Date:Saturday September 7 2013
It`s almost ten years since Mathieu Flamini joined Arsenal for the first time, and 5 years after he left for the bright lights of Italy & AC Milan he`s back in North London once again.
Flamini rejoined the Gunners on a free transfer after his contract wound down leaving him a free agent. The French midfielder had joined a whole host of former Arsenal players (and some non former Arsenal players) in taking advantage of Arsene Wenger`s generosity and training with Arsenal at London Colney.
Arsene had previously stated that it was never his intention to sign Flamini, just to allow him to find some fitness ahead of any potential move, however the player impressed so much Wenger decided to offer him a chance to return home.
It`s been said time and again that the large majority of players who leave Arsenal regret it, now I don`t know if Flamini regrets his move away, but he`s certainly happy to be back.
"I really have the sensation of being back home," Flamini told Arsenal Player. "Playing against Tottenham in a big derby, it was a great emotion, a great feeling.'
"Playing against Tottenham is never easy but it is special for the Club, for the fans and for the players. Of course, for me it was my first game and I wanted to show everyone how committed I am to this club, how I am ready to give everything on the pitch. I hope everyone saw it; I really did my best when I came on!'
"I have heard it a lot [that it is like I have never been away]. I feel like I never left. There are players I played with before, and even staff, there are a lot of people still here that I knew before and the [relationship] with the fans was just amazing. I just want to thank everyone for the nice atmosphere on Sunday. It was great."
Flamini got a great reception from the fans in his first game back vs Spurs, and will continue to do so as long as his work ethic remains. We`ve often bemoaned a lack of leadership amongst the Arsenal squad, well Flamini certainly ticks that box. An organiser, a shouter, a pointer and a generally all round hard worker.
Every team needs those kinds of players.
Date:Saturday September 7 2013
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Arsenal v West Ham United Match Preview (Monday April 14 2014)
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