Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has explained that when Laurent Koscielny doesn’t play, the Gunners’ back four is disrupted in a big way.
Koscielny is currently out of action with an Achilles problem and Wenger believes the integrity of the Arsenal defence is damaged when he’s not available.
“A defence needs the reading of the game, the physical quality and it's also a balance. When Koscielny is not there, we are destabilised. We do not have a balance so we have insecurity all the time,” Wenger told BeIn Sports.
Arsenal’s recent poor displays defensively have been partly put down to the fact the Frenchman hasn’t been available, which has forced Wenger into a defensive reshuffle.
Summer signing Calum Chambers started the season playing at centre back but Wenger has chosen to keep him at right-back, preferring a naturally left sided player in the middle of his defence.
Nacho Monreal has been the man partnering Per Mertesacker in the middle of defence, which is hardly an ideal situation considering he’s a straight up left-back with little experience of playing as a centre half.
It’s widely accepted that one of the areas Wenger needs to bring in an additional player this winter is in his defence, with a centre back reported as one of his priorities.
That would allow Arsenal to retain the balance and organisation that Wenger clearly feels is lost when he doesn’t have his first choice players in key positions available around the team.
When they’re both fit, Mertesacker and Koscielny is one of the best defensive partnerships in the Premier League.
The trick now for the boss is to find a solution, which retains the balance with either of them are unavailable over the second half of the season, which will mean fewer lost points through basic defensive errors.