Flamini is our most important midfielder and our three games without him have proved this point. Wilshere is definitely no defensive midfielder. Neither is Chamberlain. Rosicky is good at tackling but it would be such a waste stifling his creativity. Ramsey is the next best bet as a box to box midfielder but while he has been very good in creating chances and scoring goals, his defensive qualities leave a lot to be desired. Besides, he is injured.
These three midfielders I have mentioned are better attacking meaning there has been no one to help Arteta to defend. Arteta positions himself on the field very well and helps to avert danger but is a lousy tackler and is slow. He needs a more mobile, defensive minded midfielder to cover what gets past him. Flamini is to Arteta what Koscielny is to Mertesacker. Their attributes compliment each other.
No harm has come out of Flamini’s absence, Liverpool not withstanding. We have managed to win one, lose one (badly), and draw one. We are only one point behind Chelsea and we play Sunderland and Stoke in our next games. Tough no doubt but winnable.
If Flamini and Arteta are able to rediscover their defensive stability, then that leaves the attacking midfielders to do the damage upfront and also gives us more options to come from the bench.
With Flamini in the team, it frees one more midfielder to attack so in a sense, it is like having a new signing. Flamini owes us for that red card. No one could have prevented that thrashing we got from Liverpool but he might have minimized the damage. Now we can all look forward to the Liverpool and Bayern games as we try to avenge the losses they inflicted on us.
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With a long rest Flamini will be raring to go and fatigue will not be a factor so in a sense his red card might have been a blessing in disguise. Whatever the case, Arsenal are better off now than three games ago and that is all down to the return of Flamini.