What next for Flamini amid all the calls for another holding midfielder at Arsenal? Are his days numbered at Arsenal or does he stay and act as a decent back up and is he content with that? Is Morgan Schneiderlin, a player from Southampton really a step up compared to Flamini?
Flamini’s greatest attribute is his tenacity. No one denies his work rate and combative style of play reminiscent of Gennaro Gattuso but Arsenal fans are not convinced of him taking over the mantle of holding midfielder.
Flamini’s style of play is incomparable to Mikel Arteta and if Arsenal are to acquire the services of another holding midfielder, what attributes is he expected to have?
Flamini does not really have good positional sense and he cannot read the game well. This has worked well so far for Mikel Arteta who has only been let down by a lack of pace. What Flamini does is to harry an opposition player all over the field and cause him to make a mistake. Remember how Gattuso did not give Christiano Ronaldo a moment’s peace when Manchester United played against AC Milan in the Champions League? That describes Flamini to the hilt.
Arteta has never been a hard tacker and only snuffs out a threat by shepherding an opposition player away from the danger area as well as intercepting a pass. Flamini on the other hand is a ferocious tackler who was lucky to get away with a few fouls/penalty appeals waved away last season.
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The one attribute that lacks in Flamini’s game is his technical inability. He cannot spray passes all over the field as well as Arteta and spread play when need dictates. Is this an attribute that a holding midfielder can do without? Flamini usually gets possession and then passes to his midfield partner to start an attack. It worked extremely well with Fabregas as his partner. Arteta, on the other hand, is comfortable with the ball at his feet due to his attacking instincts honed at Everton.
Unless Arsenal are going to be able to find a complete midfielder in the mould of Daniele De Rossi, they are going to have to settle for either a player with a calming presence like Arteta or a combative midfielder like Flamini and if they go for the latter, why not just settle for Flamini? His teammates would compliment his style perfectly. Personally I think Flamini would flourish in the role.