Thursday, September 29, 2022

Laurent Koscielny retires from football

Former skipper Laurent Koscielny has announced his retirement from football.

In a lengthy statement, rebuffing accusations made against him by a Bordeaux supporter’s group, the 36 year old made clear his intention to ‘hang up his boots’, having earlier this year been excluded from the Ligue 1 team’s squad.

Koscielny spent 9 years at Arsenal, joining from Lorient in the summer of 2010 for a fee of around £8m. He made a total of 353 appearances for the club, scoring 27 goals – including a dramatic equaliser in the 2014 FA Cup, a trophy he won twice as a player (missing the 2017 final due to suspension).

He left under a cloud in the summer of 2019, refusing to go on the US tour, behaviour which was completely out of character based on everything we’d seen from up until that point.

An ill-advised unveiling video for Bordeaux cast a shadow on his time at Arsenal for some fans, but over the course of those 9 seasons he played with a consistency and bravery that was easy to get on board with. His partnership with Per Mertesacker was one of the best we’ve seen in modern times, and he took over as captain when the BFG ended his own playing career.

The video which chronicles his return from a cruciate injury suffered in the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid tells you everything you need to know about how dedicated he was.

Best of luck to him in the future.

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Mikolaj

Favourite player after invincible era. Always committed, led by example on the pitch, gave us all, world cup medal included. Thanks for years of pure dedication!

Johnny 4 Hats

I can’t lie, the way it ended left a sour taste in my mouth.

I’m sure he had his reasons and I’m sure those reasons may well have been valid. But a club captain is expected to behave in a certain way and I just feel it was a dereliction of duty and an embarrassment for the club.

But yeah, great defender and a good servant.

A Different George

Obviously none of us know the full story, but this is what I believed at the time and still believe. Koscielny wanted to leave earlier (in part for physical reasons–he was breaking down in Premier League competition), and was convinced to stay another season with what he thought was the understanding that he would be allowed to leave, with no problems, later. Then, in his view, the club (Emery? someone higher?) broke their promise. I am not saying he was right in thinking the club (Arsene, I assume) had promised him he would be allowed to leave, but I am… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m sure you are right. As I said, I have no doubt there were reasons.

I just hold club captains to an impeccable standard of decorum and I think he fell very short of that.

It pressured us into signing David Luiz and really unsettled our preparations for a new season.

Vonnie

I also think he was worried that physically he wouldn’t cope with another season. when he came back from that serious injury, which I believe was caused by overplaying him, he played three games in about a week because we didn’t have anyone else and Emery didn’t give a fuck about him. I can remember him hobbling off, clearly in pain, and I was furious. I don’t think the club treated him well at the end. I can understand that some took offence with his unveiling video, he did explain that he didn’t think about it at the time but… Read more »

Djouroureallylikeit

The dude had chronic tendonitis followed by a ruptured Achilles tendon and then made to play pretty much all the games at the end of the season on half an Achilles. He was promised that he could return to France and then the club u-turned. At the time the club was completely directionless and full players collecting wages. He did what he was pushed into, in my opinion.

I’ve never ruptured the Achilles but tendonitis there is extremely painful, I can’t even begin to imagine playing professional football with it. The man is an absolute Arsenal legend in my book

BooomerGooonger

Go back and read what Emery forced him to do and put his future in jeopardy. You’ll change your mind.

Maddog2080

An under rated player in my opinion – and was sad to see him depart so acrimoniously. Have to agree with Blogs comments, his behaviour was completely out of character and have to think there’s something more to it. Thanks for the service Laurent

kaius

Arteta, Mertesacker, Rosicky, Cazorla, all players who played past their physical peaks for us and still managed to leave the club with their dignity intact. Even Willian departed with more class than Koscielny. After skipping out on the US tour (and the captain’s armband), he got his wish and was allowed to leave. He then demanded he be allowed to sign for Bordeaux for free. The club insisted, quite rightly, that Bordeaux (who had just sold Jules Kounde to Sevilla for 30million euros) should pay a minimal fee. And after Bordeaux finally agreed to pay and Lolo got his move,… Read more »

Djouroureallylikeit

Is taking off a shirt of your old club to reveal your new one really a stunt?

