90 Comments

Thank You Laurent Koscielny.

Koscielny and Giroud’s careers for me have echoes of players whose careers bloomed in their mid-twenties taking them belatedly from the lower leagues to the top level.

And the stories of the two Frenchmen shine in the comparisons, Koscielny only denied that WC winners medal by injury as he hobbled and winced his way through 2017/18.

Rising to prominence with the Arsenal after his late bloom Koscielny’s story with France encapsulates his story, his quality and standing in the sport.
That aggressive style targeting the ball and not the man (almost always) and the infamous red card as the red mist descended against a hacking and diving opponent in the World Cup qualifier away in Ukraine was a proud tribute to Diaby though his teammates that day had better luck in comparison with the officials for the rest of the contest then the Arsenal. France eventually went through and after spell out the team Deschamps who had no choice but to punish him for such a high profile incident (much less provocation then, say, Diaby!) eventually brought the Arsenal man back to lead his defence.
Deschamps is an admirable coach for me and being blessed by France’s relentless football production line he had the quality and by 2018 experience in Varane to cope with the loss of his senior CB at that time, clearly the Arsenal man was his senior CB from about 2014-18.

image.jpeg
There was to my eyes a first high level partnership for Koscielny at Arsenal with Vermaelan before his skipper was struck low by injuries from which he wouldn’t recover. Some never felt Vermaelan played as a top level CB. I have no idea about Vermaelan’s qualities as a CB, but I’m happy to confess I thought he was good. By my measure he didn’t get an instant song like the BFG but did get a very popular and corny nickname, t-shirts and all. Pretty good at least! Objectively after his move to Barcelona he continued as a squad player (given the ongoing injuries!) at the highest level for club and country for a long time after he left. understandably given the appreciation that AFC can’t and couldn’t afford to bench top players on high wages (unless their names are Ramsey and Özil?).I’d like to have seen more of that combination, before Vermaelan was struck down by the football gods.

Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long for the next exciting chapter: Mertesacker.

In transfer terms, a Cazorla at CB. A worldie for literal peanuts. And a pre-season friendly.
Arsene Vulture soaring at his best but you might have missed it due to shrieking hungry hyenas left scavenging in the wind of that mighty swoop upon the Bundesliga. But I don’t think the Arsenal fans missed it. Given the songs etc. given his continuing story at the club. A different universe to one where the club spends £30M on a rookie teenage playing in France never mind Bolton (please ask Sven, George Graham, Paul Davis or John Jenson what I mean, if you find my meaning too cryptic – Fa Cup winner and top level prospect pre-injury Holding only cost £2M!).

And a captain too. A huge presence at the Arsenal alongside Arteta. The Big Friendly German was never accepted by the media outside of Arsenaldom, an obvious result given the German and Arsenal mix, but he arrived having already played in two tournament finals, all the way to the final,I think,  for Germany. and left with a WC winners medal and over a hundred caps on the mantelpiece. A serious career, ending as an undeniable legend of German Football.

Like the hugely admired and equally legendary Cazorla, Mertesacker won his first club honours with The Arsenal.

Everyone knows this great player began to lose what little pace he had in 2014 and eventually he played on a season too long after that glorious performance against Champions Chelsea in the 2017 cup final after not having played for most of that season, but no one blamed the lack of funds back then. No big deal for me, it happens, but the comparison with Koscielny in his waning years is interesting and that’s why I’ve drifted into discussing Mertesacker.

The contrast with Koscielny’s speed, his agility, his aggression, the highlight performances especially against Barcelona and Munich that brought appreciation of this player to a wider audiences, an amazing defender to watch play, who played on the physical edge. Not at risk to others, not often, but his own stretching sinew.

image.jpeg
My simple belief is that one of the many reasons we all love football is that it pits people of different physiques against each other (one reason the laws on hacking are so ancient and easy to understand*coughs*).
Campbell had one style, Mertesacker another, older greats. And Koscielny had this intense physically demanding style, so demanding on stamina and strength, when I would watch him in his pomp I didn’t imagine he’d be able to play much at the top level past thirty. I was wrong, but for the tendon strife he has.The kind of CB most football fans like to see, hobbling, grimacing along even when past their best years giving their best, which last season was still the best in the squad! I have high hopes for Holding if he survives the hacking. And he had a knack for the odd important goal too.

image.jpeg
No doubt the combination of style and physique between Koscielny & Mertesacker helped make them such a successful and widely appreciated combination. Though I don’t feel that’s a requirement, we can also refer to Koscielny’s partnerships with Varane and others for France.I recall Remy whilst still at Marseille, at his quickest, being incapable of dribbling past the BFG except on one or at the most two occasions over two legs when Sagna dived in to clear the danger.

