Ornstein: Koscielny not stripped of captaincy…yet

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The BBC’s David Ornstein has had his say on Laurent Koscielny’s decision not to travel on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the USA revealing the defender recently asked the club to let him leave for free.

The 33-year-old, who has played 353 times for the Gunners and won the FA Cup twice, is under contract for another year so, unsurprisingly, the club rejected his appeal. At the tail-end of last season, it had looked like he might even be open to a contract extension.

It’s believed that several clubs are understood to be interested in signing our club captain on a Bosman (no shit!) but obviously with our tight summer budget and shit defence, the idea of letting him go on his own terms just doesn’t make any sense.

Granted, we do have previous letting long-serving players leave early. Sol Campbell, who’d outlined a desire to move abroad, was released by Arsene Wenger prematurely in 2006. Much to the Frenchman’s annoyance, the defender ended up joining Portsmouth.

Ornstein says that Arsenal haven’t yet stripped Koscielny of the captaincy but he also says that the player will be in breach of his contract if he doesn’t turn up for training.

If he has any intention of leaving through the front door – and let’s not be naive about this, he will now move – Koscielny will be expected at London Colney this week. No doubt, Steve Bould will be waiting for him.

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Lilmantoldem
Lilmantoldem

Tragic to see our captain potentially leaving under these circumstances

Almọnd
Almọnd

Why are the long serving good players in a haste to leave the club.. Thinking out loud

Rob67
Rob67

For the same reason Gazedis jumped…..

IamaGoober

Gazidis left because he was about to get collard for being quite possibly the worst CEO humanly possible..

Scott P
Scott P

To be fair, none of our players helped fulfill the duties of CEO either! 😉

IamaGoober

The duties of the CEO stretch far further than the results on the pitch. Although he is ultimately also responsible for them as well…

Whisht
Whisht

Gazidis also pocketed millions when Kroenke took over completely. Basically the terms of his contract changed due to ownership being 100% in one person’s hands and he had a window of opportunity to leave, with payment.

MOH
MOH

Because this isn’t a club any more. It’s just a badly run corporate shambles.

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

Clearly, they have been frustrated about the so-called “project” that Kroenke mentioned. No ambition, full of lies.

I am not surprised if Edu and Sallehi both quits after meeting Kroenke at the US.

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Quite simple really – money. If you had an offer to move back to your home country on a 3 year deal and live in a great region like Bordeaux at the age of 33 and with a dodgy achilles then you would do it every time.

Dave
Dave

Maybe he can donate some of the money offered to him to buy out his contract then, rather than trying to force us in to letting him go for free?

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Maybe he’ll do just that. He’s entitled to do so.

IamaGoober

Read somewhere he is willing to buy-out his own contract of £5M to go..

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Same here. I’m not holding my breath though. If he was willing to do that then he’d just do it without going on strike. This is all a game to try to force the club to release him free/cheap.

Mekus
Mekus

Probably

Mekus
Mekus

Good

Vonnie
Vonnie

I also read that the club said not to worry and when the deadline to do that had passed slapped a £10 million transfer fee on him. If that is the truth then it’s spiteful and I’m not surprised he’s upset.

Mekus
Mekus

Absolutely. It’s his choice and other players has done it before. If he’s so desperate, then he should buy out his contract. If not that he had injury towards the end of last season, he would have left as he said. Yet the club nursed and supported him through this horrible ordeal, so the least he can do is to respect and honour his contract with the club or buy it out. The Wenger era of doing financial favours are gone. The club is in a financial deep shit of its own to continue with such.

Rudy
Rudy

Definitely, something wrong with our Arsenal. A long serving captain act and behave like this isn’t normal at all. Maybe someone push him to go out and ask for big compensation?

UGooner
UGooner

I think we should just accept now that we have a curse of the Arsenal captain’s armband. Mustafi for Captain!

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

Craptain Mustafi

Mootilated
Mootilated

”Captain” – On paper maybe. On the pitch not so much. Especially last season.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Good news! This may force the club to buy a confirmed CB, renegociate to have Saliba this season. For me, we have Bielik, Chambers, Mavropanos and can bring Saliba in. In addition to Papas, two of them will come good and the manager is paid to identify these two.

Mpls
Mpls

Somebody woke up on the right side of the bed this morning.
I’ll have what Titi’s having.

ankle
ankle

Thought we wanted good proven cb’s…….. bielik, mavra, chambers ? smh its fine tho, they’re young and deserve a chance, i didn’t know sympathy would improve our defensive record.

Otunba Jayboy
Otunba Jayboy

And you forgot to mention Rob Holding??

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

The captain leaving a sinking ship. Symbolic.

Power
Power

Allow him leave please

atom
atom

under no circumstances should we let him leave without receiving a fee. If he were injured he would fully expect us to pay his contract. We have to be more ruthless with players if we want to return to the top = you don’t allow players to leave for free- particularly when we have very few solid options at CB.

