Before this weekend just gone, Mathieu Flamini was the holder of an incredible record. Ahead our loss against Chelsea, the Frenchman had never lost a single game at the Emirates – a truly astonishing achievement (via the Mirror).
The veteran midfielder was undefeated in an outstanding 55 games at the Emirates, but thanks to Diego Costa’s goal that record now reads 55 and one.
Flamini did his best to keep the streak going, getting into the Chelsea box whenever possible to secure that crucial goal. This meant he often neglected his duties as a defensive midfielder, but that’s something we’ve grown accustomed to recently.
It was always going to be an uphill battle after Per Mertesacker’s recklessness reduced us to ten men, but Flamini’s ineptitude in midfield certainly didn’t help. He seemed so concerned with telling others how to do their jobs that he totally ignored his own, leaving the Chelsea midfielders and forwards far too much time and space to play the ball.
Flamini’s impressive record stretched across both spells at Arsenal, with the 31-year-old spending time at AC Milan in between. It’s a mystery how he’s kept the record going for so long though, as he’s consistently been a liability in midfield.
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The Mirror’s report suggests Flamini is likely to be moved on come the end of the campaign, and we’re inclined to agree. He’s no longer capable of competing at the highest level, and we have far better options available. With Francis Coquelin close to a return and Mohamed Elneny arriving from FC Basel, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Flamini left out in the cold for the rest of the season.