Although the duo combined for the only goal of the game at Fulham on Saturday, over the last few months their primary role has been a defensive one.
Per is a very good player. He reads the game well and he is clever. He attacks the ball and wins headers whereas I go behind, can be quick and cope with the long balls
Koscielny and Mertesacker were super solid against Everton last Tuesday and withstood relentless pressure to eek out a precious win at Craven Cottage over the weekend.
The France international claims their success is down to mouthwork as much as footwork.
“We play well together as a pair,” said Koscielny. “We communicate on the pitch and we communicate well.
“His experience is vital and that helps us work together. We try and talk to each other a lot and it is important at the back to have an understanding.
“Per is a very good player. He reads the game well and he is clever. He attacks the ball and wins headers whereas I go behind, can be quick and cope with the long balls. He is good technically so he is good for the defence. Per is calm on the pitch and he uses his experience. This helps me and helps the team.”
Of course the biggest praise the duo can receive is simply selection, given that captain Thomas Vermaelen is being kept on the bench as a result.
“We are a squad and the manager chooses the team,” said Koscielny. “We need the results and to get the best performances to make sure we are in the top four. Now it is me and Per but we must do whatever is right for the team.”
Saturday’s result was exactly that - but it was incredibly tight.
“We are happy with the win,” said Koscielny. “But we needed to score more goals especially when we are playing against 10 men.
“We had enough possession but we were not dangerous enough from inside 20 metres. It was very difficult but we were happy with the three points.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 21 Apr 2013