The Myth of Flamini

Arsenal’s failure this season has been claimed by many to be because we failed to replace Flamini.  This is over-simplifying the problem and also placing too great an emphasis upon the role played by Mathieu Flamini.

If we look back at Flamini’s time at Arsenal we will see a player who was a squad player.  He came to prominence in the 2005/06 when he deputised for Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy playing in an unfamiliar left-back role.  His appearance before that season and in the subsequent season was mainly coming on as a substitute.

Flamini took his chance last season with Gilberto on international duty and Diaby injured, Flamini was Arsene’s first choice.  But how instrumental was Flamini in our season last season?

At the back we had a settled back four, Sagna had a tremendous first season and Clichy was solid until his Birmingham moment.  In midfield Fabregas was on fire, Hleb and Rosicky were direct attacking players, always tormenting their opponents and capable of scoring and creating goals.  In attack, Adebayor player out of his skin.  He was assisted by van Persie and latterly by Eduardo.

All in all we had a very good unit all over the pitch.  So how much did Flamini really contribute and was he really the cog that we have been missing?  Flamini was an industrious player, but he was not the catalyst.  Flamini did the simple things, and as we have seen with the likes of Park and Fletcher at Manchester United, if you surround good players with great players they will raise their game.

Flamini’s role could have been performed by Gilberto, in fact in the previous season it can be argued that Gilberto played better than Flamini and saved us on several occasions.  A player who would have played as good as Flamini and in fact would have excelled at the club was Diarra.

The key to the central midfield role are the players around you and how they perform.  This is where having fallen down this season, the strikers have blown hot and cold, Cesc has not reached anywhere the heights of last season whilst our wide players, until the arrival of Arshavin, have not performed.  Had Flamini stayed last summer, I doubt that the end result would have been any different.

Posted on May 11, 2009, in Arsenal News, Arsenal Players and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. well gilberto was completly immobile like song, flamini covered huge ground all over the pitch, all day long and had the leadership qualities we r so lacking (fab is no captain, not at his age) its not all down to flamini but not replacing him, that was madness and every1 knew it b4 the season began, and so it has proved

  2. flamini WAS brillian last year. there is no questioning his fantastic influence last year. at the start of the season we missed him badly, but song has certainly filled that void now. he’s running a hell of a lot like flamini but also provides greater power and some very effective passing. it was obviously never the case that flamini was the only reason we have been worse, but certainly a very strong factor- until song raised his game. mistakes from players and from wenger have been the recent reason, because for the past 10 or so weeks song has totally replaced flamini, so that excuse has gone, yet we are still under-performing elsewhere.

    for example walcott, nasri and fabregas don’t contribute enough goals (yet) so we never look like scoring even when we make chances unless it falls to rvp or arshavin in a good position. likewise there seems to be a lack of communication at centreback, because no one can say gibbs and sagna are responsible for these problems- they have both been fine.

  3. During such a crucial period, Wenger decided to push Fabregas further up and put the attack minded Nasri in a defensive role. And he prefers Sagna, who had just recovered from a virus, instead of Eboue, whose confidence evidently returned and who had played in a CL final, at right back. Those decisions to me cost us the season. These positional try outs can be made, but not during the climax of a season.

  4. Flamini is a shit short arse. If you looked carefully when the oppos scored you would find him close to the ball fucking it up. A myth indeed. Patrick Viera leaving was the problem and The Arse of a manager is too stubborn to admit it.

  5. If you question Flamini’s influence and work ethic then you needed to watch the Milan/Juventus game on the weekend.

  6. Flamini was good last season but not a patch on Vieira.

    I don’t know what my fellow Goons are on in their love of Alex Song, he’s not even fit to clean Flamini’s boots let alone fill Patrick’s.


  7. I must pay my highest respect to Wenger when he kept on his faith in playing Flamini when the latter was branded ‘a headless chicken’ .

    Flamini has long left, in quest of Italian gold. Let’s forget and forgive him!

    Song has had similar harsh treatment by our dear fans. He has now come back from Chalton, scoring a wonderful goal and made several assists recently. Besides, he has once been ‘BBC’s player of the match’ . He seems to be physically stronger and have better aerial power than Flamini.

    When Flamini can turn himself from ‘a headless chicken’ to an ‘unforgettable? Arsenal player’ in just one year, maybe Song can do the same by another year. Please trust Wenger.

    Turning to the core problem, conceded 12 goals in 4 games, i.e Liverpool (4-4), ManU (1-4 aggre.) Chelsea (1-4) is fruitful for thought.

    Toure, being the most senior Arsenal player and ‘LEADER’ of the back four, at least he thought he was even whilst playing alongside with demoted Gallas, should not be let go easily, not Silvestre, who obviously lacked games.

    Sagna looked frustrated at times because he has done more than last season. He did his job well but he now needed to cover Toure frequently.

    You may in a great surprise if you find that ‘little’ Sagna headed out dangerous crossings and blocked shots more often than ‘great’ Toure did.

    Judging on his recent performance,Toure is nowhere near Gallas, Hangeland, Bossong, Alex and Agger.

    I would even prefer Hypia to Toure. The Liverpool man has better commanding presence on the pitch and much much better score-sheet than Toure.

    Needless to say Toure is miles away from those genuine great CBs like Rio, Vidic and Terry – my world best CB in order of priority.

    Looking forward, I believe that whether or not Arsenal has a sucessful season next year may heavily depend on who play our CBs. Without reinforcements will definitely result another trophyless season. Or, touch wood, even worst can happen.

    Wenger must know more than us. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  8. Diarra was awesome,this guy took a PAY-CUT to join frm Chelski but was left on the bench. He had same workrate as flamini but was better skilled and more forward thinking. This guy joined pompey frm Arsenal and that says alot about hin wanting first team footy and not caring about money.Flamini like Cole left because they were offered an extra £5000 on their wages more than arsenal offered. Viera leaving still pains me,theres no doubt you need that sort of player in the premiership! Next season i want to see song and denilson also trying to score themselves.

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