Arsenal made an appeal to the Football Association this week following on from the Gunners final Premier League fixture against Everton last weekend. During the match, Arsenal’s stand-in Captain, Laurent Koscielny was shown a red card by referee Michael Oliver, for a reckless tackle on Everton’s Enner Valencia.
The Everton striker was making his way towards Arsenal’s final third after receiving a pass and Koscielny completely misjudged the interception of the ball, instead taking out the man. The tackle was mistimed, reckless and rash in my opinion, although evidently there was no unfair intent from Koscielny. The Frenchman immediately saw red for the challenge fourteen minutes into the match.
Following on from the game, Arsenal exercised their right to appeal the decision and lodged an appeal to see the ban overturned by the Independent Regulatory Commission today. A hearing by the board found that the ban should not be rescinded and thus the centre back faces an immediate three match ban.
The ban means that he will not only miss this weekend’s FA CUP FINAL match against Chelsea, but the first two games of the Premier League 2017/18 season. It’s a major blow to lose Koscielny for the FA Cup final, especially with Arsenal being limited on defensive options as it is. It was a silly, albeit not intentionally reckless challenge from Koscielny, that has ultimately made next Saturday even more of a challenge than it was already going to be. The defender isn’t usually rash in his decisions and in fact the Frenchman is renowned for being one of the best defenders in Europe. However he’s had a moment here that could unfortunately cost the Gunners very dearly.
Arsenal may as well have lodged an appeal with the FA, after all there would be no risk to Koscielny either way. If the Gunners had a successful appeal, then of course he could have featured in the FA Cup final. If it was rejected, as it was, he therefore would’ve remained banned for the duration of time that is in the regulations.
How much of a miss will Koscielny be this weekend?