Showing posts with label Mathieu Flamini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mathieu Flamini. Show all posts

01 October 2015

Could Flamini upend Man U just as he did Tottenham?

Jonathan Roberts returns with a provocative look at whether we can and should turn to Flamini against Man U, needing as we do fresh legs and fighting spirit after Tuesday's demoralising loss. Welcome back, Jonathan; what's on your mind?

The battle for a place in Arsenal’s central midfield is fierce. Coquelin, Cazorla, Arteta and Ramsey are stellar names most managers would yearn for. And, if you put aside the consistent injuries, there’s Jack Wilshere also vying for a start in the centre of the park. The last post I wrote was all about how Arsenal needed to sign a new sign a new defensive midfielder. To everyone’s dismay it didn’t happen. After two dismal Champions league performances, the obvious has become somewhat more obvious to everyone—everyone except Arsène, that is.

23 September 2015

Apparently, Flamini didn't get the memo...

Well, that didn't go according to plan. We were supposed to let Tottenham have this one, the better to let them squabble with lower-tier clubs Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, or Liverpool. Instead, we're through to the round of 16, no thanks to Flamini's antics. Leave it to him to go rogue on an evening when, despite the intensity of a North London Derby at White Hart Lane, letting the baby have its bottle could have been the order of the day. I should have known something was up when I started the XI Arsène named. Nary an Academy player to be seen, with only Iwobi and Macey on the bench. Was Arsène trying to win this one? That's when I noticed who'd be in the defensive midfield. That's when it started to make sense. Briefly.

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM

Mathieu Flamini bagged a brace, one a fox-in-the-box rebound from an Oxlade-Chamberlain shot that Vorm couldn't handle and the other a cracking volley when Ox's pass was deflected, and Arsenal booked a place in the League Cup's fourth round while reminding North London what color it is. Along the way, Flamini may have resolved our goal-scoring dilemma, having now scored two goals in just 90' of play. Giroud, by contrast has needed some 430 minutes to score his two goals. Okay, so I jest, but for a side such as ours that has struggled to score, Flamini's contributions are welcomed. Any win over Tottnham is a welcome-one, even if we didn't name any Academy players to the XI. It's perhaps a sign of our uneven play that Arsène went with so many first-teamers, but I'll take it. Get to the poll below and give our lads what they deserve!

21 July 2015

Arsenal transfer round-up: Szcz to Roma, Flamini to Gala, but who's coming in?

According to the very-reliable Di Marzio, Wojciech Szczęsny is set for a loan to Roma, with the Italian club offering £715,000 or so for the loan and a £7.15m option to buy him at the end of the 2015-16 season. Coupled with news that Mathieu Flamini has signed for Galatasaray (joining Podolski) and Diaby not being offered a contract, we're seeing a clear-out just as aggressive if not more so than last summer's, when we parted ways in various ways with Sagna, Vermaelen, Bendtner, Djourou, and Fabiański, among others. Those who were once good enough are being replaced. Should Szczęsny indeed be loaned out, Arsène would indeed be staking a claim to a more-aggressive agenda, one that should strike fear into our opponents' hearts.

14 March 2015

Arsenal 3-0-West Ham: Vote for Player-Ratings/MotM

Olivier Giroud blasted home a goal just before halftime, marking Arsenal's 15th goal in stoppage-time this season, and Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini added goals later in the second half—becoming the 21st player to score for us this season, and we waltzed to a confident, breezy 3-0 win. It's yet another positive result made all the more vital when Man City lost to Burnley, and we are now just a point from second place. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though, enjoy the result on its face and don't make too much of table-positions. On to the poll!

10 March 2015

Coquelin clobbers Matić, so who needs another DM? Not Arsenal...

Since his return from his most recent loan-spell at Charlton, it seems that Francis Coquelin has set the world on fire with his performances, almost singlehandedly resurrecting an Arsenal season that looked like it might have otherwise ended in ignominious fashion. From Boxing Day forward, Coquelin has become a bedrock in the defensive midfield, so much so that Arteta and Flamini have been all but forgotten, so much so that Arsène felt confident enough in Coquelin to sign only 17-year-old Krystian Bielik to buttress the defensive midfield, refusing to dig any deeper than £2.7m or so to reinforce what has arguably been one of our weakest positions over the last few seasons. Now, with Coquelin's emergence, it seems as if all of our prayers have been answered. For one, he bests Chelsea's Nemanja Matić. Actually, that—that should settle the debate right there. Right?

18 October 2014

Arsenal are living on borrowed time after that execrable excuse

I'm too tired to be as angry as I supposed I should be. The match against Hull was supposed to provide us an opportunity to start building momentum, to start salting away points and climb the table. Instead, we barely escaped by the skin of our collective teeth thanks to a magical, magnificent effort from one player. We nicked a point. At home. Against Hull. In stoppage-time. The concerns and attendant excuses are growing too numerous too, er, enumarate, and it makes little sense to miss the forest for the trees. Aside from a ten-minute stretch against Aston Villa and a longer stretch against Galatasaray, we're looking feeble and toothless.

31 March 2014

Flamini's goal: basic passing, beautiful movement...

For weeks now, we've bemoaned our ability to unlock stubborn defenses or create chances, much less finish them, settling all too often for pointless passing—a long sequence of tentative passes back and forth across the field, only to pass back to Per or Kos to reset, perhaps, or to try to draw the opposition forward. Gone has been the incisive movement or aggressive passing that are necessary to create actual scoring chances. It was therefore especially gratifying to see us score a goal on Saturday, and not just for leveling the score. The passing from start to finish, and the movement that led to the goal, added up to a wonderful sight to see. It wasn't quite on a level with the goal scored against Norwich, at least not in an aesthetic sense, but its significance more than makes up for that.

29 March 2014

Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Video of a valuable point taken

A lucky bounce off the woodwork gave David Silva the go-ahead goal, but Arsenal pulled one back through a nifty sequence that ended with Flamini putting it home, atoning for his unfortunate own-goal midweek against Swansea. Chelsea's earlier loss to Crystal Palace offered a vital opening to Man City to pull ahead in the Prem race, but Arsenal, who looked to be the better of the two for long stretches, dominated the second half and even had chances to seize all three points (for best resolution, consider not going full-screen. I'm still playing around with settings and options).

It won't be enough to change our prospects in the Prem title-chase, and it leaves us still wary of Everton's tilt at fourth place, but the confidence and intensity that we showed are a positive sign that we are still hungry and looking to make up for lost time, especially important as we make a trip to Goodison Park next weekend in a match that could very well seal up that fourth-place spot and launch us closer to vying for third and an outright qualification for next year's Champions League. 

19 February 2014

Forget scoring. Flamini is key to keeping a clean sheet.

For as much emphasis as there's been on Mesut Özil facing off against his counterparts in the German national team, it's overshadowed a little bit the importance of the other off-season acquisition and his contributions to our form this season. Don't get be wrong; it would be fantastic to see Özil eviscerating the Bayern defense with pass after incisive pass, leading to goal after goal. However, it's far more likely that the outcome will depend more on our ability to withstand Bayern's impressive attack, which has generated 57 goals in 21 matches, averaging nearly three per game. Mathieu Flamini, therefore, along with a back-five that should include Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, and Sagna, may play a larger role than anyone in a more-attacking role.