Laurent Koscielny hints Arsene Wenger decision on Arsenal future imminent
Arsenal defender Koscielny has revealed he will require daily treatment on an Achilles injury until the end of his playing career, while suggesting that his manager will soon make his future plans known.
The 31-year-old is currently managing his game time due to a minor calf problem and will miss the Premier League visit of relegated Sunderland on Tuesday night.
Koscielny should be fit for the final league game of the campaign, a home match against Everton, as well as the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 27.
But he is also having to work consistently on his ankle to keep himself fit and available for selection.
"I have some problems," he said when asked about his Achilles.
"Now it is better. I know it is a difficult injury because you need to work every day on this. Every morning I have my treatment for my Achilles and I know I need to do this to the end of my career.
"Now, every day I do this and it is okay but sometimes with all the games we play every three days, it is difficult and I need to have a rest to recover well for my Achilles.
"That's why last time I was injured but now it is okay with this. You need to be careful with this because if you stop doing your own exercise programme for one or two weeks, the problem will come back. I know now I need to do this every day to be fit for my team.
"I am prepared to miss Sunderland to be fit for the last two games of this season. Sometimes it is better to miss one game to be fit for the others."
Koscielny captained the Gunners to an impressive 4-1 win at Stoke on Saturday, their sixth win in seven across all competitions.
The upturn in results looks like coming too late for Wenger and his side, however, as a place in the top four is now improbable with Liverpool and Manchester City also victorious over the weekend.
Wenger remains under pressure to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season, with a growing number of supporters protesting against the Frenchman signing a new deal.
The 67-year-old has guided Arsenal into the Champions League in each of the last 18 seasons but looks set to come up short this time around.
Although Wenger is often derided for defending his record for finishing in the top four rather than consistently winning silverware, Koscielny admitted he would rather qualify for next season's Champions League than win the FA Cup.
"Playing in the Champions League," he said when asked to choose between the two.
"It is a competition players want to play because you play against the best teams in Europe. For the players, it is always an important competition.
"It is important for Arsenal, a club who played for 20 years in this competition to be qualified for another year. It is very important for Arsenal to be with the best teams in Europe."
Koscielny was signed by Wenger from Lorient in 2010 and has developed into a key player at the Emirates Stadium.
But he conceded the uncertainty over the manager's future at the club is hanging over the squad.
"It is a difficult situation, we don't know what happens with the boss," he said.
"But we are professional, we are salaried to this club and we just want to have the best result for this club - not to think about other situations or this situation of the boss.
"We are all in the same boat and the captain is Arsenal, we need to fight for this club and don't think about what is happening with the boss or the players.
"This is a situation, maybe some players don't feel great but you need to be focused on our job and have the best results for Arsenal.
"I think we will all respect his decision, he gave a lot for this club during 20 years.
"He did an unbelievable job so we need to respect this and his decision at the end of the season."