The Arsenal and France centre back Laurent Koscielny has come a long way in his career. A bit like Jamie Vardy, the player he will be trying to stop from scoring on Sunday, Koscielny began his football life in the lower leagues but is now widely regarded as one of the best in the Premier League.
He is certainly the main man in the Arsenal back four, which is why the fans have nicknamed the Frenchman the Boss. And he reckons that the whole defensive side of the Arsenal team are in great form, as he told Arsenal Player after the Bournemouth match made it three clean sheets from four games and his central defensive pairing with Gabriel showed more signs of improvement.
The Frenchman said, “It is good, we have three clean sheets in four games and we have to stay focused like this.
“All the team played well and did their job and if you want to win games you need to score too. We kept a clean sheet and we need to be more confident and defend together but we will be happy with this.
“It was important to win because we needed to stay high up the table with Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester City. We didn’t play well during January and we didn’t win a lot of points. We needed to start a good run with this game and we stayed strong at the back, and scored two goals with our first two opportunities.
“We had three games without scoring so it was important for our players.
“You know Gabby, he is a very good player. He likes his duels and he can play with the ball and passes.
“He played very well but the whole back four played well because we stayed together. Sometimes in your game you have a difficult situation but we stayed focused on our job.”
But is the Arsenal defence really good enough to give us a platform to win the title from? Helpfully enough Sky Sports have compiled a stats report comparing the defensive strengths of the four clubs fighting for the EPL trophy.
According to these numbers, Arsenal may not have the very best defence in the league but it is right up there and with the brilliant Petr Cech behind them, is there any reason to believe we are not good enough to go all the way this time?