Koscielny a doubt for Besiktas clash

Koscielny Palace

Laurent Koscielny is a doubt for Tuesday night’s Champions League qualifier with Besiktas after reports suggest his Achilles problem has flared up in the wake of the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

The French international was touch and go all week ahead of the Premier League opener and with the the European game coming just three days later, it might be too soon.

It could mean that Per Mertesacker is brought back into action ahead of schedule, while the Mirror quote Arsene Wenger about Koscielny:

“We will assess Koscielny. If he is capable of playing, I will play him. I planned to bring the Germans back in contention for Everton but, in case of emergency, I will take Mertesacker.

“It’s a bit early for him – ideally he would need one more week preparation. He’s willing to play. No problem.”

With Kieran Gibbs possibly sidelined too, the Gunners are down to bare bones defensively, and it increases pressure on Wenger to address the issue in the transfer market.

The team travel to Turkey tomorrow, ahead of which we’ll get full team news from the Arsenal boss.


  1. Terrible news; but from another point of view, better now than later as it might open Wenger’s eyes about the dire need of defensive reinforcements.
    sign a CB. plz.

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      • I agree. Wenger is obviously able to see what we all are seeing. We’re short in central defence, plain and simple, and there just might be something in the Kostas Manolas rumours, even though I’m waiting for some more “reliable” sources (if we can call Sky Sports, BBC and David Ornstein reliable, which I think is fair) to confirm our interest.

        I don’t think there’s any need to spend big money on a CB, but it would be nice to get a great, young talent for about the amount we got for Vermaelen. It will happen, I’m sure, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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      • I think it’s pretty safe to say that the quality of the Centre Back we buy depends entirely on Champions League qualification. I’m sure once that happens, we should get confirmation of a new signing a day or two later.

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        • Agreed. Since Wenger has already said we need to replace TV5 (several times), its more a: ‘the devil farts in our face once more’ (© E Blackadder) moment.

          We suddenly get a stack of defensive injuries before we are able to bring in someone to add to the depth.

          We could have bought by now if we were willing to just cover with anyone (Wave hi Squillaci and Sylvester(re)), but to get the kind of squad deepening buy we really need, may have to wait until after we qualify.

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  2. Knew we should have signed Scott Dann and Christopher Samba and Brede Hangeland. And I’m sure Diame could have filled in at CB too. Not to mention Jagielka.

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    • Actually getting Hangeland as a free transfer for a year would have been a perfect solution for our current situation, would have allowed Wenger a year to find the perfect long term solution.

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    • Hangeland is another tall slow CB. We need a CB who is good in the air, but also has the pace to play against counterattacking teams like Liverpool. Otherwise, we are gonna repeat all those horrible results against teams like Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool from last year

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  3. Hopefully the rumours about that Greek fellow r true… For all our good work in the transfer market it would be a shame to spoil it over a 3rd choice cb…

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  4. Panic not. With most of what I’ve read today, Chambers will be partnered with “Media Hype”, resulting in an unrealistic burden of expectation (“He’s English, and therefore brilliant!”) and a consigning to the scrapheap at the first sign of a mistake (“He fucked up aged 19? He’s bloody rubbish!”).

    Just hope the fanbase don’t get too drawn in by it all or the poor boy has got no chance.

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  5. Before anyone says TV5, hes not fit enough to play for barca yet so he wouldn’t be playing against besiktas if he stayed anyway.

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    • Even if he was fit I don’t believe Arsene would have played him against Besiktas as cup tying TV5 would have left ManU as his only suitor.

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        • Bingo.

          I thought we were going to keep him until after the qualifiers as a just in case measure, but the injury took that option away from us.

          In that case, offloading to Barca quickly turned out to be the better option.

          If we’d have sold him to United, the natural progression would be: he gets straight into the first team, rebuilds confidence and suddenly they have the 2009-10/2011-12 Verminator. Not good.

          It might still bite us on the arse with Barca, but at least we’d not have to deal with it every week (with the media’s ‘Look – Arsenal sell world class defender’ shit).

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  6. I hope he is fit to play, Miquel and Chambers would be too inexperienced as a pair. Bfg may not be match fit yet. Where’s Manolas?Goal.com reported he had medicals with Arsenal.

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  7. Turning out to be a great opportunity for Calum Chambers. I bet when he signed up he probably only thought he would get a few substitute appearances this season. He must be in dreamland he could learn a lot more with the BFG at the side of him.

