In the summer of 2013 we were despairing of signing a defensive midfielder. Arteta was over 30 and not really attuned to defensive work, we had been Diaby-ed once too often and we had sold Denilson, Eastmond, Frimpong and a host of other defenders (remember Andre Santos?). The mega-signings of Özil and Sanogo were exciting but didn’t fulfil the long-term demands for a DM.
We read that Flamini was training with the team in an attempt to get match fit prior to trying to get a contract somewhere …. anywhere. He had been binned by a dodgy AC Milan side after a season in which he halved his wage demands.
But No! Our charitable French manager saw a bargain and a cheap solution, a sticking plaster for the gaping DM hole which had been evident to us fans since the days of the Invisible Wall.
At the time I wrote that signing Flamini was a backward step and one which would have a detrimental effect upon the squad. Then Mr Wenger signed Kallstrõm! Both, in my opinion, acts of desperation.
Perhaps Arsene was waiting for Carvalho (or someone else, maybe Matic?). Maybe he thought Diaby would survive a season in the first team, perhaps he saw Ramsey as his DM cover for Arteta. Whatever it was he signed Flamini in the summer window.
It must be said that the first games Flamini played were a revelation; he was better than when he left. Milan had taught him to be more defensively aware and less like the Mathieu we allowed to leave – perhaps he had matured. A few fine performances, a number of yellow cards, some crunching tackles, the black boots, the cut-off sleeves and a number of all-action 90 minutes allowed us to forget the acrimony of his departure.
But, and here is the rub, Flamini is not good enough to help us to silverware. He just isn’t. He hasn’t the pace or the tactical awareness. Sure he can make a tackle and certainly leave “a reminder” but so can Joey Barton and I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the Emirates.
In my opinion we bought Flamini because Mr. Wenger wouldn’t spend the money needed to bring a world class DM into the club.
What do you think, Is Mathieu good enough for The Arsenal?
written by Big Raddy