9.9/10 Flamini gives midfield masterclass for Arsenal

9.9/10 Flamini gives midfield masterclass for Arsenal

Arsenal stormed three points clear at the top of the Premiership table with their second 3-0 win in a row over Newcastle at Emirates Stadium.

While Arsene Wenger’s side struggled to hit their best form in the first half they took the lead just before the break when Emmanuel Adebayor stooped low to head home his 19th goal of the season after a marvellous run and cross from Mathieu Flamini. The French midfielder then went from provider to goalscorer on 73 minutes when he crashed home a sensational second from no less than 25 yards out. And the game was put beyond doubt just seven minutes later when Cesc Fabregas grabbed a much-overdue goal, neatly finishing after good work from substitute Nicklas Bendtner.

Flamini scampers away to set up the first goalIt was a dominant display by Arsenal and despite having just four shots on target, a three-goal margin flattered Kevin Keegan’s side’s average performance. There were good individual performances throughout the Arsenal side – Gael Clichy and Philippe Senderos deserve special mentions – but there was one man who stood head-and-shoulders above the rest.

Mathieu Flamini was absolutely outstanding and gave the closest thing I’ve seen to a perfect performance by an Arsenal player this season. All the normal work was there – he was snapping into challenges and covering for the defence in his usual way – but he seemed to find extra energy against Newcastle and was seen bombing forward even more freely than his midfield partner.

His assist for the first goal was brilliant; collecting the ball at pace on the halfway line and setting up Adebayor with the type of cross that David Beckham would have been proud of. After the first goal, as Arseblogger pointed out, Flamini was back to his Gattuso-like best, turning defence into attack on numerous occasions with a combination of great anticipation and genuine tenacity. He was having a game to remember and put the icing on the cake with a goal of his home, hitting an absolute belter late in the second-half.

It was the type of goal that only goes in when a player is doing well (or his name is Kaka) and it shows just how high his confidence is at the moment that he even chose to have a go at goal. After the game Wenger rightly praised the Frenchman for his performance, specifically indicating the clear improvements he has made in his game since last season.

“His work-rate is tremendous, the timings of his runs are good and his composure with the final ball is great. That was not the case in the years before. On top of that he scored a great goal tonight.”

If Arsenal gave it’s Player of the Season award tomorrow I don’t think anyone would argue with Flamini getting the award. He has been a model of consistency while the other stars at the club – Fabregas, Hleb, Adebayor etc – have gone in and out of form at various times. He always seems to know when to push forward and rarely leaves his teammates short at the back.

While Gilberto Silva had a good season in the same position last time around Flamini has added an energy to the position that has allowed the entire team to step up. He is the main reason why Arsenal sit at the top of the table and I can confidently say that without him the club would not be in the position that they are in.

Not a bad day at the office then. Three goals, three points and the pressure is back on Manchester United as they take on Portsmouth later today. Hopefully Diarra can do us a favour or two.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s win and Flamini’s performance by leaving a comment.

27 Responses to “9.9/10 Flamini gives midfield masterclass for Arsenal”

  1. Ryan
    January 30, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    Spot on.

    10 year £500k/week contract please. 😛

  2. tom
    January 30, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    i saw the highlights and damn, flamini’s was a screamer. On top of that it was a nice unselfish move by bendtner to set up fabregas too.

  3. Spanish Fry
    January 30, 2008 at 9:19 pm #

    Definitely. If you only saw the highlights you missed out on everything else that Flamini did. He was unstoppable. One minute he’d be tackling in his own box the next he’d stream forward and have a shot at goal.

    The guy was out of this world yesterday.

  4. arsenal malaysia
    January 30, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    i hope will win over united..

  5. Satan is a gooner
    January 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm #

    I was at the game last night and he was outstanding. Broke up Newcastles attack (if you could call it that), pushed forward, tracked back and scored a blinder. He’s a Bosman at the mo! Shocking! With these performances Real Madrid and Barca will be looking. What happens then? Arsene sort it out!

  6. Gichamo Girma
    January 30, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Just no more say 101% he deserves the lion share what gooners are achieving this year .Realy he is Flammable ideed!Mr.Arsen Please keep him at the Emirates soon .Not the new Gatusso ,rather the new Flamini.Absolutely bouyant.

  7. Spanish Fry
    January 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    Very jealous ‘Satan is a gooner’, not so much because of your name but because you were at the game.

    I’ve always been confident of Flamini signing on and I still am. Word is (and you can see it on the pitch) that he, Hleb and Fabregas are very close friends and seeing as though he’s in the form of his life it would be a strange decision that sees him leave.

  8. Pedro
    January 30, 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    Hi Spanish Fry!

    I’d love to link swap!

    Good review, lets hope Diarra is on top form tonight… I’m not feeling a Pompey upset though!

