Koscielny - fine season
As we head towards the weekend and another important away game I find myself worried about one of our players. As soon as I read that Laurent Koscielny was injured with "tendinitis" last Saturday I immediately thought about Marco Van Basten. The great Dutchman was forced in to an early retirement, before his peak years, by tendinitis in the knee. If it becomes a similarly recurring problem for our French centre-back he could go the same way, I fear.
Since the Blackburn debacle earlier in the season, when Koscielny looked as far removed from a Premier League defender as it's possible to be, he has been simply outstanding. He is the most improved player in the Arsenal squad by an absolute country-mile. Aside from Robin Van Persie I believe Koscielny and Alex Song have consistently been our best players this season. His partnership with Thomas Vermaelen has looked excellent in recent weeks, and the Manager was at pains to point it out in his programme notes last weekend (I might also say that Johan Djourou's performance last Saturday shows what a bit of confidence can do for every player in the squad, whether they are playing every week or not).
The settled defence of this past month has looked far more of a unit. Almost any defence would be improved by the introduction of Bacary Sagna, and Koscielny looks really comfortable with his French colleague on his right. I hope that the injury he suffered is just a one-off. Arsenal have said that they expect Koscielny to play this Saturday at QPR, but I am more concerned at what it means in the long-term. Fingers crossed that we see a lot more of his burgeoning partnership with Thomas Vermaelen over the next couple of years - we are certainly due an injury-free run in our defence. If they can continue with the form they're showing then they could yet form the backbone of a Title challenge next season.
I'll preview the QPR game tomorrow afternoon, when we should have some team news.