Arsène Wenger talked to the media on Friday about how hard it’s been for Laurent Koscielny to be sidelined so far.
After picking up a red card in the final Premier League game of the season for Arsenal last campaign, Koscielny then had to sit out the FA Cup final against Chelsea, as well as the opening games of 2017/18 against Leicester and Stoke.
But Wenger made the decision to keep him out of the friendly matches, as well as the game against Chelsea in the Community Shield, and he explained on Friday via Standard: “It’s been very hard because I didn’t even consider him for friendly games as I had to play some defenders [who were available in the Premier League]
“I think what hurt him a lot was to miss the cup final. He had a reaction in the final game of the season against Everton that was unlucky. We lost the game on Saturday [at Stoke] because defensively we gave a cheap goal away, and it’s good to have him back.”
As hard as it must have been for Laurent Koscielny watching the team play on without him, knowing he couldn’t do anything to help, it can’t have been easy for anybody else either. Arsenal have been a nightmare defensively.
The three goals conceded to Leicester at home on the opening day were not costly in terms of the points, but exposed how easily Arsenal could be cut open.
Stoke only took advantage of that once, but against Stoke at the Bet 365 Arsenal can’t be giving away leads. The Potters are a better team with something to hold onto, and they held onto that lead to win 1-0.
If Arsenal do the same against Liverpool, they’re just as sure to be punished. Koscielny will need to forget the last few months sitting out and get up to speed fast.