Wenger Confirms Coquelin’s Three-Month Absence: Can Flamini Step Up?
The results from the scans of Francis Coquelin’s knee injury are out and frankly, it’s not good news. Wenger confirmed his three-month layoff via Arsenal.com,
“The scans are positive because he does not need any surgery but it will be 12 weeks.”
This means that Coquelin will miss the following games
- Norwich (Carrow Road)
- Sunderland (Emirates)
- Olympiakos (Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium)
- Aston Villa (Villa Park)
- Manchester City (Emirates)
- Southampton (St. Mary’s)
- Bournemouth (Emirates)
- Newcastle (Emirates)
- Bournemouth (Dean Court)
- Leicester (Emirates)
- UEFA Champions League Round of 16 (probably Barcelona @ Emirates)
- FA Cup Fifth Round
- Manchester United (Old Trafford) and just maybe,
- Swansea (Emirates)
With Coquelin’s undisputed importance to the team, you can bet your smart money that he was going to feature in all the matches listed above if he was fully fit. Some are hoping that the manager would go into the transfer market to purchase a shiny new defensive midfielder but the Wenger I’ve come to know would consider his internal options before he delves into the new market – that’s how we got us our Coq innit?
Mikel Arteta has proven once again that he cannot be relied upon to stay fit so the manager is left with two plausible options;
- Deploy Aaron Ramsey back to his favored central midfield position alongside Santi Cazorla or
- Send out the beast known as Mathieu Flamini to wreak havoc on opposition attacking midfielders.
Errr, who saw that crazy tackle (if that’s the right word) Flamini attempted on that unfortunate Dinamo Zagreb bloke? :'(
As a short-term fix, Flamini was deployed in the holding role in the recent 3-0 thumping of Dinamo Zagreb but the Frenchman is acting like a vampire that saw some blood and he wants some more,
“I have an opportunity to be back in the team and I will try to prove every game that I can be in the team. Can I play twice a week for three months? I think I can but now it is my job to prove it. It’s a lot of pleasure for me that I get back into the team. The season is always very long so sometimes you have to accept being on the bench but sometimes you have the opportunity to prove you are still there and can still play in the Arsenal team.”
Flamini also made a fervent point that…
“To win titles, you don’t win it with 11 players, you need 25, and everyone has to play a role during the competitions. With such competitions and so many games, you need everyone ready”
I absolutely agree with the Flamster. Joel Campbell is a player so further down the pecking order he could not see the light of day but as fate would have it, all available options on thew right flank suffered some injuries and he has given an extended run of games. His longest run in his Arsenal career. He started well against Swansea and somewhat faded off in the games against Bayern Munich and Tottenham but he responded well to losing his place to Kieran Gibbs (West Brom) with his best Arsenal performance till date.
That’s what competition does to a player. He has to know that he needs to give his possible best in every game because there are others out there ready to take his place in the team. Failing to respond well to competition is the reason why the likes of Kieran Gibbs and Matt Debuchy will not get ahead of Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin and I fear the most for Debuchy because there is a certain Carl Jenkinson waiting to show what he’s made off.
Flamini isn’t the most gifted individual in the Arsenal team and he’s odds on to find new employers at the end of the season. This may just be his last hurrah for the team. He may as well be given the chance to strut his stuff.
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