Dada

Odd how revisionist people here are.

Partey Pants

He was moving from Arsenal to Bordeaux and the “unveiling” was a visual representation of this.
Didn’t understand what the big deal was around this then, even less so people think it’s worth bringing up now.
Enjoy the break Lolo.

Public Elneny

Those 4 players you mentioned were completely physically broken when they left though. Arteta and Mertesacker retired, Rosicky managed like 10 apps for Sparta Prague. Only Cazorla had a functional couple of seasons post Arsenal, and that was a miracle. I don’t think those are healthy standards we as fans should hold our players to, club captains or not Was it really unreasonable of him to do what he could to ensure that he could continue to play for another few years? Especially as it seems Arsenal turned back on a promise Even from a purely footballing point of view… Read more »

Arsenalista

Post invincible favourite player is definitely Santi Cazorla the Tomas Rosicky but Koscielny is definitely up there. Such a pity how he ended his time with us, he could have went on to become a club legend but sort of ruined it by how he left the club. Anyway I wish him nothing but the best and I’m pretty sure he loves the Arsenal.

Reality check

Good servant of the club but an Okayish defender, struggled playing next to everyone apart from Per. He had all the ability but lacked some key ingredients (leadership, composure) that all top defenders must have. If he had them, he would have moved on to Madrids and Bayerns of the world, none of them never came in for him even once. The leadership was a big miss though, never stood up for himself or his teammates even when he was captain, never really commanded his area, hig physical defenders always feasted on him. He encapsulated our soft underbelly days and… Read more »

Zadok the Regular Priest

I remember my first thought when I saw him take off his Arsenal shirt to reveal the Bordeaux one was “this shows why he was never a top defender”.

cagooner

I’m torn on this one – he could have been a legend, but as I reflect in 2022 he can fuck off IMHO. I’m sure time will soften my opinion (as it has w Cashley) but at this point, don’t mention him in the same breath as our true legends.

Anteneh Ademe

Sad the way it ended. He’s completely forgotten by most Arsenal fans because of one moment of stupidity. Unlike Van persie and Fabregas he could have just moved and still stayed a club legend.

BringBackSeaman

what did Fabregas do?

Djouroureallylikeit

Joined Chelski and won two league titles…..

Mesut Ö’Neill

No that’s not it. Arsenal refused the option to sign him.

The reason some Arsenal fans think he spoiled his relationship was the way he forced his move to Barcelona.

Personally, that never bothered me. Cesc put his all when in an Arsenal shirt. Can’t be mad that he wanted a new challenge.

BringBackSeaman

ok, he joined Chelski….. via Barcelona…. what was wrong with the way he left the club…. except Barcelona getting away with the most blatant tapping up

Djouroureallylikeit

I just can’t forgive him for joining Chelsea. It really pissed me off.

Martin R

He expected to rejoin Arsenal but Wenger decided not resign him. He wished to stay in London so would you have preferred him to join Spurs? I can’t see why Cesc should be blamed.

Djouroureallylikeit

Totally agree that Wenger should have resigned him, way too stubborn there. But it was definitely a bit of a fuck you then to join Chelski, no?

Qwaliteee

Well said.

There are tsp ups and then there was the way those cunts publicly dressed him in Barca shirt whilst on international duty as an Arsenal player.

Qwaliteee

*tap ups

Qwaliteee

Apart from pissing off to Barca just when we needed him the most and then joining Chelsea when Wenger wouldn’t have him back….not a lot…..

Granit(e) hard!

Kosc the boss, my man, regardless of the tension at the end. All I
can say is thanks for those years of wonderful memories and goodluck bro

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Personally I think he was a very good defender who was brought in at a difficult transitional time. For me he was the first high quality central defender we bought in the post invincible era who was consistently quality. He could be rash sometimes but he was aggressive, smart and always popped up with the most important goals. I dond’t hold it against him for his departure; there may be a side to the story I don’t know and the Mertesacker/Koscielny duo was the first since Campbell/young Toure that didn’t give me heart palpitations. May White/Gabriel take this even further.

