Gunners boast 'the White Cafu'

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Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has revealed how his friends have responded to his recent positional switch by jokingly comparing him to the legendary Brazilian full-back Cafu.

The 26-year-old French international has been deployed on the right side of defence in recent weeks, following injuries to Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson.

And with Johan Djourou also set for a spell on the sidelines, Koscielny's versatility is likely to be utilised again when the Gunners travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League tomorrow night.

"My mates tease me calling me the White Cafu!" he told the Official Arsenal Magazine. "It's a position I knew as I started as a professional in France at left full-back.

"At the time, I was playing with Guingamp in the Second Division and I was very young. Obviously, it is not my favourite position but I am happy to help the team and do my best there."

Koscielny is enjoying a successful run in Arsene Wenger's first-team, after taking some time to settle in English football, and has now established himself as an important part of Arsenal's back line.

The defender is a firm believer that what does not kill you only makes you stronger, and highlights last season's Carling Cup final defeat against Birmingham City, where his mistake effectively cost Arsenal the game, as a turning point in his fortunes.

"I do think about it sometimes, [but] mistakes can happen in life," Koscielny continued. "It was hard for the fans and for the club but life goes on.

"There are things more important than losing a final. There will be plenty more finals to play and win. It was tough to swallow but it made me a better player and a better person.

"Afterwards I had a week where I was feeling really bad. It was my first final and the club and the fans had been waiting for a trophy for a while.

"It was so hard to take. I needed time to digest it but I had to bounce back to come back stronger than I did."

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Laurent Koscielny

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