Between this fear of attempting a dribble past Mertesacker’s telescopic legs, staggering how often high level forwards gave up in games and looked for an easier option, or the fear of Koscielny snapping at their heels, most forwards did not look forward to the contest against this Arsenal pair. It was great to watch and it helped to bring about a great era to Arsenal Football Club.

Bar an attack of nightmares and demons from the upside down underworld upon the saintly calves of the blessed Santi Cazorla this pair might’ve had a league title to add to their triumphs. The most recent, previous Arsenal team had two Worldies at CB and three further up the field, not forgetting the world’s number one and most handsome target man, the man with literally the Midas touch. Or Rambo.

Laurent Koscielny was at the heart of a successful Arsenal post war spell. One of only a few. I have my ratings for these spells, I’m sure you all do too hehe! For those who have trouble trusting the numbers in a sport that pits eleven against eleven: the stats don’t lie. Ignoring the trophy haul data, focusing purely on the Football:
image.jpeg
Post Mertesacker.Given the disappointment at missing that WC winners medal, given the disappointment of missing out on a Europa cup with the Arsenal, the undoubted disappointment of experiencing his waning skills opposing his friend and colleague Giroud, not forgetting the disappointment from that fatigued last tackle in extra time of the Euro 2016 final as we all began to see this superman talent begin to wane, the disappointment at The Shambles (® Billy Big Blagger) at the Arsenal with his squad (he is the Captain!) last season, I can empathise with this player wanting a change, or just wanting to play at a lower less intense level.

I have no doubt Koscielny turned down one or two big offers from big clubs over the years. I had hoped he’d stay and play the role Mertesacker played so well from the bench and dressing room for a season. Again we all know about the additional season for Mertesacker and the lack of moolah but I don’t care about the monies. I hear that some do. I’m just a hopeless football romantic who was hoping the veteran Koscielny would stay and player-coach Holding and others for another season whilst playing the odd game etc., as the senior players do.

I, romantically, imagine that the public comments from his French colleagues about his love for the club might result in some expression of love. From somewhere. I mention no names. Perhaps the heat has melted my brain?

Whatever happens next in his career I wish club captain and world class defender during his time at the club Laurent Koscielny well and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his efforts on behalf of The Arsenal.

Penny for the thoughts of Arsenal coach Per Mertescaker.

yours sincerely
Finsbury

Comment navigation

← Older Comments

90 comments on “Thank You Laurent Koscielny.

  1. Thank you too Mr Finsbury, great piece.

    Like

  2. Thank you Laurent for the Class and the Quality on field performances.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks Fins for that tribute to King Kos. It is worth reminding sane, positive Arsenal fans that since the demise of the BFG-Koscielny partnership the Goals Against numbers have risen slowly but surely. While billy-big-blagger was demanding Arsene Wenger sign the likes of Samba and Cahill, all big clubs began scouring the world for ball-playing center backs in the image of Lolo Koscielny. Is it a coincidence that in our newest podcast our Arseblagger and yours truly discussed the significance of signing Saliba, a young ball-playing CB and sending him back on loan. George speculates that the signing of expensive talented young players is a sign the club planning for a future without the current Head Coach. Check it out:
    https://uncensoredarsenal.com/index.php/is-arsenal-preparing-for-a-new-head-coach/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you too for the timely (and positive) reminder, Mr. Finsbury. It’s easy to forget in the light of recent events.

    Like

  5. Thanks Mills and everyone.

    Still haven’t cracked how to embed images into a WordPress text file.

    Ah well I’ll work it out one day and be able to join the esteemed professional Billy Big Blaggers as parasites upon the host. I can but dream!

