Was the Arsenal manager right to risk injury in Leicester draw?

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he took a risk fielding Laurent Koscielny for Arsenal against Leicester City after he picked up a knock on Friday.

The defender was rushed back into action for the match away at last season’s Premier League champions, after Rob Holding and Calum Chambers were unable to stop rivals Liverpool from putting four past them the weekend before.

Koscielny put in a great defensive display to help his side grind out a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium, but we have just been made aware that he was a risky inclusion, having picked up a back injury the day before the crucial encounter.

The French international was forced to stop training the day before the match, and Wenger was so unsure that he took youngster Krystian Bielik as an extra squad member in case Koscielny was unable to feature.

The 66 year-old boss said: “Koscielny had a big back problem on Friday and he had to come out of the training.

“We went to Leicester with 19 players and he decided in the morning he could play and I think it saved us this point. We thought at some stage he would not play but he was very brave and he is brave.

“He was not ready last week. He had only four days’ training and that is too short after having four weeks off.

“I did think if I should have taken a gamble last week or not, but because we had lost already two players, then if I lost another one for two or three months we have a massive problem.

“We looked a different team and he gave us stability and against a team that attacks very well he was very important.”

Koscielny was no doubt the difference between us drawing and losing the match at the weekend, but the story could easily have been different.

If the defender had added himself to the long-term injury list, Wenger would have been ridiculed, and would have put himself in a very dangerous predicament, with no other senior defenders fit within the squad, and just over a week to try and make amends in the transfer window.

The move certainly paid off this weekend, but do you think Wenger was right to take the risk? Knowing we would have been in serious trouble if it had gone wrong, I’m not so sure I would have done the same.

Tags Arsenal Koscielny Leicester Wenger


    1. Hahaha
      Wenger wants your blessings and praise!
      For his a jolly good fellow because his gamble paid off,
      According to him ??

      Koscielny has had this back problem for a couple of years now and letting him play whilst not 100% , could have been and may still have severe consequences!
      We wait and see if Kos is available for the Watford game.

      1. Stuff happening at Arsenal is not pleasant at all.
        Not only that Wenger and the Board get away with anything they want, they have succeeded in dividing the fans against themselves (which happens to be their greatest victory). As long as the fans are not united, the mediocrity in the club will continue.

        I’ll always wish the boys all the best regardless.

  1. I don’t think there was a choice really, after the liv game it would’ve been unthinkable to try that again without being forced into it. Not that they done terribly wrong it’s just they don’t have the experience needed esp against the top teams. Wenger knows he didn’t have a choice, so I don’t know why he is talking like he made the right choice when he went with the only choice. If we are not careful we could set these players back years with confidence issues. The pressure in football is huge, when you are at a top club it’s another stratosphere, and at Arsenal it can be allot to take at the best of times. The only gamble the way I see it is in the transfer market, Koscielny had to play. Chuffed with young Holding’s display but I don’t want him feeling the weight of expectation two weeks after coming through the door. Wenger get us a defender and let Holding ease into things a bit more, granted, being thrust into the thick of it can be the making of some young players. But at Arsenal things seem to go wrong pretty quickly and I don’t think it would be fair on the lad. I can see him becoming a bit of a cult hero in the future, I hope so anyway, but he needs to be learning from a top pair.

    1. As far as I’m concerned, Holding his already proved himself and as long as he stays fit, he will cement himself into the first team, just like Bellerin.

      We need Goals and if wenger won’t sign a striker, which I doubt, since he plans to play Sanchez in that position,
      then another attacking midfielder will do, someone like Draxler or even Brahimi (Porto)

      1. spot on though both are left footed which makes me think rodriguez would be a good option… but hell why not throw caution to the wind and sign all of em…well short of the 300m figure touted by wenger as money he would spend to improve the team….the sad truth is that not only is no one coming but no one actually wants to play under this guy anymore whether or not we are in the CL

        1. Brahimi and Draxler are predominantly right-footed players. But yes, they prefer to play from the left wing.

          And at this rate, I would be a bit hopeful for the title if Arsenal were to complete a deal for any of those two (I’m not sure about James) along with Mustafi.