Rob67
Rob67

We have to get some sort of a fee. But we won’t see him again, otherwise. Player power is now all encompassing and Kos has kicked his last ball for us.

My worry is whether we get a replacement. Or more likely – we don’t 🙄

Martin
Martin

Will be sorry to see him leave but we do have a replacement called Chambers

Mpls
Mpls

Sorry, but I disagree. Chambers has not proven himself capable of that level yet. If Holding gets back to the form he had before his ACL, he’s closer. Even with Kos’s dodgy achilles and at 33 he’s had a step on Chambers when it matters up until the tail end of last season.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

It’s not even about being ruthless. He’s under contract and unless he wants to sit his last year out it’ll cost X amount of money for him to move on. It’s fair.

goonero
goonero

How much money do you think we’re going to get for a half-crocked 33 year old?

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Not much. It’s a matter of principle rather than money.

kaius
kaius

Bordeaux, where he reportedly wants to go, just sold their CB Jules Koundé for 25m euros.

Why should we give them a free replacement?

goonero
goonero

Hahahaha, what so now that we’ve shafted ourselves out of the 60 odd million we’ve let walk for free in Ramsey and Welbeck we simply MUST take a stand and not let the half crocked 33 year old koscielny go for anything less than his massive market value of 1 elneny or 2 and a half Jenkinsons.

Yeah good old Arsenal always staying strong where it really matters.

Mpls
Mpls

One way or another the policy has got to change in this direction.

With the mooted pocket lint we’ve got to use this window, every few million counts. And he’s got to be worth a few million at the very least.

goonero
goonero

Yeah let’s make an example out of that notorious ne’er do well Koscielny. Let Mesut Ozil, Mustafi, Carl Jenkinson, Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Kolasinac and Mhkitaryan no if they think they are leaving on anyone terms but Arsenals, they’ve got another thing coming!

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

Just because we’ve let a few prize horses bolt in the past is no reason not to shut the stable door.

Mekus
Mekus

Stop being sarcastic. If this current club management wakes up to it’s responsibility and chose to stop doing father Christmas with the club’s rights and money, then good. Obviously, they have to start with someone and there’s no bigger fish than Kol to start stamping their feet down. We are still bemourning the Ozil contract that Gazadis dolled out and then jumped ship. Enough!

Deep

Ramsey and Wlebeck had ZERO years remaining on their contract, Kos still has ONE year of contract remaining out of a 3 year contract that the club offered to him at 31years of age, thus making an exception for him out of respect fr his service ro the club.

Der32
Der32

Can we ship him out to St. Etienne so Saliba can play for us this season?

Riku
Riku

Good plan man

Riku
Riku

Celtic reported want a extra 7 million on our offer for k.t. Left back . That 7m would do…

Mekus
Mekus

Absolutely

JB1
JB1

What a terrible way to end your great legacy with the club…

dr Strange
dr Strange

Why? He signed the contract and as much as the club are expected to honor their end of the bargain so are the players. If he want’s to leave, find a club that meets the valuation or he could buy himself out of the contract.

Feel sorry that Kos are ending his stay with us in this way as he’s been one of the top players and characters for the last ten years. Will never doubt his commitment but I now doubt his judgement and his agent are, no doubt, a complete cunt.

I will respect him when he leaves but he won’t be up there where he should be in my memory. He just became another squad player.

Counterview
Counterview

Really? ” … one of the top players”! Look at the record and you’ll see he was present for most of the drubbings that have littered the last nine years.

Man
Man

Nope. Dude needs to buy out his contract if he wants to leave. ~£5m please Lolo.

Vonnie
Vonnie

I believe that he tried.

gunnerpete
gunnerpete

Ah, fond memories of Sol “going abroad” to the south coast! Takes the edge off this unfortunate story, at least…

GoonerDane
GoonerDane

Guess we can expect the signing of Saliba to be made official soon, as a way for the club to try and appease the fans following this debacle..
This summer is mad.

goonero
goonero

Dear worried fans, fret not! Even though Laurent is leaving us, next season we will have Saliba replace him!#FuckTheTraitor#NewYoungHope

“But who will replace him this season?”

I’m sorry that’s all the time we have! Don’t forget to visit the Arsenal store for the retro Adidas jerseys guys! #WeRunNorfLandan#ArsenalFamily#GiveUsYourMoney

Martin
Martin

Chambers

Mintoes
Mintoes

About time Chambers was given a decent run again.

goonero
goonero

Watch it happen: Mustafi takes number 6, Xhaka and Ozil will be named captain and vice captains, the club extends the contracts of Mustafi and Xhaka.

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

And we finish 8th.

Charles Charlie Charles
Charles Charlie Charles

You can’t really think Chambers is good enough?

