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Monday, December 03, 2007

Flamini is a worker, a fighter and a winner

Two seasons ago Mathieu Flamini showed everyone he has a character to believe in.

With left back after left back after makeshift left back falling injured (Cole, Clichy, Cygan, Lauren etc) Flamini was forced into this position and he showed fantastic determination and battling qualities in every performance as Arsenal recovered from a poor first half of the season to make the Champions League final and brilliantly rescue fourth place.

Flamini typified Arsenal's comeback that season by giving his all and performing very well in an unaccustomed position. At the time I mentioned on EFT how I liked the way Flamini played with his shirt sleeves rolled-up - like he was a guy at work ready to put in an energetic shift and with determination would get the job done. And this is the character he has massively injected into Arsenal this year - that of a worker and a fighter.

At the pre-season Emirates Cup the guy who drove into the box and executed the opening goal of the opening match against Paris St Germain was Flamini. Arsenal won the Emirates Cup and then went to compete in the Amsterdam Tournament where after a solid win against Lazio they played against Ajax who had a clear strategy of making numerous late and bad tackles. Significantly for me after every terrible tackle the first Arsenal player to run in and remonstrate with the offender and show support for his fallen teammate was Flamini.

I liked to see this - Flamini was not going to stand-by after watching a teammate get flattened, and his example meant that other Arsenal players would quickly follow him and show that this new young Arsenal team were united in their determination not to be bullied into submission. Arsenal won the Amsterdam tournament with a late van Persie strike and after two pre-season cup wins Flamini was assured a starting place for the season.

The young Frenchman hasn't looked back by becoming an integral member of this third-generation team. He sets the tone for hard work and fighting spirit that his teammates latch onto and emulate. But this is not all - he is a good passer of the ball and is an able finisher.

On Saturday, Arsenal has a tough-looking away match against Villa that was made even more tough by conceding an early goal. The Gunners then started to find their passing rhythm and crucially were able to capitalise early on their momentum through a brilliant left-footed strike by the right-footed Flamini. His goal celebration is now becoming trade-mark - punching the air with anger and determination as if he has just righted a wrong.

It shows about his character that there is no posing with Flamini - this guy is on the pitch to work and win. Arsenal went onto score a second and gain a good win at a difficult venue - and for me it was really appropriate and unsurprising that it was Fighter Flamini who initiated this comeback victory.

His decisive contribution underlined again that it is massive that Arsenal did not lose Flamini in the summer. I really like what he brings to the team: he is a worker, a fighter, and a winner. And when Owen Hargreaves is trading on the transfer market at £20m I can only be impressed by the fact that we recruited who I consider a better player at between 5-10% the price - demonstrating yet again that Wenger is a master at recruiting excellent potential at great value for money.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh god what do you know another arsenal blown up writing dont you get bored of yourself? Arsenal know nothing about pressure so stop talking wet. when you have Utd go 3-0 down and come back 3-5 arsenal done this? Nooooooooooo. Didnt you defend walcott for swearing the other day great example dont hear much about what happened in europe with sevilla kept that quiet and as for flamini and hargreaves??? Flamini played for France then? good enough is he? You are up your arse which is fitting!

12/03/2007 10:06 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah and wasnt flamini moaning and looking to leave???

12/03/2007 10:08 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good comment at the end mate..Give it right where it hurts!! Quality!

12/03/2007 10:08 pm

Anonymous gooner boyyyyyy said...

thats becasue arsenal dont go 3 - 0 down and flmaini is in the french squad u silly tit.
owen hardgreaves whatshe odne honesltey??

was the england fall guy ha da good 3 game sand got a lucky transfer well hes oding it this year and thats what counts ey??

but besides that ur a cunt!
comon teh arse!!!

12/03/2007 10:20 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely, one match as a sub you pleb or Hleb!! hargreaves comes from Bayern Munich pal and best player in WC2006 for England, Flaming-me was where? Tucked up on the Costa del with a Martini! Dont compare always trying it Utd spent more on one player and we got flaming-me for nothing rubbish! We will catch you you are nothing with the Red Devils at home we had you and you got lucky even Wigan had you and you got lucky so save it for someone whos bothered!

12/03/2007 10:30 pm

Anonymous martin o'neil said...

wenger rejected hargreaves a few seasons ago cos' the guy is a queer! thats's why mman u got him!

12/03/2007 10:32 pm

Blogger Skipper said...

Flamini is not a player that I watch closely, but increasingly I am hearing good things about this player.

12/03/2007 10:33 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wenegr rejects all English players, should know that as Gooner fans. Gay players and look at how we are mate we will catch you up and leave you behind no one cuts through like Ronaldo watch it today did ya? Right, coming for the biter scousers next and all! Flamini is nothing compared to Hargreaves, nout!

12/03/2007 10:35 pm

Anonymous martin o'neil said...

Hleb cuts through players better than ronaldo and guess what.....he can pass too

12/03/2007 10:40 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronaldo cuts through players mate not fall through them like Flaming-me, has speed and scores Flaming-me does that does he? your dreaming you tit you got nothign like Ronaldo and wait til Rooney gets on you lot are getting it at OT mate

12/03/2007 10:42 pm

Blogger svennis said...

