Choosing Arsenal’s midfield is steadily becoming harder and harder, but it’s a fantastic situation to be in. Arsene Wenger looks set to recall Theo Walcott after the international break as Lukas Podolski also nears his return, meaning there will be some tough decisions to make over the next few weeks.
The Flamini versus Arteta debate continues, the pair together have yielded mixed results so far but overall it appears the two cannot be fielded alongside one another as it creates a too defensive-minded setup. Ramsey clearly performs better in his favoured box-to-box role in the middle of the park and needs to be partnered with either Arteta or Flamini.
Luckily for the Southampton match Wenger will have it ‘easy’, Flamini is set to serve his one match suspension for receiving five yellow cards (he’s only made 7 fouls in 8 appearances!) But from then onwards one or the other needs to be fielded alongside either Wilshere or Ramsey. On form many could argue it should be Arteta but Flamini’s grit has been extremely important, so for me it’s the Frenchman.
Another point to cover is whether Walcott should be reinstated immediately into the lineup for the upcoming Southampton fixture? I tend to say no, the Englishman has been out of action for the past couple months and will certainly be rusty when he returns. He has returned to full training however and will be available from the bench, he also provides more depth up front and could be utilized as a ‘Plan B’.
Mesut Ozil is a sure starter, while Santi Cazorla almost certainly starts on the left. So that leaves Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere, Serge Gnabry and Walcott fighting for the right wing slot against Southampton, and it’s surely got to be Rosicky. The Czech has been brilliant of late but missed the United tie which was a big blow.
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With the Champions League beckoning in a weeks time, depth will be key for the Gunners as Wenger can look to rotate and barely lose quality. Time to bounce back against the Saints this Saturday!
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