    The Flamster will sign on, no one else has come in for him, Juve signed Sissoko (Would they have if the Flamster was interested?) and I think all his buddies are at Arsenal… what a player he has turned out to be!

    Poor old Bertie…

  9. piken79
    January 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    FLIMINI = Magnifique!

  10. Alex Matua
    January 30, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    Absolutely Flamin is the spine of Arsenal. He is a balanced mid fielder; providing excellent cover for the defence allowing Cesc to torment opposition with clever passes.
    Flamin is both a defending and attacking mid fielder; his inclination depends on the circumstances prevailing. Arsenal must do everything possible to tie the knot with this versatile player sooner than later. Whatever the problem is this must be sorted out before preferable CL commences in Feb.

    I also give credit Gilberto for taking it positively. He actual admits Monsieur Flamin is a better player the reason why he is on bench. This is a true professional with glaring leadership qualities.

    Bon chance chance Arsenal,

    Alex Matua, Arua Northern Uganda.

  11. Spanish Fry
    January 30, 2008 at 10:55 pm #

    Pedro – No worries mate. Done. Sorry about filling in a comment, when I left that comment I thought I was filling in a contact form haha.

    Like you said, poor Bertie. But he knows how well Flamini is doing and you need guys like Gilberto to help win Premierships as well, in their own way.

  12. darragh
    January 30, 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    It such a wonder to behold Flamini. To think there was questions over his ability and form at the start of the season, question which may have seen his departure from Arsenal. Instead he has proven his doubters wrong many times over – and it is a testament to how good a player he is. He is the model arsenal man – not letting off-field setbacks stop his enthusiasm. No matter where Arsenal finish – Flamini has my vote as player of the season.

  13. Ayenachew
    January 31, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    it was so sensetional I was so surperised on Matiew Flamine current performance

  14. Rob
    January 31, 2008 at 1:03 am #

    After reading your blog for what seems ages, I only just realized that I only just realized that you post “What do you think?” at the end of each blog post.

    What do you think?

  15. Monse
    January 31, 2008 at 1:14 am #

    Awesome!!!!! Fabulous !!!! Fantabulous!!!!! The work rate & cross that he delivered and the screamer that he scored was just tooo good for Shay Given a goalkeeper who is respected well in the BPL.

  16. C-Bass
    January 31, 2008 at 2:22 am #

    This is the kind of return to form I’ve been hoping for. Exquisite football. Clearly Flamini as the man of the match but the whole team played quite well. It was great to see even our second choice players like Diaby and Senderos play well. I know I particularly had dogged Sendi early on but he appears to have bounced back well and in my mind proved he deserves his spot.

    What a way to lift spirits mid week. United were Gunning for you.

  17. knightman
    January 31, 2008 at 4:01 am #

    flamini, good work! i won’t over-praise flamini though for we still got lots of games coming up n as we know consistency is what makes th difference in th end. nevertheless, so far so great for flamini! gratitude too to senderos, clichy n adebayor for th great performances.

    🙂 when u walk into a pub n want to tell th arsenal fans from th rest, here is a guideline:
    Arsenal fans take beer while watching soccer while th rest of th fans watch soccer while taking beer:)

  18. ramugunner
    January 31, 2008 at 4:35 am #

    Flamini was a true phenomenon yesterday. It was a best performance by an individual player in a red shirt this season. I am so releived that he is gonna sign a new contract(arsenal website said earlier). At his current form he is the 2nd best defensive midfielder besides Cambiasso from Inter. He is the best in the league just infront of Mascherano. Easily player of the season so far.

    Also Adebayor is in hot form and has scored many goals. If he continues this form he will challenge Ronaldo for Golden boot. After he started focussing centrally and we started playing 4-4-2 he is in deadly form. The most important aspect of yesterday’s game was Cesc got a goal he was desperately hunting for. It will grow his confidence and he will discover his form from start of the season. February is gonna be the most important month for the young guns. Facing premier league champions in a cup tie and after four days European champions. We need to be in our best form to get thru’ february.

    But lets concentrate to our next big match in the league. City are in a tremendous home form, Manc went there and lose. Its gonna be a tough game but another brave display from Flamster and Ade would be enough to grab 3 points. Also Fab and Hleb will be crucial.

  19. Jay
    January 31, 2008 at 6:10 am #

    Flamuous. And to think he almost left the gunners! He had the best game of his life vs. Newcastle and What A Strike!. I am very impressed, every time he plays, he impresses me. UNSUNG HERO. Fabregas, Adebayor and Hleb get all the headlines, i know they rock aswell :), Flamster is THE rock.

  20. ramugunner
    January 31, 2008 at 7:57 am #

    I can’t believe the form of C Ronaldo. Manu is becoming a one man team. But we play a team game by helping each other. Lets see who will win in the end: one man team or a spirited team?????????

