Flamini wants regular role
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mathieu Flamini is determined to carve out a place in midfield after scoring on Sunday.
Mathieu Flamini has told Arsene Wenger he is determined to carve out a place in the Arsenal midfield after scoring the opening goal in Sunday's 3-0 win over Liverpool.
The young Frenchman's best moments in a Gunners shirt so far have come in a makeshift left-back role, as the 22-year-old performed valiantly in the London club's run to the UEFA Champions League final last season.
In the enforced absence of both Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy, Flamini enjoyed a key role in the defence that kept ten clean sheets in a row, but he has played a limited role so far this season after turning down the chance to continue in the back four.
Both Justin Hoyte and William Gallas pitched in to patch up Wenger's defence before Clichy returned to action, leaving Flamini kicking his heels on the bench.
However, an injury to Tomas Rosicky before Sunday's game against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium presented the former Marseille man with the chance to start for The Gunners, and he took full advantage by opening the scoring in the first half.
Now Flamini has again underlined his determination to avoid becoming a utility player, with a regular place in the centre of midfield his goal for the coming years.
"We spoke about that because at the start of the season the manager wanted me to play at left back - but I told him I was more comfortable in the centre of midfield," said Flamini.
"I played left back last year, but wanted to go back into the middle to show everybody it was possible for me to play there.
"Now I want to play there all the time because it is my natural position.
"Everybody knows I have the capacity to play at left back, but now I want to come back in the midfield."
Flamini's goal, his second of the season following his strike in a Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb, also earned the Frenchman a booking from referee Mark Clattenburg due to his overenthusiastic celebrations.
However, the former l'OM starlet has no complaints about being punished for running over to the home support.
"I knew it was forbidden, but I did not think about that because I was so happy I just went to see the fans and jumped in," Flamini added.
"However, you always have to respect the rules."