Robin van Persie. Yes, he’s virtually gone, but we shouldn’t let that dampen the optimism that surrounded the club pre-RVP statement. We all know that it’s a blow – any team who loses their captain, top scorer and best player can agree with that – but it’s definitely not the end of the world. Although, reports have transpired this morning, emanating from the ever reputable L’Équipe, that Laurent Koscielny wants to sign a new deal, a stark contract from our ‘captain’ and talisman.
In many Arsenal fans’ opinions, Laurent Koscielny was our best defender last season – I agree with that.
Ever since his arrival, in the Summer of 2010, from FC Lorient, opinion has differed on the pacey centre-half. The 2010/’11 season, his first in English football, wasn’t a resounding success. His calamitous blunder in the Carling Cup Final affirmed what Arsenal fans had believed to be the truth – he’s a ‘terrible centre-back’. Looking back on it, most of those Arsenal fans were justified. As previously mentioned, his Carling Cup Final mishap was nigh-on unforgivable. His ‘air kick’ ultimately denied our chance to put the ‘7 trophyless seasons curse’ firmly to bed. Not the best of starts for the French centre-back.
Although, Koscielny’s revival to form was meteoric. After his Carling Cup cock-up, he reappearaed in the Arsenal first-team as a new player, a rejuvenated man. His dominant, clean tackling became an iconic image during the latter half of Arsenal’s season. Koscielny’s reading of the game was something which any world-class centre-back could take pride upon – often breaking up opposition attacks before setting off on one of his own. This, once again, posed a problem as it would influence the fans’ perception of Koscielny, a perception which took a negative turn on 27th of February, 2011.
Laurent has forged a formidable partnership with Thomas Vermaelen.
Intelligent, pacey, strong and positive are all adjectives which Koscielny has inherited. His game revolves around his intelligent, future-thinking mind set, and this is his main asset. This is what, in my opinion, has endeared himself even further to Arsène Wenger and the Arsenal faithful. It’s an asset which most Arsenal player needs – a trail of thought which is capable to handle the quick-tempo, free flowing Arsenal philosophy.
This season has been his best in an Arsenal shirt, and offers much optimism for the future. He was most certainly Arsenal’s best defender last season and, in the process, repaying the faith in him from manager Arsène Wenger. The arrival of Per Mertesacker was a welcome incentive to up his game too. International honours came calling too – a destination which many thought was a long, long way away after his debut season at Arsenal. He travelled with the French squad to Ukraine for the European Championships after making his French debut against USA.
The arrival of Olivier Giroud to the Emirates was influenced by Laurent Koscielny himself, who’s a close friend to the former Montpellier man.
One thing that is needed when a member of Arsenal’s squad, something which Arsène Wenger looks for in any possible target, is the said player’s demeanor and ability on the ball. Composure, assurance and confidence are all musts for any Arsenal player, wherever they play on the field, and Laurent Koscielny has the aforementioned qualities in abundance.
It transpired this morning from French newspaper L’Équipe, on the 9th of July, that Laurent Koscielny was seeking a new contract at Arsenal, with the club keen to grant him one. No-one can say that he hasn’t deserved it. It’s reported that Laurent Koscielny was on the shopping list for Italian side Internazionale, therefore tying him down to a new contract is even more essential;
“The London club would like to do re-sign [Laurent Koscielny] for three more years, until 2017.“
Extracted from Monday’s L’Équipe
I, like many other Arsenal fans, are delighted with this positive news. With much negativity and disappointment surrounding Arsène Wenger’s side, not to mention the widespread unjust criticism of Arsenal’s hierarchy, it’s a welcome boost to the club. Much like he does on the pitch, Laurent Koscielny has now provided stability in a time of unrest.