BringBackSeaman

I don’t blame him for leaving, not even in the fashion that he did. He was an amazing servant of the club, and, as the next few seasons showed, he got out while he could. Remember footballs have to look after their own interests, especially when they head into the last years of their playing career. So no, I remember him for his amazing ability has a defender, and the fact we are the only club that managed to come up with a song for him

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Footballs just want to be kicked mate, and have their valves looked after.

Arsenalista

Hahaha brilliant. Football Lives Matter.

Gunnerlocutor

Many footballs seem to have an interest in being kicked into Row Z by Thomas Partey. I hate those footballs.

Eric Blair

Difficult to know where to place him in our history. Had some great moments and some shocking ones, and of course left under a cloud.

For me, he was at one point the best defender we’d had for years. In the end though I guess he fits in somewhere in the middle, not a great but far from the worst cb. Good luck to him in the future.

John C

Better than the incredibly low bar set by Squilacci, Mustafi and Stepanovs but not even close to Keown, Campbell or even Toure. He’s in the Vermalaen, Mertesacker territory

John C

Overrated, lightweight flake, never saw an ounce of the so called bravery others profess to have seen and was made to look good by Mertesacker for a season or two.

His departure from the club didn’t appear out of character to me, in fact it was completely in line with my perception of him. He was an integral part of the clubs decline.

The progress the club has made since he left has been staggering and quite frankly couldn’t have happened if he was still here

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Let’s not forget he bailed out an accordion factory too. Guarantee Eric Dier will not bail out a single musical instrument factory in his career, which shows him up for the joke that he is.

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Sorry that wasn’t meant to be a reply to you.

Badaab

Was this written by Glenn hoddle

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

If this is meant to be sarcasm, it’s been very poorly written.

Heavenly Chapecoense

@John C, I have been aware of your penchant for having the dissenting opinion for years but now it seems to me, you lack a bit of knowledge of the game too.

Qwaliteee

Wait until you read his Wenger-bashing.

He’ll blow your mind…..

🙄

Martin R

Arguably the worst and most unfair summit up of a player I have ever read. Than I saw it came from the regular negative troll, so the best thing is to laugh. 😂😂😂

Martin R

Summary 😂

The Only Olivier is Giroud

Hard not to feel for him toward the end- the way Wenger (understandably, considering his importance at the time) played him into the ground in an attempt to win a European trophy only to have him bust an achillies and miss out on being a World Cup winner at home must have left a hell of a scar, plus being captain of a tumultuous and chaotic era ushering in the Emery times couldn’t have been easy. I speak for myself when I say I’ll choose to remember him as someone who lead us with distinction, he struck up that amazing… Read more »

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Very well said.

Indiegooner

I remember his debut game so vividly. Joe Cole who himself was making his Liverpool debut, saw a straight red for a tackle on Koscielny. There was an egg sized bump on Koscielny’s shin from that tackle (I guess they won’t show such an injury on TV anymore). I thought that was it for our new CB and he would be gone for weeks. Surprisingly, Kos was up and he played rest of the game only to be sent off himself bang at the end of injury time. I still remember him giving a “What? Me?” expression when the ref… Read more »

Gunnerlocutor

Kos was the boss.

Danny

All the best Boss. Shame you acted like a dick when you left, but we’ll forgive ya

jw1

Kos usually managed to save the day.
Never will blame him for bailing when he did.
Playing another season paired with Mustafi could test one’s sanity.

A Different George

Speaking of our French centre halves, I watched Saliba come on in the second half in the friendly against Cote d’ Ivoire. Huge cheer from the Marseille fans every time he touched the ball. He was fine, though he didn’t have that much to do. Guendouzi came on a little later and looked very good (also easy to know when he was on the ball because of the crowd’s roar); his corner was headed in for the winning goal. But the man of the match–well, certainly the man of the first half–was Pepe, who was just brilliant. His goal, which… Read more »

arsescrivener

A similar episode in weeks to come, please

A Different George

Oh, also, the first French goal was a pretty nifty header by someone called Giroud. He looked vaguely familiar.

