Friday, February 23, 2024

Koscielny: Drogba, Crouch, Aguero? I’ll go to war with them all

Laurent Koscielny believes he has upped his game since arriving at Arsenal because he has to adapt his game on a weekly basis to combat Premier League strikers of all shapes and sizes.

Drawing comparisons with the type of hitmen he faced when plying his trade for Lorient, the French international stressed that he is no longer fazed by the physicality of life in England and actually thrives on ‘going to war’ with opponents.

Speaking to the inimitable Philippe Auclair in a lengthy interview with France Football (English translation available here) Koscielny eloquently reflected:

“When I was in France, I liked to ‘stick’ to the forwards, because I had the ability to go in front of them; it was easier for me, because those forwards were not as strong as they’re here, when you’re sometimes playing against huge guys who weigh 90 kilos and are still able to switch direction.

“I told myself ‘wait a bit, move back one or two yards’. That way, I can see whether his first touch will take him left or right, I can intercept, and initiate play from the back.

“England, in the past, it was ‘hoof it’ – but that’s over. You’ve got every kind of striker: a Drogba, who is so strong his back to goal; Peter Crouch, who’s 2 metres tall; Kun Agüero, who’s 1 metre 50, but who’s so fast!

“It’s not the worse for that: you taste everything, you improve more quickly. You encounter a different problem every week. One week, it’ll be header after header, because you’re playing a team like Stoke, who like to play long balls; the next, your job will be to pass the ball out of defence.

Having spent only one season in the French top flight before moving to Arsenal, it’s fair to say that Koscielny was certainly thrown in the deep end last season. Sent off on his debut at Anfield in August 2010, he later kept Lionel Messi quiet during the Gunners 2-1 win at the Emirates in February before playing a fateful part in Birmingham’s Carling Cup final winner after a mix-up with Wojciech Szczesny.

While last year may have been a personal rollercoaster, this season, despite the club’s erratic form, Koscielny himself is a far more consistent force in the centre of defence. Indeed, while both Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen have occasionally been caught napping, the former Lorient man has often been on hand to sweep up.

Talking about the work done on the training ground and how it has allowed him to enjoy not just the tactical battles but the rough and tumble, Koscielny continued:

“The diversity of the attacking players you face pushes you ahead. In my first year at the club, I was a novice. To play against opponents as different as I had to made me improve.

“We worked on my positioning – because of the physical impact of English forwards. But, wait, even if I’m someone who likes the beautiful game, I also enjoy the physical side of it. ‘Go to war’ – no worries!

“English referees aren’t as card happy [as French ones], and I’m not unhappy that they let the game flow a bit more. In France, it’s constant whistling. The halves don’t last 45 minutes, but 40! Here, there’s no play-acting… when it’s tough, it’s tough. And it isn’t the worse for it. There’s no cheating, and that’s a good thing.”

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Kos is Boss.


Who’d have thought that the tall, lanky guy who pundits thought would be blown away by pl strikers would be our best defender soon? I’m going for kos and vermaelen to score vs wba in a 2-0


Possibly Wenger 😉


Kos. A warrior amongst Warriors. When I watch Kos play this season and read how many supporters/fans load him as the best of the season ( better than TV5 ) in my opinion; I remember all the negative nasty submissions he received in the first year in England posted on this and several other blogs. Using Kos as a benchmark I wonder if the keyboard massive should stop and reconsider their venomous negative narratives against our players, especially the ones who just joined us or returning from injury (referring to Ramsay) What the Philippe’s Auclair interview with Kos has highlighted;… Read more »


Ramsey will be fine. He needs to let go of the ball faster and to work on his shooting (he gets into great goalscoring positions). Once he fixes those asppects of his game he will be a devastating player.


Very diplomatic at the last, there.


He will leave an arsenal legend after years of service, and after turning down massive money offers from those $iteh twats..;

Long live the Kos

Daniel Espinoza

“When I was in France, I liked to ‘stick’ to the forwards, because I had the ability to go in front of them; it was easier for me, because those forwards were not as strong as they’re here, when you’re sometimes playing against huge guys who weigh 90 kilos and are still able to switch direction.” – First thoughts were “Emile Heskey” then “never mind..”


Heskey cannot switch directions. Maybe Drogba or Yakubu


There’s no cheating, except for when Gareth Bale is involved.


Rumor mill has it that he’s off to Barca so the amount of cheating in PL will drop at least by 33% next season.

Now if we could get rid of Jet Boots and Dirty Racist…


…and half the United squad.


