Tony Adams: 'Familiarity crucial for centre-backs'

Adams: 'Familiarity crucial for centre-backs'
© PA Photos
Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams believes that stability in the centre-back position is key to a solid defence.

Tony Adams has said that familiarity is the key to a successful centre-back pairing.

Arsenal conceded just four goals in the 10 games which Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker both started between March and May this year.

The former Gunners captain told the club's official website: "It's the only position where you need familiarity. You need to play with your mate on a regular basis to gain confidence and I think that really worked for Arsenal defensively.

"[Manager Arsene Wenger] left that alone and they gained confidence. It's the fact that they play regularly with each other that they've learnt [about] each other's game.

"I think that's what really helped Koscielny and Mertesacker, that they got to know each other's game. For me, Mertesacker is a zonal defender and Koscielny is a man-to-man marker. They got to know each other's game because they played with each other week in, week out."

Arsenal's strong finish to the season ensured that they secured a place in next season's Champions League.

Arsenal Laurent Koscielny celebrates scoring against Newcastle on May 19, 2013
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