I honestly do think Flamini is the best left leftback that Arsenal has at the moment. Of course this is a moot point as I write this because first and foremost, Flamini loathes playing in this position and we already have two left backs in Gibbs and Monreal but in terms of ability, Flamini definitely gets the nod.
I did not come up with this idea. It is a tried and tested theory which worked a peach. Those who have been following Arsenal for a while or at least since 2005 will know where I am coming from. During the Champions League campaign, Arsenal played so many different players in the leftback position and eventually settled on Flamini and kept clean sheets throughout the knockout stages all the way to the final. In fact, we conceded only two goals in the group stage. That was a definite achievement. Following his breakthrough season and perhaps showing his disdain at been played out of position, Flamini refused to sign a new contract and moved on for ‘greener pastures’ before he realized the error of his ways and came back. Like the prodigal son, we welcomed him back with open arms.
Of course Flamini is getting the recognition he deserves from his natural Defensive Mid position which has helped us keep so many clean sheets this campaign. There is a reason we have looked so strong in defense this season. Gibbs obviously is better going forward than Monreal and Flamini and possesses a good left shot and is a good passer of the ball. He was a converted winger after all. Monreal though, offers slightly more stability at the back than Gibbs and is as quick as Gibbs so I would put them in the same category. The problem with the two of them is they leave massive gaps at the back that other teams would have taken advantage of. Flamini has been noticing these gaps and is able to cover the left back position. The problem comes when he plays with an attack minded player like Ramsey or Wilshere and can’t cover both the centre and flanks for the obvious reason that he can’t be in two places at the same time. Bayern Munich will destroy us if we do not address this situation.
If we replaced Gibbs with Flamini and played Arteta as the anchor man and the rest of the midfield positions are filled with creative players, I bet we would score more goals and concede even fewer than we are right now. I doubt whether we will ever see such a team but never say never. It might happen with Monreal’s bruised metatarsal and Gibbs injury record that, credit to him, he been able to control. Anyway Flamini would never agree to it.