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  • After yet another stirring performance against Stoke City ... is Mathieu Flamini the potential signing of the season?

    When they signed him we all laughed, we all belittled them for signing a free agent, who told them he wanted to leave a few years ago, who has barely played because of injury in the past few seasons, who was never even considered a potential signing until he arrived at the club to keep fit during the summer.

    The player was Mathieu Flamini - and we can all start thinking about getting our humble pie ready.

    Today Arsenal took on Stoke City at The Emirates, and in the almost library like atmosphere in North London one players voice could be heard above all others - Flamini’s.

    He looked like he had never been away, dictating the play from the middle of the park, cutting out possession when Stoke City tried to play the ball around the pitch, and dispossessing players who absolutely tower over him such as Steven N’Zonzi and Kenwyne Jones using his low centre of gravity and presence of mind to keep the ball shielded from his more physically imposing opponent.

    In general … it was just an all-round superb performance, and not his first since returning to the club.

    But signing of the season? Is that a little bit too far?

    I don’t know. Why not? He is a utility player who can play across the midfield and at either flank defensively. He is a player that came in almost fully integrated to the club due to his previous dalliances in North London. He is a player who fills a position where Arsenal considered themselves to be in need of reinforcing and he is a player who seems to have got over his previous troubles with injury.

    Did we mention that he cost absolutely nothing?

    (Pilfered from HTC sport)

    Another Wenger master stroke.

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    • I didn't laugh when we signed him as I remember that 30 yd rocket he scored against Newcastle a few years ago.

      What I do own up to, is having spent the last two season thinking that Ramsey would never shrug off the ghost of the tackle that broke his leg. It has affected his play and development for the last two seasons, but he seems to have found himself and that ability that lead to Wenger buying him in the first place is now there for everyone to see again.

      The only thing that still leaves a niggle in my mind is our lack of defensive options. If Sagna, Merts or Kos get injured we will be down to bare bones. Djourou, Squilacci and Miquel have all gone and Verm is long term injured. Flamini may be able to play to fill a role, but we should not be relying on utility when fighting for silverware. We should have world class/position specific cover.

      Hopefully Arsene wont get shy with the budget promised for January and he get proactive ahead of the hard slog that is always February/March for many teams

      • 2 Replies to John
      • Not read of a promised budget for January myself, I'm not saying it hasn't been stated BTW, would sincerely like to read it for myself. Perhaps I'll try and track down a statement.
        I would also like to see more strength in depth.

        Flamini is looking to be a great signing and a great piece of luck quite frankly.

      • I definitely was not against the Flamini signing although I admit our summer window was not complete for me until we signed Ozil. I think that signing gave the players a lot of extra confidence and did a lot for the fans as well.

        Ramsey has been crucial since the last 10-15 games of last season and is now the box to box midfield player we needed. At the moment only Yaja can be said to be as important to his team. Most importantly Ramsey is bringing it every game and if you want to win anything your key players have to bring it every game. A good sing.

        I thought Vermaelen is back? I am not so worried about our defensive cover (if he is back) as much as I am worried about an injury to Giroud. As Wenger said said himself he has to rotate and he needs to rest players. If Giroud picks up a longer term injury we can not rely on Walcott for too many games since he to needs rest. At the moment that leaves Bendter as our only central striker in absence of Giroud (I don't think Sanogo is ready for the big games) and I don't think that is a great option, particularly when it comes to last months of the season when hopefully we are in the knock-out stages of the cups etc.