Rudy
Rudy

Just exchange him with Saliba

Dan
Dan

Thought he had a bit more class than that to be honest

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

Me too. It does make you wonder what’s been going on behind the scenes.

A Different George
A Different George

The least diva-like player and he wants to leave. What does this say about his relationship with Emery?

kaius
kaius

How many of our best players left us under Wenger? What did that say about their relationship with him?

You were always quick to defend Wenger in this kind of situation. Now that you don’t like the current manager, it must be his fault.

How convenient.

Duncan
Duncan

Agreed. Additionally doesn’t matter if you have a bad relationship with the manager… do the fucking job you’re being paid a lot of money to do. Always loved Koscielny but this is a big stain on his copybook for me.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair

There are questions all-round on this, guess we’ll find out more in the coming days.

But if this means we stop getting dicked on by players, agents, and other clubs, then I see it as a positive development.

ATG
ATG

This just goes to show how this club is being run, no one has got a clue! The absent owner and rest following suit….

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Other than making this public (very unArsenal) I don’t see what the club have gone wrong here. His market value is probably £5-10m – why on earth should we just let him go for nothing???

John C
John C

I don’t understand the criticism of making this public, it’s not as if the fan’s, press etc wouldn’t have noticed him not on the tour. There’s only one person to blame here and that’s Koscielny.

Riku
Riku

We are now run by Americans and the ‘Barcelona Spanish man, , both known for being ruthless in dealings. Barcelona is successful
Kronoke was successful, well he managed to buy afc

CoNr
CoNr

Kos has been a great servant to Arsenal and I have a lot of respect for him, this needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP. you can’t have one of the dressing room leaders act this way. Make an example of him so that the rest know this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

He’s gone mate. There’s no coming back from this.

CoNr
CoNr

I would let him sit out rest of season playing for under 23’s and have him see out his contract… If we give in and let him go now, whats to stop a younger more valuable player doing the same thing.

I like Kos, I really do, and it sucks the club have not granted his request to be let out of his contract early. You can not how ever give in cause he has thrown his toys out of the pram.

Ben
Ben

I think I’d rather avoid having to pay his wages for a year (a few million?), and negotiate a deal to sell him on for a nominal fee. In that way, he gets to leave, and we (at least) get ‘some’ cash for a player who is still under contract.

I really dislike talking about Kos in this way, because he’s not a material object – he’s a person – and verging on being an Arsenal legend in my eyes… but there is a fair way to do this if he truly wants to move. I’m not sure leaving for free is a fair compromise, and neither is holding onto him against his wishes.

Mc1892
Mc1892

Can’t believe how many are defending Koscielny if I’m honest. I can think of very few scenarios where this isn’t solely on him. He’s our fucking captain- whether they’ve screwed him over or not, he should not be destabilising the club even further than it already is. He’d been one of my favourite ever Arsenal players until today. No longer.

locksley444
locksley444

He deserves the support he’s getting because he did play through Achilles tendinitis for a long time when another club would’ve probably rotated him a little more to manage the issue better. That resulted in an Achilles tear and him missing out on a world cup medal. Then, we brought him back last season when he didn’t look like he had fully recovered. The first two games he played, pretty much everyone wrote him off as finished. Then he got better enough to where people still consider him one of the best CBs at the club now. If he feels like he’s put his body on the line too often for the club, you can’t really blame him.

Mc1892
Mc1892

Then surely he should have developed this ability to tell the club to do one back then, with genuine reason, rather than leave us floundering now a month out from the beginning of a season that noone seems up for? It’s the move of a 20 year old player above his station, not a 34 year old who’s been supported by the club for a decade. I heard news of this on a WhatsApp group first and presumed it do be the bullshit of the daily mail- so so shocked its come out to be true.

Vick
Vick

We all love the Arsenal and are only concerned about Arsenal’s best interests. For a second maybe we should look at the situation from Kos’ perspective. Maybe he doesn’t see anything good coming of next season. Same old shit for one more year. And he only has maybe a couple of years left in him.

As an Arsenal fan I am pissed off with this move but as a Kos fan I can understand his perspective. We still need to get a fee, he is not walking away for free.

locksley444
locksley444

So you’re saying he should have refused to play in the middle of a season when Rob holding was out and we were teetering after a 22 game unbeaten run? Yeah that’s surely the hallmark of a captain. How shameful that he played high level games in what should have been the final stages of his fitness training, and after the end of the season, is asking to leave in the twilight of his career to play at a lower level! Just remember that maybe he knows his limitations well, when our season starts and he’s not as good anymore because he’s pushing 34. He’ll likely be pressed into service week-in week-out if our other defenders perform poorly-no chance of that happening though right?. At best he will be labeled as ‘finished’ again and that will put him in a great position by 2020 when he’s out of contract.

