As if things weren’t already bad enough heading into the tail end of the season, it looks as though we’ve got yet another injury to contend with. Mathieu Flamini was a surprise starter for our clash with Barcelona, but the Frenchman was replaced by Francis Coquelin (via Sky Sports) before the half time whistle with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
He’d been getting stuck in during the first half, and picked up a silly yellow card for a reckless challenge on Andres Iniesta; we say challenge, but he essentially just plowed into the back of the Spaniard.
The fact that he held his hamstring momentarily before motioning to the bench, combined with Arsene Wenger opting to make a like-for-like substitute just minutes before the break, suggests it was certainly a change made due to injury rather than tactics.
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Flamini isn’t exactly a massive miss, but due to the huge number of players already sidelined with injury it’s made far more of a blow than it should be. The veteran midfielder arguably shouldn’t even be anywhere near the team given the players we’ve got vying for his position, but the fact is we need every single body we can muster heading into the latter stages of the campaign.