Kos is the best centre-half at the club right now.


One of the best in the league I’d say. Perhaps only Kompany would be ahead of him… For now.


Yes sir. And by this time next year, the best in England.


Kos is a gun, one of my fav arsenal players!


Didn’t do a great job of going to war with Holt last week.


heh. I’d have been more impressed by a joke about the French always losing wars. But only a little.

Anyhow, it’s not like it was all his fault, he needed cover from his teammates, he didn’t get it.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Had it not been for RvP, he would be my player of the year at Arsenal………

I think that Sagna has been super as well, just that Kos has played a lot more than Sagna has.

Lastly, though no cheating in the English……………….


As a rule, it is true. we generally frown on diving. Didn’t Fergie “have a word” with Splashley Cole?


Splashley Young, you mean.

Cygan's Right Foot

Do you mean Ashley ‘Swan Dive’ Young? I’m not sure Fergie would go to Chelsea to speak to one of their players about being a fuckwit


Although it’d make a great sight to see Ferguson calling Cashley over in the middle of a game just to have a word with him.


Surely Arteta has to get a shout for player of the year after RVP??


I think you’re all forgetting Rosicky.

Ace McGoldrick

Arteta has been exceptional. Wouldn’t go with Rosicky because although he has been terrific he hasn’t done it all season long.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You can see how good Arteta is by looking at how good we have been without him. When Arteta was playing Song had somebody to pass to who would get into places Song could reach him from. Without Arteta Song is getting caught with the ball and disposessed more often. That is partly why our midfiled is less dominant and the whole team suffers for it when Arteta is out of action.

Rosicky has been great, but he doesn’t help out Song and Ramsey the way Arteta does.


For me he still is the best player even before RvP. Remember, one day he was playing with Per at the back and next game he’d play with Verm. One game he’d cover for right back and next game he’d cover for left back. One game he’ll play as a left CB and next he’ll play as right CB. And then after being amazing at CB, he’d be thrown out right as an RB and he’ll do job even there. P.S. Had it not been for those smug ass English refs, he’d have won us atleast 4 penalties while playing… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yeah, I can see where you’re at here. RVP has only been called on to do what he is trained to do, though he has done that superbly well. Meanwhile Kos has been asked to play outside his comfort zone on many occasions and has still done a fantastic job every time, wherever he has played I’d go with Arteta myself, as he has been the engine room of the team, and without him we seem to have lacked the extra bit of drive necessary to turn tight games into wins. We are being hurt by not having him in… Read more »


Hearing about diving always makes me think of this:


Oops, forgot to mention, skip to 5:11


Good to see he’s focused on the job at hand:

-What about next year?
-I’m not thinking about it yet. The most important thing is to get that third place.


Soon to be the centre-half in the world. Not a doubt.


Kos is on song here. Now we just need the Verminator to go back to his defensive roots and rediscover the form that we know he has.
Kos in this form alongside a more focused Verminator would be the best CB pairing in the EPL

Midfield Corporal

Kos is a great defender, just needs to eradicate moments like the own goals against Liverpool and Blackburn. I think we can expect big things from him next season.


Just thinking back on how many ‘fans’ called for us to get rid of him last season saying he will never be good enough. All sorts of abuse sent his way. Let’s hope it’s similar for the players on the receiving end of the same abuse this year.


i like the fact that u didn’t mention any names.
i for one thinks chamakh has lots to give.


The problem with that is that hopefully we won’t give Chamakh a chance. I mean, we play only one striker, so I think injury to RVP would be basically the only chance he’d have to truly prove himself.


Easily Arsenal’s player of the season after RVP!


Notice how he didn’t put Grant Holt in that list!!

Defo player of the season after RVP.. Wenger got slagged off so badly about him last year so he deserves credit here.

Master Bates

He also didn’t put Demba Ba,Suarez,Balloteli and Ibrahimovich in that list ,But they were all in his back pocket

the only sam is nelson

*nobody* can subdue GH, it’s why he’s our marquee signing of the summer a lesson in traditional centre forward play was handed to us last saturday Kos is a fucking gem, however. Criticising him for scoring own goals misses the point like criticising a forward for missing chances – it’s all about *getting there* in teh first place, which is what Kos does. Find me an OG Kos scored that if he hadn’t been there wouldn’t have resulted in an opponent scoring. You won’t. He’s brave, doesn’t mind sticking himself into places that are going to hurt. He takes one… Read more »

Midfield Corporal

I reckon he could of avoided both those OG’s Sam, I think he just panicked a bit. But like you say the positive is he got in the position to defend them. I hope we can take the defensive performance against Everton and use it as a template for what we expect next season.


