Arsenal take on Everton in today’s FA Cup clash at the Emirates and Arsene Wenger confirmed during his pre-match conference that French centre half Laurent Koscielny was a doubt for the game following an injury sustained on international duty with his national team.
Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have formed a solid partnership at the back for Arsenal this season and their understanding has appeared telepathic at some times. If Koscielny is to miss today’s game, it would leave a big gap in Arsenal’s defensive armour.
Thomas Vermaelen will step in for Koscielny and fill the void that the Frenchman’s absence will create. However, this is where I worry: Vermaelen hasn’t kicked the ball competitively since New Year’s Day and isn’t as sharp as he used to be. Today’ game against Everton represents our brightest chance of a trophy this season and I would like us to parade our strongest team which doesn’t include the Belgian at the point.
Everton are a good team that play some very lovely football and with Roberto Martinez as coach, they have stepped up a gear or two this season. Our last meeting with them ended in a draw so they would fancy their chances against us. Koscielny has been immense for us at the back all season, no offence intended but I just do not see Vermaelen being as effect as he has been.
I really hope Koscielny passes whatever late fitness test and features today or that I am wrong about our captain and he goes on and has a great game.