Mc1892
Mc1892

So he should prioritise his next contract over the one he’s currently playing under? Bizarre opinion. If this were another player, people would be demanding them be fired and the pitchforks would be well and truly out. Again, I’m a huge fan of Koscielny’s (even got his name on the first Puma shirt) but this is so far wide of the mark it’s untrue. If this had happened prior to our ST renewals I’d have chucked mine- why the fuck should I keep paying my money when our CAPTAIN can’t even be bothered? Absolutely gutted.

locksley444
locksley444

Look, I get that he’s not going about this nicely but to accuse the guy of ‘not being bothered’ when so far he has put his body on the line every single time he was asked, is unfair. Also, to question that he’s prioritizing the next contract over his current one would also be unfair to his level of professionalism so far. I personally never saw him as a vocal leader. He’s more of a great soldier that does his own duties well, like a Jon snow. Others may look up to him for it, but when he can’t do his duties well anymore(because he’ll be 34 in a couple of months) , I don’t think he’ll feel right. From my perspective of his personality , He’d rather go where he can still be a great soldier and do his job well. He’s just seen in lichtsteiner, what a player past his prime looks like in the PL. We don’t even have a new central defender that he can take under his wing,not that it’s his personality in the first place.

Matt
Matt

Body on the line? This is football we’re talking about my friend, not the Army. As far as I’m concerned, he is no more

locksley444
locksley444

People feign fake injuries and this guy comes back clearly less than a hundred percent after an Achilles rupture. I’d call that body on the line, army or not.

GraeB
GraeB

He’d have been the first to go public on it if we hadn’t given him a new contract. At his age he was no doubt grateful to still be earning a fortune whilst not necessarily playing every week. He would know that his playing time would reduce now.

Now he’s found that someone else wants to give him a new contract and chooses pre-season to launch his move and complains that we won’t release him for free!! Unbelievable.

If he’s so keen to get away, get the new club to pay up a fee even if it means his wages are reduced accordingly. French league will be like retirement.

I’m afraid that I have never felt Kos was the rock at the back we needed. Too many headers not taken, kicks attempted instead, poor positioning, and lack of leadership for me. Our best defensive performance over recent years was the Chelski Cup final when BFG and Holding did the job.

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

The way your talking he was doing it for free and it works both ways a lot of clubs wud of got rid of a player with a recurring injuries.

N7 Gooner
N7 Gooner

D’oh! BART!

Andre
Andre

Seriously Kos? My esteem for Ramsey just rose further now. He kept it dignified until the end.

A Different George
A Different George

But two of our best players this decade, neither of them ever accused of being prima donnas with big egos who place themselves ahead of the team, both decide to leave.

Lobster
Lobster

Decade? 2009 was a long time ago mate.

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

Ramsey didn’t decide to leave, his offer was retracted. He was forced to look somewhere else.
Bonkers.

jans
jans

This is a bit too much from Kos.
Dont know how to feel about it after he did so much for us last season:/
And our defence is trully fucked now.. If Sokratis gets injured where do we stand? ridiculous

Rudy
Rudy

If i can be honest, we are a better team when Rob Holding not injured

Goontang
Goontang

How has he only won 2 FA cups? What happened to his 3rd? In any case, majorly disappointed in this. Probably one of the reasons we are sending Saliba back on loan was to see out the last year of koscielnys contract. Sort of fucks us there doesnt he.

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

He was injured. Remember our magnificent BFG and Rob Holding owning Diego Costa? Ah, happy days!

The Farmer
The Farmer

Was he not suspended??

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

You got me thinking there (an iffy memory is a terrible thing!) but I’m pretty sure he picked up his Achilles injury in a Europa League just before the FA Cup Final.

A Different George
A Different George

Yes. That’s why Holding played and (memories of how brilliant he was at winding up Diego Costa notwithstanding) was saved over and over by Mertesacker.

Riku
Riku

Yes suspended . V silly red card.
Tho helped us.

In the big games he often bottled, kicked past on keeper v bit,Ingram cup final, kicked in own face v Madrid, athletics, played Shen lost 6-0 to Chelsea (8-2 v utd ?)

Tho scored winning head last day of season at Newcastle to finish above spuds and top four,
Sell him for 7 m, and use money got new signing

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

Hats off to you, it was a suspension. It was *last season’s* Europa League in which he was injured. Bloody years, blending in to each other..!

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

And by last season I mean 2017/18, not the one that’s just finished.

(Oh hell, I give up!)

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

If this is his agent recommending his absence, its despicable. And Kos listening is both surprising and disappointing to say the least. I had so much respect, but this is wrong. Maybe he viewed the club as Arsene FC instead of Arsenal FC.

ach
ach

Unless you’re injured/death of family member/arsenal refusing to pay his wage/just came back from international duty, there is no way to justify this kind of behavior, especially from the club captain. So much for playing for the badge lmao. I guess alexis was right when he said that kosc is not captain material.

kaius
kaius

And it’s harsh but Deschamps was right to drop him from France’s WC squad. The players didn’t need him, and the fact he didn’t command enough respect in the dressing room to at least merit traveling with the squad spoke volumes.

