Laurent Koscielny ruled out of Cologne clash

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Laurent Koscielny will not be available for Arsenal’s first Europa League game of the season because of suspension.

The French international is serving a one game ban because of the red card he picked up during the 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in our last European game.

Koscielny was shown the red for a foul on Robert Lewandowski during the game at the Emirates in March, and while it seems a bit harsh that he’s punished in a different competition in a different season, those are the rules.

Arsene Wenger is expected to rotate his squad for this game, as the Gunners face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a lunchtime kickoff on Sunday.

It should see the likes of David Ospina, Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi, Olivier Giroud and others get a run out, and there may even be room for a couple of young players, with Reiss Nelson a candidate to start at right wing-back.

Wenger spoke last week about the 17 year old, admitting it wasn’t his natural position, but said, “The only thing that you would say is that he is more of an offensive-minded player than a defensive-minded player, but then he has to learn that part of the job as well.

“He has a good engine and he’s a good dribbler as well, he can pass people, unbalance defences, open defences.”

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48 Comments on "Laurent Koscielny ruled out of Cologne clash"

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Pedant

Get Reiss in and give him some experience.

Mr November

I doubt he’d have played anyway. I’ll be pissed off if he starts Nelson at RWB though. Play him in the front 3, that’s his position. Stick Ainsley at RWB.

Lord Bendnter

100% agree

Dr Zebra

Haha yeah! “He can…unbalance defences, open defences.” yeah ours if played out of position!

The_Giant

There’s a lot of competition in that front 3 now and Iwobi needs some game time.

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaaa

Personally I want a starting 11 that wouldn’t be playing in Chelsea, and completely rest our first 11. We don’t have enough full backs so I would play Nelson rwb, niles lwb, back three of Chambers, BFG, holding. Elnenny and willock in midfield, Walcott on the right, iwobi on the left and the HFB up top.

I especially want our full backs and centre mids to be fresh for the Chelsea game.

Jacob

You’d hope Jack might make the squad as well? Though after seeing his comment on Tyrone Mings’ instagram you do wonder about his relationship with Arsene.

dee

what comment is that jacob?

alexy

Mings has opened an academy and Wilshere asked if they would take 25-year-olds who don’t get playing time despite being fully fit and ready to go.

Mesut O\'Neill

And yet he turned down the chance to play for Birmingham?

Oliver Gunner

On sept 1. Jack made this comment to a post about Tyrone Mings Academy: “Do you take 25 year olds who can’t get a game? I’m fully fit and ready to go :-D”

GooonerMike

Players are human beings you know….with a sense of humour…

Siajunza

Let him rest for the big game at the weekend.

uhtred

Please don’t start the poor boys career as a bloody wing back. One bad performance and the ‘fans’ will jump straight on his back.

allezkev

Looks as if Wenger is staying with 3 at the back in the short term after all.

Nelson to get a run out against Cologne makes a lot of sense, I just wonder if Debuchy will be involved?

I would like to see Jack start and Ntekiah get a game off of the bench.

J Dizzle

The man needs to rest those aching achilles anyway! Was limping around for a good 10 mins on Sat..

Florin

Am I the only one who thought it was about his Achilles? Smart title.
He wouldn’t have played anyway.

BG gunner

Ospina, Chambers, Holding, Debuchy, Wilshere, Elneney, Theo, Giroud, Iwobi, Per and Nelson. More than enough to beat Koln. And an opportunity for lots of fringe players to show that they have what it takes at least to make the bench for PL matches.

Glenn

Who plays left (wing) back?

Crash Fistfight

Exactly

BG gunner

Maybe Nelson or Iwobi in the same way as AW used Ox or we can turn back to 4 defenders and go with Debuchy on the left. Or use Sead and in that case, maybe Nelson will sit on the bench.

greaves

Is Koln that weak that any team Arsenal puts out are suppose to beat them. Guys remember teams in the Europa League tend to be top 7 teams in some leagues as well as teams that got knocked out in qualifiers for CL. Just saying…

NelsonAFC

koln lost modeste the guy who scored 50% of their goals and have lost all 3 of their games with a minus 6 goal difference.

never underestimate how teams will turn up in europe though don’t want too weak a team.

Rostov beat bayern last year.

Rich

I’d keep Koscielny for the league and only use him if we get into the latter stages of knockout competitions.
If he gets injured? Our options are quite worrying.
Same with Xhaka and Rambo.
If we lose either of them? Or an extended period.
Coquelin is out.
That just leaves us with Elneny and Wilshere.
I’d really have liked us to have had a good crack at the Europa, but don’t think our squad is particularly strong in central midfield or defence.
Hopefully the stars align for us this season.

Ivan Parasite

I’m confortable to have Elneny as backup after some good pre seasons..

Chamakh123

He is O.K. But it was blindingly obvious we need a new CM in the transfer window. Why we didn’t replace the OX (with an actual CM) is beyond me.