    Like

  6. Samba!!! Think he eventually moved to open a laundrette in in China innit?

    Yes. Shotts.

    Get in there my son.

    Get.

    In!

    Like

  7. Class & Quality.

    That sums it all up, the short version of my tribute.
    These ineffable values that any beyond the ability of a cunning linguist including any broadcaster to describe when discussing the Arsenal these past few decades.

    But I promised George a post so had to flesh it out a little bit!

    Like

  8. So another season on the horizon. Can we have, a sniff at top4. I am not very much hopeful. I wasn’t hopeful last year as well but it was within reach. But as Shotta said top4 is, decided by the pigmob and is, not in the natural scheme of things. As everyone here believes if Wenger was here we would have surely finished top4 last year. But UEs UNARSENAL playing style lost us points.Will we see the Arsenal of old?With Freddie in the ranks i have a,little hope if he can convinve UE to play like Wengers Arsenal than maybe we can atleast look forward to matchayds with some fervour. But the Aura of Wenger at the touchdown will be missed immensely for sure.

    And folks how are the Wobs and the idiots of AFTV Arseblog & Legroan are going? Did they got there Arsenal back?
    Have they found their manager and the owner who could spend 500 million per year to sign the Messi’s of the world to win CL and PL? Did they find their Mouriniho or Klopp or Pep they idolize to take us to the next level?

    Shame on them for destroying the club by dividing the fanbase and making us look worse on and off the pitch and jeopardise the clubs identity as a whol

    Like

  9. You brought back so many old dear names in this post! I love it. They’re all gone but at least, I was feeling great again when recalling their stuff. That’s a huge comfort in itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thanks Fins, it’s a shame about how his Arsenal career is ending, but it doesn’t take away from his contribution to the cause while he was in his pomp. He will be missed.

    Could one of the admins please edit the post header to give Laurent his ‘T’ back!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks pass!

    You’ll not be surprised to hear that is my error/typo! Some things never change.

    And one day I’ll work out how to send George a post with the pictures ready, as they were quite nice too! Not forgetting the stats!!!

    Like

  12. Fins, there are 3 pictures embedded in the text,at least on my laptop

    Liked by 1 person

  13. less than 10 days of the transfer window left, looks like we are getting Pepe, and lots of noise about us getting Tierney too, but what other positions need to see a signing made for.
    Which brings us to Koscielny, and CB, yes we’ve signed Saliba, but we don’t get to see him play for Arsenal till next season, so not addition for CB this season. Big rumor tonight that Monaco have made a move for Mustafi, for the sake of the lad it may be best if he does leave us, but for me if would very much weaken us at CB, and if Koscielny has played his last game for us, as his exclusion from the Emirates Cup squad yesterday may suggest, then that would only leave us with left back Monreal, Sokratis the yellow card merchant, the soon to be back to fitness Holding, and the returning Chambers, as real contenders for the CB duo, or will it be a trio.

    Sokratis
    Monreal
    Chambers
    Holding

    how does that compare to the guys we had last season

    Koscielny
    Sokratis
    Mustafi
    Monreal
    Holding

    well we would be down in both numbers and quality, so if Kos and Mustafi are leaving, then we certainly need a senior quality CB brought in

    at left back, we hopefully get Tierney in, leaving us with him and Kolasinac as options there, not forgetting Monreal in his natural position, which brings us on to right back, Bellerin soon to be back, currently, just like a lot of last season, AMN is being used as the stand in, till Hector is fit, but AMN looks no nearer to being a Right Back than he ever has. Jenkinson is still here, but its clear Emery does not rate him, and like Mustafi it might be best for the lad if he gets a move to somewhere the fans and manager will support him.

    Leno and Martinez give us two talented keepers, if we go past them there are big question marks, we are being linked with a keeper from Egypt, and a young Spanish keeper, so either might give us a solid 3rd option.

    Central midfield, Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Willlock, Ceballos, maybe AMN, and even Mkhitaryan might be the options for 2 or 3 in CM, I think we may sell Elneny, and like a couple already mentioned, he really needs to go somewhere he will get games. Do we need another CM bought, I’m not sure and lean towards no.

