Martin Keown criticised Laurent Koscielny for not doing the basics well enough in Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool, but is he right about the defender not being ‘well schooled’?

Koscielny was one of several defenders to have a bit of a nightmare in that 3-3 draw with Liverpool on December 22rd.

He was particularly suspect on Liverpool’s third goal of the night.

The Frenchman failed to pick up the goalscorer Roberto Firmino as he was ball watching.

Keown has panned this defending, and hinted that Koscielny wasn’t “well schooled”.

“Koscielny gets drawn to the ball, and these are the basics,” he said on BBC’s Football Focus (via the Express).

“If you are not well schooled, and you are playing against quality and you are going to come undone.” 

“Koscielny has got to do better.”

It’s fair to say that Koscielny isn’t having his best season.

The 32-year-old has looked off the pace in several games, and hasn’t quite been at his authoritative best.

He continues to be troubled by an Achilles problem, which may be holding him back from reaching his best level.

However, this one indifferent season does not undo the fantastic seasons he’s had since joining in 2010.

He has made mistakes, but he’s also bailed Arsenal out on numerous occasions.

What we’re seeing isn’t a player that doesn’t know how to do the basics, but one who is simply lacking form.

Unfortunately, given his fitness troubles and style of defending, this decline was bound to happen.

Arsenal now have to manage him well and be on the lookout for a long-term replacement.

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