  21. Jay
    January 31, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Manu fans sed we relied on Hemry too much and he was bigger than the team but isnt that happening with Ronaldo?

  22. Spanish Fry
    January 31, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    Rob – Haha, I’ve told you what I think. I tell you what I think every day, that’s why I ask for the readers to let me know what they think. Glad you picked up on it after all this time!

    ramugunner – Ronaldo’s form is unbelieveable – comparable to when Henry was dragging us from trophy to trophy in his prime. The problem for United is, what happens if he goes through a lean patch? We’ve shown when Fabregas’ goals dried up that we can get goals from Adebayor, Rosicky, Eduardo etc but United haven’t had to show that yet. If his form stays up they’re going to be hard to beat but all Arsenal can do is just keep winning games.

  23. Ronaldo7
    January 31, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    How can you guys call united a one man team…..are you serious…do you not realise that defence is the most important aspect of a team and united have the best defence in the premiership…do you not realise that it takes a player to assist a goal and a team needs to pass the ball around to build towards a goal….have you not seen how many goals tevez and rooney have score?
    Ronaldo is just in hot form and everything he does is coming off…doesnt mean united are a one man team..united have the best depth in players in the league…

  24. Le Gunner
    January 31, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Ronaldo-you making some sense but to tell us “united have the best depth in players in the league” is nonsense if you lose Rio and Vidic you will be in deep Shit.Who are you going to replace them with, Wes Brown (joke)?
    its quite even at the moment in terms of performances between Arsenal and M.utd.In the FA cup clash we shall see a hint of what to come.Remenber we’ve done the double on you last season.

  25. Costanzo
    January 31, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    If Rio and Vidic get injured, we’ve got cover in Gerard Pique, O’Shea, Brown, Simpson.

    Can’t for the United – Gunners game, should prove to be a cracker.

  26. ramugunner
    January 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    Ronaldo 7_
    United have the best depth in players in the league…????

    I think you can’t say that. In defense if you lose one of the Rio or Vidic then there will be a big hole in your defense. In attack if one of Ronaldo or Rooney get injured then Manu will get toothless.
    As for Arsenal, We are missing our most influential strikeforce in RVP, still we are joint top with you. We are missing Toure in defense but we are still good defensively. I think Manu don’t have lots of sicknotes in the team apart from Rooney sometimes. Scholes long term injury was strange for me. Giggs and Ronaldo are such a vulnerable players but never get injured. So manu has been lucky in terms of injury. As for Saha I don’t rate him.
    We lost Fabregas when he was in blistering form. Same case for Hleb, Rosiscky and RVP. I am so sad to say that we have such a good bunch of players but some of them are big sicknotes esp RVP and Rosiscky. I don’t think manu will be able to cope if they lose some of the important players.

    Ronaldo, If you think you have depth in your squad, so do I. It’s not hard to buid a team with enough depth if you can spend money carelessly. Look at Madrid squad..Yes they have depth cause they have money. It’s almost the same case with Manu. Arsenal squad cost less than the cost of Rooney plus Ferdinand. Still we have managed to stay joint top in the league with you. If top players can stay injuryfree and RVP make a good return, this season is our’s. Ronaldo’s slump in form means Manu losing points.

    Spanish fry, have you noticed how many winners we discovered this season. In the begining of the season it was Hleb and Fabregas and then RVP, then Gallas and now Ade and Flamini. Who say we don’t have match winners ? We have many players who can win games for us but they are not doing in a consistent basis. When one falls then another rises, that’s the true spirit.

    As for Pique, oshea, brown and simpson, I can’t see anyone of them who can take place in CB position at Manu. That’s the same thing with us. Toure and Gallas are unreplaceable.
    But big Swiss lad is being really good for few games.

    God bless Arsenal.

  27. Thomas
    January 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    Ramugunner, although I’m not a chelsea fan, I have to say that they have the best depth in the premiership. Granted they spent a lot of money for that depth, but it’s pretty incredible how many injuries they have had, not to mention the players gone for African Nations, but they still grind out results and are still in the premiership race. I don’t think either Man utd or Arse could do the same that Chelsea has done.
    Unfortunately, I think Arsenal really struggled when it came to injuries. Once fabregas and hleb were out, you could see that they really couldn’t play the same fluent football, nor could they find the same results that they had with the pair in. Similarly with the lack of depth in the central defensive position. I think Arsenal are an amazing team, but I think depth is their biggest weakness.
    But who cares. It’s all speculative.
    Tough games for everyone this weekend. Predicting 2-1 to arsenal, 2-0 for man united, and 1-0 to chelsea.
    Ps. Liverpool suck

Leave a Reply

COMMENTS POLICY

1. Think before you write.

2. Be tolerant.

3. Stay relevant.

4. If in doubt, remember Bertrand.