    If Pepe does indeed sign, it would give us forward options of

    Pepe
    Ozil
    Iwobi
    Lacazette
    Aubameyang
    and of course Mkhitaryan

    not forgetting young lads Nelson, Saka, Nketiah and ESR

    so if we get Pepe I would say we are well stocked in the forward compartment, maybe the only thing lacking is a old fashioned big bad bastard of a CF to changed things up from the bench. But I don’t see us singing one of them, even if I could think of someone that fits that criteria

    so to sum up, if we get Tierney and Pepe,(the two most strongly linked) then the real big need is a quality CB, I see us linked with a 2 year loan deal for Juve’s Rugani, with an option to buy, he is 24, has 7 caps for Italy, but has failed to nail down a starting spot at Juve, but then they have a few top CB’s and maybe like Mustafi the lads just needs to go somewhere else and get a fresh start.
    Should we bring in someone like Dani Alves for a season to cover right back, or have we had enough with old right backs for a season, after how poor Lichtsteiner was for us.

    If we do end up at the close of business in 10 days time having signed

    Tierney
    Saliba
    Rugani
    Alves
    Ceballos
    Pepe
    Martinelli
    and a 3rd choice keeper

    then it would be one hell of a good summer of signings

    just how much better off our squad would be might very much depend on just who has also left at the end of business too.

    Like

  14. Excellent player for us.

    ‘an amazing defender to watch play, who played on the physical edge. Not at risk to others, not often, but his own stretching sinew.’ I like that. Evokes his game well. A thrilling defender, if that makes much sense.

    His comeback last year provided real happiness to me…beyond results maybe (though no doubt the happiness occurred on days he played well and we got results or were at least on course to). It defied my pessimism ,basically. That pessimism led me to believe a strong comeback wasn’t likely. Was wonderful to be wrong about that. Cazorla did the same or more even (sounded like he’d be lucky to walk without a bad limp, let alone return to the pitch and work his magic), though in a different shirt.

    I hope Kos,too, has more good performances in him at a new club, his departure seemingly certain now.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Finally, with Kos, few of those performances last year got me thinking about the nature of enjoying top individual performances. Something about each one- a really good game- being its own thing and something well worth savouring.

    Not so easy with me- always placing results in context of wider aims etc- but when I can it’s always a nice thing. Kos joins others, like Cazorla (west ham and Fulham away games anyone?), Ramsey, Ozil and, forgive me some, yes, even Sanchez, from recent times who have provided that. Aubameyang valencia away qualifies. Per’s cup final, and Tottenham away that time. Those games where the top actions keep coming and constitute a truly superb performance. Team wise, I remember we were brilliant Monaco away, and the villa cup final. Kos would’ve played part in them

    Fingers crossed we got some in us this season.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. News on Koscielny by David Ornstein on Twitter:
    “Arsenal technical director Edu met with the Stade Rennes president + the representative of Laurent Koscielny in London yesterday. Talks between #AFC & suitors continue in a bid to resolve Koscielny’s future. The 33yo captain does not anticipate playing for the Gunners again #SRFC”

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I’m going to be a bit miffed if Mustafi gets moved on.

    1) I don’t think he’s as bad as his detractors makes him out to be, actually for me he’s currently our best CB and he all the relevant stats back that up.

    2) I would hate to see the bullies get their way. “If you don’t sell Mustafi the bullhorn is back”, or something to that effect.

    It will embolden the idiots thinking it’s because of them Josh are spending and that Mustafi is moved on.

    We always knew that with Adidas coming on board we’ll see an increased spending this window to give us the best chance at getting back in the CL, even if it meant less activity next window.

    If the club in fact move Mustafi on it could be because he offers a higher sell on value than both Koscielny and Sokratis.

    **

    Great post Fins and I echo Pass’ comment at 7:07pm. The club should’ve known better than to throw Kosc under the bus like they did and just let him leave without this dark cloud. It’s the least he deserve after his years of loyal service. It still irks to see how some just turned on him at the snap of fingers.

    **

    Fingers crossed for this Pepe deal to get walked over the line, else it will leave many with egg on their faces.