  2. why must my summers all end in stress and disappointment even laying on some beach and yet i’m still stressed over Arsenal transfer checking the internet every few minutes to see nothing,

    for Arsenal to change we have to wait until the board and AW will leave when they die of old age unless they are spending all the money on some regenerating pills to stay alive for ever, the thought OH GOD NO

    to be honest i gave up last summer expecting Arsenal to do the “right thing” but “Its never gona happen”

    i cant believe players from a lesser teams wont even join us and yet still AW is saying we can spend big if the right player is available, i suppose his right there are players out there but wont make themselves available to us,

    our only hope is that on dead-line-day some hard up club might offer a decent player and when all the other clubs have spent their budget and bought their players and only then we will splash the cash like we did with Ozil but be 8point adrift from the leading pack for buying late

    they must know those clubs who have players for sale gazumping prices to Arsenal will not work but i suppose they use Arsenal interest as a start up bid for other clubs and AW thinks we were offered the player

    i wish you all a stress free 10 days my fellow Gooners

  3. 8 days left. Slim pickens

    Now that Mustafi, Evans are out, maybe we can re-sign Squillaci or Senderos

    I didn’t know James Rodriguez is married to Ospina’s sister
    Maybe there is hope there

    1. Hmmmm..
      What do you hope James will do for the team if he comes? Score goals??? Finish off type of chances that the forwards so blatantly wasted last season? Make defense splitting runs?
      Cos Arsenal have too much creators in the team already.. so much that they are already topping the charts in Europe for chances created.

      Except Mesut Ozil is leaving soon, Arsenal clearly don’t need James. They may only need James as a last ditch effort to lift spirits at the club among the fans.

  4. for me the race for the league title is already over. we are already 5 points behind the leaders x 4 teams who share the top spot that makes it 20 points to be at the no 1 spot. further more we have already minus three from last year. vs l’pool we drew 1 pt now we lost 0 pts. and vs Leicester we won 3 pts and now we drew pt. goner for ever

  5. It was a stupid gamble in my book. Wenger said it saved us a point that Kos played). How many points would a three or 4 week injury to Kos have cost us? Is it worth risking your best CD for 1 point? I don’t think so. We at Arsenal have an injury problem as it is, with no experienced CD in case Kos gets injured, risking having to rely on Holding and Chambers for weeks in case Kos gets injured was not worth 1 point IMO.

  6. The window will definitely end. And Wenger will say he didn’t find the right players to buy. Some of the fans will support him to death while others like me will know that he has done it again.

    Top four is really something to fight for this season because the two Manchester clubs will not settle for anything other than second whiles the way chealshit are playing now ,,,,they will also not settle for anything other than second.

    Just be fair to the other equally stronger teams in the league and see where we will land at If we don’t get enough depth in the team.

  7. Wenger is running out of things to say. How he bought the 600 employee into answering transfer question is just desperate of him.

    How can he complain about inflation? More money came into the game last season than ever before, yet we spent £10m last summer and £32m (£2m on Holding) this summer. Mid table teams are even overspending on below average players. Does anyone really think Benteke is worth £30m? Or even Bolasie? Yet these teams are prepared to take a gamble for the better of their clubs.

    He just sits there, saying there is no quality available, whilst being cheap and stingy.

    I wonder what he will say on this weeks press conference.

  8. Wenger will make good signings. Don’t worry. He is on top of things
    Has he ever let us down?

    1. “Has he ever let us down?”

      Kim Kallstromm comes to mind!

      I give it to Wenger though. Such huge balls!!!
      No manager of a top side in Europe will even dare to pull a ‘Kallstromm’ under such circumstances, except ofcourse our one and only Arsene Wenger.


  9. I worry thinking about what would have happened to the clubs 600 employees if Kos would have got injured.

    It keeps me awake at night 🙁

  10. Given the injuries, I get the concern about CB. But what I don’t get is why all the media seem intent on focusing in on Arsenal’s CM shortcomings versus our main rivals. From where I sit, only ManU is sitting comfortable even if injuries hit

    Arsenal – Koscielny, BFG (injured), Gabriel (injured), Holding, Chambers and Monreal with previous experience at CB
    Chelsea – Cahill, Terry, Zouma and Ivanovic has previous experience at CB
    Liverpool – Lovren, Matip, Klaven, Sakho
    City – Kompany (injured), Stones, Mangala, and Sagna, Korolev with previous experience at CB
    United – Smalling, Bailly, Rojo, Jones, Blind and Carrick with previous experience at CB
    Spurs – Alderwereild, Vertonghan, Wimmer and Dier with previous experience

    Imagine Chelsea if two of Terry, Cahil and Zouma went down. They would be in a worse situation then Arsenal is right now.

    Coupled with the fact that our DM rotation has gone from Coquelin, Arteta and Flamini to Xhaka, Coquelin and Elneny, I think we are okay defensively. Yes, a world class CB would be nice but a world class attacker who can put the ball in the back of the net is what we need more.

  11. This is why everyone is so FED up with Wenger, because if he SPENT some *(^*%$ money instead of dithering, he wouldn’t need to risk Kos’s physical health or Holdings mental health. He is risking players long term future dithering over 5 million difference for Mustaphi, and Mustaphi value has gone up 3 times 5 million during his dithering.

  12. Honestly, Wenger should have signed a striker very early in the window since he was aware of Welbeck’s injury. We scored few goals last season. For now, any of Carlos Bacca, Chicharito, Dybala, Draxler should go for 40m pounds and would improve the squad. Wenger should try any of these options.

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