Although I’m bitter at Holt and Norwich, they’re the team I admire most after Arsenal.

Holt in particular is impressive, he’s way too old to have 10+ goals!


The new Bouldy. Doesn’t get the same plaudits as the fella next to him (from the media at least), but just loves defending. We need more of that.


Spot on, underrated massively, read some stats about how he’s made the most amount of interceptions in the league and the most last man tackles, Above the likes of Kompany, Ferdinand etc.


Ferdinand who?

Cygan's Right Foot

Ferdinand the Bull?

Naija Gunner

The most consistent Arsenal centre back.


He’s a lot more intelligent as a defender than Vermaelen, that bit when he talked about nipping in front of the defender to get the ball in France and how he realised here that physical strikers can easily roll you over if you did that. in the PL Brings to mind the QPR game where of course Arsenal’s game is built around winning the ball back early and starting an attack, I noticed Koscielny did not get so tight to the likes of Zamora and stood a few feet away so he wasn’t rolled off the ball. Vermaelen didn’t read… Read more »


we want a defence with kos/mert readers
SZCZ organizer
vermaelen organizer/initiator
athletic and tricky full backs


this Guy has a very very vivid description! wow!

Alan Sunderland's Afro

When the BFG returns, I reckon him and Kos will form a fine CB partnership. Kos and Tommy are far too similar to make a good paring, as they both like to attack the ball. The BFG uses his size and positioning.

I would wager that next season Tommy will be found a lot as left full-back, with the BFG and Kos in the middle, and Sagna on the right.

the fluff on Alan Sunderland's afro after he scored in the FA Cup Final

I reckon you’re right, boss


I’m not sure, remember how Vermaelen mentioned he was really unhappy at LB? I’m sure he’d play there if the boss asked him to, but he wouldn’t enjoy it at all.

Trex d' Gunner

Who cares if he likes it or not, its for the good of the team.


I don’t think Verm is a leftback. When he played there our left side wasn’t dynamic enough. I think he would be excellent as a defensive midfielder. If Mert is fit for West Brom and since we’re missing Arteta I wouldn’t mind seeing Wenger try him with Song and Rosicky.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

“When he played there our left side wasn’t dynamic enough.” This is a very diplomatic way of saying that when Vermaelen was playing LB all of our attacks were made on the right. Yes?

Then we lost Sagna, and suddenly all of our attacks weren’t being made at all… until Song eventually discovered that he could make amazing through ball passes direct to RVP and Rosicky remembered where he had put his mojo.

In Arsenal’s current setup the full backs absolutely MUST be specialist full backs with attacking skills. Without that the team is really hampered when going forward.


Can proudly say I wasn’t one of the keyboard warriors who wanted Kos out last season even after the carling cup final. You could see little hints of him being a world class CB. This season he’s obviously proved. We now have a problem because who slots in with him in defence when fit? Per or TV5? I’d rotate but keep TV5 first choice just because his recovery pace & combative style but only if he calms his running upfield when he gets bored moments


The guys face alone scares me shitless…he
‘s arsenals gladiator. Go get ’em.

gooner odst

if there was an award for most improved player in the league, Koscielny has to be top 5, top 3. Thats despite our poor start to the season as well.


Poor mans version of Kaboul…Now that is a defender.

Trex d' Gunner

What is wrong with you spuds? Don’t you guys have your own blogs, or is it so filled with crap you must always come here. Get the F**k out of here

Merlin's Panini

kkkkkkkkkcccccccBAHAHAHAHA! Kaboul? He’s a total pile of shit mate! Hahahaha! You stupid spud moron! Get back to the shit hole where you belong.

Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

Kaboul is a poor amn’s version of Arry’s left testicle, the one that wasn’t chewed off by his dog and you while sucking his tiny dick. go back to abusing your baby sister,Tiny Tott.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Kaboul? I’ve heard that name somewhere. A port city on the Bosphorus, no?


“go to war”?
Oh, you’ve just gotta love the phrasing of our French players.

Althought things like “I’m not unhappy ” tend to get confusing sometimes 😛

[…] 来源:[Arseblog News] BY ANDREW ALLEN 本文系Arseblog中文网原创翻译,转载请注明出处。 […]

[…] out of 54 attempted) in the Premier League this season, the highest of any player! Indeed, the player himself has spoken of how he has improved, adapted and up’d his game since big step up from  Ligue 1 to the […]

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