Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Flamini's off: should we be upset?

I'm coming to the end of a cycle.

I've spent three years at Arsenal and my solicitor has advised me that I can leave from the month of June.

But for that to happen, I have to give the club the last year of my salary.

The Arsenal team is young and it has its qualities but I'm playing less these days.

It's not easy to take and I'm in a situation where every player is asking themselves questions.

The words of Matthieu Flamini who, less than a year ago, was nigh on integral in our run to the Champions League final.

But should we be upset if he does depart?

Matthieu has many qualities - an outstanding work-rate that many of our other players might take note of being among his best attributes. He is a tidy, if not spectacular midfielder, and is one of the few players we have who doesn't seem reluctant to take the occasional shot on goal.

Twice this season I've been very impressed with him: Chelsea away and Liverpool away in the FA Cup. Both performances were quietly solid, and he capped his performance at the Bridge with a fine goal.

And his versatility, or should I say previous versatility, has also been an asset, with Matthieu often playing in defence last year.

But Matthieu clearly made his mind-up at the beginning of this season that he would not become our Phil Neville; he would not be the 'do-a-job' squad member, endlessly shunted around the team depending on who was injured that week. Matthieu must have told Arsene, 'play me in central-midfield or don't play me at all', and in some ways you have to admire his attitude. It's not ingratitude, it's a recognition of the damage that can be done to a player who is unable to establish himself in one position.

Unfortunately for the Flamster, Arsene clearly thinks there are at least 4-5 players before him in the queue for central berths: Fabregas, Gilberto, Diaby, Denilson, and, perhaps, even Alex Song when and if he returns. While the first four players, at least, are more skilful than Flamini, do we really want to release one of the few players in our squad with the drive and determination Flamini often shows? Might he have been a better option than Denilson on Saturday, even if Denilson does, ultimately, develop into a superior player?

On balance, his departure would not be a huge loss as he is a replaceable sort of player. But if he does leave, I would like to see Arsene buy to replace him. What the squad seems to be missing is players of the Parlour and Grimandi mould: not technically the most gifted, but often vital to the strength and spirit of the side. And if Flamini is to go, we need a mature, experienced player of this type to come in, because you have to wonder about the club's future if Arsene merely promotes another youngster instead.


Anonymous said...

Although I often get frustrated by him, I really like Flamini. If he leaves I hope he has a good career elsewhere. We do really need a transfer fee for him, especially with a new manager at Chelsea given finances and United and Liverpool backed by the Yanks.

I am sure Arsene has lots of players in mind, but they depend on the transfer fee and wage.

Anonymous said...

An idea- seeing as Marseilles were PISSED at losing Matty, should we offer him in a part exchange for Ribery? We would reduce the transfer fee though Marseilles probably dont need him.

gazzap said...

he only needs to pay his wages for the year in order to leave, so thats probably about half a million ie exactly what we paid Marseille for him, so no financial gain. but I dont think we need him given the huge numbers of central midfielders at the club, I mean even Hleb and Ros prefer to play in the middle really. since he refused to play at full back I have considered him disposable.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this new ruling only apply to players who are 28 or over? & as it hasn't even been taken advantage of by a single player who automatically qualifies by age, I really wonder whether Flamini wants a lengthy court case to challenge the ruling so that it apples to players of all ages.

That said, we are a bit congested in central midfield so we won't be lacking if he does leave. Also, as Arsenal originally only paid a compensatory fee to L'OM to sign him I don't think they'll be too upset if they only get a year's wages in return.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to him. We have others better in his position. He could have become another Grimandi if he stayed.

Unknown said...

besides the odd goal here and there and exciting energy level, he never really cut it for me.Good luck to him and I sincerely hope he shines somewhere else.good move, i'd say.

Anonymous said...

As with all these types of reports....it's total rubbish.

You would have thought people would have learnt by now.

pd said...

It might be rubbish but I am curious as to why he wasn't in the squad for the game against Liverpool.

P.S. Give Aliadiere a chance with Adebayor on Saturday


pd said...


Anonymous said...

It was obvious he was not good enough to command a regular starting role, nor was he ever going to be.

Good luck to him, but far too limited as a footballer to fit in at Arsenal long-term. With Rosicky and Hleb clearly itching to play in the middle and our desparate need of pace out wide it frees up more space in the squad for aquisitions.


Anonymous said...

Tries his best, for which I thank him - but obviously not good enough.

My worry is that if Flamini didn't get fed up Wenger would probably keep him until he's 35. He needs to get rid of underperforming players a lot quicker - they always seem to leave on their terms not his.

Anonymous said...

One of the fundamentals of successfully investing in youth is that once you've done the hard yards, you don't then let the player go. That's the Ajax cycle and we must avoid it at all costs.

With Flamini it's debatable as to whether he's good enough, but as others have said he's the french ray parlour and just getting to the stage where his experience and versatility will be useful.

Wenger should offer him a better contract and hang on to him.

Then again, this could all be Sky crap.

Anonymous said...

Flamini's best performances for the club were last season as a left back. As a central midfielder he simply can't cut it.

He always put the effort in, for which you can't fault him. It's just that a Flamini giving it 100% still isn't as good as a Fabregas or Gilberto giving it 60%

Anonymous said...

Let him fuckin' go...We don't need players suffering from the "French disease"(Remember Anelka, Pires and Vieira?)Look at them now...
Flam whoever-he-thinks-he-is just is'nt good enough to play at this level. Let him go to some French, Dutch or Turkish backyard club and rot.....! BYE BYE!!

Anonymous said...

phew, he is total and utter crap... get rid asap, and take the beast, aladiere with you... swap them with ribery

Anonymous said...

I was surprised he stayed this season... after doing such a stirling job in defence he said he didn't want to play there & would be happy to fight for a place in midfield... there are times when we could have used him more this season but I guess he'll be on his way in May - thanks for playing such a pivotal role last season Matthieu

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but what do you people think of Alexandre Pato? He's a 17 year old from Brazil (Internacional?). Great YouTube clips, looks a player.

Anonymous said...

Gallas is good enough to command a position. Flamini isn't. It strikes me as arrogant for him to attempt to dictate his playing position. He should have played where he was told to and he would have had more success at the club. He should thank Wenger for not telling him to fuck off as soon as he tried to demand where he play..
For me - he seemed good enough to do a job, but we need fighters for the team, not fighters for themselves. wanker. cunt. fuck face flim flamster.