Mathieu Flamini lays down the law with his Arsenal team-mates.
Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has played down talks of a rift with team-mate Mathieu Flamini.
The England midfielder took to Twitter in an attempt to defuse the confrontation, which allegedly occurred at the club's training ground just 24 hours before the Gunners' match against Sunderland, per the Daily Mail's John Drayton.
Bacary Sagna was pictured separating the pair during the training session, but ever the professional, Wilshere was quick to down reports of a bust-up:
Just read I had a 'bust up' in training today! That's news to me! Anyway....who would mess with Flamini? #Nutter— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) February 21, 2014
It's not the first time the French midfielder has been spotted in heated confrontation this week, after an on-pitch debate with another team-mate, Mesut Ozil, during the side's 2-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich.
However, Wilshere looked to turn joker on the social networking site as he vowed never to upset the Frenchman again:
Flamini, who had spent four years with Arsenal before leaving for AC Milan, re-joined the side last summer after a five-year stay in Italy.
The 29-year-old was sent off for a rash two-footed challenge during the side's 2-2 draw against Southampton earlier this year, and he has a hot-headed history as shown with five career red cards, per ESPN.
That raw passion was seen again during the Champions League clash with the German champions on Wednesday in a tussle with Ozil that saw pointing and pushing between the midfield duo.
The spat with Ozil is believed to be surrounding a lack of effort according to Daily Mail's Adam Shergold, as frustrations grew at the Emirates Stadium:
The frustrations between the pair caught plenty of headlines, and Middle East football anchor Joe Morrison believes Flamini was well within his rights to bemoan the German midfielder:
Flamini spoke with Arsenal Player (h/t ESPN staff) following the Champions League confrontation with Ozil to diffuse the situation:
Mesut is one of my closest team-mates and we were on the pitch.
It was not about arguing, it was just about communication. Mesut is a winner, I'm a winner; we were both fighting because we just wanted to give everything to the team to make sure we defended properly.
It was about communication, but at the end of the day it proves to everyone that we really wanted to win and we're winners. It's important, as you want a team with character, not a team who doesn't react.
Flamini also downed reports that the German international lacked effort against Bayern Munich, adding:
He is one of the players who ran the most [in that game]. He's a very offensive player and he's not used to doing so much dirty work but he did it and I'm very proud of him because he gave everything until the last minute.
Everyone is behind him and, like I said before, he's one of my closest team-mates. We do everything together here and I feel close to him. On the pitch and outside the pitch.
Everyone is very happy to have him here because he's such a talented player and I don't understand why people are hard on him.
The match at home to Sunderland will provide the ideal chance to end any talk of feuds in the Arsenal camp, and a win will help keep fans' and pundits' minds on the Gunners' push for the Premier League title.
With last week's allegations surrounding Olivier Giroud, per the Daily Mail's Neil Ashton, the club could certainly do with some time outside of the spotlight and allow Arsene Wenger's men to continue their charge to their first piece of silverware since 2005.
Flamini's fighting spirit, if channelled correctly, will be key to that goal.