A Different George
A Different George

That is ridiculous. Deschamps “dropped” him because he literally could not walk at the time. If you watch Deschamps naming the squad, he specifically talks about how Koscielny would have played if he were not injured–he brings this up twice.

kaius
kaius

Like I said, it’s harsh on Koscielny, but for example Benjamin Mendy was injured all season and still made the squad.

There was a big outcry when Deschamps announced the final 23 with so many young players, and so many big names left out. He said he wanted “less experience, more ambition”.

So it’s not 100% certain Koscielny would’ve gone even if he’d been fully fit.

Simon
Simon

“I guess alexis was right when he said that kosc is not captain material” when did he say this

Viv
Viv

Some how gets a creepy feeling that the whole episode is managed by the club and player….. to woo potential suitors

Cant see the captain being irresponsible

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

To all those saying Koscielny gave us everything: he was a nobody who we signed and turned into a French international and a name known throughout Europe. We could have ditched him after his disastrous first 18 months (during which he cost us a League Cup that would have broken our trophy duck, at a time when we were top of the league) but we stuck with him. His HUGE mistake gave Atlético their away goal and imo stopped us winning the Europa at the first attempt. Obviously he has been very good for us overall, but he’s not a club legend and has no right to treat us like this. I hope we suspend his pay indefinitely until he returns to the first team, then in 2020 he can do what he wants.

Georgeycharles
Georgeycharles

Even if he was a club legend, I doubt that’s the way he’ll be seen now.

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

I agree with some of your sentiments but Kos is still a legend to me. (I reserve the right to revise my opinion as more details on this story emerge.)

I say this because of his professionalism, his willingness to put his body on the line and for being, for long periods, our more consistent and reliable defender.

He’s also a decent guy, by all accounts. He donated over half a million to save a factory in his home town yet he always strikes me as humble and unassuming. This makes this sorry story all the more shocking.

Addi
Addi

Agreed RedCurrant it makes the story extremely troubling because it seems so out of left field/ out of character for the individual. I agree with Spanish Gooner as well we have to stand firm and deal with this with some balls….disagree about him not being a legend I know it’s an opinion but based off recent times..to me he is a club legend but this form of action probably/definitely tarnished that status

kaius
kaius

Well, wasn’t it him that was rumoured to be fighting with Alexis in training? And wasn’t it him that supposedly cried at a team-only meeting during a crisis when players needed a strong captain?

Let’s be honest, it’s not that far out of left-field for him.

John C
John C

He’s totally overrated by many on this board and has been at the heart of all our major loses since the 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford

kaius
kaius

Yep. As much as we love him now, we can’t forget that at one stage his rep for calamitous errors was almost as bad as Mustafi’s.

John C
John C

He looked good alongside Mertesacker for awhile or probably more accurately Mertesacker made him look good. Looked weak and lightweight alongside Vermaelen, Gabriel and Mustafi.

Benriz
Benriz

Well, it makes a change to unravel before the start of the season I guess.

I’m fucking bored of next season already. This club is fucked.

Martin
Martin

We certainly have problems but losing Kos is far from the greatest. We do have Chambers coming back

Drew
Drew

How many times have we stood by a seriously injured player only for them to turn around and publicly fuck us in the arse. I love Kos but he’s our fucking captain and should behave as such. Whether he thinks his body won’t hold up, whether he wants a big payday, whether the club offered to let him go and have backtracked, none of that matters, what matters is Arsenal and what you represent as the captain of this club. Fuck him, get shot and move on. What a shame it had to end this way.

Holding, Sokritis, Beilik, Chambers and heaven forbid Mustafi will have to do I guess.

Pat Rice and Beans
Pat Rice and Beans

I think Kos was one of our best players in the last 10 years and deserved to be the captain, but this situation is unacceptable.

We, he, everyone knows how dire is Arsenal’s financial situation, so why on Earth the club should release him whilst AFC could fetch EUR 5-7M for him.

I mean, I do appreciate all he has done for Arsenal, but this is business and the club own no favor to him. Simple as that.

locksley444
locksley444

I agree, they should not have to let him go on a free.

BigArse
BigArse

Would St. Etienne want him?

This is tragic and just confirms our joke club status to many. Not a good look in the transfer market.

Martin
Martin

Why blame the club? Sadly this is completely the doing of Kos

BigArse
BigArse

How can you be certain of that?

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Are the club refusing to pay him? No. Only one party is in breach of contract and going on strike here and it’s not the club.

BigArse
BigArse

Sorry, can’t throw a man with 9 years of top service to the club under the bus without hearing his side of the story. Especially when most of the others on the other side have not served the club so long or so well.

