Mathieu Flamini loves doing the “dirty work” of sitting in front of the Arsenal defence and protecting the back four.
The French midfielder has been a revelation since returning to the Club this summer after a five-year spell with AC Milan.
Arsène Wenger has acknowledged the balance that Flamini brings to the team and the 29-year-old says the anchor role is one he thoroughly enjoys.
We play football based on attacking very quickly; that is the beauty of our gameMathieu Flamini
“My most important job on the pitch is to protect the back four and it is not easy, especially when the other team is focused offensively and has so many players of real quality,” Flamini told Arsenal Player.
“I try to stay in front of the back four, to protect Koscielny and Mertesacker. I’m also trying to co-ordinate between defence and attack, because what is important in football is to attack together and defend together.
“The team is so offensive, everyone goes forward and that is part of the characteristic of Arsenal. We play football based on attacking very quickly; that is the beauty of our game.
“At the same time we have to make sure we don’t face any counter-attacks and stay very high so we can get the ball back when we lose it. It is always much easier to defend when the team is very high.
“When I play with any of the boys in midfield I have to sit in front of the defence and do the dirty work but I enjoy doing it. My pleasure is to give them the possibility to attack and, when we lose the ball, to get it back as quickly as possible.”
Flamini is one of the most vocal members of the Arsenal team, and he says it is an absolutely essential part of any successful side.
“It is good to have someone who gives you some help, someone to talk to you, it is very important,” he said. “I am trying to help my partners, to speak to them and also get them to speak because football today is all about communication.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 26 Feb 2014