Frenchman and Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny has praised fellow central defender Per Mertesacker saying their communication and the German’s experience have been key in building a solid partnership at the back.
After strong displays the two have become Arsenal’s preferred duo at the back with Belgian Thomas Vermaelen having to bide his time on the bench.
Koscielny is quoted by ESPN Soccernet as saying on Mertesacker and the upcoming match against Manchester United:
(Mertesacker and I) play well together as a pair. We communicate on the pitch well.
His experience is vital and it helps us work together on the pitch, so we try and talk to each other a lot and it is important at the back to have an understanding.
Per is a very good player. He reads the ball well. He is clever, attacks the ball and wins headers whereas I can go behind and be quick and cope with the long balls.
He is good technically so he is good for the defence. Per is calm on the pitch.
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He is good for me, he uses his experience, this helps me, and he helps the team.
I hope we can keep Robin quiet. He is a good player. I enjoyed my time playing with him, but I hope we keep the story with us.
It will be a hard game for the whole team, but we are at home and we will try to get the three points.
It will be a good game against a big team and I think they have won the title (already).
It has become quite evident that Mertesacker and Koscielny are currently the strongest partnership with each player complementing the other effectively to make up for their respective weaknesses. Communication is obviously a large part of their success.
It seems the likely the duo will round-out the Premier League campaign for Arsenal with out-of-favour Thomas Vermaelen likely to remain on the bench.
The Belgian has been largely disappointing this season leading to speculation surrounding his future at the Emirates, although I still feel he has a lot to give to this club despite his recent form. Hopefully it pushes him harder to retain his place in the starting line-up!