Every Arsenal fan in the world was very angry that Arsene Wenger did not invest in a young strong defensive midfielder in the summer transfer window, especially as both Mikel Arteta and Matthieu Flamini were getting a bit long in the tooth to do the job for a club with title aspirations.
But of course Wenger let us down and (surprise! surprise!) both of our over-30 DMs got injured at the same time, but we had yet another surprise waiting for us. Our long-forgotten midfielder Francis Coquelin got recalled from his loan deal at Charlton and has performed at a much higher level than any of us remembered from his previous exploits at the club.
Wenger at first admitted that it was a gamble for him to play Coquelin, but it seems that Le Prof is now gaining a bit more confidence in the 23 year-old. Wenger said on the official Arsenal website after yesterdays win over Hull: “I think he’s a satisfaction over the Christmas period. Francis has done well in all the three games he’s played over the Christmas period. He’s matured a lot and he’s very strong in the fight. I would say I have a very positive impression of his last three games.”
So now Wenger could be left with a dilemma as (at last!) the club is getting a weeks rest before facing Stoke City, and it looks like Flamini could well be ready to return to the squad for next Sunday’s game at the Emirates. Wenger said: “Mathieu Flamini could be back, Aaron Ramsey has a little chance. Nobody else. Mikel Arteta will be longer. I think Flamini should be available for selection and maybe Ramsey has a little chance to be back.”
So if both Coquelin and Flamini are available, should Wenger give the young Frenchman another chance to carry on his improvement, or bring Matthieu back to he starting line-up? Or, perhaps, as we are playing Stoke, should he play both of them in a 4-2-4 formation?