Laurent Koscielny has broken the silence regarding his controversial exit from Arsenal in a bid to pacify angry Arsenal fans.
The former Arsenal defender left for Bordeaux on Tuesday in a deal worth in the region of £4.6 million after refusing to travel to the USA with the team for their pre-season games.
The 33-year-old further instigated the wrath of the fans when he appeared in a video by the French club to make an official announcement of his signing, in which he pulled off an Arsenal shirt revealing a Bordeaux shirt underneath.
Koscielny took to his Instagram page to explain why he was so desperate to leave Emirates Stadium to cool the temper of the fans who was worshiped him.
In it he said: “I have spent wonderful years with this club, nine years during which I learned, evolved, grew up.
“I see this departure like a new turning point in my life as a player but also in my life as a man and a family man.
“However I hope you can understand, and in any case I cannot be thankful enough for these years past at Arsenal.
“I am aware of everything that the club and you supporters have brought to me. But it is time for me to go home so today my will is to join the @girondins (Bordeaux).”
The message did not seem to have served its purpose, which is to pacify angry Arsenal fans, however.
One replied: “All the best mate but you went the wrong way about it, and what’s that video all about?”
Another added: “You have disrespected the fans and the club in your role as captain for personal gain. It is a shame but you have tarnished your legacy.”
Arsenal’s attentions will now turn towards finding a replacement for the centre-back before the end of the transfer window, and they have been linked with the likes of Dayot
Arsenal will now be left searching for possible replacement this late in the transfer window, but they have previously been linked with the likes of Dayot and Emery could pull another surprising move before deadline day. We wait to see.
EPL VAR official Anthony Taylor makes penalty claim for Nicolas Pepe
EPL VAR official Anthony Taylor takes responsibility for now awarding a penalty kick to Nicolas Pepe.
Arsenal came off their Premier league game against Bournemouth with a win but the decision of the referee not to award a penalty to Nicolas Pepe has remained a subject of debate.
Pepe was obviously fouled when he tried to dribble past his Bournemouth marker but despite subjecting the final decision to the VAR, a penalty was not awarded.
And now, according to EPL VAR official Anthony Taylor, even though he stuck with the referees decision, he has claimed Pepe should have been awarded a penalty.
It was unanimously agreed on beIN SPORTS that the EPL VAR was wrong not to award a penalty after they reviewed the incident.
“Anthony Taylor in VAR today did think this was (a penalty) yesterday, did not overturn the referee’s decision. We’ve just seen close on an assault in the box that once again he didn’t feel he should overturn the decision of the on-field ref,” Richard Keys said.
This decision did not go down well with the Arsenal fanbase who thought it was strange and disappointing from the VAR officials.
It is still in the place of the referee to make the final call regardless of a decision thrown at him. In some of these cases where the referee isn’t convinced, he can subject his own decision to video screen.
Since the institution of the EPL VAR, fans and pundits have been divided over its use. It has turned out to favour and go converse to teams alike.
Lucas Torreira why he’d give 100 per cent for Arsenal
Lucas Torreira has laid bare his desire to player regularly for Arsenal, per reports.
The diminutive Uruguayan midfielder has found it hard to break into the first team of Arsenal since the start of the season.
He has been a bit-part player in the Premier despite the massive call from the fans of Arsenal on Emery to play the midfielder. He has started only two games in the League while he has started in other competitions.
Emery has found the pair of Xhaka and Guendouzi favourable for the way he sets up his team. Torreira, who is a natural midfielder has been deployed by Emery on the right side of the midfield or as a number 8.
However, the former Sampdoria star has revealed his desire to hold down a place in the Gunners starting XI.
Speaking to the the Daily Express, the midfielder said:
“I don’t know whether I’d say it’s frustrating.
“All players want to play, they obviously want to be in the starting XI – that’s completely normal. But that’s not something that depends on me.
“It’s down to the coach to make those decisions and really I have to respect that. Right now it’s about not giving up.
“You have to continue working hard and whether I’m playing in the starting XI or from the bench I want to give my all for the team. That’s the kind of player I am.
“I like to give 100 per cent for the shirt to help my team-mates and to give the fans something to cheer about.”
He is currently away with Uruguay for the international break, where he will be hoping to play for his country against Peru and Hungry before his return to London.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will travel to take on Sheffield United and Torreira will be hoping to get a starting nod.
Michael Owen breaks silence on Arsenal top-four chances
Arsenal may have been struggling to win games in the Premier league, England legend Michael Owen believes the North London club will finish the season in the first quartet of the table.
Unai Emery’s men are currently fourth on the log having lost one, drew three and won three games.
While the fan-base of Arsenal have criticised Emery for the relatively poor form of his team, they have had an impeccable run in the Europa League, with two wins in two.
Owen, who has always taken a sly dig at Arsenal wrote the club off at the start of the season but he has not changed his mind.
‘I think Arsenal are the most consistent team that you can wish for in a way because they always beat the teams that you expect them to beat,’ Owen told BT Sport.
‘Sheffield United away, that’s tricky for them, they’re not a good away team. In the Europa League I think they will win virtually every game, their group is weak and they blow teams away.
‘Of course you’ve got the likes of Liverpool [in the cup] coming up and Wolves, which will be tricky for them.
‘But every other team, that’s a great run for them now and I expect them to have a good season.
‘It’s the first time in a long while I’ve looked at Arsenal and though “do you know what? It is a top-four team now, it’s got a chance of being in the top four”.
‘Partly because Manchester United are slipping away, but I’ve always seen Arsenal as sort of fifth and sixth and just a nearly-team for the last decade. ‘Actually, I look at them now and think do you know what? [They can finish in] the top four.’
To finish in the top four of the table, Arsenal must take advantage of the poor forms of their rivals, who have all faltered since the start of the season.
The Gunners take on Bournemouth this weekend and they’ll be looking to come-off the game with three points.