Kaboom is a new writer and English is not his first language. I have made some changes to make the article flow a bit better, but other than that I left it as it is. BK is an inclusive blog and we like it when bloggers from all over the world share their views and write for us. I would like to ask you to focus purely on the content of Kaboom’s very fine post and respect that English is not his mother tongue.
Ramsey. Giroud: the players on fire. Santi. Mikel -lego hair- arteta still to come back. Players that continue their last season’s good form. Per and Kos with new found belief at back. Who can exclude the Öne and Önly, Özil? Arsenal are currently top of the table, most points accumulated and most goals scored team at the moment. And the table never lies!
However, in my humble opinion, the player who brought sparks/life to the spineless team has to be no other but Matthew Flamini.
The self-exiled for 4 years from the greatest club on earth has returned. All is forgiven. The sole survivor of the famous back 5 ( Lehmann, Eboue, Campbell & Toure) that inspired the heroic run that conceded only 1 goal all the way to champions league final ( only lost to 2 dodgy offside goals).
Rumours has it that he was close to be sent on loan to Birmingham but Wenger’s last minutes change of heart meant he stayed at the home of football. Everything else was history. His performance was so good AW had to leave former Brazil captain Gilberto on the bench.
Time and time again we saw endless running, tackling, arriving late at 18 yards box and having a pop at goal. Typical defensive midfielder. Along with Cesc, Hleb and Ro-sick-y, they formed the formidable midfield line-up that almost won the league. Unfortunately the agent got into his head and convinced him that a better future lay away from the great Arsenal. He left us like he left Marseille. That reminds me of what my old man always tells me. Do not pick a girl who left another man for you: one day she will do the same to you. Sadly, it was so true. AW failed to convince him on a new contract for the variance of GBP 5k (sounds familiar huh?), and he left Arsenal for Ac Milan.
It didn’t work out for either parties for past 4,5 years. Arsenal continued to struggle to find a proper DM (Dont.Ever.Mention. Song! He is a joke) and Flamini can’t even get any game time for the team. Due to stubbornness/principle of AW against signing ex-players, time and time the quality of Flamini had been overlooked.
Since then, Henry, Campbell and even Lehmann had returned on temp basis, and perhaps it softened AW’s principle of signing ex-players. Flamini rejoined the club after a successful trial. I read a report somewhere that he chose to park his super car at the visitors car park and walked thru the long corridor to the training area. To most people it may sounds like common courtesy but it has to be a huge huge humble pie (in-your-face) for Flamini. Well, it is really a minor gesture which is not worth mentioning but I have heard of far worse parking ethics of footballers. I believe that shows his willingness to earn the trust again to be part of the team and the will to be successful again.
Compared to the rest or marquee players, Flamini never has the chance to out shine anyone. He cant provides 2,3 assists per games, let alone goals. He can’t nutmeg opponents. He cant string 3,4 barca-likes passes with his teammates. However his roles of tracking players all over field, covering every inches of the pitch, stamping authority, kicking players and doing ugly jobs are second to none.
Jack’s early withdrawal against tot-scum-spur had proven to be a real blessing in disguise. Flamini was everywhere. Tackling, kicking, shouting at defenders, organizing the defence. His performance against Stoke City has to be the best individual defensive work in years! And that’s really what Arsenal were lacking of for the past few seasons Ramsey and Özil might be taking the limelight now, but Flamini is the real unsung hero for the team at the moment.
I guess the real dilemma for AW is how to blend in Flamini with existing rich selection of midfielders. Can AW afford to drop Ramsey? What to do about Arteta returning? Is he going to bench Jack? How about Ro-sick-y, Chambo and Diaby(if he ever gets fit again)?
It’s going to be a long season but so far I am extremely glad to see the return of Flamini. I do hope that he will play a major role in our quest for the first EPL title since forever. For me, he is already the signing of the season.
Written by: Kaboom