Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has called on his teammates to be both more efficient and consistent following their recent disappointing run of results.
The Gunners are currently sitting in fifth in the Premier League, have been dumped out of both domestic cup competitions, and go into tonight’s Europa League last 32 tie against BATE Borisov with a 1-0 deficit.
While they have a pretty mean looking strike force in the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, their defensive record has been pretty poor, conceding 37 goals in the Premier League, more than anyone else within the top six.
They have lost four of their last seven games in all competitions and speaking ahead of tonight’s game at the Emirates, Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has urged his side to discover a level of consistency and balance in their play.
“In the game against BATE we knew we had the possession, after we need to be more efficient,” Koscielny said in the pre-match press conference.
“If we scored the first opportunity against them I think the game is totally different. They just waited for a free kick or corner, and in football you can miss a duel and concede a goal.
“It is important that all the players on the pitch do their defensive job well. It starts with our strikers when we want to press very high, it makes it easier for our defenders to win back the ball. It is a collective job and we need to be more consistent in this and work harder.”
“We need to find a good balance between attacking and defending,” he added. “I think they will play with a deep block and wait to play on the counter-attack. We need to be focused on our tradition when we lose the ball, to try to win back the ball as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to give them chances to have a free-kick or corner. Afterwards, it’s about us being efficient in their box to score some goals. We don’t know if we will score early in the game or later, but we need to continue to play with calmness and focus.
“We can have some chances like we had in the first leg, but we need to be more efficient in both boxes.”