Where is the Flamster now?

Mathieu Flamini’s emergence at the heart of the Arsenal midfield last season was a revelation. Previously used as a squad player, and with is contract not renewed at the beginning of 07/08 he was available on a Bosman last summer and AC Milan snapped him up.

Image courtesy of tpower1978

This dismayed many Arsenal fans, myself included, and this year, rightly or wrongly, Flamini’s absence has been blamed for some of our inconsistent results.

He did form a great partnership with Fabregas, but don’t forget we also lost Hleb, another key midfielder, to Barca, during the summer – and this has weakened our team further.

Some pundits and many Arsenal fans said he was a fool for leaving, and wouldn’t get games in an AC Milan team with the likes of Gattuso and Pirlo, and he would be playing lowly UEFA Cup  football to boot. I thought the same, and above all I was sad to see him leave Arsenal.

At AC Milan he has had ups and downs, but is starting to look like a real bargain.

Ancelotti, the manager under whom Henry had a miserable time at Juventus before joining Arsenal, is the Milan manager now, and at the beginning of the season he was looking to see if Mathieu Flamini could be pushed into a full-back role. This utility player label was the one he had tried to shake off at Arsenal, and it seemed like he was back to square one at the San Siro:

“I had also played this role a couple of times at Arsenal, but I discussed his matter with Arsene Wenger and told him my natural position is in midfield.”

Flamini has started to get more games in central midfield, after a stint where Gattuso was injured, and is becoming a regular, although he only came off the bench in the 88th minute against Roma at the weekend. He has played in 13 games this season and Milan are 3rd in Serie A, 9 points behind Mourinho’s Inter. Their UEFA Cup campaign is also going well, they face Bremen in the round of 32 in February.

So Flamini isn’t doing badly – he has put in some of his commited performances for Milan – but he has sacrificed Champions League football and a guaranteed first team place. Arsenal’s form has been inconsistent this year, we might not even finish 4th, so although I hate to say it, if Flamini can hold down a place at AC then the move might have benefitted him.

A note: Read Flamini’s stats for AC Milan this season here (i.e. games played etc.!)

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23 thoughts on “Where is the Flamster now?

  1. Chets

    sorry mate.

    We will easily finish 4th, Flamini is doing shit at Milan whereas he was on course to establish a sensational midfield partnership with Cesc.

    Greedy git, but one i would have back in a second

  2. Gooner4life&beyond

    I have to agree a bit with the first comment, he hasn’t been able to do jack shit at Milan, just like Hleb isn’t getting to do shit with Barca. Both teams are doing well enough, especially Barca, but it’s had nothing to do with those two whose games mostly come from the bench. With Nasri, we only miss Hleb when Nasri is injured. Flamini, well he never got replaced. Denilson needs to go back to being a squad player, same with Eboue.

  3. Conrad

    I don’t think it was shit, it was informative and it’s good to be updated with fan favourites now and again! I’m not too confident about finishing fourth you know, Villa are looking sharp and determined.

    Interesting to Flamani talk about his unwillingness to change position for the good of the team. Someone probably needs to take a leaf out of Dirk Kuyt’s book with his ‘tude.

    Good article mate, enjoyed reading it.

  4. Conrad

    I was actually reading on some AC Milan forums and people have been slagging off Ancelotti for Flamini not getting a game, as when he featured when Gattuso was injured, he played blinders.

    Everytime he’s featured, he’s impressed the fans so saying ‘Flamini doing jack shit’ is a little bit unfair. Anyway, I thought doing a blog on a fan favourite is meant to be a bit bias?

  5. Barry Bethel

    …. if he stayed at Arsenal he would be playing CL football and we might not be stuggling for 4th place…..don’t really get your point.

    Dissapointed he left.

  6. brdgunner

    We will finish 2nd. Liverpool and Chelsea will be worse this half of the season than they was the last. The same goes for Villa. I like Villa but three players not playing at there best and there way below us. Man u will win it again.
    My prediction at the start of the year was 1st or 2nd and a Cup. Probably the FA. I think this will happen, I did doubt it for a while.

