Tag Archives: Mathieu Flamini

No time for sentiment: Rosicky, Arteta & Flamini should not play

132I am not one for sentiment.

Giving a player the penalty on his final game. Making a player captain after reaching a games landmark (or years landmark in Theo Walcott’s case). I hate signing birthday cards for people at work who I do not know. And do not dare ask me to donate to a leaving present to someone who has quit to go to a better paid job. Sod em all.

And today we at Arsenal we come to a game where sentiment is high.

After this season, there will be no more Tomas Rosicky at Arsenal. There will be no more Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. There will be no more Mathiue Flamini at Arsenal. There contacts are expiring. They will not be renewed. They will not pass go. They will not collect £200.

There is lots of noise on Twitter. Wishing them all well. Video’s of their best bits, like Arsenal are suddenly a Saturday night talent show. And many, incredibly, calling some of them legends.

Lets get one thing straight first of all. Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini are no legends. They are just players who make up part of our clubs great history.CS6O3HWWUAEf2Jx (1)

And now to the anti-sentimental bit.

None of them should play today

We are currently in 3rd place. Automatic qualification for next years Champions League not yet secured. We have a chance, if results go our way (c’mon Newcastle) to finish 2nd, above Spurs. We have plenty to play for. But what we need to do is our job.

And our job is beating Aston Villa. And to do that we need to put out our best team.

Forget about Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini. They are not.

Arteta has not played since the 30th of January. Flamini the 16th of March. Rosicky has played 19 minutes of football this season.

None of them were considered good enough to play previously, so why play them now when we still have much to play for, just because they are leaving?

I want to win, to beat Aston Villa. And our best chance of that is playing Elneny Ramsey and Ozil, not Arteta Flamini & Rosicky.

Alongside this, we should not be using this game to get Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla & Theo Walcott fit for the Euro’s. It is about Arsenal. Not individuals.

And do you think they really care about us?

Yes, Mikel Arteta did a great job for Arsenal when we were a club in crisis in 2011. And I felt terribly for the man when he captained us to the FA Cup in 2014, only for Thomas Vermaelen to snatch the cup off him at the last minute and lift it in front of the Wembley crowd. But his time has gone. His legs have gone. Thanks for the memories, but it is time to say goodbye.

As for Tomas Rosicky. This is a man who has spent nearly as much time on the treatment table as Abou Diaby. And I see people calling him a legend. A brilliant player, yes, and one who in 2006 when we signed him was, in my opinion, on par with Kaka. But injuries have ruined his career. In 10 Premier League seasons, he has averaged just 17 games a year. This will be the 2nd occasion in his Arsenal career where he has not played a single league game – unless sentiment get’s in the way. Rewarded handsomely to sit out injured. Thanks for the memories, but it is time to say goodbye.

Finally Mathieu Flamini. He loved Arsenal so much that he refused to sign a new contract in 2008, instead joining AC Milan on a free transfer. Cheers pal (thumbs up emoji thumbs up emoji). Why should we show him sentiment, give him a good send off, when he f**ked off at the first chance? Thanks for the memories, but it is time to say goodbye.

All 3 players have done a job for Arsenal at some point or another. They have played over 650 games between them. But today is not the day for sentiment. Today is the day to win a game of football.

Let them join in the walk around the pitch. Let fans clap them then. Let fans sing their names at that point. But to put it simply, for Arsenal to have the best chance of winning today, non of them should play.

Tomas, Mikel, Mathieu, Thanks for the memories, but it is time to say goodbye.



Francis Coquelin’s new contract and how it changes the midfield conundrum

This mornings Arsenal transfer / contract news surrounds Star of the Moment Francis Coquelin and his new contract, with reports that he has signed a new contract with the club.

If the reports are true, firstly well played to the lad. He is now 23 years old and, since the age of 19, has been shunted out on loan throughout European, with spells at Lorient in France, Frieburg in Germany, and Charlton in South-East London. Between loan deals, he has also had a false start to his Arsenal career – making 39 appearances for the club in 2011/12 – 2012/13.

Throughout his time at Arsenal, he has kept his head down, never complained, been played out of position, and shown a good professional attitude.

He was part of the all conquering 2008/09 Youth Cup winning team, which contained the likes of Craig Eastmond, Henri Lasnbury, Emmanuel Frimpong, Jay Emmanuel- Thomas and, of course, Jack Wilshere.

Coquelin did not stand out in this team. He was often playing full back, rarely in the middle of the park. It perhaps highlights the problem with English football, and young English footballers mentality, that Coquelin got his head down and is starting to forge a career at Arsenal, whilst the young English lads fell away, despite having more talent.

It looked like when he was loaned to Charlton, his Arsenal career was over. But luck and a good professional attitude got him an opportunity, which he has since taken.

With new  contracts for Coquelin and Mikel Arteta, and young Krystian Bielik joining the first team, what does this mean for Arsenal’s central midfield?

Previously, we have discussed how the emergence of Coquelin has partially solves the problems Arsenal have in the middle of the park, and my view has on him has not changed.

