Arsenal: Why can’t everyone be like Laurent Koscielny?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal controls the ball during the match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Arsenal FC at ANZ Stadium on July 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal controls the ball during the match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Arsenal FC at ANZ Stadium on July 15, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) /

Laurent Koscielny has made it clear that he has no desire to leave Arsenal. Ever. Which is a bit of loyalty that you just don’t see in sports much these days.

One of the main things I love about Arsenal, other than the fact that they are the greatest club in the history of sports, is the culture of loyalty embedded in their roots. I will always moan and groan about the lack of loyalty in sports in the modern era.

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Lebron James is heralded as a hero for going back to Cleveland, but he displayed the greatest act of treachery ditching them for Miami.

Kevin Durant goes to the team that knocked out his own team the year before so that he can win a trophy with them.

Joe Mourinho can’t hold a job for more than a couple years despite saying everywhere that he goes that he wants to be there for decades.

Cesc Fabregas goes to Chelsea.

You know, stuff like that. It just drives me nuts that players are more in it for themselves than they are for the club they represent. Whether it’s money or trophies, there is no commitment to the name on the front of the shirt, only the name on the back. It’s why players go to China. It’s why players flock to Real Madrid and PSG.

But the players that are really remembered are those players that do it all for one team. That kind of player just doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Think of Tony Adams. Mr. Arsenal. How much would his legacy have been diminished if he took five years in the middle of his tenure to go to Everton, then came back and played a couple more years at Arsenal?

The legends, the ones that are first on your mind when you think about the club, are the guys that stuck with a club through it all.

And that is one reason why I think that Alexis Sanchez knows that, as much as it sucks, it’s in his legacy’s best interests to stay with the the red and white.

On to the point – Laurent Koscielny is one of those loyal players that I fear are critically endangered. Here’s what he had to say about his future at the club, via

"When I first got here, I didn’t think about how long I would stay at this club – but now I am starting my eighth season so I am very happy with this. I am happy in my life every day, not just the football but my life with my wife and kids in London. We enjoy it, that’s why I have stayed for a long time here."

He went on:

"I have a long contract with Arsenal and I have [no reason] to leave the club. I am just here to enjoy my job and give everything for the team, and get the best results for the club. If i can do all of that, then I am happy. Arsene Wenger is a big [inspiration] for me. He bought me from France and has given me everything to help me play for Arsenal, and has helped me as a man too. I have a big [loyalty] to this club and to the boss too. I have stayed here for seven years and I have learnt a lot from him, so I am happy to be here with him and to fight for him because he is a great person."

Pretty simple. He wants to play at this club because he loves the club. The club gave him everything and he gives them everything in return. That’s what a transaction is supposed to look like.

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Some may call this ‘small-minded’ because he has no desire to go out and try new things, win new trophies, etc. but that is pure hogwash. I understand if a player moves because he is unsettled or if he isn’t getting the playing time he wants. But when a player ditches a top-tier team because he wants more money or a new type of trophy, you are giving up a unique chance to leave a permanent mark on a team rather than just on your own checklist.

Arsenal are immortal. This club will be around forever. And no matter how long they go, the players and coaches that will be remembered are the ones who gave the most for the club. Not just when it was convenient for them, but when it was difficult.

Tony Adams will be remembered, the Invincibles, Arsene Wenger and more. These are players, and collections of players, that lived for the club. If Koscielny follows through on his bid of loyalty, he will make that list. A decade or more with the Gunners is something special and while the titles haven’t come as of yet, that doesn’t mean they never will.

But if Alexis keeps moving around from club to club, no single club will mark him down as a legend. Sticking with the Gunners though, through this tough time, that is what can make him a legend.

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I’ll step down from the pulpit now. Laurent Koscielny is the best and I wish more players had the mindset of a loyalist.