Emery happy to see Koscielny respond when called upon
Arsenal boss Unai Emery says he has been pressed into using the fit-again Laurent Koscielny more than he would have liked recently.
A series of defensive problems have plagued the Gunners in recent weeks so Koscielny, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in May and has played only 90 minutes on two occasions this season, has been pushed a little harder than he might have been to get fit.
Emery knows Koscielny will be unable to play three matches in a week after missing seven months of action and was taking no chances with the 33-year-old when he reported back spasms during the warm-up for the FA Cup third round win at Blackpool, pulling him for the starting line-up.
The Frenchman has been cleared to play this weekend at West Ham and Emery is very pleased with how the veteran has coped with being thrown straight back into the action.
"He is training well, and he is OK," Emery said. "We pushed him to play after his injuries because we needed him in some matches. It's not easy for him to play three matches in one week.
"He was playing three matches during the week, but not 90 minutes each match. Little by little, Koscielny is feeling better, and he can play consistently in the next matches.
"This week is perfect for everybody. We can use the players in the match on Saturday after a week of rest. The players have been recovering for this match."
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.