Arsenal centre back Laurent Koscielny spoke to the media at France’s training camp yesterday. Ahead of the friendlies against Portugal and Armenia, the Frenchman took time to speak about Wenger’s clash with Mourinho during Sunday’s game and his tendency to give away penalties in the Premier League.
Since arriving at the Emirates during the 2010-11 season Koscielny has conceded seven penalties. The latest one was in the game against Chelsea where he brought down Belgian Eden Hazard in the penalty area for a penalty that Hazard scored to open the scoring for the Blues. Koscielny has thus given away more penalties than any other defender in the Premier League, a rather dubious honour.
And in an unfortunate turn for Arsenal, the player in second place in Koscielny’s Arsenal team-mate Wojciech Szczesny with six. However Koscielny seemed able to joke about it, as he stated that he was not aware that there was a Guinness book record for this sort of thing.
It is true that I have conceded many penalties [seven since arriving in the Premier League]. I do not know if the Guinness Book of Records has that kind of record.
I have played about 200 games, and conceded eight penalties for Arsenal and the French team.
If I could concede penalty kicks when the score is 4-0, it would be better for sure, but we don’t choose.
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This weekend, there was a penalty. The situation must be judged early on. When Eden comes very quickly, he either scores or I clear the ball. It was toss of a coin.
Koscielny responding with humour to barrage of questions on tendency to concede penalties: 'I don't know if Guinness have a record for that'
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) October 7, 2014
On a more serious note, he also acknowledged that manager Arsene Wenger had lost his control during the pushing incident against Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
It’s a long history of friendship between the two coaches.
The facts are that after Cahill’s tackle, I think the coach was a little upset because three days before Alexis Sanchez received the same tackle against Galatasaray. The player only got a yellow card.
It’s true, he (Wenger) flew out of control.
The tackle on Alexis Sanchez was a very rough one, but it was only a part of what was a very rough game between the two London rivals. Had the referee been stricter, at least three players would definitely have been sent off over the course of the game. Nevertheless, the loss is behind us and Wenger needs to concentrate on beating his rivals on the field in the future. Koscielny too will need to curb his tendencies if he is to concede fewer penalties, and with the close nature of Arsenal games so far, a penalty could make all the difference. Hopefully, the team as a whole will come back stronger after the international break.