Crispen

Niles is a better option in center mid than Ramsey. His passing and ball retention are super.

Greg

I understand that a player needs to learn a few aspect of the game and thus defending is one of them, but I would not move Reiss much as it seems he is enjoying this position (stats talk)

Thaatarsenalguy

Rest those achiles ready for Sunday

Wallab

That is totally asinine! Silly arse rules like that need to be changed. There should be some type of time limit. Wenger really needs to take the Euro games very seriously. By winning the whole deal would give them entrance into the CL for next season just in case they end up outside the top four in the PL. the team that started the last game should be his starting team against Chelsea. They played well together and until they fall apart they are the ones to go with for games. Do not fiddle with something that works! Let’s see a title win with the Euro and a very strong effort to win the PL, if not at least a top four. One game at a time.

PatJ

This rule makes sense. If a ban is wiped out at the end of the season, players can do almost whatever they like in each year’s final game.

Mentalist

The rule makes sense. The red card did not.

arsepedant

^This. Although at first blush it looked a penalty, you can see on the replay from behind the goal line that Lewandowski actually grabs Koscielny’s arm and then falls over. Far from a penalty and a red card, it should have been a booking to Lewandowski for simulation.

Frankly, the ref had a mare in that match. We should have had a penalty in the first half for Walcott’s being pulled down from behind when clear in on goal, and it should have been a red card to the defender (forget who it was). Also, Vidal should have been sent off for putting his studs in Alexis’ knee late in the half. With proper refereeing, we should have been up 2-0 at halftime and playing against nine men.

Igbo Amadi-Obi

He needs to learn to be a wing back?Here we go again. He’s about to start with Reiss Nelson. A few seasons down the line the chap would have failed to develop in any given position. Like Ox.

Martin

He played in that position in mid-season and did very well. However I agree his future is in a more attacking role.

Rosicky mon amour

Ospina
Holding / bfg / chambers
Reiss Nelson / ?
Wilshere / Elneny
Walcott / Giroud / Iwobi

Mesut O\'Neill

I think Debuchy will play RWB

Redcore

Yes. We actually pay him money you know.

Arvind

and theo?

BringBackSeaman

Hey Blogs

How confused will you be when on Thursday you turn the TV on and see its F.C. Köln we are playing and not Cologne..

Sackman

they are one and the same.

Seunmoshud

Ozil doesn’t need to put in a shift in defence to convince me he is a world class player..he doesn’t have anything to prove to me..we just need to convert more of the chances he creates..and tell our DM to pay more attention to positional play..no one told Zidane, Ronaldinho and even DB to track back during their days…and we loved them for who they are..crazily talented lot..

Clive

Well said sir. Ozil belongs to the club of Zidane and Ronoldinho already too. When I coached I was a big stickler for everyone defending. One year I had a big head kid that was just a real special finishing passer. I wanted them to change the rules of the game so he could sit by me on the bench and run into the field every time we had the ball. I’m exaggerating but I wanted that kid fresh for as long as we could keep him fresh out there. Shamefully I didn’t tell him to do any defending. People don’t get how your ability to see and make that pass erodes/declines sharply as exhaustion climbs. The sad thing is that the O runs back the full length of the field many, many times for as long as I’ve watched him. I watched him do that two/three years for Real Madrid before he ever came to the Premiere. Wenger mismanaged him first season, did a better job second season and last year was really forgettable. Ugly football and ineffective.
Last year Sanchez was allowed to disrupt the organization of the team by his over enthusiasm and exuberance and no one wants to say it. No one can win games by themselves. You have to stay within the system. Hopefully he will get some help from Lacazett – a world class forward and he won’t play as exhausted and exasperated. Wenger must stay committed to players weather its Iwobi or Ox or Gnabry or Campbell. Coaching is art and science. It’s human management/development. I don’t think he’s going change his philosophy now, however.

Don Moncho

I also agree about Nelson’s position

Gonzogunner

I pray we don’t ruin Nelson at wing back. He’s showing such promise at underage level for a 17 year old.

Branko Djuric

I would play the following 11: Ospina, Chambers, Mertersacker, Holding, Elneny, Wilshere, Kolasinac, Debuchy, Iwobi, Walcott, Nelson, Giroud. I would spare the others for more important game at Stamford Bridge.

santori

We should be rotating anyways but Koscielny’s availability is starting to worry me.

Most of all this weekend, we saw the benefits of a sensible pick for the back line with reliance on experience of Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal as our strongest options and we flourished on the other end.

Why we were going to risk selling Mustafi is beyond me.

Crash Fistfight

According to David Ornstein his wife wanted to be nearer her family in Switzerland. With Arsenal being Arsenal I imagine we were happy to not stand in his way, despite potentially losing a great deal of money in the deal. That would be admirable if true, but I’d rather we acted I our own interests.

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