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  8. Any word on how long Gibbs will be out? I suppose it depends on the severity of the strain.

    Come on Wenger, sign some back-up! Where’s Flamini, by the way? I was surprised he wasn’t even on the bench at the weekend.

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    • No word, but fingers crossed it is a minor strain. He was limping when he came off but still moving quite fast, so maybe not too bad

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  9. I used to panic at impending injury crises at Arsenal, but we always dig our way out of these situations. Am expecting Debuchy to get arrested on suspicion of a murder in France and Chambers to suffer an extreme case of gigantism after an overdose of nerve tonic before the game. Even then we’ll probably still wrap the tie up.

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  10. We needed a back up CB last season, and we knew Vermaelen was going so would need another. There’s not really any excuse for getting into this situation. Unless Wenger just hasn’t seen anyone he likes yet, which would still be worrying.
    Think we’ll be ok midweek, as long as it gets sorted sooner rather than later

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  11. My God. It’s good Mertesacker is an emergency option. Imagine this for a back four:

    Flamini Monreal Chambers Debuchy

    Actually, that’d be a laugh, lets do it anyway just for the craic.

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  12. Actually, Wenger has spoken about Monreal at CB:

    “He can [do well there], yes, because he is intelligent, because he has a good sense of interception. Because he reads the game well and because he is a good passer of the ball and for us it is important coming out from the back. [Opponents] drop off at home so we need very good passing out from the back.”


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  13. We currently have four tried and tested senior defenders available. Fucking four. Hand me the god damn bourbon.

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  14. I guess “we are a bit short..” is a familiar Wenger line. Luckily, the transfer window is still open to do something about that. That department is obviously an injury away from a crisis as currently constituted. Having two defenders injured after one game and out at the same time is a disaster. One more CB signing is all that is needed to successfully navigate this season.

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  15. Everybody: CALM the fuck down!

    Wenger knows. He’s got this. It’s in the bag fellas. Unless it isn’t; in which case it’s WENGA OUT!

    Seriously though, it’s not the end of the world like everyone’s making it out to be. And quit blaming it all on Le Prof. What would you have done?

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  16. Hangeland was available on a free, and we reportedly have been interested in him in the past, and he is not one to demand silly wages either, and if there we’re no one else in sight, I think we should have nailed him down on a 1 year deal and looked for a more permanent solution next window. He was Fulham Captain and he has been very solid for Fulham over the years, except last season when he struggled with injuries, and never really found his form. But hopefully we will sign someone soon and we can breathe more easily. But it would be foolish to miss out on Champions League because of defensive injuries and the failure on our part to sign proper backup in this position. All it takes is one defensive slip up after all, and we know how Demba Ba can capitalize on slip ups. Hehe

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  17. He’ll buy a defender or two. Arsene knows he’s a defender short. Its all about picking someone who is versatile to play in two or three positions and has the quality to play for a great big club like arsenal.

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  18. It was obvious before the match but hey, let’s aggravate his injury and ruin his season (like Ramsey, Verm in recent seasons.)

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  19. Play Miquel for fucks sake….get this…he IS a centre back! Although I did notice he wasn’t listed as a squad player on back of program on Sat….

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  20. I was looking at our current squad and player competition. These was what I came up with. Feel free to mix and match, but we have a decent sized squad we haven’t had in a long time.

    Szcesny- Ospina- Martinez
    Debuchy- Bellerin
    Mertasacker- Chambers
    Koscielny- Miquel/Hayden
    Gibbs- Monreal
    Arteta- Flamini
    Ramsey- Diaby
    Ozil- Wilshere- Rosicky
    Cazorla- Podolski- Campbell
    Walcott- Ox- Gnabry
    Giroud- Sanchez- Sanogo

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  21. Wenger has previous for not addressing glaring needs in the squad. In recent memory he’s failed to replace a quite inadequate goalkeeper or even more recently back up the striker.

    Baring in mind we’re only in for a substitute CB I’m worried at the lack of activity here. As others have said, we knew TV was off last season. If there’s insufficient quality in the reserves/youth (wtf is going in there by the way?) surely we could have signed someone ready for the start of the season. Piss poor that we’re now facing CL qualification underprepared.

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  22. Read this when i woke up in middle of the night. Then spent the rest of the night worrying so much couldn’t get back to sleep! I cant belive we have got ourselves into this position. I just hope if we rush BFG back or the boss plays it doesnt create a long term problem for either!

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