    Like

  18. LaboGoon, I agree with you about Mustafi.

    The nonsense written about him on some blogs is getting beyond a joke.

    It seems that Lyon’s goal on Sunday was entirely his fault, despite the fact that he ah just come on and the goal came because the rusty offside trap went wonky.

    I fear that I spend too much time reading blogs and need to cut it down to those, like this one, where the contributors are sensible and use their heads to think with.

    Like

  19. JJ. Actually the offside trap didn’t went wonky as it was perfectly executed. The match officials, true to form, failed doing their job with the required competence.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Kos may be leaving under a cloud, but it’s a shame that some of those bashing him have conveniently forgotten how his winning goals got us CL football on at least 2 occasions that I can recall off the top of my head. But then again, it was in the days when finishing in the top 4 was no prize like it is nowadays!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Watching our youth team on BBC website. Milk Cup in N Ire. Can say for sure we must select player’s for technical ability. Like yesterday’s game, our team looks very small against opposition and makes life very hard for them in many situation’s.

    Losing at minute vs Londonderry who, as well as being bigger, are the more aggressive dirty team- generally the case with our youth teams at any level it seems

    Like

  22. Nice piece there Fins.
    Kos’ value to the Arse over the years can only be underestimated by those who don’t know football. QED.
    No need to bother reacting to the herd.
    Our new management team really f**ked up with how they handled the matter of his leaving. It is common knowledge that he always said he’d be going back to France to play before retiring. Hmmph..😕.
    A tidy testimonial game would have been the Arsenal way of honoring LK6, but alas AW moved on…oh well.

    MERCI BEAUCOUP LAURENT KOSCIELNY. Thanks for everything you’ve done for Arsenal and all the best in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. AC Milan have reportedly entered talks with Krystian Bielik, with Arsenal setting a £10m asking price for the young Polish defender. Brentford, West Brom, Middlesbrough & Derby are also in the hunt for Bielik.

    Like

  24. Nicolás Pépé arriving is quite the coup.
    I’m excited but a tad cautious having watched the Cote D’Ivoire team at AFCON 2019. Zaha definitely looked the better player. Pépé looked out of sync most of the time. Seemed not to be giving his all considering what was at stake career-wise this summer. He came through unscathed but less impressive in my eyes. I’m hoping he’ll deliver a higher level in the red & white.

    I also see no reason why we need to sell Mustafi this summer. We absolutely need him. As 1 of the 2 experienced CBs (with 1 year of UE under his belt) we have it is quite foolhardy to move him on so close to the start of the season. I’d be shocked if it happens. Tabloid crap more like it.

    Like

  25. Selling Bielik not exactly good news either. Just when he seems to be maturing. 10m’s a steal. Oh well maybe Raoul’s got 2 quality CBS lined up.

    We wait…

    Like

  26. well Pepe has his photo shoot at London Colney today, so deal must be very close to be announced now

    Like

  27. latest from Poland is that Bielik is joining Derby County for £10M

    Like

  28. Per our CB needs,
    Q1: did anyone watch the Ukraine U20 squad @ the U20 WC in Poland? If so what do you think of their #4? I quite like 20 yr old CB, Denys Popov. A Vidic-in the making that could do well with us. Any thoughts?

    Q2: Eliaquim Mangala on a free. Was it injuries, Pep, too high a salary, or “just not good enough” that’s seen the once “ most expensive defender in the PL” reduced to deadwood at 28? I quite liked and rated him earlier on. What say ye?

    Q3: is loaning in Rugani the answer? Why not just buy him outright? Is he good enough?

    Like

  29. according to ornstein Arsenal have put Elneny on the transfer list

    Like

  30. this is the listed squad of our U15’s who are taking part in the SuperCupNI, usually known as the Milk Cup, they have won 1 and lost 1 game so far, play their 3rd game tomorrow, its a 22 team group will all teams playing 3 games, then depending on placing going into semi finals of different levels of the competition so Arsenal will have at the very least one more game after tomorrow’s 3rd group game.

