This could also work the other way around of course, as Matthieu Flamini is also very familiar with Arsenal, the players and the way that Arsene Wenger’s teams tend to play. But what I am hoping for and what I feel sure that our manager will be getting across to the Gunners ahead of the Premier League clash with Crystal Palace is what they are likely to come up against in Flamini and how best to exploit the fact that Wenger knows the facets and flaws of his fello0w Frenchman better than anyone.
Flamini has joined Crystal Palace after his contract with Arsenal ran down in the summer and because of the injury problems that Sam Allardyce is having to cope with it is very likely that the former Gunner will start against us in a central midfield pairing with Yohan Cabaye, who just happens to be another player whose game is very familiar to the boss as we nearly signed him a few years ago.
Perhaps Wenger will focus Arsenal on trying to make the most of Flamini’s lack of pace, although that would have been easier to do if Theo Walcott was fit. We do have a fair amount of pace with players like Alexis and Bellerin though, and if Wenger was dithering about whether to throw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain straight in to action after his injury his pace and power might just make up the manager’s mind.
Can Arsenal use Wenger’s knowledge of Flamini to gain an edge over Crystal Palace or might it be the other way around?