Koscielny still suffering from cup final gaffe, says Wenger


ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger admits Laurent Koscielny is struggling to get over his part in the fatal Carling Cup final cock-up more than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The pair’s blunder allowed Obafemi Martins to snatch Birmingham’s shock 89th minute winner and deny the Gunners an end to their six-year wait for silverware.

Wenger has revealed Koscielny has taken the disappointment harder and is worried about the centre-back’s confidence for the rest of a season that could still yield three trophies.

Asked if he had spoken to the two players, he said: “I have, not too much. More to Laurent Koscielny because he suffered more.

“You have to be realistic, analyse in a realistic way what you did wrong. But, as well, Koscielny has been a great player for us since the start of the season, so it’s important he keeps his confidence level well and that he gets encouragement. He takes everything on board and we do not want that his confidence drops because he made certainly a mistake, he is really angry about it. We have, as well, to show that we support him and that we believe he is a fantastic defender.”

Neither Koscielny nor Szczesny will face Leyton Orient as Wenger rotates his side for this evening’s FA Cup fifth round replay.

Fit-again midfielder Abou Diaby and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia are set to start against the League One underdogs while as Arsenal look to bounce back and avoid the collapse of their season that has followed significant defeats in previous campaigns, notably 2007 and 2008.