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Arsenal boss must make “difficult decision” over centre back selection

Laurent Koscielnty celebrates with Santi Cazorla after scoring Arsenal's equaliser. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire Laurent Koscielnty celebrates with Santi Cazorla after scoring Arsenal's equaliser. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Monday, September 24, 2012
6:55 AM

Arsene Wenger admits he faces a selection headache after goal hero Laurent Koscielny’s impressive showing in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

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Arsenal's Per Mertesacker in action against Southampton. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS SportArsenal's Per Mertesacker in action against Southampton. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Koscielny was a surprise starter at the Etihad after Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out with flu.

Thomas Vermaelen has taken the captain's armband from the departed Robin van Persie. Photo: Jon Buckle/PAThomas Vermaelen has taken the captain's armband from the departed Robin van Persie. Photo: Jon Buckle/PA

The 27-year-old rounded off a solid performance next to defensive partner Per Mertesacker by scoring the Gunners’ equaliser eight minutes from time.

It was Koscielny’s first start of the season and Arsenal boss Wenger was impressed by what he saw.

“Koscielny had a great game and stepped in very well,” said Wenger.

Arsenal conceded just one goal in their opening four Premier League matches with Mertesacker and Vermaelen paired together at the back.

But Wenger says he will look to rotate the trio as the season progresses.

“For me, we have three classy centre backs,” he said.

“It’s a very difficult choice.

“I will rotate them depending on the strikers we play against.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.