Defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini has been showing his wares since featuring for Arsenal FC, which caught the attention of no less than Gunners great, Ray Parlour.
Defensive specialist Mathieu Flamini.
Flamini strengthened the Gunners' back-line by being the first-line-of-defence and by filling in the gaps on midfield, in case they go on an all-out attack.
"Flamini has been very important," Parlour told arsenal.com.
"At times over the last few seasons when Arsenal have broke forward they look great, but when they lose the ball they have been very open in midfield. Good teams will exploit that."
"He's always in those areas where the ball breaks loose and is always trying to win the ball back. He then moves it quickly to the likes of Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil who can really do something with the ball."
Parlour remembered when Flamini was still with the Gunners, before he left for Italy wherein he was providing the team same exact thing.
"He's doing a great job shielding them because at times they do look a bit open when they play with all the attacking players they have got."
Known to being a box-to-box midfielder during his prime at Arsenal, Parlour believes that Flamini has the capacity to play the same role as the former did.
Above everything, it is Flamini's leadership on the pitch that keeps the defensive aspect of the Gunners' game organised.
"What I like about him is that he's been bossing a few players about and you need players like that," he said.
"We had Patrick Vieira doing it when I played and I did it myself, telling other players to get back in position before you can have a rest."
"I think Flamini has been really good on that side of the game which is a massive thing for the Club because he's experienced and he's been there and done it. I think the players have really responded to him by improving their positioning."
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