Laurent Koscielny has responded to criticism from Arsenal legend Ian Wright by claiming he’s always been respectful and loyal.
The way Koscielny left Arsenal didn’t exactly go down well with supporters. The club captain went on strike, refusing to join the team on tour, then in his announcement video, he took off an Arsenal shirt to reveal a Bordeaux jersey underneath.
Ian Wright took issue with that video in particular, writing on Twitter: “The level of disrespect. You should be ashamed for the way you’ve left the club after nine years! Got what you wanted and still trying to have a dig.”
Speaking in quotes reported by Goal, Koscielny responded to the comments in a bit of a roundabout way.
“I’ve always been upstanding, respectful and loyal,” Koscielny said. “I always gave my maximum. I spoke with the coach, who was understanding. And as for the rest…”
The issue is that no one is really questioning Koscielny’s commitment during his time on the pitch with Arsenal. That doesn’t justify using the club for attention in an announcement video with your new team.
As for why he left in the first place, Koscielny gave a more reasonable explanation, claiming he just couldn’t handle the demands of the Premier League anymore.
“A Premier League season is very long. It requires a lot physically and mentally,” Koscielny explained. “I didn’t feel I could play 40-50 matches and I didn’t want to end my career with injuries. I’ve gone down a level, but to take more pleasure.
“Either I finished there or changed clubs. With my family, we felt it was time. Everything was in my thinking: football, my physical state, my wife, my children, the daily life we could have.
“I can only say that I left with my head held high. All of those I worked with for nine years… everyone respected my decision to return home with my family.”
Koscielny has made seven appearances for Bordeaux this season, playing 90 minutes of every game since his debut.
The difference with his new club is that they have very little going on aside from the league matches, whilst Arsenal are dealing with the League Cup and Europa League already.
You could argue the Gunners haven’t been using many of their players across all three competitions, but Koscielny is still probably right that he won’t play as many games with Bordeaux. They sit seventh in the league as things stand.