To give credit where’s it’s due, for all my adoration of Vincent Kompany, Arsenal’s defensive efforts have been arguably more impressive than Manchester City’s this season – it’s certainly been a drastic improvement from last term – and much of that is due to the prolific form of centre-back partnership Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielney.
It’s tough to decide between the two, who have both been near-constant figures in the Gunners starting XI this season and amongst the North London side’s top performers.
But quite frankly, the I find BFG’s lack of pace incredibly disturbing – even if he has proved this term that it doesn’t hold him back – and thus, the centre-back slot next to the City captain goes to Koscielney.
The Frenchman is one of those defenders who seems to be followed around by own goals, but when it comes to the simple task of attacking the ball, be it on the ground, in the air, blocking or tackling, there are few better in the Premier League and arguably Europe too.
Averaging 2 tackles, 2.7 interceptions and 7.2 clearances per match, it’s been a fine season for the 28 year-old. Also, unlike his Gunners centre-back partner, the France defender comes with a few yards of natural pace, which often comes to his and Arsenal’s rescue.