Coquelin’s future at Arsenal is still, in my opinion, as 2nd choice. He will provide good back up, and has the ability to come in when we need extra cover in the middle when playing the better teams. His contract does not mean we should stop looking for a top midfielder, with reports that a £15million deal for Morgan Schneiderlin was agreed with Southampton last summer but delayed for a year.

So if we buy, and Coquelin becomes 2nd choice, what does this mean for the rest?

Mathieu Flamini’s contract has another season to run after this year. He has shown he is no longer Arsenal class, a bit of a liability. I would be surprised if he see’s much more game team this season, or much more throughout his Arsenal career.

In a Football Manager world, you would ‘Offer to Clubs’ for nothing and get him off the wage bill for 2015/16. In the real world, this is unlikely. He will be 31 in March, so I doubt there will be too many clubs on the continent willing to take on his £75,000 a week. We are unlikely to be able to move him on, unless he we let him go on a free transfer, and supplement his wages for a year. What is more likely is he sits and ‘rots’ for a year, before leaving in 2016.

Mikel Arteta is an interesting one. Just 2 days ago, he signed a 12 month extension seeing him through to 2016. He will be 34 by the time this extension comes to an end, and he has shown in recent times that Father Time is catching up with him.

This season he has played just 11 games, and there is a strong possibility that he might not play again this season.

Offering a new contract and keeping him on for another year would usually be a crazy idea. However, there are things in his favour.

The fact he is club captain is important. We have instability around the captaincy of the club over the last few years. Without a stand out captain to replace Arteta, we would be better off keeping the stability for another year, rather than handing it to, say, Mertesacker, who might find himself out of the team in a seasons time.

Many players have previously spoken about Arteta being a ‘father figure’ around the club. He is more an important captain off the pitch than on. Helping new players to the club settle, taking time to pass on advise to the reserves/youths, and ensuring that when young players are invited to train with the first team, someone puts an arm round them. This is an important role at the club.

I am sure that Arteta has assisted the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla settle so quickly, being fluent in Spanish and English. He will also be key in the development of Gabriel.

On top of this, he is still good enough, when fit, to play against 60% of Premier League sides at home. He still has a place in the squad as a player.

We would be crazy to let his experience and calming influence leave the club. We saw in the late 00’s when we let a lot of experienced players (Lehman, Campbell, Henry, Pires, Ljungberg) leave in a short period that at times, the young players looked lost. Keeping the likes of Arteta and Rosicky around will only be good for the entire squad.

Arteta has a role to play at Arsenal, as club captain and 3rd choice midfielder.

As for Krystian Bielik, he is still just 17. He has arrived with a lot of hype, with many people labelling he is ‘the New Vieira’ based on a single article in a paper. It is important to no hype him up before he has even played a game. Afterall, he had only played 5 senior games in Poland.

I think it is still important to see Bielik as a youth player with potential, rather than someone ready to go now, until we see him play.

Having not seen him play, I think 6 months training with our 1st team this year, then going out on loan to a Premier League side next year to play 38 games, ala Alex Song at Charlton will do him the world of good. We would then see him return in 2016/17 as a 19 year old with Premier League experience under his belt. By that point, Arteta would likely be gone, and he would have a genuine opportunity to compete with our first choice central midfielder.

Despite the 3 dealings in central midfield – new contracts for Arteta and Coquelin, signing Bielik – a new central midfielder, for the 7th summer in a row (since Gilberto Silva left) should be top our our shopping list.

Congratulations Francis Coquelin, you deserve your new contract and it is testament to your hard work and professionalism. Hopefully you can be a good example to those younger who will now realise not to give up on their dream, and that hard work and good attitude is as important as talent.


10 reasons why we will beat Hull + starting 11

1) Ozil trained before the game, would bet he starts on the bench and he has been missed.

2) Koscienly should be back, we have missed him even more.

3%) Kim Kallstrom, decent show Vs the Whammers would not bother me to see him every game.

4) flamini is back from suspension, it’s all good news today !

5) Diaby is likely to make an appearance, as is the Easter Bunny.

6) Podolski, I really dont know how many times he has to prove he is the one true clinical finisher at the club.

7) Ramsey and Ox, both doing well in getting back to full fitness, see even more good news

8) Hulls Home Prem Record – Won 7, Drawn 4, Lost 6.

9) The Arsenal’s Away Prem Record  –  Won 9, Drawn 2, Lost 6.

10) Wenger knows that this is yet another vital game for our fight for the 4th place cup. With players coming back we could field a strong bench, so plenty of options for Wenger on 70 mins.

Predicted starting 11 – Chesney, Sagna, BFG, Kos, TV, Flamini, Ramsey, Santi, Podolski, Ox, Giroud.

Giroud to score and The Arsenal to win 7/1 with a £25 matched bet from William Hill

On a Side note, well done to all the traveling Arsenal fans today, it was wrong, very wrong for this game to be moved at short notice you all deserve any lost money for trains, hotels etc to be paid back to you in full. Football without fans is nothing. Television companies must start considering fans, or we will stop considering them.

Click Here for a free link to the game 🙂