Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini was the unlikely hero on Wednesday night as his brace secured a win over Tottenham in the Capital One Cup third round.
The Frenchman’s second goal was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch in the 2-1 victory as he expertly volleyed home from distance to secure the victory for the Gunners.
However, the 31-year-old’s general influence on proceedings ensured that he played a pivotal role in the win, and in turn that will provide Arsene Wenger with a selection headache moving forward.
Wenger suggested prior to the game that Francis Coquelin’s knee injury was minor, as reported by The Guardian, but it remains to be seen how long the Frenchman is sidelined for.
As a result, Flamini’s revival comes at an opportune time as he will likely be handed the reigns in midfield alongside Santi Cazorla to add some defensive coverage and steel in the middle of the pitch.
Given that the Gunners looked poor in their Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb last week with Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla in the deeper midfield positions, it was evident that they needed more of a midfield general in that department to stamp their authority on the game.
While Flamini isn’t the same player as he used to be due to age and injuries, the French ace proved on Wednesday night that he still has plenty left in the tank and can double up as an offensive threat too.
Fitness permitting, it would come as no surprise to see the former AC Milan midfielder start against Leicester City on Saturday. Although he isn’t the long-term solution to the issue, he is certainly the best option that Wenger has at his disposal for the time being if he can prove his consistency.