Anonymous, "pal", don't you have any "mates" or or is this your social life? By the way, there's an entire England team out there in the Premier League who were Arsenal rejects. Still, got to congratulate you for geting on the web so soon after leaving OT, or don't you get out much?

12/03/2007 10:50 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mate, I dont live but 3 miles from the ground but I get around but I live unlike you lot who dont get out unless Arsenal are winning and get excited like this idiot who cant talk nothing but his own arsenal why is there stupid biter pics and arse pics yeah try to be funny you can pop in after you come up cos you need a cuppa after being slapped up and down the park like you should do

12/03/2007 11:01 pm

Blogger svennis said...

Thanks, anonymous "mate". I think that clears it all up then. I think you've articulated that as well as you could, "pal."

12/03/2007 11:18 pm

Anonymous King Richard said...

Great to see that the Mancs are reading this site. Glory Glory Man United (Go on Bolton ha ha) my giddy arse!!
Great season so far and it's a London 1-2 this year for me. Arsenal now have a great squad who are coping well with key injuries this year. Gallas, Eboue, Hleb, Rosicky, Van Persie and now Fabregas have been hogging the treatment room but the machine just rolls on. United and Liverpool look far to reliant on a few players ie Torres, Gerrard and Rooney, Ronaldo. Resurgent Chelsea will be the chief threat with Judge Grant at the helm. 1 Arsenal 2 Chelsea 3 Liverpool 4 United. Upeth thy arse!!

12/03/2007 11:42 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

are all man u supporters like u people? u must be gay then. Flam was always real potential. It was only the matter of adapting to the arsenal football philosophy. Owen 'Orgy' Hargreaves? I wouldn't even trade him with pascal cygan (if he was still here). Hargreaves is much too overrated and definitely not the best England player. U mancs should start peeing on yourself. get a life.

12/04/2007 12:32 am

Anonymous ACE said...

It not fair to compare.. Owen isn't even fit to play as many games.. lets talk result all u man u fans and face the truth. Flamini games start 17, sub 1, goals 2, assist 2. wat more to ask for a defensive player. Owen games start 8 sub 1 goal 0 assist 0. no competition. the only stat he won was the number of shots 18 to flamini 16. however flamini got 16 compared to owen 6 on target.

12/04/2007 6:37 am

Anonymous ACE said...

Sorry.. i got carry away it was 12 on target not 16 still its twice as many as owen

12/04/2007 6:39 am

Anonymous ACE said...

By the way. if you think i dream of the stats myself.. its on go check it out.

12/04/2007 6:44 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

all you rival fans out there, esp mancs. just do urself a favour - show some class, because ure emulating your team's lack of class by any standard. sure you can win. sure you can cheat. but ask yourself of the club youre supporting. is this football? what is football? you know man united or cfc can never be placed alongside Arsenal or Brazil or Barcelona as footballers who play the beautiful game, the way football should be played. then again this is something you already know, no?

12/04/2007 7:38 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

knobheads, consider where your glorious football is getting you - nought. Top of the league for how long? Due a beaten and got one, due another in the league so you wish to hype up I'm all ears. Brazil, Barcelona, Arse....what?! Really think your that good. Won anythign lately? Compare to the mighty Utd, no. Step back and smell the cofee mama got it brewing mate you can have your football its achievements that count.

12/04/2007 4:30 pm

Blogger SKG said...

Flamini is by no means the finished article but is a player improving all the time.

Arsene Wenger has a proven record of being able to bring the best out of unknown players. It's a trait I bet other managers wish they had.

12/04/2007 6:36 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Agree. Wenger has not jump at millions for certain players and has moulded others hardly anyone had knowledge of. Results count and Arsenal have only drawn three times thus far, no defeats and have scored the most. Flamini has been part of that form.


12/04/2007 7:53 pm

Anonymous Alex Butterfield (LFC fan for the record) said...

I find it hard to see how anyone can criticise Arsenal at the moment.

It is clearly only the most blinkered fans that can't see the quality of football that is currently sitting Arsenal top of the league.

But I have to agree that comparing Arsenal to Brazil and Barcelona is premature. Arsenal are playing beautiful football--all teams' fans love to watch Arsenal right now--but they have only being playing this sort of football for 4 or 5 months. Last season they tried and failed at it. And while they are fantastic to watch right now (especially since I'm rooting for the opposition each game which gives the match a nervous edge) they are still an underachieving team. Since the last title several years ago, Arsenal have not won anything, and that is what counts ultimately.

And although Arsenal fans are trying to overlook it, with comments such as:

"United and Liverpool look far to reliant on a few players ie Torres, Gerrard and Rooney, Ronaldo."

-the truth is with Fabregas out, Arsenal don't look the same quality side. Sure they can compete against weaker teams, and grind out results, such as Wigan, but this unbeaten form won't last forever. (it's already been lost in the CL)

Against Newcastle, Arsenal looked poor, but for one magic moment from Adebeyor, it would have been 3 pts dropped. Newcastle dominated - and if other teams take notice of how they did that then Arsenal might find themselves a little bit figured out. And when your tactics are figured out, its nice to have match winners such as Torres, Gerrard, Ronaldo or Rooney to bail you out.

12/07/2007 7:47 pm


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