It seems as though the debate about Arsenal and the defensive midfield role will go on as long as water is wet, or at least as long as Arsene Wenger is the manager of the Gunners. But at least the Frenchman decided to bring back our former player Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer last summer to give us another option in that position.
And the French midfielder did a pretty good job a lot of the time, without having the presence or ability of someone like Patrick Vieira. This season, however, has seen Flamini get quite a lot of criticism from the Arsenal fans and the calls for a new signing to shore up our midfield have only got louder, so has Flamini failed to fill that role since his return?
Well you might be surprised to see his EPL stats on Squawka.com compared to his team mate Mikel Arteta, to his own stats from last season and to the player everyone is raving about in that role, Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic.
Taken as an average per 90 minutes to level out the games and minutes played, Flamini this season comes top in the overall score, defensive score and interceptions and second in possession, pass completion percentage and blocks. And Flamini from last season came top in blocks, clearances, percentage of duels won and successful take ons, while coming second in overall score, defence score, attack score and interceptions.
Now while I know that stats do not tell the whole story, they are useful and do seem to suggest that Flamini is doing a good job for us this season as he did last time. Maybe our problems run too deep to be blamed on one player and from the looks of it, even if we had Matic it would make little difference. Perhaps the whole team tactics and attitude need to change. What do you think?