One of the main reasons for Arsenal’s success so far this season is the attitude of the young players, and the willingness to step up when called upon. And surprisingly one of the most impressive players this season has been Mathieu Flamini. Arsene has said the young Frenchman has a ‘bossy attitude’ and that is for all to see this campaign, and his form has been so good that he is seemingly keeping World Cup winner Gilberto on the sidelines.
After looking like departing from Arsenal in the summer, Flamini ended up staying which could be one of the most important decisions in his career. We know Wenger lets players leave if they don’t want to stay (not necessarily a policy I totally agree with) and there were a lot of teams in for Mathieu. But you would be stupid not to realise what is happening with Arsenal and now he is enjoying a run in the side, and is glad he stayed.
This season, Arsene has decided to go with a young, quick side which pushes high up the pitch which is a high-tempo game more suited to the energy of Flamini rather than the composure of Gilberto.
I’ve loved Flamini’s fight on the pitch and he has reminded me of a young Roy Keane. He puts himself about and lets the other team know that we won’t be pushed over. His celebrations with his team-mates when Arsenal score are intense and you know winning means everything to this guy. This mentality runs throughout the team and that is amazing.
What does that mean to Gilberto?
Who knows what the manager is thinking?
The Brazilian is either still recovering from a long summer at the Copa America, or is just simply down the pecking order at the moment. There have been rumours that he could be sold, and I think I’m right in saying that he’s yet to appear in the Champions League.
We’ve seen the boss be ruthless with players when it looks like they’ve reached the end of their Arsenal careers, with players like Vieira being shown the door. And we know how much Arsene likes getting a decent return on a player who has a couple of years left in the tank. And he’ll be very useful as a stand-in central defender when King Kolo leaves for the ACN in January.
Meanwhile, Gael Clichy – another player who is having an outstanding season – has dismissed any notion of being unbeaten this season, and emphasised winning honours is much more important. You could see the teams desire to win things with winning both the Emirates and Amsterdam tournaments in pre-season.
Hleb looks like he’s going to miss out on tomorrow night’s Champions League tie against Steaua Bucharest after that awful tackle from Mark Noble. Funny how not much has been made of it since it was only on Hleb – I wonder what would have happened if Rooney was the recipient of the challenge? Looks like he was a victim of not being English, just like Diaby after he broke his leg at Sunderland.