by Nia Griffiths
Laurent Koscielny has been speaking about his partnership with Per Mertesacker, the quality of the current squad, and maintaining fitness during the new season.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, the centre-back has explained his partnership on the pitch with the BFG and why they work so well. The two defenders seem to have an understanding now that means, when one’s injured, our Gooner hearts can’t quite rest easy until they’re back together, despite Gabriel being capable of filling a hole.
Kos also opened up about the issues we had last season, in terms of fitness, and where he sees the future heading both as a club and personally.
“The last four months of the season were very good, and we need to keep that going,” he said. “Last year we had a good team, but we had a lot of injuries which stopped us. When you have Debuchy, Giroud, Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott all injured for a few months, it makes it difficult to have your best team, and to fight with Chelsea, who didn’t have any big injuries. I hope we will not have a lot of injuries this season.”
He went on, citing our injury woes as one of our main obstacles, saying, “I’ve been here six years now, and played more than 200 games, so I have more experience, I know my team-mates, I know the club and I feel good with Arsenal. When you are confident, that makes you happy and you give yourself for the team and for the club on the pitch.”
He continued, “As for the team, we’ve changed a lot of players during my time here, but for the past two years we have added a lot of players with good quality and a good technical level.
“We have kept our mentality the same, and every year the philosophy stays the same, it’s the philosophy of Wenger. We play football on the floor with movement, combinations.”
About teaming up with the BFG on the pitch, he said, “We have played together for four years now, and I think it works well. Per is good in the air and when he has the ball in front of him, I can recover behind him, and he has space.” He added, “We have a defence that plays high on the pitch so we need a team where everyone does the defensive job, and I think we did that well last year, and we will do it again this season.”
Koscielny played in 39 matches last season and has been linked with a move away to Real Madrid this summer – a rumour which seems to have eased up. The defender has now played over 200 matches as an Arsenal player since he joined in 2010. He’s an integral part of the club now and I can’t imagine him leaving.