BigToks
BigToks

Disappointing…club legend status REVOKED!

Goonertilidie
Goonertilidie

Chop his Koc off!!!

Goonerink

Was probably promised a move last year, has been told he can’t so is now downing tools…

If only it was mesut or mustafi

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Would you even notice the difference if it was Mesut??

RedCurrant
RedCurrant

If Steve Bould was ‘waiting for me’ I’d be inclined to arrive promptly, if not several hours early.

But seriously, this is a sad ending to the Arsenal career of a player I’ve always looked up to and admired.

As an aside – and this is not intended as some nostalgic ‘whataboutery’ – I do wonder if the problem would have played out so publicly if Wenger was manager.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

You ever die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain…

Chippy87
Chippy87

Don’t really know what to make of this TBH.

Kos doesn’t really owe us anything at this stage, has always been the ultimate pro before this situation and always gave his best on the pitch with often crucial moments of play.

I think the injury a little over a year ago has played on his mind a bit and it was clear he was struggling a bit toward the end of last season; he doesn’t fancy doing that again and wants to play at a lower level which is understandable enough. He’s 33 after all.

However he IS still under contract and really shouldn’t be acting like this especially as club captain; if mentally he’s not really up to it anymore (which I suspect is the case here) then it’s all a bit of a messy situation for both parties…

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

He owes the final year of his contract that he signed.

Chippy87
Chippy87

Ideally yes, but it’s clear he’s not up for it and we really shouldn’t be relying on a player who’s 34 in September anyway.

He gave us 9 good years and put his body on the line, he should see out his contract but he’s, or more to the point, his body clearly has had enough at this level and it is somewhat understandable.

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Not only ‘ideally’: legally, contractually, morally and professionally he owes us what he agreed to provide. We gave him an awful lot too; turned him into an international, made him the name he is, stuck by him through injury and his many brain-melts that cost us trophies.

I don’t think it is clear that he’s not up to the job – hence other clubs are willing to take him or not. But even if that were the case, he still doesn’t get to decide. The only way he can choose to leave on his terms is by buying off the final year of his contract.

It’s incredible poor conduct from Koscielny. Show some class, carry out your duties to the full and request a transfer if that’s your wish. Going on strike because we won’t write off his value is not the way to behave and he’s pretty much killed his own relationship with the club in doing so.

Chippy87
Chippy87

I take your point but this isn’t as black and white as that though.

It’s clear now in Wenger’s final season he wanted to call quits but he either decided to stay on or was given some assurances by the club that he could seek a future elsewhere in time. I rather suspect that the later was the case.

Kos has or had been one of the top defenders in the top flight for nearly a decade, let’s not go down the revisionist route here; he stayed loyal to the club whilst at his peak and easily one of our best performers in recent years and nearly never kicked a ball again will on duty for us. I think that injury has played on his mind a lot.

It’s very clear he’s not up to the job now, otherwise he wouldn’t be looking to wind down with Rennes in France in Lique 1 and he was very clearly struggling to complete games by the end of last season. The man is nearly 34. He would have been this season, at best, a squad player. Why on earth is a club like Arsenal hedging it’s bets on a 33-34 year old past it CB anyways?!

To my mind the man has been class personified over 9 years, yeah, he should and could have handled this situation better but we simply don’t know the ins and outs of this particular situation, the word is that he’s happy to buy out his contract and I think that’s pretty fair all round.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair

He couldn’t move last summer because he was banjaxed, not because he decided to stay out of the kindness of his heart.

It amazes me that people do not support the clubs stance on this. We are not a charity, neither is Kos. Enough of players dragging our name through the mud by showing they are bigger than the club.

Georgeycharles
Georgeycharles

And we thought those heroic efforts in the second half of last season were for the club – looks like he might have just been trying to catch the eye of potential suitors and attract a lucrative bosman deal.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

How much money are we talking here? Bearing in mind he’s an injury prone player in the twilight of his career with one year left on his contract. A couple of million? A bit more, a bit less? Anyone not willing to stump up a small fee like that to get a player of Kos’ quality for a year or two shouldnt be taken seriously anyway.

Pay up or move on!

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Exactly! £5-10m is probably his market value and i’m sure we’d drop a couple of million because of his loyalty (before today!).

Andreas
Andreas

I agree. £1-3 mio should be a fair price. I think he is worth more to us, but if he does not want to stay and help out then so be it.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

I think the pace of the French or maybe even Spanish league would suit him better at this stage in his career. I wish him all the best if he goes but I hope he goes the right way and not under a cloud.

Mach to be you
Mach to be you

How did we end up like this? 🙁

DB10**
DB10**

So this is the kind of person who has captained our side for so long. Not everyone is captain material.

Geefive
Geefive

Transparency is gone from this club. God knows what’s going on behind the doors of our Walmarsenal front office.

