Mathieu Flamini is one player that continues to divide opinions. Since his second return to the club, he has been on the fringes but found himself getting an extended run of games in recent weeks. This is due to the fact that Arsenal’s primary holding midfielder, Francis Coquelin, suffered a knee injury in November following a poor challenge from West Brom’s Claudio Yacob.
In the wake of that injury crisis, the manager has attempted Calum Chambers in the holding position and he has done his bit in that role but in Flamini, the club had a more experienced individual that could do a decent job when selected.
It’s not as if Flamini has been a world beater or he has done anything to justify his place when Coquelin is fully fit but I must say that he hasn’t been as bad as person believe he is. Maybe those set of fans are still thinking it’s the 2007/08 season where he was a phenom in the middle of the park with Cesc Fabregas. Wake up people!
Flamini still makes those rash challenges here and there that would want to make you remove some hair from your head, but if you consider the fact that he’s a stop gap option for an injured first team player, you would look at him in different light.
Then there’s the new signing, Mohamed Elneny. In all honesty, I’ve never seen the lad play. My best bet would have been to watch him in FC Basel’s Europa League games but I’m not all about Thursday night Tottenham football. Like many fans out there, I’ve feasted on some of that YouTube goodness but we all know that compilations don’t tell the full story.
I was hoping that Elneny gets a taste of the big time soon and he’s odds on to make his debut against Burnley this weekend, and due to his versatility, he can feature in the box to box role, or the holding midfield role. Will Wenger opt for Elneny has the holding midfielder to accommodate another box-to-box player? Will he feature in the middle alongside Calum Chambers? This is certainly the manager’s headache, not mine.
However, with Coquelin and Elneny very much around, it could signal the end of the Flamster. It is believed that he’s one of the senior players, alongside Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky that will not be offered a new deal at the end of the season.
It’s been a nice ride with Flamini that has seen him play 200+ games in his two stints with the club. Only heaven knows what the future has in store for Flamini but I know it won’t be at Arsenal.
I’m sure Mesut Ozil will miss the Frenchman. Their bromance is well publicized.
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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With yesterday night being a Sunday I was trying to make preparations for work today, only to realize that it’s still a public holiday here at Nigeria. My Internet Service Provider has been acting like Yaya Sanogo in front of goal since last night, and it’s saddening to know that the trend isn’t stopping this morning, so I’d have to publish this article with my phone, something I haven’t done since when Lukas Podolski played his first game for Inter.
I really ought to go continue playing my Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt because that game is 50 Shades of Awesomeness, so here’s a quick update on the latest transfer rumors surrounding the club.
It’s been well documented that the Gunners needed strengthening in two key positions, the center forward berth and the holding midfield role. Several names have been linked with the club but the only acquisition still date still remains Petr Cech. The Czech goalie enjoyed a great reception from the fans at Singapore and I’m sure he’d get an even better one when he returns to the home of football this weekend to play the Emirates Cup.
Alexandre Lacazette is a player that has been heavily linked with the club this summer and it was believed that Lyon were ready to offer the lad to Arsenal for £21m. According to the Daily Mail, Lacazette has stated his desire to continue his football at Lyon, after what proved to be a successful campaign last time out,
“I have already said that I want to continue with Lyon. I have shown that I’m fully committed. It’s football that interests me, not money. I hope to have a strong season”
We have heard this kinda stuff from footballers, haven’t we? A classic example would be the case of Manchester City’s recent acquisition, Fabian Delph that declared his loyalty for Aston Villa before making a u-turn to help the club alleviate their homegrown problems.
No official bid has been made for Lacazette as its believed that the Gunners are eyeing a £40m bid for Karim Benzema. TMhere’s a lot of time between now and the end of the transfer window, so we will keep our fingers crossed.
Moving on to departures, the Daily Star published a piece stating that Mathieu Flamini is expected to travel to Turkey this week to undergo a medical with Galatasaray. The Turkish club recently signed Lukas Podolski from the club and both managers have a good rapport so it would be easy to take Flamini from North London.
The Flanimal is 31-years-old and is clearly behind Francis Coquelin in the pecking order, and there’s also the issue of the captain still hanging around as well as the whispers of a new holding midfielder joining the club.
Many fans will be glad to see the back of Flamini. Let’s hope these rumors are true.