By Dominic Toner
Charlie Nicholas has urged people to stop describing Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny as world-class.
The 31-year-old is a regular in the Gunners defence and has been a popular figure since his arrival in 2010.
The France international is regarded as the best centre-back at the north London club and has been a consistent performer in the Premier League during his time in England.
Sky Sports pundit Nicholas has previewed Arsenal’s second-leg Champions League tie with Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, when they must overcome a 5-1 deficit to progress.
Nicholas expects the Gunners to win the match, but claims their defence is too weak to progress and was critical of defender Koscielny.
“Arsenal will do what they do, they’ll win the game (against Bayern) but they’ll come nowhere close to qualifying because they can’t defend,” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “Please stop telling me Laurent Koscielny is a world-class defender.”
Koscielny is spoken about as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League by some people, but Nicholas has serious questions marks over the whole defence.
The defender has formed a new partnership alongside summer signing Shkodran Mustafi this season, but the pair are yet to convince fans of their qualities.
Koscielny has been the stand-in captain this season during the absence of Per Mertesacker and has made 32 appearances across all competitions.
However, he has been unable to prevent Arsenal shipping goals on a regular basis, including a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in their last game.
Arsene Wenger will be hoping his side could restore some pride against Bayern at the Emirates Stadium and Koscielny will be key to stopping a lethal frontline of Robert Lewandowski, Douglas Costa and Arjen Robben.
In other Arsenal news, Sol Campbell has predicted the clash against Bayern.