Gary Neville believes the defence is much more vital to a title challenge.
Many are fawning over the midfield options Arsenal have at their disposal currently, with Aaron Ramsey in great form and Mesut Ozil having arrived from Real Madrid.
Yet former Manchester United great Gary Neville says it is not any of the Gunners’ flair players that are the most important to their title challenge – but defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini.
“This season they have Mathieu Flamini and probably the strongest back four they’ve had for a while,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I think when you dig beneath Arsenal’s squad and you lose a couple of those players it gets a lot weaker. Those five are the key players to keep fit over the next few weeks.
“Flamini and Giroud staying fit are as important as what you would call the ‘stars’ of the team – your Jack Wilshere’s, Ozil’s and Ramsey’s, because I always think Arsenal have got a lot of players they can replace them with – Tomas Rosicky can come back in, Theo Walcott isn’t fit at the moment and will come back.”
Many questioned manager Arsene Wenger’s decision to bring back Flamini after four years away from north London with AC Milan.
Yet the grit and physicality that the Frenchman brings to the side is something that the team is said to have lacked over the past few years.
Along with Ramsey, Flamini is forming a strong central midfield partnership with the Welshman and things are looking good at the Emirates Stadium.
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