There was no thought of looking for excuses or blaming the fact that Arsenal are well and truly out of the Premier League title race after losing to Chelsea, well not from the acting Arsenal captain anyway.
Unlike his manager, the France international defender Laurent Koscielny did not even mention the supposed foul on Hector Bellerin in the build up to Chelsea’s first goal. Instead he pulled no punches on the failure of his Arsenal team, both individually and as a unit.
Koscielny did not excuse himself from the criticism either, as he conceded that the Gunners had needed to be better at both ends, missing chances to score and making it too easy for the league leaders to do the same thing. He also admitted to the Arsenal website that confidence is not great in the Arsenal side and that was not helped by the surprise defeat to Watford last week.
The centre back also suggested that there is still a big difference between Arsenal and what it takes to become champions of England, something that perhaps the players and Arsene Wenger could look to Chelsea to learn.
Koscielny said, “I think we had a good reaction but Chelsea played well and they scored with their first opportunity during the first half. After, we had some opportunities to score too, but we didn’t [take them] – that is the difference between us and them.
“In the second half we tried to come back because we knew this game was very important for the race for the title. We needed to have the three points, first because it’s our direct opponent and second because we lost against Watford on Tuesday. We are disappointed tonight but we need to come back stronger, to play and to win.
“The confidence is a little bit down but with a win it will come back quickly. We need to work together to stay like a unit, like a squad. During the season we’ve had some bad moments but we need to stay confident and show our quality.
“I don’t think we played very well together in the same way, it was more one player after one player. I think we’d have had a lot of chances if we’d played quickly with our passing, on the flank we had to combine to have some opportunities. We did it in the first half. During a big game, if you don’t take your opportunities, it’s difficult to win the game. We need to be more efficient in both boxes.”
In the midfield too, although the injury, absentee and disciplinary situation left the manager with no central options at the worst possible time. Very noest from the Arsenal captain, but how do we go about fixing these problems which seem to keep affecting the club?