Everyone was sort of left eating their words in September.
Fans and pundits alike had written off Mathieu Flamini. Arsenal seemed eager to sell him in the summer and he didn’t feature in the opening six Premier League games of the new campaign.
Then, in a north London derby, Flamini scored twice at White Hart Lane. German star Mesut Özil has a close relationship with the midfielder, maybe Mesut was right all along.
“He scored two wonderful goals [at White Hart Lane],” Özil said to Arsenal Player. “He’s been rewarded for his strong showings and those goals were of course sensational.
“[Volleys like that] are really difficult. Sometimes when you see players connect with them, the goalkeepers save the shot or they miss the target. Mathieu caught his perfectly and scored a wonderful goal, especially because it was the winner.”
Within an instant it was a goal that made Flamini a bit of a hero. Any Arsenal player who scores the winner in a derby will leave the fans with an incredibly fond memory, and this was no different. A volleyed winner at White Hart Lane is the stuff of dreams!
“I have a really good understanding with Mathieu,” Özil added. “He’s a guy who always gives 100 per cent on the pitch but when he’s off the pitch, he’s a player who makes a lot of jokes and gets on well with a lot of his team-mates.
“He’s just a great guy with whom I have a lot of fun. As I said, we’re just pleased to have him in this team.”
Flamini went on to start against Leicester City the weekend after his League Cup heroics, but was subbed off with an injury and hasn’t played since.
The best thing Arsenal can do is keep Mesut Özil happy and keeping Flamini around does it, then that’s just fine. The pair share such a close relationship that their team-mates have mocked them in the past.