Arsene Wenger must drop Laurent Koscielny in favour of Thomas Vermaelen to avoid Arsenal paying the penalty against Southampton

Laurent Koscielny 08

What earns a player their spot back in the squad, is it their strong practice effort or does someone have to screw up? Arsene Wenger has publicly praised Thomas Vermaelen’s efforts in training but the captain’s opportunities remain limited. Laurent Koscielny has conceded his third penalty of the season, maybes it is time he cedes his starting spot. The point of this article is not harp on Laurent Koscielny but to illustrate that he must earn his spot back.

I am writing this because I am irked by a few plays I have seen from Laurent Koscielny. This season, domestically and internationally, Koscielny has conceded three penalties. The first was questionable as, for my money, Koscielny won the ball but his trailing leg took down Gabriel Agbonlahor. Which came first the chicken or the egg? As a child I was taught to take the ball first, but if I could take the player after the ball that it was a fine thing to do; I feel that Koscielny accomplished what I was taught as a child. The second was a clear penalty as Kozzer went through Adam Johnson. I’m not a fan of Johnson, but giving up a penalty to nail the bugger doesn’t make me happy. The third was this past week against Ukraine when Koscielny committed another mental fart.

Are these bad moments indicative of Koscielny’s play? No, he’s really improved since I wrote my last article on him 18 months ago. Do three penalties in three months mean that he will concede nine by the time the World Cup starts? Nope, that would be a little ridiculous, but could he concede two more before the end of the Premier League season? Yes, that’s conceivable maybe even probable.

Koscielny and Vermaelen

What I’m proposing is that in light of Koscielny’s recent tackling woes in the penalty box that he sit out the Southampton match so that Vermaelen could play with Per Mertesacker. Chances need to be given to Verminator and each pairing needs to be tested. We have seen Vermaelen and Koscielny, but not the Verminator and BFG. Giving Koscielny a weekend off and advising the player it is because of his poorly timed and judged tackles may have the desired effect.

I am not advocating that this be a permanent change, but if Koscielny were to get injured we would be in this position anyway. Now is the perfect opportunity to test it out and give Vermaelen a match with the squad. Another reason I’m advocating that Vermaelen start, rather than Koscielny, is because of the proficiency Lambert displays in taking penalties. Keeping Rickie Lambert away from the penalty spot can only improve Arsenal’s chances of winning the match and staying atop the Premier League.

If sitting out a match gives Koscielny that needed time to analyse his performances, reflect on his abilities, and strive to improve then we are all the better for it. It’s a long season and this is only one match, but the timing is perfect to help set the defence up for success over the full season.


Morgan Rubes

Arsenal Canada Chair

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15 Responses to Arsene Wenger must drop Laurent Koscielny in favour of Thomas Vermaelen to avoid Arsenal paying the penalty against Southampton

  1. GILBO November 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    “Get a life mate” Koscielny is one of the best defender in the Premiership

  2. mk November 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    No, that would be a stupid thing to do.

  3. K November 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Yawwwwn. Koscielny had always conceded penalties and scored own goals. Who cares, his qualities far out weigh that of vermalen. I’d trust the pairing of per and kos with my life, but I wouldn’t let vermalen walk my dog across a zebra crossing

  4. Chippy November 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    I totally disagree with this. Drop a defender that has performed heroically for us all season because there is a chance he might give away a peno? Kick one of our own while he is down? Ok he had a poor game for France-I am sure the lad was gutted, but dropping him now would be a kick in the teeth and a confidence sapper. Also, we have seen Vermaelen play alongside Per in the league cup.

  5. Galway Gooner November 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Actually wrote a preview of the Southampton piece on Vital Arsenal the other day and made the same suggestion. Having said that Verm played a full 90 minutes in a mid-week loss (conceding 3 goals in the process) where as Kos had the week off and his team won through to the WC. I cant see Wenger making the change in this game.

  6. Kevin November 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    What about the penalty that wasn’t awarded near the end of the WBA match? Koscielny is playing well and does seem to be a good partner for the BFG, but he needs to learn, and if he continues to be so reckless he should be replaced.

  7. Pedro November 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    This article is just a waste of time and space. Can’t even believe I read it.

  8. grunty November 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    With all due respect, you sound like a bit of a Rodney

  9. Neal November 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I actually think this is a reasonable thing to think about…our problem is we only have verm to cover both our centre backs….

  10. deefyant November 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    We rather have a defender who knows his place,rather than a wandering defender!one would think TV5 is an attacking defender!he usually leaves the defense and goes hunting thereby making us prone to counter attacks!better the devil we have come to know,than the angel we forgot about!

  11. GOONERWITHACOORS November 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    what utter bullshit go home you are drunk

  12. Kris_Gunner November 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Just say verm plays and concede a penalty does that mean you would your ridiculous suggestion still be justified? Koscielny has been great for us all season why should you find an underhanded reason for dropping him!
    Arsene knows best, COYG.

  13. happisoul November 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Utter rubbish…i do not agree with you, because Koscienly is far much better. So get ur thinking right mate!

  14. james November 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Get a life, or stick to FIFA13 on play station, there u can even play Bendtner in defence

  15. Kest November 23, 2013 at 12:07 am #

    Stick to ice hockey mate , you don’t know about football

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