There are very few Arsenal fans that would have predicted that Matthieu Flamini would be the star of the show in last night’s North London derby at White Hart Lane, but the Frenchman surprised us all by being the hero of the hour. His spectacular match-winning strike was a joy to watch and even Arsene Wenger was surprised at his performance.
Le Prof said after the game: “You do not expect Mathieu Flamini to score two goals. He was certainly frustrated for a long time and he went for it. He scored two good goals, especially the second one. I think on the second one he made an early decision to go for it and just focused and finished with a great goal.
“First of all I wanted to rotate the team a little bit and he [Flamini] had worked very hard recently. I saw in training he was focused and had come back to a good level and I also thought I wanted to strengthen a bit the midfield with Arteta who had not played in a long time. I wanted a second player to strengthen a bit defensively and that meant Flamini and Arteta together gave some defensive guarantees.
“He is a fighter and he is a winner as well. I told him at the start of the season it might be difficult for him to be a starter but he decided to stay and he did fight.
“I fought to keep him but he is at an age where you always consider what it is important at that age, which is to keep focused and stay in the team. If they do not manage to do that it is better you let them go, but he wanted to stay.”
As someone commented, Flamini has now already made his big impact on Arsenal’s season, and is now our top scorer as well as the Man-of-the-Match. Maybe Arsene has now found the backup to Francis Coquelin that we were all calling for in the transfer window?
Onwards and Upwards!