Flamini's two-footed challenge saw him receive a straight red card and as such he is out for three matches. This has given Arsene Wenger an additional headache he did not need coming into Arsenal's 'month of death' which sees them play a series of tough matches.
After the assumed banker in the form of a home match against Crystal Palace, Arsenal will be without Flamini against Liverpool who have just shown they can decimate any given opponent at home and Manchester United rejuvenated from the signing of Juan Mata.
With Aaron Ramsey out for a sustained period, Arsenal really needed a team leader to help phase them through a difficult period. Of equal importance, Flamini is also Arsenal's only recognised defensive midfielder, you only have to look at Liverpool's mishap against Aston Villa to see how important that role has become in 21st century football.
Against Liverpool in particular, a team that loves to attack through the middle, Arsenal would have needed a pure defensive midfielder to control the game.
Without Flamini, Wenger can still call on vice captain Mikel Arteta to deputise in Flamini's role. The position of holding midfielder is a role Arteta has filled on numerous occasions and he will no doubt take it up again with minimal fuss.
Nevertheless, Arteta is more at home playing as a deep-lying playmaker with lesser responsibilities on covering for his defenders and more emphasis on linking up the play further ahead.
As Arteta gets pushed into a position he is fairly familiar with, another player (most likely Wilshere, though he was injured against Southampton) gets drafted in a role that is unfamiliar to him.
Wilshere may have started off his career as a deep-lying playmaker, yet it is most telling Wenger has this season pushed Wilshere further forward, whilst he trusted Aaron Ramsey (a player in terrible form before this season) to play a position more vital to Arsenal's play than the one Wilshere has played the majority of the season.
This is because Ramsey is far more economical with his passing and tackling than Wilshere is. Far too often Wilshere charges around expounding energy like an enraged pitbull and quite often makes mistakes. In the meantime Ramsey has added a touch of quality to his more composed way of playing and he has reaped the benefits of it: he has one of the highest rates for tackling in the league, and he has scored a ton of goals.
Putting in the more reckless Wilshere in the double pivot that protects and dictates Arsenal's way of playing could be dangerous against the wrong team.
However, should Wilshere not feature (he missed the Southampton draw due to injury), Wenger will be left with wildcards. Rosicky is surely too old to play in two high octane matches as one of the double pivots in the middle.
Elsewhere Alex Oxlade Chainberlain has been talked up as a future central midfielder in the shape of Steven Gerrard. However, there are two things wrong with that statement in relation to the 'month of death'.
1) Such an experiment against Liverpool and Manchester United is too risky, even for Wenger to take.
2) Between 2005 and 2009 Steven Gerrard was absolutely world class; keep in mind he played on the right wing or as an attacking midfielder during this period. Whenever Gerrard has played as a central midfielder, Liverpool and particularly England have suffered big time.
The only other plausible player is Emmanuel Frimpong and he seems to busy becoming a rapper these days.
On paper, Flamini has certainly landed Wenger in the mire big time.