Player of the Season - in third place...

Today we start the countdown to the unveiling of the Player of the Season - as voted by the fans.

In third place is Laurent Koscielny. The French defender was in magnificent form during 2013/14 and received 11.9 per cent of the votes.

Arsenal reporter Rob Kelly gives his verdict on the 28-year-old.

There is a Vine of Laurent Koscielny that perfectly encapsulates the ice-cool nature of the France defender.

It shows, in the final game of the season at Norwich, a long ball played over the heads of the Arsenal backline. With a clutch of forwards approaching at pace, a back-peddling Koscielny hooks out a foot, takes the ball down and impudently waits as an opponent comes flying past before calming dribbling away.

"When it came to that tight, one-to-one defending, there wasn't a better player that I've played with than Keown. To put Koscielny in the same category is an enormous compliment I think"

Tony Adams

That, in a nutshell, is why he is known among supporters as ‘Bosscielny’.

Since his arrival at the club as a relative unknown in 2010, Koscielny has established himself as one of the premier defenders in Europe and attracted admirers far and wide. One of the biggest is Tony Adams, a man who knows a thing or two about the art of defending.

“He reminds me a lot of Martin Keown,” the Arsenal legend said last June. “I hate labelling people because Martin Keown was one of the best we've ever had. But there are similarities there, the way Koscielny marks and his last-ditch tackles.

"He's tenacious in the tackle. When it came to that tight, one-to-one defending, there wasn't a better player that I've played with than Keown. To put Koscielny in the same category is an enormous compliment I think."

But it is not only that which makes Koscielny such a fan favourite: perhaps most importantly of all, the 28-year-old also has the knack of scoring crucial goals when his side needs them most.

On the final day of the 2011/12 season, it was his strike at West Bromwich Albion that sealed a top-four place. Twelve months later, his goal at Newcastle United secured the same prize. This April, he opened the scoring against Newcastle in a victory that ensured Champions League qualification for another year.

But Koscielny was not done there. With his side trailing 2-1 in the FA Cup final against Hull City and staring down the barrel of an ignominious defeat, he came good yet again. A late movement in the box to escape his marker from a corner, a sharp swivel and just enough contact on the loose ball to send in the equaliser: he had put Arsenal on their way to that long-awaited trophy.

It was all the more significant when you think back to the France international’s last final at Wembley with Arsenal, against Birmingham City in 2011. It was there that the Koscielny's last-gasp mix-up with Wojciech Szczesny condemned the Gunners to a damaging defeat.

This time he left Wembley with a winner's medal, and the knowledge that he was central to the turnaround.

Koscielny is very much Arsenal’s man for the big occasion. In another huge game, the north London derby at White Hart Lane in March, it was his sensational goal-line block that prevented Nacer Chadli from equalising for Tottenham.

Against Liverpool in November, his calm, composed presence helped contain the usually unstoppable Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Four days later, he was again at the top of his game as the Gunners became the first-ever English side to win at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

It was been another fabulous campaign for Koscielny and, best of all, after he signed a new long-term contract in May, we can look forward to many more.

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