There was a mixed reaction when Arsenal’s Twitter account announced the Gunners’ line-up for their game against Bournemouth this afternoon.
The names of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil - starting together for the first time in 2016 -were greeted with cheers.
The name of Mathieu Flamini, not so much.
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With new signing Mohamed Elneny on paternity leave and Francis Coquelin not yet 100 per cent after making his return from a knee ligament injury against Burnley last month, Arsene Wenger had little option but to include the Frenchman in his team.
Yet, after a series of disappointing performances, most notably in the 1-0 loss to Chelsea a fortnight ago, Gunners fans remain disappointed that Flamini has found his way into the starting line-up.
Aaron Ramsey will accompany Flamini just in front of the defence while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets a rare start ahead of Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell.
The decision to start Oxlade-Chamberlain, a player with so much potential but who is yet to deliver on a consistent basis for Arsenal, has fans perplexed.
After his impressive showing against Burnley in the FA Cup, Gunners fans are pleased to see Alex Iwobi’s name on the bench.
Another cause for joy is the fact that Sanchez and Ozil, the two most expensive players in Arsenal’s history, will make their first start together this calendar year.
Arsenal are eight points behind Leicester after the Foxes stunned Manchester City yesterday. Wenger’s team haven’t won in their last four league games but victory against Bournemouth will set them up nicely for their clash against Leicester next weekend.
It won’t be easy, however. Bournemouth are high on confidence having won three of their last four games in all competitions.
Will Arsenal beat Bournemouth? Have your say in the comments section below!