Hank1979
Hank1979

I get the feeling there might be more to this than meets the eye. It’s very unlike Kos to down tools. Was he promised a free if he gave us another season? He was close to packing it in when Arsene left. With this board in charge nothing would surprise me. I think it could be another contract / agreement fcuk up by our esteemed club management.

Gus Caesar
Gus Caesar

Why would you conclude that based on what you do know? There was talk of him wanting a new challenge last summer but then he got injured and nobody wanted him. I’m quite sure that we’d have happily sold him if a club offered us a decent fee for him, given that he was out until Xmas. Did Koscielny do the club any favours then by offering to cancel his contract? Did he balls.

The club don’t appear to have done anything wrong here but it’s interesting how every story is now being twisted as a criticism of the club by our own fans.

Lee
Lee

Can already see him not only playing this season but probably captaining the team again by mid October :/

Southpaw74
Southpaw74

To be fair he’s bit past it now, at fault for quite few goals in the short games he played last season, bye bye fair well

Southpaw74
Southpaw74

He knows we’re gonna have another shit season and doesn’t want to be part of it,, the ship is sinking and he’s jumping,,

Santori
Santori

Nothing to do with that.

He’s 33 pushing 34 with plenty of injuries.

he knows he has to make way.

He’s actually doing us a service.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Disappointing news considering Kos’ exemplary service to the club to date. Tells me that maybe before the end of last season they had a deal in place to let him go but then losing out on the CL money forced a rethink from the club. If that’s the case I’d be pissed off if I was Kos, however that doesn’t mean he should force an exit this way. I mean FFS he could suck it up for another 6 months and have his bosman in place by the January window….methinks he’s being badly advised.

Ilari
Ilari

In a recent Arsecast Extra Blogs and James were talking when it is the time to panic this summer. THE TIME HAS COME!

Seriously, like everyone has already said, unbelieveble stuff from someone I really, really respect(ed).

Santori
Santori

Why the past tense?

He should still deserve respect.

And this was far from unpredictable.

It should have come sooner truth be told. He held another season for us.

Now he is making way which is the right thing to do.

Respect.

Ilari
Ilari

The past tense was in brackets, because I’m not sure anymore, this was such a disappointment. This is not a behaviour of a classy club captain, however you want to look at it. Something is wrong here.

assistantref
assistantref

If he wants to buy himself out of the last year of his contract that seems like a reasonable compromise.

Santori
Santori

If they try and keep him and compromise on who we bring in from market at Cback, try to keep him going for another season, it will be a huge mistake and a massive indictment on the ambition of this club.

Runzac
Runzac

He´s french – what did you expect? Evra anyone – world cup 2010?
Joke´s aside, if you cant terminate your contract – you´ll have to honour it.

EddieRitchie
EddieRitchie

This is ridiculous. It’d be one thing to hand in a transfer request. Throwing your toys out of the pram and foregoing your contractual obligations is something else altogether.
Strip him of the captaincy and bench him for the remainder of his contract. Awful behaviour.

Santori
Santori

Nobody is stripping Koscielny of his captaincy.

He will relinquish it himself.

Its the sensible thing to do beyond sentimentality which unfortunately plagues too many fans and clouds their judgement.

At 33yrs, he has given us great service but wear and tear issues will prevent him from regular feature.

We need to make room for replacement.

BUT if we should waste our efforts with an unproven young player who has to be loaned back out (for an eventual substantial sum which will complicate resale should he prove false), then we are not doing Koscielny’s departure justice.

Truth be told he should have been replaced last summer but he hung on for us.

Contrary to popular belief, his partnership with Sokratis did not bear any better fruit in a back 4 without Mustafi. We leaked 3 goals to Wolves and again in the finals against Chelsea, we were decimated.

An answer is still pending for our defensive issues (which also has bearing on our central mid where the over popular Torreira has not been the entire answer either)

Hope Le Boss gets a great transfer to finish his career off with.

George
George

ffs, I’d rather choke on a broken record than read anymore of your repetitive drivel.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

He was never captain material, not performance wise or a true leader. This here now seals the deal. If he wants to go home, a club needs to pay the fee, that’s how it works.

Goonereality
Goonereality

If any player really, really, wants to leave a club there’s very little that the club can do about it other than let him go. Keeping a disgruntled player against his wishes does nothing for morale – keeping a captain on in those circumstances is a disaster waiting to happen. In this case, assuming the story is correct, it’s also a pointer that there’s something seriously wrong behind the scenes at The Emirates. For example, there were several reports last season of dressing room unrest directed at Ozil because of his inconsistent performances coupled with his wage-structure busting £350,000 a week. Non-playing staff also left abruptly – Gazidis and Mislintat for example, with an undignified/unsuccessful attempt to replace the latter with Monchi during last season. The truth is that Arsenal are in relative decline. This isn’t new, the club was going slowly downhill under Wenger for at least three or four seasons. The continuing loss of CL qualification has had a very bad effect on the financial position. To rebuild, Emery desperately wants to offload players, almost certainly including Ozil, Mustafi, Elneny, Chambers, Jenkinson and others. Arsenal are having great difficulties doing this for reasons that are well documented (over generous wages mainly). Without fairly substantial additional money from transfers it’s going to be extremely tricky, if not impossible, for Emery to turn things around. With him into the last year of his two-year contact (albeit with a further one year option, subject to both sides agreeing), I’m not sure he’ll be around much longer either. Success tends to attract success and good news for clubs, failure the opposite.

