Dear Kos D’Boss,
Forgive me for addressing you thus but that is what you are; The boss of the Arsenal defense; The Minister of defense; The linchpin; The Oga Kpatakpata, as we say in Pidgin Nigeria.
On 7th July, 2010, our beloved Arsenal FC announced that you have joined from French Ligue 1 side Lorient. As a 24 year old, you could boast of 40 appearances for Lorient in the 200/2010 season, your first top flight campaign.
We were told you were the best player in Ligue2 in 2008/09 with Tours and when Arsene Wenger signed you, the media went berserk labeling the prof as a shrewd businessman. They pondered on his love for French signings and expected no good from you. Even the gooners had their reservations but gave you a benefit of doubt remembering a cliché that says “Arsene Knows Best”.
I was excited when you played your first Arsenal game in the preseason game against Barnet on the 17th July, 2010 which we won 4-0. Mauroune Chamakh also made his debut same game. Your exploits in the following Emirates Cup signalled your readiness to take on the Premeir League challenge.
Packed amongst numerous gooners and non-gooners in a viewing center in the student community of Umuchima, close to the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria, I watched as you debuted in the Premier League in that 1-1 draw at Anfield. I feared when you were stretched out in the 45th minute but was surprised to see you back in the 2nd half only to see Red in the 94th minute. The Liverpool fans booed you but you didn’t care.
I believe your morale was dampened on that 15th day of August, 2010 but i loved the aggression you put up and little wonder you featured 45times in your first season at the emirates. Your howler with Szczesny at that Carling Cup final 2-1 loss to Birmingham may have been a sour moment for you and every arsenal lover but your response in subsequent game made me still believe in you. We voted you the most effective signing of the season 2010/11.
Fast forward to this just concluded 2012/13 season and we could all see the beast the prof saw in you. Since the loss to Tottenham, you have been reinstated to the team and we have learnt not to lose. Your injury indeed kept you off and out of selection but your tenacity have made you indispensable in the last 3 months. You helped us close the gap on our rivals spurs and your partnership with Metersacker has shipped in very few goals.
Your performance in the failed Munich Miracle makes Bayern look like a shadow of the side that won 3-1 at the emirates. You and the team worked tirelessly and I wished we had another goal after your goal. This same aggression and energy you showed against Milan at the emirates where we won 3-0 and your best performance should be the 2-1 win over Barcelona where you stood your ground against Messi and co.
For the 2nd time in a roll, you have scored the last goal of the season which have been vital goals to put us in the Champions League and finish above Spurs to celebrate St. Totteringham’s Day. Your goal at the Hawthorns gave us a 3-2 victory keeping us 3rd with spurs 4th and out of the champions League, no thanks to Chelsea’s UCL trophy. At st. James Park, you wrote your name in Arsenal’s folklore by scoring the vital goal that secured 4th spot. The white half of North London have been breathing down our neck and would feel so disappointed despite having their best season with the best player Bale.
Irrespective of the goal you scored, you picked up the MOTM with decisive tackles and clearances. You have improved in leaps and bounds only bettered by Aaron Ramsey in improvements. A single yellow card and a red card in 26 league games is a major improvement for the player that saw red in his league debut.
I don’t know if it is because we have same month of birth but your athleticism has stolen my heart. Your records with one-on-one duels is enviable. You are my best Arsenal defender and you should be the world’s best center back.
The world might have a seen a glimpse of you in that France’s 2-0 loss to Spain in the quarterfinals of Euro2012, but you would take your rightful place amongst the greatest when you lift trophies.
I really do hope that we chase the Spider in our cabinet by winning maybe a quadruple next season, going unbeaten and seeing you play every single game.
Thank you so much Laurent Koscielny, Be an Arsenal Legend, Enjoy your holiday.
From Amos Chibuzor @amoscp