“Flamini is available. He had no basic injury. It was just a precaution.”
Those were the words of Arsene Wenger after the influential midfielder missed Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund last week.
After suffering concussion in the Gunners’ previous game against Norwich City, Mathieu Flamini watched from the stands as a late Robert Lewandowski strike broke Emirates hearts. And yet today he returned against Crystal Palace, prior to a vital few weeks for his team.
However, Flamini limped off after just seven minutes of today’s match at Selhurst Park, with what appears to be a groin injury.
While it is far too early to know the severity of the injury, losing the midfielder for a sustained period of time would be a huge blow for Wenger as he prepares his side to face Chelsea, Liverpool, Dortmund and Manchester United in the next few weeks.
While Flamini may not have featured in the League Cup match against Chelsea, he certainly would have started against Liverpool and United in the league, and against the German side in a vital Champions League group stage match that they dare not lose.
As they wait for more news, Arsenal fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration, with a select few below:
If that was Flamini's groin strained, then we just lost him for Chelsea, Liverpool, Dortmund & United. #AFC— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 26, 2013
Mathieu Flamini's groin injury could be a nightmare for Arsenal. Their next four games: Chelsea, Liverpool, Dortmund and Manchester United.— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) October 26, 2013
Flamini offers so much protection he should be sold in packs of three from the chemist. I bet Wenger wishes that was the case now.— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) October 26, 2013
Flamini makes such a difference— Luke Brick (@LukeBrick) October 26, 2013
The flamini effect. We are just not the same without him.— Segar (@Cuttesegar) October 26, 2013
No flamini=no drive! Such a slow, passionless performance #afc— Jason GÖÖNER Stewart (@Jas13913) October 26, 2013
image: © wonker