  7. norwegian gooner

    arsenal will get 3rd or 4th place in the league this season + the FA cup..every looserpool (“you never wank alone”, looserpool – for soscial wankers:P)
    fan i know tell’s me arsenal will finish 5th…i tell them that villa have no real injury (except carew)
    and has had the best start of the season since ever..arsenal have lost 2 key players in the summer, of wich only one of them has been replaced..on top of this we have had 4 of our most influencial midfielders out for big chuncks of the season (fab, rosiscy, walcott, edouardo), ps the reason i count fab is that he never got the rest he needed to recover after his euro glory + his injury..
    villa will fall appart this half of the season once injuries hit them, and they run out of stamina, and arsenal will only go upwards as we are currantly building a winning streak (lets hope it continues, ey?;P)

    keep it goonerish…

  8. MightyGooner!

    I agree with the comment that our squad players have not performed. Im a big Denilson fan, but he is still learning his trade and will not turn in superb performances week in week out, although his determination cannot be faulted.

    Flamini was just starting to look like a real class player, but in my opinion has taken a step back in his own development by joining Milan. Don’t get me wrong, he can learn from Gattuso and Pirlo, but he needs to be playing and now Mr Beckham has arrived he finds himself pushed out again!

    Tell Kolo to get his brother over here, Yaya would fit in well and would grow under the guidence of Arsene!!

    Up the Arse!

  9. rj

    rubbish

    but I guess you know this and you are just trying to get people commenting on the message board.

    It is obvious that had he stayed Arsenal would be in a much better position in the table than we are now

  10. Jay

    I think both Flamini and Hleb have been huge loses…. Without Flamini mopping up in front of our back 4 we’ve looked exposed… How many goals have we conceided from the 18 + yards this season? Against Spurs, Hull, Villa, Sunderland, Man united… the list goes on… I dont think youd have seen it happen last year with Flamini in the team… He was the man who got back and closed the shooter down! Broke up attacks before they got to our fragile back 4! Our link up play hasn’t been as good and the one touch flowing football which we saw in abundance last year… has only been seen in flashes this… without Hleb, who had wonderful quick feet and was on the same wave length as Cesc… we just dont look the same… I hope the signing of Arshevin address this, as Nasri, who i think has been a bright spot for us, isn’t in the the Hleb mould…. We should have given Flamini the rise he wanted… You wouldnt begrudge Cesc any sort of rise to keep him… so why does Flam not deserve it!? Eventually We’ll have to replace him… Denilsons improving… but im not sure hes the answer.

  11. Romford Pele

    Ancelloti is an idiot.

    I dont care what Pirlo, gattuso, ambrosini etc have done in the past, last year our midfield made them look like statues. Flamini covers more ground in a match than those has-beens do in half a season. If they don’t play him, they’re a bunch of fools.

    Come back Flamster.

  12. Gooner4life&beyond

    I’ve seen Flamini start from the bench so much for Milan, and for what he was like last season and who AC currently have I’d class him as doing jack shit, he should be starting every match and not really getting substituted when he does. I think it’s very disappointing, I don’t think it will stay that way, but it shouldn’t be like that at all.

    Not that I’m wishing him success, but I’m not wishing him abject failure either. Regular football, average or above average performances, no trophies and 7th position finishes for the rest of his time with AC, a nice average career. Good luck with that Flamini.

    You know, I don’t really want Arshavin, not 100% sure why.

  13. Zaiky

    You people saying ‘come back flamster’ – you must be joking right? Who wants a player back who screwed us over for a move to AC Milan. We made him and he left for nothing – now you want him back??

    You’re probably the same people booing our loyal players week in week out just because they misplace a pass. Sometimes I hope we do finish 5th then some of you muppets won’t come back next year.

    As for Flamini – good riddance!

  14. Mr Westlake

    As horrible as it sounds, I am pretty glad Flamini is struggling for games, serves him right for being so money grabbing!!
    Replacing him is difficult though, personally, I’d like to see wilson palacios, the same player Wenger recomended to Steve Bruce!! The guy is awesome, a real box to box player, strong and can be snapped up for around 8 million I think, Forget about Flamini, lets look forward to who we might be signing ( if anyone )
    All hail King Fabregas

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