Unai Emery playing with fire over Laurent Koscielny situation

Unai Emery has spoken this evening about the Laurent Koscielny situation and has revealed that he wants the Frenchman to remain at Arsenal this season.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw in France against Angers, Emery said,

“He’s a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility.

With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team, and it’s changing our idea with the centre back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.

At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him. We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now. We are speaking about the centre backs, but we have a lot of centre backs, we have good centre backs, and if we can sign one more centre back, it is because he is clearly better than we have.

Because at the moment we have six. We are in different positions with some players because Mavropanos has his injury and we are continuing to see that situation. We have until August 8, and we need to speak over these few days about how we can be, and how we can close our squad”

Some surprising comments there from the boss, he clearly thinks that if Koscielny stays then the club is well served with centre backs. I certainly do not agree with that assessment.

Even if Koscielny was to remain at the club, which is controversial in itself, the idea that there are enough quality central defenders defies reality. Simply put, the centre back position needs strengthening desperately.

Emery was further asked about signing another central defender if the 33-year old does depart he said. “Now it is between the club and him. I fight to convince him, but I respect his decision, a very personal decision, and that situation can only manage with one argument. I haven’t lost my hope that he will be with us next year. But at the moment his decision is to leave and we are also thinking if we can improve with other players and how we can help with him”

Well, that is not good for multiple reasons.

Koscielny should be offloaded or sent to the youth teams, he does not deserve to remain an Arsenal player after what he has done and Emery really is digging a hole for himself here.

He is taking a huge risk because if Arsenal fails to do better than they did last season then it is all on Emery, especially when so much money has been spent on a winger.

Not strengthening the centre back position is negligence, and Emery will have to live with the choices he makes because I cannot see an improvement, no matter what players are brought in up front if you leave the centre of defence the same as it was last season.


  1. Arsenal are signing Edu Gaspar´s son, Luigi Gaspar (15), from Corinthians. He will join Arsenal under 15 this summer.

    Edu’s son signing means Edu is here for the long run. This will most likely make his family move to London, which will make life easier for him.

        1. I personally think that Bielik deserve a chance to prove himself in the team this season. Anyhow, hoping we could still get another senior CB this window. Thanks for the info KEV

    1. Thanks for the info Kev.

      I don’t understand the angst against you by some on here. The majority of what you have stated has been correct/ and informed way before the media stories.

      I for one thank you for your information. Ofcourse it’s not always going to be 100% correct, I don’t understand why people don’t see that

      1. The criticism is normal.Thanks for the appreciation though it is the ITK’s that deserve all the credit

        1. Kev I think the only real criticism was the terminology of “Done Deal” which you quite rightly changed. I must say that I come to this wonderful site first and see what people have to say and then go off and look further into the information they have provided and to be fair to you, you do seem to provide the most up to date information!

  2. I think emery is being diplomatic with the situation. Kos Will definitely leave. he knows it and he knows we the fans know it. it just a gimmick response. Needless bravado I must say.
    Why will a club keep a player who has risen against his club and also has his heart set for an exit? They shouldn’t mar the excitement with bogus decisions.

    1. A quick glance at The Independent reveals the club are still trying to convince him to stay. Reading between the lines from my limited perspective as a ? warrior, I suspect Kos is angry with his employers for mishandling his injury and rushing him back into the first team before he’d fully recovered. This aggravated the injury, his body broke down and resulted in him missing out on the world Cup, which his country won. At 32, you would feel this was his last chance to win it and Arsenal, his beloved Arsenal took that away from him all for the sake of the team, a top four finish and the Europa league final, none of which was achieved in the end.

      To paraphrase another commenter, “He’s been our best defender for almost a decade and put his body on the line many times over”.

      I don’t think he will stay either.

      1. Who pays Koscielny’s salary, France or Arsenal? He can go to hell. I have never rated him ever since he cost us the Carling Cup trophy with his calamitous blunder. We could as well have won the league had Wenger signed Chris Samba instead of an inexperienced Koscielny who collected red card after red card when he was not scoring own goals for fun. Has been largely mediocre and puzzingly overrated by fans.

        I see some fans even saying he formed the “best center back patnership” with Mertesacker and it sends me into maniacal fits of laughter! In which world did that ever happen?! That defence was never the best in anything other than shipping in goals. Anyway, good riddance if Koscielny doesn’t want to stay. Rubbish player.

