Consistency is now the key for Flamini

Author @tomdow7

 

Prior to the West Brom game last Saturday, I spoke about the need to return with three points and without any further injuries. Well, needless to say that didn’t go as planned! A damaging defeat and perhaps more crucially, the prospect of at least two months without Francis Coquelin; a player who has rapidly grown into one of the most integral cogs in our side.

To add further insult to injury, Mikel Arteta’s now all too familiar calf injury means that Mathieu Flamini is now the only obvious option at defensive midfield. It is worth noting that the Frenchman was very close to leaving the club in the Summer, with Arsene Wenger seemingly happy to see him leave. Well, how lucky for us that he is still around!

Commitment , passion and finger pointing are never short in supply

Commitment , passion and finger pointing are never short in supply

Wenger was predictably non-committal when quizzed on whether he would venture into the transfer market in January in search of a replacement, which is of course the stock line you’d expect. It is hardly going to boost the morale of the squad if he were to come out and say that the players in his squad are simply not good enough to fill the gap. So when people get agitated by comments that the manager makes to the press regarding transfers, it always baffles me as to what they expect.

Naturally, the manager has been criticised for his decision to not strengthen the side in the summer, when it seemed clear to all that an injury to Coquelin would leave us hopelessly short. However, even had Wenger brought in someone to compete alongside the young Frenchman, his injury would still have been a massive blow. This by no means reflects the standard of this Arsenal midfield, simply the meteoric rise of Coquelin. Moaning about the lack of signings in the summer achieves nothing, and all we as supporters can do right now is get behind the team.

Perhaps tellingly, the manager did suggest young Calum Chambers as an option in the holding role, but this would be an awful lot of pressure to put on a relatively inexperienced young player. The Englishman was brought on for the last five minutes or so on Tuesday night, but in reality, it is impossible to take much away from his cameo.

The responsibility surely rests firmly on the shoulders of Flamini. What most supporters will be wondering now is if he can rise from a relative outcast, to an integral member of a side supposedly challenging for the title. While we all harbour fond memories of his brace away at Spurs earlier in the season, even the most optimistic supporter would struggle to be confident in Flamini’s ability to dominate Arsenal’s midfield.

Now, all of this will have sounded very negative. There is a lot to be said about the passion and commitment that Flamini shows every time he pulls on the famous red and white. In the recent draw with Spurs, his introduction provided much needed energy and fight, while on Tuesday night, he produced another solid performance, all be it, against a poor Dinamo Zagreb side.

Consistency is now the key for Flamini. Whenever he has been called upon this season, he hasn’t necessarily disappointed. What has been a hallmark of his cameo appearances has been the adventurous approach he seems to have adopted. A number of times he has been brought on in order to sure up the midfield, but has instead been found high up the pitch, looking to get on the score sheet. A starting berth will certainly require this to be curbed.

Flamini's two goal intervention was the stuff of Arsenal folklore

Flamini’s two goal intervention was the stuff of Arsenal folklore

Flamini is the best option for Arsenal. While the temptation could be to bring Aaron Ramsey in alongside Santi Cazorla, this would inevitably leave us exposed, particularly on the counter attack. Flamini is an experienced player and that could be an invaluable trait in the coming months. The challenge for him will be to maintain a level of concentration that has sometimes waned when he has previously been given a run in the side.

While his volley at White Hart Lane ensured that he accrued cult status, the coming months could cement his name into Arsenal folklore should he help bring the title to the Emirates.

 

 

By

@tomdow7

“Arsenal is my life. I travel up and down the country and plan the rest of my life around the fixture list. A bad result ruins my entire week.”

 

Gooner Ramble

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *