For the umpteenth time in a row, Arsenal's midfield has been found out to be weak and lacking a specialist in tackling and covering over an ambitious defence that likes to brake forward.
The warning signs had been there, especially against Besiktas and Manchester City - where Arsenal were lucky to escape without defeat; however, Arsenal's luck finally broke against Southampton in the Capital One Cup; Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and Chelsea in the Premier League.
Against both Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, the goals conceded came from large gaping holes in between defence and midfield. Time and time again the likes of Ciro Immobile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa were unchecked and made Arsenal suffer with a variance of dribbles, through balls, searing pace and clinical finishing.
Arsenal have rotated between defensive midfielders as they continue to play with a 4-1-4-1 formation. As a result Flamini and Arteta have had their time on the pitch shared, yet rest on the bench has not stopped them from struggling.
Judging from his stats this season, Arteta does not let much get past him as he has only been dribbled past 0.3 times per game. In his only Champions League game against Dortmund, this tally falls to zero.
However, it appears this is only the case because he is hardly ever in the thick of the action; 1.5 tackles and 0.8 interceptions per game in the Premier League suggest so.
On the other hand, Flamini is less likely to shirk a battle. He has been involved in 3 tackles and 2.8 interceptions - alluding to his high work rate.
What lets Flamini down, however, is his lack of concentration and discipline. He has recorded 1.8 fouls and has been dribbled 0.8 times per game in the Premier League.
According to WhoScored, Flamini's weaknesses are his concentration level - rated as very poor - whilst his discipline is marginally better at poor.
It is easy to see why when you consider Flamini was at fault for Tottenham's only goal in the 1-1 North London derby draw; Flamini allowed Hazard to ghost by on his way to scoring a would be penalty; and that Flamini has collected three yellow cards already - three more than the cleaner Mikel Arteta.
Credit must go to Arsene Wenger for at least recognising Arsenal's defensive midfield as a problem area. Though instead of chasing lost causes in Real Madrid's Sami Khedira and Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, Wenger should have set his sights on the underrated Allan of Udinese.
In all of Europe's major leagues, Allan is ranked 6th in tackling as he averages a whopping 5 per game. Whilst Allan has allowed an average of 1.7 opponents to dribble past him per game, this is down to the fact Udinese only average 42.6% of possession - the 17th best total in Serie A and 87th best out of Europe's 98 top teams.
More often than not, Allan is in the right place at the right time, as adjudged by an average of 1 block per game - 0.6 more than Flamini - Arteta has yet to manage one.
Furthermore, Allan can actually play. He has averaged a pass percentage of 80.7% from 50 passes per game - a feat considering how poor Udinese are in possession.
He is also has completed 1.8 dribbles per game this season, the 18th best in Serie A and the best by far out of all Udinese players - a massive feat far eclipsing the never aging Antonio Di Natale and the skilled Luis Muriel.
As for consistency, Allan was the joint best tackler in Serie A last season, tallying 4.1 per game with Jesus of Inter and the much heralded Artuto Vidal. He was also the 12th best dribbler with 2.2 per game.
The year beforehand, Allan was the fourth best tackler in Serie A with 4.3 per game - 0.5 behind Arturo Vidal in third. He was also 19th for dribbling with 1.9 per game.
At the age of just 23, Allan has been developing in the shadows at a fast rate. Testament to this Udinese finally made his two year loan from Granada permanent for just £2,64 million according to Transfermarkt.
Transfermarkt has Allan's current market value at just £6,66 million, Arsenal need to act now before Allan's value sky-rockets.
*Statistics courtesy of WhoScored