Koscielny to retire and Wenger escapes punishment

Afternoon Bulletin

Koscielny to retire internationally

Central defender Lauren Koscielny has announced his planned retirement from international football following next summers World Cup. The 32-year-old will step aside to allow the younger generation to progress into the national side. He said:

“I am 32, I still have a few years ahead of me but perhaps my final months with the French national team. I am trying to enjoy these moments to the maximum. I am closer to the end than to the beginning. The new generation is starting to make a name for itself in the French national team but there are still a few older ones who are resisting it. Age also means that this decision has to be made. I have done what I was supposed to do in the French national team. I have 6 more months to enjoy myself and to take away as many souvenirs as possible, as my wife says. I will take what I can until June.”

Koscielny has almost 50 caps for the French national side but will aim to quit on a high note in Russia. His retirement will be good news for Arsenal as there is less chance of injury while away from the club.

Wenger to escape punishment

The Football Association will not charge Arsene Wenger for his comments following the weekend defeat to Manchester City. The Arsenal boss accused Raheem Sterling of diving to win his side a penalty during the game but the FA have decided he did not overstep the mark. Wenger said after the game:

“I believe it was no penalty. We know that Sterling dives well, and he does that very well.”
“You can accept it if City win in a normal way, they are a good side, but the way it happened is unacceptable.”

It was not the only decision the officials got wrong in Wenger’s eyes, he also felt aggrieved by the missed offside for another of City’s goals.

Managers words for ‘brave’ Cazorla

Arsene Wenger spoke of Santi Cazorla’s rehabilitation and hopes to see him back playing soon. The Arsenal boss said:

“I have been in touch with Santi throughout his rehab, and it has been extremely tough and testing for him. If there is one guy who loves football passionately, loves to be on the pitch, and comes in with a smile every day when he is fit, it’s Santi Cazorla, so you know he suffers a lot not to be out there with the ball at his feet. He is extremely strong and brave, and behind his smile is a strength you would not guess. He is a very strong character, and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well and we hope to have him back soon.”

Cazorla has spent a lot of time in the sidelines recently and is yet to agree a new contract. It seems that everyone at the club wants the playmaker back in an Arsenal shirt as soon as possible.