Is Mathieu Flamini already indispensable to Arsenal?

After a genuine consensus that the re-signing of Flamini from AC Milan was a step back instead of a step forward, the Frenchman has proved the doubters wrong and may have secured a starting spot in the Arsenal team for now.

I have just finished watching the Arsenal – Stoke game and I was absolutely amazed at the performance of Flamini. I want to admit, though, that I may have sighed when it was revealed that Flamini was back training with Arsenal – I knew from that moment on that he would be re-signing for us.

I have always rated him, but that was five years ago and I didn’t see him much at his time at Milan, but I’m presuming he was a bit-part player at best. This was shortly after it was announced that Mikel Arteta, who is already Arsenal’s metronome, would be out for six weeks and returned today, in fact. People do seem to forget he was pivotal in Arsenal’s run to the Champions League final and regularly filled in at full-back in that season and was superb, if my memory serves me rightly.

Then it came to his first game of the season, and to be honest, I was worried that he would need a settling in period again and to get used to the Premier League again. But I was pleasantly surprised and, if anything, I have continually become more impressed watching him back at Arsenal.

Arguably since Vieira, Arsenal haven’t really had a leader on the pitch to dictate to fellow teammates, but since his first game back, you watch Flamini and he is yelling at the wingers to stay with their man and letting the full-backs know when someone is attempting a run in behind them. I haven’t seen that in an Arsenal player for sometime and I must say, I was very happy with it.

The only problem is, as I mentioned earlier, is that Mikel Arteta has returned to full fitness and played a part in the final minutes of today’s game alongside Flamini and although they looked solid together, you can only imagine one of them starting.

As an Arsenal fan, I think Flamini has proven he is worthy to be in the side, although he may not be able to play a pass like Arteta, we surely have enough talent going forward with every other midfielder we have on our books. Also, if we played both of them, we would have to drop Aaron Ramsey who has scored seven in eight games, and Wenger isn’t that stupid.