Southpaw74
Southpaw74

Get rid of the flats move back to Highbury and bring back David Dean,,, pretty please

Mpls
Mpls

If I’m him I’m thinking – “OK, I’m 33. (At least until I turn 34, I suppose.) Achilles is dodgy. Losing my step. I’m here at a club starting a young rebuild, with slim chances of pulling down any silverware, with 1 year left on my contract. Nothing gonna happen for me in that year. Some bench time, no big shots at anything of consequence I can see, really. This league isn’t going to let me finish out my career peacefully. More abuse from the stands, and physically on the pitch.

“Oh, what’s that? Bordeaux? Quite lovely there. I’m French, family is french. That might be a quite nice place to be.

“Hey boss, can I go? I’ve busted my arse here for a long time. Took all the shellackings and beratings. Won some FA cups, done a proper job with full commitment, no complaint. Haven’t much left for you anyway.”

That’s what I imagine he’s thinking anyway. I guess it’s worth a shot if you’re in his shoes.

Not so sure I like this refusing to take part bit though, that smells a bit bad. If they want him now they can at least throw us some pocket change and a few cases of red.

SunnyD
SunnyD

I must admit, many of the replies on here disappoint me. In someways, perhaps it is a reflection of the age we live in, when grown men on here discuss matters more familiar to young children. What little information that is out there, is barely being discussed..instead its all “how dare he…good riddance…he’s shit anyway..”
Based on information on the Guardian website, what appears to have happened is that Koscielny had a 2 yr contract, which expired this summer, with the club having an option to extend for a further year. It would appear that the club chose to activate that extension, against what now appears to be Koscielny’s wishes.
My assumption here is that our captain probably expected to consider this position over the summer and discuss it with the club. In a move symptomatic of our new culture, there appears to be little discussion with the actual player.. a situation seemingly very much in line with what happened with Ramsey. Instead the extension was activated, because we dont have the money (i.e we dont have an owner willing to invest in our club”). A player who has given his all to this club, is treated like an asset on a balance sheet rather that a man who pushed himself thru the pain barrier on many occasions for this club..
Our club is becoming less of a “family” and more of an arms length run business. While this may be the nature of global football these days, this wasnt what Arsenal used to represent… a sad reflection of my growing alienation from the club is that, even just by reading the headlines and not the substance of the discussion, i feel myself siding with our captain rather than those who run this club, including the manager…

Tungor_Adams
Tungor_Adams

Comon, players don’t even respect their own legacy anymore. Sad

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

The shit show continues.

It is unbelievable how badly run this club is. This shouldn’t even be an issue, he should be allowed to leave but because we are so inept at recruitment we are totally reliant on a burnt out 33 year old defender.

Matt
Matt

Are you talking about The Arsenal? This is but a mere blip in our illustrious history — form is temporary, class is permanent my dear fellow and we will rule again. Have faith my friends, for we are The Arsenal…

Victoria Concordia Crescit

Lest us not forget…

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Too many fans have forgotten “Victory Through Harmony” that’s the problem. They allow themselves to be drawn into the “politics” and have forgotten why they started supporting Arsenal.

The founding fathers could never have envisioned that their love for the game of football would spawn a club that has a worldwide following, that would achieve success and glory, but would also give back to the community in which it was formed as well as helping projects around the globe.

There’s no doubt that our team is not a title challenging team right now, but that’s not why I support Arsenal. I’m proud to be an Arsenal fan and I love this club. I want us to win things but I’m also realistic about where we are right now, and that’s in a rebuilding phase and that should actually instill excitement in the fan base and yet some see it as an excuse to continually bash the club and almost seem to wallow in every negative thing that happens. I don’t consider that the behaviour of a fan, but I know it takes all sorts to make the world go round.

Kos is a grown man who I assume knows what he is doing by refusing to go on tour. If he wants his legacy at Arsenal to be tarnished that is up to him. No player is bigger than the club.

Paul Robrts
Paul Robrts

Kos has earned my respect over the years and he wont lose it over this. There must be a good reason why he is doing this.

Andy Clark
Andy Clark

Completely irrelevant to this post but just got to say that Tim Stillman’s articles are brilliant and immensely enjoyable. Keep up the great work blogs & Tim 👍