Is Arsenal defence really so reliant on Koscielny?

I do not think that we can ignore the fact that Arsenal were under the cosh from the start of our Champions League match away to Bayern Munich last night. Arsene Wenger may talk about us having managed to control the rampant German champions for about 50 minutes but I do not buy that.

We were extremely lucky, in my opinion, to be level at the break, as for most of it the Arsenal players were chasing shadows and getting nowhere near their opponents while also failing to do anything of note with the ball when we had it ourselves other than turn it straight over to Bayern.

Having said all that, we cannot ignore the fact that it was after Koscielny picked up an injury and was replaced in the 49th minute that the real punishment began. Three goals in the space of 10 minutes tells a sad story and the Arsenal defenders were culpable for all three. The final goal from Thomas Muller was a total gift with Oxlade-Chamberlain cheaply conceding the ball on the edge of the box.

So I can see why people are saying that the loss of Koscielny led to this disastrous second half and I definitely agree that the Frenchman is our best defender. But a look at the stats from the game on the Arsenal website shows that Koscielny was not exactly playing well himself at the Allianz Arena.

His passing accuracy of 50 percent was the lowest on the pitch and surely contributed to the vast pressure Arsenal were under throughout. His defensive figures were not really any better than Mustafi or Gabriel’s either. What we seemed to lose when he went off though, was the last bit of leadership on the pitch, but would the Gunners have fared much better with him still on?

The problems seem to run right through the team so I am not convinced. What do you guys think?



  1. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Was Kos playing when Arsenal got murked by Watford?

    Point proven!

  2. Ramterta says:

    wenger bottled it the moment he started both gibbs and bellerin.
    they are both player who act like wingbacks
    it is very rare for a team like bayern to hit you on the counter
    It shows that your are either complacent or just lazy.
    And yes gabriel played like an old tired turtle yesterday.
    his performance was truly shocking.lewa played him like a crab

    1. Budd says:

      If you play Gibbs, he will need support inside. This is why is working for Chelsea which arguably don’t have such a talented team. But they are DISCIPLINED. Ffs, Moses replacing Ivanovic at RB. How simple and beautiful is that? I gave my line up prior the game and I will keep posting it here because I am convinced we have talent but we don’t have a team and we don’t have any tactic:


      Few points based on what I have seen this season at Arsenal: playing 343 will make Xhaka more comfortable knowing he will have 3 men behind him instead of 2 or none and will calm him down immensely. Gibbs, if encouraged, is a very good tackler with pace. Not so strong crossing but it has a better right foot than Bellerin. Ox can defend! Yes he can as long as you keep him on ONE POSITION and not shift him places. Defending from the wing is totally different from the middle. Lucas and Welbeck are FIGHTERS and they run their socks off. They can cover the wings easily and they are very much used with being in the box. This squad is a dream come true for any manager to form a TEAM and a SYSTEM. Yet what we have as management is incapable of taking full advantage of it.

      Some more points, this time about contracts and Wenger. If we don’t have already a plan we are absolutely fscked if Wenger leaves. Not because we can’t find a better coach than Wenger. There are plenty. What worries me is that we have a board which is having absolutely no clue about football. Dein is gone. Get Wenger for the next two years to educate the board about FOOTBALL. What it means, get close to the fans and instill the competition in them. This is a huge letdown for me: Wenger is having absolutely no contact with the fans. At this point this rift is irreparable, he must go because there’s no fan giving him free pass anymore.
      Contracts about Ozil and Alexis. We already lost the money paid for them by winning squat since we bought them (well, few FA Cups which didn’t actually brought sponsors to our door). Offer them the new contract and be firm they are not leaving in EPL unless a huge bid to cover our losses is made for them. At this stage in football 50 million for any of them should be a nobrainer. If this does not happen tell them we are running their contracts down, just like Dortmund did with Lewandowski. Be ruthless, their attitude towards the fans is inexcusable, I am sick enough of these 100k+ a week pampered primadonas not appreciating what fans have to go through to see them home and away. For this, Ox you have my respect by always saluting the fans. Good on you, mate. I will give you a new contract already but I am not Gazidis, unfortunately.
      Finally, everyone needs to calm the fsck down and think what we can improve from our stand. While I do agree that we need to issue a statement with the means we have, we also need to be careful not to inject more poison in the club. Make our point clear and then go on and support the team (I know is a cliche but that’s all I can do, support or not support them). Players know they are $hit, manager knows he’s past due date, it remains the board (those fsckn dinosaurs) to get the message as well.
      It will be a very interesting spring. Absolutely.

      1. Budd says:

        *) made a mistake: Gibbs is having a better right foot than Monreal, not Bellerin. Obviously.

      2. Twig says:

        I like your lineup Buddy. I think this team would have given Bayern a tough time. But can Wenger bench Ozil?
        Can Wenger start Perez?
        Will Wenger depart from a 443?
        That’s the question!

  3. Trudeau says:

    Koscielny is a great player and if he is out for a long period of time he will be greatly missed but last night? Last night there was no excuse for the capitulation. This may be harsh but my gut feeling is that when Koscielny limped off, the rest of the team unconsciously thought “right, we have an excuse now.” That’s how mentally week this team appears to be.

  4. tweety says:

    the problem came from the left flank where robben was teasing and dancing past
    gibbs with ease. how come that our team played against him so many times in recent time, he was marked only with one man? kos was not having a good game too, but who was except for elexis? = gooner for ever

  5. kaybiks says:

    Thank God for christiano Ronaldo that he didn’t sign for arsenal, his career would have ended before it even started.

    1. RSH says:

      that was when we were respectable though.

  6. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Well, had it been Perez was fit to play and was started, our attacking would have had more firepower added to that of Sanchez. And truly, if Koscielny had not been injured ,our back four defending would have remained stable to contain the Bayern assaults especially in the aerial battles where the taller than Mustafi Koscielny will ward off some of Bayern’s headings. I think Le Prof had been rating Paulista as a top CB. But that wasn’t the case yesterday. I think Paulista is better at right back defending that doing a CB job in a high caliber Champions League match. I think Holding would have been preferable at CB job than Paulista was yesterday. Even Chambers would have done better..

  7. Wayne Barker says:

    Amazing to see how well united are playing in all competitions and all us fans do is undermine every other trophy . They might be 6th but it is inevitable they will be in top 4.

  8. Franko says:

    I just can’t understand why Wenger has decided to stick with players upfront who are only able to score once every 10-15 games interval. You used to have Pires from the left, Lungberg from the right, Henry in attack and bergkamp in number 10. All 4 players share the spoils in terms of goals and assist every game. But what do we have now? Iwobi from the left, Chamberlain on the right and Ozil as number 10. We have Perez-Alexis-Welbeck who could cause damages to any team but Wenger has decided to prove a failed point by sticking with the toothless none goal scorers in attack. We will continue to suffer as a result of this. Wenger has really lost it and he is a GAMBLER in real life. I bet he cannot give account of his 8 million a year salary cos he has gambled most of it away.

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