The Koscielny Conundrum: Call it a Day on Captain Clay?

Koscielny - injury prone warrior

Koscielny – injury prone warrior

The Koscielny conundrum

You see the problem with hitting a chav with a glass bottle is, you smash your glass. This is also a problem for Arsene Wenger when it comes to club captain Laurent Koscielny, the more you use him, the more he gets injured.

Koscielny injuries

Koscielny injuries

Laurent Koscielny has been at Arsenal for over seven years now and in that time he has been out 245 days in total and had 15 various injuries, missing a near seasons worth of games in 47 all together. It’s undoubted what Koscielny brings to the team thanks to his leadership, ball interceptions and all around classy defensive play, but there are questions that need to be asked.

Can Arsenal continue to base their defence on an albeit talented yet injury-prone defender?

Another question is – if they stop basing it on Koscielny, should they base it on a player still at the club or bring someone in from outside?

Obvious candidates for the solid base are, Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding. If Arsenal were to bring someone in I’d love it if they stole a march on Spurs and signed Davinson Sanchez (or even Toby Alderwierald from Spurs themselves) thanks to a reported release clause.

Everybody Loves Virgil

Everybody Loves Virgil

Long term target for most top six Premier League teams is Virgil Van Dijk who, although costly, would make a true statement of intent and strengthen the team greatly.

In answer to the first question and in conclusion, it does at least so far appear Arsene Wenger has complete trust in his captain Laurent Koscielny, who is a notorious hard man and will go to battle patched up and to the death for the club he loves. Time will tell if this kingdom is built on rock or clay.

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5 Responses to The Koscielny Conundrum: Call it a Day on Captain Clay?

  1. I.P. from South Africa August 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    Wenger is concentrating on selling players and chasing midfielders, whereas if he had opened his eyes and used the few brains he still has left over, after watching ManU play, then he should seriously start chasing some top class defenders.
    Arsenal’s defensive players are far short from being a champion’s defensive players. Our goalkeeper is clearly showing his age in his poor and slow reaction time when confronted with a decent strike-force. Our Central; Defenders appear to have no idea what is required from them, particularly from corners and high balls. No championship winning team can ever achieve results without a steely solid defence.

    • jay August 16, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      I love that you think you are more informed than one of the most successful managers in PL history. Honestly, there are so many things that are just simply not correct, in the slightest, in that comment you have just typed. It truly is, an embarrassing display of utter ignorance.

  2. jay August 16, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    Should we call it a day, on one of the best defenders in the PL (even the Arsenal-hating pundits, say that he is)? No, I don’t think so..

    • james howson August 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm #

      Thanks for your input Jay, I honestly can’t decide which way to go on this topic although Kosc is one of the best in the League, I think last year Bayern Munich were even after him. I just thought it was an interesting topic to raise seems as I’ve heard people mention injuries etc quite a bit.

  3. Victor Thompson August 17, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    Kos is not and never will be another Adams or Keown. He is as hard as either of them and I have been filled with awe at some of the games when he carried on after shipping what looked like a serious injury. His game however is built upon his mobility and his speed in the tackle and on interceptions. He carries the ball out of defence with a certain elegance that Adams or Keown never had. Notwithstanding all of his attributes I would prefer an Adams or Keown any day. The reason is that they both knew the job inside out and they made far less mistakes than Kos, probably because they both knew their limitations. They concentrated their game to narrow perameters and rarely deserted their position within the penalty box. Set pieces ( corners ) were the exception. Who will ever forget Tony`s last and best goal when he marauded upfield with the ball at his feet and thundered a fantastic shot into the Everton goal to win the 92/93 season, but that was the exception.

    Adams played alongside Bould and Keown and it would have been easier for any of those three to play alongside Kos than any of our current back three because they all understood each other`s game. They each knew instinctively where the other two were and rarely left gaps between them to be exploited.

    Kos is unpredictable. He does not bully the attackers the way the above three did and he makes runs out of defence without ensuring that he has cover behind. Mustafi has similar traits, as has Gabriel. Chambers has been too slow and also tends to run out of position. Monreal is a reasonable stop-gap but he is not a natural CB. That leaves Holding who is promising and does have a certain inate discipline and awareness of where he needs to be. He has great promise but he is not ready to be “the main man”.

    In short, we do not have a solid back three. Kos is the best we have and for that reason he must remain our “main man” until we get someone better. The solution is to get someone who can give those we have better coaching. I am totally at a loss why someone with Bould`s experience cannot make a solid defence out of the players we have. It requires discipline to eradicate the commonest mistakes we make by leaving gaps between them and only proceed up field with caution if we do not have cover for the long ball. The most obvious candidate at present is Van Dijk. He would boss the defence and ensure they tightened up, regardless of coaching, but for various reasons, he is not available to us. For that reason we cannot even contemplate not persisting with Kos.

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