Arsenal signed Lauren Koscielny from FC Lorient on 7 July 2010 for a fee in the region of £8.4m.
He’s been an Arsenal player for 9 years and now at the age of 33 is nearing the end of his career.
I doubt many Arsenal supporters had heard of Koscielny when he was announced, and his arrival was met with scorn by many fans saying that we needed proven quality, not a defender who had played most of his career in the second tier of french football.
It’s fair to say that the 9 years he’s played for Arsenal have been a struggle as the club came to terms with the debt of building the stadium and then the super rich clubs emerged putting to an end to our hopes of competing at the top once the burden of that debt was shed in 2015/16 . We’ve won FA cups and we qualified for the CL for most of that time, but we have also struggled to build a team of top quality players. Yes, we’ve had some superstars, but they have often been let down by the quality around them and reluctantly chosen to move on.
Throughout that time, Laurent Koscielny has been a beacon of light. An honest, reliable, no-nonsense hard working player who silenced his critics and earned his wages and for the most part managed to hold together a pretty shaky defence.
…. but now we hear our club captain has refused to travel on preseason tour.
Arsenal took the unprecedented move of releasing this short statement:
“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions.
We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”
None of the ‘back injury’ or ‘virus’ smokescreens employed when other players misbehave … a straight forward condemnation.
Does Kozzer deserve this?
Opinions are divided … here are some of the excellent comments by AA bloggers on the subject.
told you guys that Kos wanted out.
Bordeaux, Rennes, Monaco interested.
Kos wants the club to free him from his last year of contract, not gonna happen. He wants basically to leave for free so that clubs can pay him a signature fee and then he could accept a lower salary.
Shame to see him leave in this fashion.
Kosielny is the first to try to jump ship. Is it only about money, or is it about how he sees the immediate future with UE?. Can it really be about money when he must be earning millions a year? Not a good sign of the relationship between the management and the players.
On the Kosielny situation, I have to be honest and say (and my son will back me on this !!) that I’ve long said that he has typified what’s been wrong at Arsenal for his entire tenure. I’m certain he’s a really “nice guy” but he’s also a good loser. And as the old saying goes “show me a good loser ……. ” This doesn’t really surprise me because possibly (hopefully) Unai and his staff are ruffling a few feathers on the training ground and maybe – just maybe, he’s not being treated like porcelain god any more.
Well, the Kos thing has come back and exploded in Arsenal’s faces. Management has known for quite some time he was wanting to go back to France, and the Arsenal played hardball.
I agree with Mike in that I think Koscielny typifies our players of the last 10 years. He’s a good player and probably the best defender we’ve had recently, but he wouldn’t have got anywhere near our double winning teams and he’s not the commanding, authoritative type we’ve been so desperate for since Campbell left the first time around.
I actually don’t have much of an issue with him wanting out. He’s 33 now so it’s not like he has time to wait around another 12 months as he will struggle to get a meaningful contract at 34. He probably wants a couple of years in France before retiring and in fairness he’s been a good servant for us and until now hasn’t whinged or moaned. He’s given a lot of years to Arsenal so I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable for him to ask the club to let him go a year early. It’s only because the club are so tight that they probably don’t want him to leave as it means going out and buying another player. It’s not as if he’s irreplaceable or so good that we can’t do without him. He should be nothing more than a fringe player really but at Arsenal he’s first choice!
You’re in a dark place when the captain refuses to travel on a pre season tour, but that’s exactly what Koscielny has done and rightfully upset the club. I can only assume it’s because he’s expecting to make his move any time soon and wants to stay in touch, but isn’t that why they have their Mr 15%?
Mike M – yeah I just read your take on him. I can see exactly what you mean. Pardon my french but we’ve been completely lacking in “Nasty Bastards” for a few years. Perhaps he could have done more. Mind you I still think he’s an exceptional defender, using intelligence to set him apart. If he’d have been surrounded by better defenders I doubt the problem would be laid at his door though. Also when Lukaku was at his peak he was asked who the best defender in the league was and he said that the only player he couldn’t boss was Koscielny.
Quite a sad day for me. I try my best nowadays to not really care too much about the players coming and going. He was an exception. Always popped up at the right time.
He’s quite outspoken and I’m sure he’ll talk to french media at some point. He didn’t hold back on his international team mates when he missed the world cup. Poor bloke.
I’m going to give the last word to Pat7 for his excellent appraisal .. shoot me! .. editorial license and all that …
IMO Kos has been a great servant of the club, giving his all and more so often so will be sorry to lose his presence but this season showed us he’s no longer capable of doing what’s necessary esp if we want to cut our goals conceded. He needed the BFG type of player behind him as he would often dive in for balls unsuccessfully but was one of the best rated in the EPL. I can’t disagree with him if he thinks Arsenal have got it wrong judging his case to continue. I think he deserves to leave for ‘softer options’ closer to his natural home. Thank you Kos for your blood, sweat and tears! I never saw him as a loser, just someone that occasionally had to realise when they were up against a better team and his best was not making the difference!
Some athletes KNOW when to call it a day and obviously, to my eyes, Kos has called it. He may have signed a contract with full faith that his heart was there but after putting his body through hell and feeling it fall apart as no cover meant him stretched even further….
It is not his fault that the ‘team’ weren’t capable. He was never the ‘best’ but was praised by many a team/pundit. Even the best have rivals that beat them, sometimes on occasion, sometimes repeatably……then it is the CB pairing or team mate responsible to provide that cover IF the team organisation is there (as per Invincibles), not Kos’ fault. He was not a great captain IMO but did his best to lead by example.
So what do you think … vote if you have an opinion and join us in comments to discuss further ….