IamsterdamGooner

I really think Gendouzi gonna be one of them players where we look back and shake our head thinking it was such a shame his head wasnt screwed on tighter when at Arsenal.
But oh well 🤷🏽‍♂️

TheLimpBar

Retirement announcement video removes Bordeaux shirt to reveal pyjamas underneath

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Lol nice one

TR7

All he wanted was his own song

Qwaliteee

🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶

One Stan Laurel!
There’s only one Stanley Laurel!
One Stanley Laurel!
There’s only one Stanley Laurel……

🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵

Qwaliteee

Mixed feelings about Kos. On the one hand, he was generally a good defender and helped us finish in the top four many times and there was his much needed equaliser in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Hull. On the flip side, he and his fellow defenders cost us the Premiership title in 2016, he more or less gifted a League Cup winner to Birmingham City in the 2011 final – and his decision to go AWOL was something you just do not do if you’re the captain of any football club, never mind The Arsenal. So, generally a… Read more »

Public Elneny

The league cup final incident was 100% on Szczesny imo!
He claimed a ball late he didn’t need to, bumped Kos out the way, only to fumble it to the opposition striker. I can’t believe Kos still gets the blame for it in the Arsenal canon

Qwaliteee

Szczesny would have shouted as he came off his line – all keepers shout when they come for the ball. Kos should have left it – but he didn’t.

Chippy

I always thought he played reasonably well against Messi. He was our only defender that wasn’t totally bamboozled by him. That’s when I accepted he was a decent defender and started to trust him.

Fatgooner

He was a very average defender. Along with the likes of Walcott, Edu and Bendtner he sums up the mediocre second half of the Wenger years.

And the way he left was classless.

Mesut Ö’Neill

Edu?

He played for Arsenal from 2001-2005. During some of Arsenal’s greatest years including being invincible.

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

He was an above average defender.

North Bank Upper 103

Edu left us as an invincible. What a daft comment.

Fatgooner

He was one of the worst players in that squad

Arsesplat

But an Invincible nonetheless.

Qwaliteee

There were actually bad players in the Invincibles…..?!!

😂

Qwaliteee

Edu was one of the Invincibles and left Arsenal in 2005.

Honestly mate, you don’t half come out with some rib-ticklers at times…..

SterdeyGooner

Pertinent to mention the accusations of racism that accompany the announcement

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

No man is above condemnation if guilty but what I read doesn’t sound like a very convincing accusation. I’ll change my tune if I hear more evidence but declaring someone racist based entirely on fragmented hearsay is not fair to his reputation.

SterdeyGooner

Yeah I agree. I just think it’s relevant. Not saying he’s guilty or not but it’s important to drag such matters out in the open. Objectively ofcourse before all the facts are made clear but that may be asking too much

Dada

Wow.

Viv the 🐐

Best CB after the Invincibles till White and Gabriel came around. (with a bit of projection on where those two will be heading). His departure was horrible. But can’t look past the service he did. Would you welcome a return to Arsenal in any kind of role? We need more Frenchies lads 😉

William Gallas

On my way.

BooomerGooonger

LEGEND

nothing left to say.

Frog

One of my all time favorites. A no bullshit solid center half. One of Arsenes best gems.

Qwaliteee

Nick Hornby had a mate nicknamed ‘Frog.’

Are you one of the same….?

Brady’s bunch

I wish him well he always gave his all for us

Teryima Adi

Here’s wishing you all the best in life, Bosscielny.

Death by 300,000 Passes

Legend?

Alex

I liked him

Rising Dough

What a short and revisionist memory the Koscielny detractors have. Arsenal management betrayed their traditional value of player welfare, and there’s more than a hint of a suggestion they backtracked on promises made to Kos.

Rising Dough

Prematurely hit the submit key. At the time, Arsenal wasn’t Arsenal. Emory was under extreme pressure to retain his job. IMO, he was absolutely and understandably focused on short term results. In selecting Kos time and time again when he was clearly suffering, Arsenal broke the critical psychological contract that exists between club and player (and all healthy employer-employee relationships in the corporate world.)

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