    NUMBER NAME
    1 Pedro Virginia
    2 Michal Rosiak
    3 Tino Quamina
    4 Bradley Ibrahim
    5 Barney Power
    6 Cameron Brayne
    7 Shaun Mavididi
    8 Jimi Gower
    9 Ronnie Stutter
    10 Sydie Peck
    11 Elian Quesada-Thorn
    12 Kwame Adjei
    13 Jamie Telfer
    14 Ismeal Kabia
    15 Adebayo Fapetu
    16 Lene Burden
    17 Omari Benjamin
    18 Kieran Petrie

    Pedro Virginia is younger brother of the lad we sold last year to Everton

    I wonder is Shaun Mavadidi any relation to our former youth star Stephy Mavadidi

    Like

  31. As this Kozza saga drips and drags it’s way to it’s end one thing is clear:

    Given the investment in the squad last summer, given he greater squad then the season before, never in my time as an Arsenal fan have I witnessed a collapse and breakdown of morale between a coach and his squad as I did at the end of last season. It was a disaster. Objectively and evidentially so.

    Probably didn’t help that the head coach was not allowed to play certain players until he felt his season was unravelling, and unravel it did. In my humble opinion there is little point in getting out the tissues after the muck has hit the fan.

    Forcing Kozza to play in the reserves will have a negative impact on the squad no doubt about it so I hope he is off. but don’t expect “I really like Raul”™ to acknowledge the obvious, that would be asking too much from such parasites.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. “Forcing Kozza to play in the reserves will have a negative impact on the squad “.

    Youre on to something there fins, the squad have already seen the bs between UE and Ö and Rambo and now witnessing this. Imagine the gossip and strange discontent working its way around the players, this sort of thing mucks up the spirit of the team.

    To me Kos has been one of the true solid and tough defenders in Arsenal history. Really shouldnt be ending this way.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Newest article at UnCensored by our friend Rich is titled “Joe Willock Deserves More Chances.” I love Rich as a writer for his honesty and frankness. he is not afraid to say “I am not sure” and explain why. Check him out at https://uncensoredarsenal.com/index.php/joe-willock-deserves-more-chances/
    Feel free to Be UnCensored and Leave A Comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Angers take the lead

    Like

  35. Report: Arsenal to sign Edu’s 15-year-old son Luigi
    by jeorge bird

    Arsenal have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Edu’s son Luigi Gaspar from Corinthians.

    According to Meu Timao, the 15-year-old will be part of the Arsenal youth setup.

    Edu recently returned to the club as technical director having played for the club between 2001 and 2005.

    Like

  36. Takuma Asano has signed a three-year contract with Partizan Belgade.

    Like

  37. Full time, Angers 1-1 Arsenal

    Nelson with our goal, PEA missed a sitter late on. A real pre season game, nothing much to report.

    Like

  38. its gone to penalties

    Like

  39. angers miss their 4th and mkhitaryan skies our 5th that would have given us the win

    Like

  40. Martinez saves Reine-Adelaide’s spot kick to give AFC a 4-3 shoot out win

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Only caught last 35 and struggled to get in tune with game. Xhaka looked good to me though. Fantastic barometer for how little a person knows about football and hyperbolic they are about it if they pronounce he is a shit player etc. Has a few flaws, many of which I think can be mitigated with right people around him, but does a hell of a lot of good things out there in pretty stylish fashion.

    Not to mention fact many used to claim they wanted tough, battling players, and didn’t care too much what else they had to go with it, and he is certainly tough and up for battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Been a long day and not at sharpest but after thinking from early doors there’s something unusual and not very Brazilian about martinelli’s running/playing style, it struck me in a flash : Huckerby.

    He has that same sort of hunched up look about him when darting about. No disrespect to Darren Huckerby, who had decent career and a few golden moments, but with bit of luck old Martinelli isn’t too much like him (apart form the golden moments)

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Unai Emery was asked about a number of topics following our pre-season match in Angers on Wednesday night.

    Our head coach fielded questions surrounding transfer speculation, what pleased him about his side’s performance, former Gunner Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Laurent Koscielny.

