Laurent Koscielny probably isn’t going to want to check social media in the next few days.
The defender has received an awful lot of criticism in the wake of his performance against Southampton, as Arsenal surrendered their 22 game unbeaten run on the south coast. In truth there were a lot of factors behind the defeat and there are a lot of reasons for Arsenal fans to be frustrated, but we don’t think getting annoyed at Laurent is the way forward. If anything, it’s on the shoulders of manager Unai Emery for trying to get the Frenchman to return before he’s ready.
You could make the argument that he was a part of the Europa League team that kept a clean sheet, but let’s be honest, the expectation was always going to be that they’d come away with the win quite easily from that.
We just don’t think it’s fair to pile on top of Koscielny, who has been a loyal servant to Arsenal Football Club and fought hard to make his way back from the injury he suffered last season. We understand the same kind of logic was applied by fans of Arsene Wenger back when he left the club, but this isn’t about making comparisons. This is about being fair, and it’s more than fair to suggest that the loss against Southampton was a team effort in more ways than one.
Arsenal need to make the investment in a new centre back in the January transfer window, if only on loan and nothing else. We aren’t saying that to be mean, either, we’re saying that because they desperately need options. Injuries are threatening to plague their campaign and there’s no exaggeration behind that, and someone like Koscielny needs some back up as he begins to get back to full fitness.
The upcoming Christmas period is going to be incredibly difficult to deal with as there are so many games in a short space of time, and this is the time to get behind the side – not gang up against them. Things could be a lot worse, as we’ve just seen with Jose Mourinho leaving Manchester United, and it’s time to realise that Koscielny still has a few years left at the top.
Do you think that Laurent Koscielny was as bad as fans claim he was against Southampton?