Laurent Koscielny’s performance overshadows Arsenal’s epic comeback
Sharethematch.com takes a look at Laurent Koscielny's disastrous performance in Arsenal's stunning 7-5 win at Reading
Arsene Wenger cannot afford to get carried away by Arsenal’s thrilling 7-5 comeback against Reading in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
The focus should be on the atrocious performance of French international defender Laurent Koscielny – and not a remarkable win.
Perhaps his shocking showing was prompted by playing in a backline alongside the equally disastrous Johan Djourou – but he was, put simply, appalling.
He was at fault for the first and second goals and after receiving a booking in the second-half – should have seen red late on for a poor challenge on veteran striker Jason Roberts.
He did score Arsenal’s crucial third goal to make up for an earlier own goal, but he was well off the pace and Wenger will be hoping Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen remain fit for this weekend’s trip to Manchester United.
Last season, Koscielny was a near ever-present for the Gunners and was even voted as Arsenal’s third best player of the season by the fans.
He has since broken into the French national side but his performances this season, even before Tuesday night’s horror showing against Reading, have not been good enough.
He was culpable for both goals against Chelsea and he was also out-jumped for Manchester City’s opener in the 1-1 draw at the Etihad – he did make amends by equalising late on of course.
He looks so weak in a personal duel and he was also poor in the air and struggled to defend set-pieces – on Tuesday night’s showing alone, Wenger may consider Djourou a better option at the heart of your defence.
Elsewhere, Theo Walcott will take the plaudits for his two (or three) goals and the performance of Francis Coquelin and Thomas Eisfeld was encouraging.
Wenger should be turning to young stars such as Eisfeld in the Premier League to make things happen off the substitute’s bench opposed to Andrey Arshavin or Marouane Chamakh.
It was also pleasing to see Arsenal show backbone and it’s positive they had the mental strength to fightback in the game but the individual performances of senior players will worry Wenger.
Wenger’s Arsenal are now just four games away from winning a trophy – that’s the only positive that can be taken from a humiliating night for the club.