Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has praised the “workrate” and “security” provided by Mathieu Flamini in the midfield. Wenger also defended the notion of Arsenal losing out in the title race every year, in the month of March.
The 29-year-old made a somewhat surprise return to Arsenal at the start of this season as Arsene Wenger looked to add more steel in the middle of the park and it is fair to say that he has lived up to the expectations bestowed upon him. Considering his stop-start stint at AC Milan, Flamini has shown signs of returning to his best at the Emirates on once. The Frenchman has already made 14 starts in the league this season, perhaps more than what many would have expected, but his presence in the squad has provided Arsene Wenger with a tactical variation which no other midfielder in the squad brings along. One of his most noted influence on the field, apart from shielding the defence, has been his fiery leadership qualities. Along with Per Mertesacker, Flamini is perhaps the most vocal player on the pitch for Arsenal, someone who constantly directs this teammates and tries to egg them on. This is a quality Arsenal haven’t always had in their team in recent seasons, and even Arsene Wenger has praised this aspect of Flamini’s game in his pre-match press conference today.
“That is very important. It’s vital and when you’re 21, 22, you’re not in a position to do it with your partners.
“But when you are 30, you feel that you have gone through a lot and you are now in a position where you can do that. You want that from your players.
“His workrate and his balance gives us better security. He does the work that people don’t always see. It’s not because people don’t see it that it’s not important.
“[He provides] that part of important work in the team that stabilises the team and gives them security to express.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Meanwhile, the Frenchman has also dismissed concerns after Arsenal’s perennial dip in form during the closing stages of the season. Despite the stats of recent seasons proving this notion, Wenger insists Arsenal’s trophy drought has nothing to do with it.
“No, I don’t agree with you [that we dip in March],” he said. “[The lack of trophies] has nothing to do [with it] because you can lose the championship in October. If you can show me with numbers that in March we have dipped away, we can have a conversation.
“What is different is that we are in a better position to do it, that is course the first thing,” he said. “The second thing is that we are ready for a battle, and to show that on the pitch we are ready for this battle.
“Overall that is what is different, to show that we have matured mentally. We are, as you know, in a much better position to do it.” – Wenger explained ahead of their upcoming clash against Everton in the FA Cup.