        1. Christopher Samba, now he was a beast of a defender at Blackburn. Imagine what our defence would’ve been like with him? Kos has been our best defender for a long time, he would’ve played for France at the WC.

          If an employer takes liberties at work, does the employee have a right to take action?

          I like Kos who has served the club for a decade, made mistakes but ALWAYS behaved impeccably up until just now. Clearly something happened behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to.

          Yes his reaction could be seen as petulant but then again, we don’t know the full story, we’re seeing the symptoms and not the cause.

  3. Koscielny going on strike means he lower his trabsfer fees encouraging potential suitors while Emery is trying to salvage the situation making him look like there is plan for him.
    I doubt any reseanable coach will want to keep an unhappy player esp the one thats almost past it. One think i could deduct from the interview, expect a marque cb recruitment.
    Did he not talk about Pepe, is the deal done?

  4. Emery we have good centre backs ? Who? Apart from Holding who’s recovering from a serious injury I don’t see any good centre backs at Arsenal! Why is that position always being ignored? Ok we could possibly sign a CB but that’s 50/50 and that’s the position that’s needed strengthening for so long! If UE thinks he’s gonna coach Sokratis and Mustafi into being a solid partnership he’s deluded, one is a liability and the other is beyond repair! Liverpool, Leicester, Wolves and Chelsea should be a warning sign that the backline is simply a weak area.

    1. Well he can hardly come out to the press and say “yeah our defence is shite and they all need to go” lol…. I think he was trying to be diplomatic and point out that whilst they may not be the defenders we want, we do indeed have a fair few CBs on the books.
      I think if they shift Mustafi and Kos,then maybe they will get another CB in.

      1. Of course not it’s not what I mean ? but he should have told his board after the Europa League final, I can’t get top 4 with that defence, it’s imperative we get a top CB this summer for the new season. It’s pointless coming out and praising them when they constantly let themselves, the club, the manager and the fans down! Nobody believes their good defenders we can’t shift any of them out lol. I just hope he doesn’t actually believe he can improve them because if that’s the case his stubbornness might cost him his job. I much rather have the Brighton duo Duffy and Dunk than Sokratis and Mustafi.

        1. Kev82, Emery didn’t slag off his players in public, which is the correct and classy behaviour. What he says to the Board and owner may be completely different. Just remember he has stated lately that he is still looking to bring in a CB.

  5. If Koscielny leaves then we definitely need a Quality CB. He was still our best CB last season. Chambers is untested and lacks experience. Mavrapanos is injured and lacks premier league experience. Holding is decent but needs more experience. Also Holding Chambers, Mavrapanos need competition. They need to prove themselves worthy

    Don’t underestimate the importance of having top quality defenders. It will mean the difference between 0-1 point and 3 points and points mean everything if we want to finish in the Top 4

    We can’t expect Pepe,Aubameyang and Lacazette to win us every match with goals if our defence can’t keep goals out of our own net.

    My advice to Emery is sign a Quality Centre Back for this season. Buy, loan, free transfer whatever before the window closes

    1. Chambers inexperienced and untestest,Fulham”s player if the season,if your are untested & not gaining experience playing for Fulham lat season I’m sorry you don’t understand anything and it’s not like he played 10 games the only constant when managers were leaving was Chambers;why is that?him and Holding are going to impress more than a few people!

  6. If we start leaking goals by the dozen it won’t take long before our attacking players start to lose faith and heart again! If you dont have confidence in players behind you how the hell are you supposed to feel every time you concede a goal after scoring one? I would feel Wasted?

  7. With you on this one admin, Kos is not the player he was, my guess is that they are trying to get him to play his contract out let him go at the end of the season when Saliba can drop into his place,i do not see the point in keeping an unhappy player at the club, we do however badly need a commanding centre back that can steady the back four or three,the players we have at the moment for that position cannot do that job although in time i think maybe Holding can do it.

  8. Should he come out & slate his players in public? I find his statement very mature & diplomatic. We need to understand that Emery is the head coach, not a manager. He doesn’t buy or negotiate for players.

  9. UE has to protect the value of kos as he is an asset we value at 10m. If he says he won’t play again or that he is for sale it reduces our hand in any potential negotiations. I would be surprised if they are not trying to get in a better CB than what we have but it’s also up to the player if they want to come to AFC or any club for that matter

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