    Here’s how he answered:

    on the game…
    Good evening. We are going to play the first match away against Newcastle, and tonight was a similar performance against that sort of opposition Angers, and also they were giving everything in their performance against us for their supporters. There were two very different halves. The first half they started harder than us and they scored. We didn’t control the game like we wanted. In the second half we became better to control the game, with the ball and having more chances to score. I think from the second half we deserved a better result. But the most important thing today was to work well physically and with different players. Also today the young players took some minutes, knowing we needed a performance against a difficult team here away. Little by little we are closer to starting the first game against Newcastle. We are working and preparing the team with different players and above all we are going to progress, finding our first idea with the players, and above all every player can be ready to player and be ready for the season.

    on how Nicolas Pepe could fit in…
    He played here in Angers a few years ago, and then in Lille. He has progressed as a player. We are speaking about a lot of players, we want to select on players who can really help us, give us big performances and improve our squad. We have different options. This one at the moment is not closed, but he is one we are following.

    on whether he can play with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…
    Yes first because he is left footed. We have a left footer in Bukayo, a young player who has a big future for us. For example on the winger one left-footed player can play on one side or the other. It can give us different options.

    on how good the strikeforce will be…
    No deal is official now, and I will only speak in the next hours or days if it can be official for us.

    on whether there will be more spending…
    We are working on the possibilities to sign players. We signed Ceballos, and we have a possibility with Pepe. We are looking for the possibility to improve, but only if we can take more steps in the squad. Our target is to sign another player if he can really, really improve us. Our target is continuing to sign another player if we can.

    on Jeff Reine-Adelaide…
    Very good player, he is playing very well here in Angers. I knew him last season with us in pre-season, but then he signed here, I said to him congratulations, because he was doing well for France Under-21s.

    on Laurent Koscielny…
    He’s a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility. With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team, and it’s changing our idea with the centre back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us. At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him. We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now. We are speaking about the centre backs, but we have a lot of centre backs, we have good centre backs, and if we can sign one more centre back, it is because he is clearly better than we have. Because at the moment we have six. We are in different positions with some players because Mavropanos has his injury and we are continuing to see that situation. We have until August 8, and we need to speak over these few days about how we can be, and how we can close our squad.

    on whether he will let him leave if he signs a centre back…
    Now it is between the club and him. I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision, and that situation can only manage with one argument. I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave and we are also thinking if we can improve with other players and how we can help with him.

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Like

  44. Very late to the party here, but thanks for the article fins. Thinking about Koscielny makes me sad. It really shouldn’t be like this. But a look back to Vermaelen, BFG, Giroud, Cazorla, Arteta, and of course Kos.. Sigh.. Those were the days. Bad horrid days for some, but good days for me because I could enjoy watching the football. But I suppose winning at transfer ego battles is more important these days. That’s the real game.

    I don’t know what happened. I do know that a serious injury, which he got playing through the pain for us, changes people. I’d imagine it would be especially so when it costs them a World Cup. Does that mean I am blaming Koscielny? No. By whatever has been leaked and stated, all I can infer is that koscielny decided he had given enough, and wanted something in exchange. Probably based on an understanding/assurance. Or just based on his years of service.

    But the club prioritises sending a message and getting a couple of million in fees more than the values which attracted many players and fans to the club. It’s pennywise, poundfoolish. Pennywise of course fed on people’s fears, so this makes sense for New Arsenal. Honestly, I hope Kos leaves and gets to have a good late career. Don’t need any player-coaches when we’ve got the all seeing USB man.

    I keep trying to find positives, but in the end, it’s all about the football, and pre-season or not, that was so boring yesterday that I can muster no real enthusiasm to justify it.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Arsenal now being linked with a move for West Ham CB, Diop, seemingly the hammers have quoted us a price of £65M

    Like

  46. so the transfer window shuts this day week, and arsenal according to Emery still has business to do, both in and out, with Pepe expected today, and us still after Tierney, and a CB, and with Elneny, Koscielny, maybe Mustafi all said to be leaving, we are going to have a busy 7 days, even if some of these moves don’t happen, it will be busy rumor wise.
    Bielik said to be moving to Derby, and Emile Smith-Rowe is likely off on a season loan to Germany, might be a few other of the young lads going on loan too. Bristol City really keen to take Nketiah on loan.

    Like

Comment navigation

← Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: