However, the rise of ticket prices by the Arsenal Football Club has left a bad taste in the mouths of faithful supporters, who have been disheartened by the recent failures. The Arsenal Supporters Trust had suggested some measures to tackle the inflation effect on ticket prices but the club has gone ahead with the decision to increase ticket prices.
With the decision to increase ticket prices, there will be increased pressure on Wenger to splash the money on quality players and more importantly, win trophies. Many sections of the supporters have been let down by Wenger's decisions in the recent transfer markets like signing a 30-year old defender who has never been regarded as a top quality player.
Similarly, many supporters felt that Wenger's decision to sign an inexperienced Centre Back who had just played one season at the top level before being signed by Arsenal was a poor move. Koscielny had an indifferent start to his Arsenal which included a red card on his debut. He did not seem to be confident with the ball though his positioning was good from the start.
Some of the many criticisms that came his way was his decision-making and his extremely thin physique. However, as the season has progressed, Koscielny has shown remarkable progress and has firmly established himself as a reliable defender for the Gunners. He has increasingly shown good value for the money that Wenger spent to acquire his services from Lorient.
The Frenchman, who is also eligible to play alongside Szczesny for Poland, has progressed rapidly since joining the Gunners and has even received a call-up to the France National team. Koscielny has shown that his tenacity can compensate for his thin frame and he is not intimidated by the physicality of the league.
Though Koscielny's mistake against Birmingham was the main reason for the Gunners not winning a trophy this season, his commitment to the cause cannot be questioned. He has played with bruises and cuts and has shown that he is not afraid of tackling hard if necessary. He has displayed immense maturity and for someone
who has been thrown into the deep end, he has responded by showcasing his potential for the Gunners.
The centre back has struggled to establish a partnership with Sebastien Squillaci and the duo have leaked a number of goals when they have played together. However, since the manager has installed Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny as the first choice pairing, the Frenchman has excelled with the only major blip being his error in the Carling Cup final.
The duo have formed a strong partnership at the back and the defence has looked better than it has been for the last few years. The return of the experienced Thomas Vermaelen is certainly a huge boost for the Gunners as his experience and know-how will be integral to the progress of the two youngsters Djourou and Koscielny.
His appearance as a weak player is extremely deceptive as he can match strong forwards in the air and also make excellent tackles. Koscielny is also adept at reading danger and cuts out through balls by making vital interceptions. He was one of the best players on the pitch in the first leg at Barcelona where he nullified the threat of Lionel Messi for large parts of the game.
In the second leg of the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona tie, Ricardo Carvalho, who is one of the most experienced and talented defenders in the game, made a number of heavy tackles which could have seen him sent off. It would be fair to say that Koscielny looked more comfortable than Carvalho against Messi and that shows the calibre of the defender.
Despite many Arsenal fans clamoring for the signing of a new centre back, it could be unfair for any one of Koscielny or Djourou to be the fourth choice centre back despite performing quite well. Vermaelen has recovered from his achilles injury and his season has been very similar to Djourou's 2009-10 season but Wenger and the fans will hope he has a strong 2011-12 season.
The only defender who has been criticized for his inept displays has been Sebastien Squillaci, who has not won over the fans in his first season. It would be tough on the Frenchman if he is sold after his first season but Wenger will have to be ruthless in his decision making. The Arsenal manager could bring in some fresh faces to supplement Koscielny, Djoruoru and Vermaelen and it will provide quality depth to the team.
Koscielny has shown a lot of promise in his debut season and has even scored few important goals for the Gunners. He has certainly not let his manager down and his commitment to the cause has been excellent. Koscielny's development should continue in the next season as well and he could be the defensive rock on which Gunners' future success is built.