Emmanuel Frimpongs future is in the hanging as we have not seen much of him this season. He appeared a few times on the bench earlier in the season when Arteta was injured but rarely stepped on to the pitch. When defensive substitutions were obviously needed, Wenger resorted to playing full backs, Monreal & Jenkinson. You could argue it was merely tactical to cover the wings as we have played without natural wingers.
Now the Chelsea game is coming and Arsene Wenger will be without his favoured defensive midfielders, Arteta and Flamini, surely Frimpong should start? The biggest hint of wether we have seen the last of “Frimmy” will be a younger, inexperienced player plays in that position instead of Frimpong. Isaac Hayden has already been hinted to play a part in tomorrows clash. The 18-year-old can play in defence but prefers playing in defensive midfield. He is another of the upcoming talents with a great future but should he start in front of Frimpong? The answer is no, if Frimpong is to have a long-term future with the club. Arsenal’s official website has already started to talk up Hayden, with Wenger describing him as “committed” and “hard-working”. These are words that used to be associated with Frimpong, but not these days.
Frimpong is a talented player who seems to have been distracted by things other than football. He now comes across as a player whose dedication to football or Arsenal has waned. Could it be the frustration of not breaking in to the Arsenal team or the injuries? Only Frimpong can answer that. To date, Frimpong’s best performance was a game against Liverpool at the Emirates where he dominated the midfield but unfortunately got sent off at the end of the match. He exhibited in that match all the things fans knew about him, power, passion and hard work. two years ago in the Emirates cup Boca Juniors playmaker Riquelme, singled out Frimpong as Arsenal’s best player during that tournament.
“[Frimpong] was the most important player for Arsenal… him and Wilshere were our toughest opponents.” – Riquelme in 2011
Now you ask where has that talent gone, where is the passion that we so loved about Frimpong? Could it be because of his injuries that he has failed to gain momentum? Wenger is the best to recognise a player that is hampered by injuries, just look at Ramsey. According to Wenger, Ramsey exhibited the hunger to learn and improve and that made him patient with him even though some fans were getting frustrated with Ramsey. I wonder if Frimpong is the same. He has flirted with Wolves on Twitter after going on loan with them a couple of seasons ago. He even “followed” ONLY the Birmingham team on Twitter even though he was not playing there anymore. I have a slight suspicion that Frimmy would happily run down his contract to play for them,
Whichever way, there is a great feeling that all this will be answered tomorrow against Chelsea. With a contract coming to an end, he needs to impress the boss and this is his chance! If Frimpong does play a part, no matter how small it is, he could easily save his career because Flamini is thought to be out for up to 3 weeks. A good performance might set him up for another battle with Liverpool on the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I love Frimmy but I fear his time at the Emirates might be over…