Arsenal star: Gunners can still push for glory when injuries clear up
PUBLISHED: 22:31 14 December 2014 | UPDATED: 08:14 15 December 2014
Mathieu Flamini is convinced Arsenal can still enjoy success this season – provided their fortunes finally change on the injury front.
The Gunners’ general lack of consistency has been exacerbated by their ongoing list of absences, with a total of eight first-team players currently unavailable.
Francis Coquelin was recalled from his loan spell at Charlton after Aaron Ramsey strained a hamstring last week, joining five other midfielders on the sidelines.
And right-back Mathieu Debuchy – only just back from a three-month injury lay-off himself – was pressed into action as an emergency centre-half in Saturday’s 4-1 win over his former club Newcastle.
“I think we have a lot of quality,” said midfielder Flamini. “We’re strong at the back, in midfield and also offensively. The only problem is we are very unlucky with injuries.
“It happens during the season, it’s like that. Sometimes maybe you’re a bit unlucky when you lose players – it’s never easy to go through so many games with all these injuries.
“But I definitely believe we have the quality in the team and, like the manager says, we can achieve something big at this club, maybe after a bit of luck.
“Mathieu Debuchy had to play in central defence, but he is a great player and I believe great players can play anywhere and he was amazing as a centre-back.
“I’m so happy for him because he worked very hard to come back stronger than before. Olivier [Giroud] is a player who has been injured for a few months, like Debuchy, so I’m pleased for him too.
“He scored two goals and looked sharp – he had a great game. It’s important for us to have these players back and to keep them fit now.”
The Newcastle game – in which Santi Cazorla netted the other two goals for the Gunners – was their second successive triumph by that scoreline, following last week’s Champions League win against Galatasaray.
That left the Emirates faithful in buoyant mood as they chanted the name of manager Arsene Wenger – a far cry from the reaction that had greeted Arsenal’s defeat at Stoke just a week earlier.
“We know we had a bad result at Stoke, but we had a good reaction in Istanbul and this was another good game for us, which was important,” Flamini added.
“I think you have to accept the criticism of the fans when you come out of a bad performance and everyone has the right to an opinion. It’s part of the game.
“It was very important to give a good answer and we did that again. It was important for us personally but also for the fans because they are travelling everywhere to support us and we have to give 200 per cent.”