Flamini wants focused Gunners

Mathieu Flamini knows Arsenal cannot afford to lose focus as they face a run of fixtures which will test just how far they have come.

Last Updated: 09/12/13 at 14:19 Post Comment

Mathieu Flamini: Hopes to keep momentum going

Mathieu Flamini: Hopes to keep momentum going

Midfielder Mathieu Flamini has warned Arsenal cannot afford to lose focus as they face up to a run of fixtures which will test just how far they have come this season.

The Gunners missed the chance to take full advantage of slip-ups by Barclays Premier League title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

There is, however, little time for Arsene Wenger and his squad to dwell on what might have been as they now face a trip to Napoli for their final Champions League group match before returning to tackle City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime. They then face a showdown with their west-London neighbours on December 23 as the festive fixtures get into full swing.

Flamini, who came on as a second-half substitute against Everton, feels Arsenal must focus on delivering another run of consistent displays as they look to maintain their five-point cushion at the top of the league heading into a hectic set of games.

"It is a great feeling (to be five points clear), but the championship is long and we still have a lot of teams to play," said the combative 29-year-old Frenchman, who rejoined Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer after being released by AC Milan.

"Now it is important just to focus on game after game, because we have another big match away to Napoli, and then play at Manchester City, so everything goes very quick in the championship, especially when you have so many games.

"It is going to be a busy period for us and we just have to focus.

"What would be good for us will be three victories, but we know it is not going to be easy because we will be playing three big teams with a lot of quality.

"This busy period is also going to be important for the players, that we can recover as soon as possible because we play already on Wednesday, but it will be interesting to see what happens after these three games."

Flamini added: "These are all big games, the ones you want to play in, and everyone is excited to be playing in them.

"It will be an interesting period for everyone and hopefully a good one for us."

Arsenal's immediate attention will now turn to securing their European progression, as they head to Italy three points clear at the top of Group F.

A draw against Rafael Benitez's men would be enough to clinch first place and with it seeding for the knockout stages.

Indeed, Arsenal could lose and still progress depending on the final scoreline at the Stadio San Paolo and Borussia Dortmund's result in Marseille.

Right-back Carl Jenkinson looks set to again stand in for Bacary Sagna, who is sidelined by a hamstring problem.

The 21-year-old feels Arsenal are up to tackling the test of character they will now face head on.

"We are definitely not looking at it in an apprehensive way," he said.

"I wouldn't say (these games will be) defining - it is a very long season, but they are three big games and of course you want three good results.

"We just need to continue playing well and hopefully the results will take care of themselves."

Jenkinson added: "When we play to our peak, I think we can beat anyone so it is important that we go and do that on Wednesday.

"It is going to be a tough game - they are going to be battling because they want to qualify just as much as us.

"But we will work hard and go out there with the confidence that we have from our recent results and hopefully come back with the result we want."

Arsenal were drawn against north-London rivals Tottenham in the third round of the FA Cup.

The two clubs and relevant bodies are set to discuss ticket allocation for such a high-profile match, with the away team entitled to 15% of the ground's capacity under competition regulations, which would mean around 9,000 Spurs fans making the short journey to the Emirates Stadium for

a fixture which could yet be selected to be televised over the weekend of January 4/5.


New Sky Bet customers: Free £30 matched bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Wayne Rooney cannot wait to link up with Harry Kane for England

Wayne Rooney has been gripped by the excitement surrounding Harry Kane and can't wait to link up with him against Italy.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to make first England start in Italy

Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly in Italy, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle starts for Italy against England in Turin

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been handed a start for Italy in their friendly against England in Turin.

Mail Box

It's All Just A Ruse By The 'Southern Press'...

A varied Tuesday morning Mailbox, with thoughts on the England U21s, a Sterling ruse, Kane realism, Wenger coaching youth and enjoying the charity match...

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company