Koscielny determined to keep improving

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has reflected fondly on his inaugural year in the Premier League and hopes to eclipse his achievements in the coming season.

The French defender became an integral member of the Gunners' squad early on last season after signing from Lorient, with a long-term injury to Thomas Vermaelen meaning the 25-year-old was exposed to the rigours of English football from the onset.

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Vermaelan’s absence left Koscielny and fellow new signing Sebastien Squillaci as the two most experienced centre-backs at the club, resulting in manager Arsene Wenger relying heavily on their services throughout the campaign.

With that season now behind him, the defender now feels more confident in his surroundings as an established first-team player.

Speaking to Arsenal Player he said: "I feel different to last season because I was a new player then. It was different but now I know other players, I know everybody so I feel better this year and I am more comfortable with the language and everything."

Despite having a baptism of fire enforced upon him, Koscielny is grateful for the experience he earned in his first season at Emirates Stadium and believes it will stand him in good stead for the coming campaign.

"I got better as I played games [last season]. I played more than 40 games and for a new player that is good news. Now I want to be more regular in the new season and more determined when the games are difficult."

Koscielny was Arsenal’s second highest starter in the 2010/11, with only Jack Wilshere notching up more.

By Killian Woods