scoring vital goals: One to secure a top 4 finish vs West Brom and a semi final winner vs Ipswich. Other times, however Koscielny gained a reputation over his first two seasons for getting unnecessarily sent off and scoring own goals.
However over the course of his 9 years at Arsenal Koscielny has managed to: Play 353 times for Arsenal (255 in the Premier League), score 27 (22 in the Premier League), keep 90 Premier League clean sheets, play in 2 FA Cup finals, scoring in 1, winning both, win 2 Community Shields and finish in the Europa League team of the season 2018/19 captaining Arsenal to the final.
On the subject of last season, the reason why Koscielny is considered a martyr to the club by many is because of the way he returned to action at the start of the season just gone
Coming back from rupturing his achilles tendon and getting back to full fitness in late November, Koscielny fought for the badge playing through pain, in a makeshift defense missing Bellerin through injury and with calamity prone Mustafi. Adding to this Koscielny was arguably Arsenal’s best defender, this might not have been the biggest achievement considering how bad Arsenal had been at the back but either way Arsenal’s most senior player managed to outperform other centre backs. This included a vital goal in Arsenal’s 2-0 home win over Chelsea.
On paper Koscielny should go down as an Arsenal legend of the Emirates era. Its clear to see however why there are mixed opinions on whether Koscielny deserves the status of an Emirates era legend.
One of these concerns is that Koscielny has had a tendency to get bullied by more physical strikers. This is because Koscielny isn’t the most physical defender. Not known for his height or stature, over the years strikers such as: Lukaku, Benteke and Torres have been known to bully the french defender. The reason for this is Koscielny due to his lack of physicality bases his game around his clever reading of the game and positioning. Because of this he has become a target for other teams with physical strikers.
The biggest shadow over Koscielny’s Emirates era legend status has been him going on strike. I’m sure everyone has heard about Koscielny in the last week going on strike and refusing to join the Arsenal squad in their North America tour, the club releasing a statement expressing their disappointment.
Doing this has angered a lot of Arsenal fans. With a large number making their thoughts very clear on the matter via Twitter.
On the front of social media, Aubameyang appears Arsenal’s star striker isn’t best pleased with Koscielny’s behaviour, liking a post on Instagram aimed at
Koscielny with a quote from Perry Groves saying “My captain, my arse. I think someone should have a word with him and say Laurent I think you’ve forgotten your beginnings, I think you’ve forgotten when you’ve come from”. Not exactly the wanted atmosphere at the club.
But what should happen with the club captain? In my opinion I think Koscielny should be sold to the first club willing to pay. Trying to avoid being reactionary I don’t think it would be a good idea for Arsenal to be hasty and release him. This mainly being because of Arsenal’s transfer budget with all the rumours at the minute is about £1o and a packet of crisps. So if we want to sign anyone we could do with selling.
I have always been a big fan of Koscielny and all he has given to the club but if he wants go he wants to go.
Which naturally begs the next question- Who should be the next captain? With Özil and Emery still not getting on, Xhaka wanted out by most Arsenal fans and Bellerin currently injured, give it to the gunnersaurus I say.
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