Flamini’s Off And A Bit Of Levity In These Supposedly Dark Days

Days like these just make you realise how tits up the season really went in recent weeks with a clear week before the next game; no Champions League to report on and looking at the ease with which PSV were despatched last night, you are left to rue the matches in Eindhoven and at The Emirates. But hey, what the hell, its over, its done and that is life.

Matthieu Flamini has been told by his brief that he can walk away from Arsenal by paying them a years salary at the end of the season and by all accounts that is what he seems intent on doing. And in all honesty, he has to look after himself. Forget all this crap about how he is being disloyal. Players are not slaves or beholden to any one club in the same way that you or I are not beholden to the same employer in our working lives. When picked, he has come in and done a job for the team. His best performances came last year at Left Back – on a consistent basis, anyway – and in fairness to him, he sees himself as a central midfielder. Unfortunately for him, Gilberto is rarely absent and the return of Diaby means that he is third choice. To my mind, he shot himself somewhat in the foot by apparently refusing to play there this season as he could have been another of Arsene’s great conversions. However, he has to do what is right for his career and I am sure he will move onto to a more regular slot for someone else.

Scary stuff from the Gnomes of Nyon. The Brotherhood have cemented their position to such an extent that we will be seeing a straight race between Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for the next four years or so, the competition being as a result of Blatter’s apparently unchallenged nomination for Head of FIFA. Now what I do not understand and I am sure it is covered off by FIFA’s statutes is how they can declare him unchallenged already. Why you ask? Well, if reports are to be believed, only 66 out of 207 Member Associations have declared their support for him. So that is around 33%. Does this mean that the other 67% are disapproving? If so, why has no-one else stood for the post of President? Having said that any politician currently leading their country would die for that high an approval rating. Or more importantly, do the others know that there is no point in opposing him because he will call in favours left, right and centre to ensure that his decade long ego-trip continues?

Finally a bit of levity. Reproduced below is a panel from this months FourFourTwo about 6-0-6, dubbed “The Greatest Phone-In Caller Ever?

Gordon, a caller: When I was nine – this going back a bit – I asked my Dad if he could make me a bow-tie…
Danny Baker: Hang on! Just say that again
G: I asked my dad if he could make me a bow-tie
DB: This is already my favourite call ever! You could have asked him to make you a train, a boat, a ship, a railway station but you asked your father to make you a bow-tie
G: I wanted something with my team’s name on it
Danny Kelly: Which team would that be sir?
G: Dundee United. So he made it, with wee black triangles with UNITED written on which across the middle…
DB: A Bow-tie!
G: …and it was made of plywood…
DB: No! This is too good. I’m sorry Gordon, but you were wearing a plywood bow-tie with Dundee United written on it?
G: and it was two feet wide by a foot and tied round my neck with a big leather strap. I went to the game and I was absolutely delighted….
DK: There you go son, here’s your bow-tie: Clank, clank, clank. And here’s a big leather strap to tie it to your neck
G: It weighed about a stone and a half, so the next week he saw the error of his ways and produced a big pole. So I went to the match like a Roman Centurion with the bow-tie strapped to the pole like a Roman standard
DK: You’re making it worse. Don’t keep doing this!
DB: I’m sorry. I’m gone. Let me get over this. Why did you want a bow-tie? A rattle, yes, a scarf, yes, or a hat…
G: I already had a rattle…

Why include that? Well, it made me laugh and that is what football should be about. The innocence of youth, having a laugh (or a cry as appropriate) but hellfire, not week after week of navel-gazing.

‘Til tomorrow.

Posted on April 4, 2007, in Arsenal, Football, Football In The Dock, Premiership, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I agree with your comment on Flamini he did shoot himself in the foot by not continuing on at left back. He was performing very well there and Gael would have found it hard to get back in but he chose to tell Arsene he did not want to play there and that is that. He could have gone on and played for France as i feel he would have been better than Abidal or whatever his name is who i pray we are not after. As for Blatter he badly needs to be replaced by someone younger Platini would be perfect i feel.

  2. Flint McCullough

    The 2 Dannys – it’s like going back a century, a time when real football just about still existed for us Premiershippers.

    Judging by most blogs there’s not a lot of room left for comedy if your team isn’t winning the league.

    Good luck to Matty, if he stays or if he goes.

    Realistically,for me, his only prospect of a permanent place would be at RB. He is a very decent player, intelligent but limited as a midfielder. I think he would be a sensible & reliable full back & not without attacking ability, eg goal he made against Wigan.

    I hope he stays because he is a “never say die” player who has produced good performances in big games. He is also at an age when he could be called experienced.

    This does highlight a problem that is increasingly going to be faced as our young players get older & want to be in the team,as 1st choice, rather than filling in.

    That is why it is important that any incoming transfers have to be definately better than what we have got in the middle/long term.

  3. I agree Flamini should look to his own career. but the way he has done it is rude in the very least. Let’s say you had a good boss but you wanted to move on: you would talk about it, not go to the press and say “I am going to be the first in the world to buy out my contract because my lawyer says I can so sod you”. If Flamini wants to go, having benefited from the best coaches and academy in the world that is fine – but why not just ask for a transfer so that everyone gets something out of it.

  4. TW, maybe he did ask for a transfer, or at least for some assurances, and didn’t get them. Anyway, he’s not a beneficiary of the Arsenal Academy. As I recall we pinched him from Marseilles to their fury. (I think we had to pay 1 mill for him in the end). I hope he stays. I’ve always admired his hard work. I thought he’d become the new Ray or Grimster. Wasn’t last night depressing?

  5. Flint McCullough

    This is it TW , we make comments when are not aware of most of the facts in a given situation.

    I didn’t watch PSV because they are as dull as ditchwater & we all knew Liverpool should turn them over. They were one player really & he wasn’t playing. We should have beaten them comfortably but played them at the wrong time- such is life. I hope L’pool win it.

    Saw AC Milan v Bayern – Dreadful decison for the penalty,is there a decent ref in the whole of Europe?

    I forgot what a good player that Luque is- perhaps Arsene is trying to make Gilberto a version of him.

  6. Sorry not a Flamini fan and I just really hope he does go – he is a second rate player who has had far more chances than he deserves – more than 110 appearances. If he wasn’t French he would have been outed a long time ago.

    Agreed he did a job at left back in dire injury circumstances last year but at best he is a run around merchant for the last 10 minutes if we are comfortably winning.

    Midfielder? he is joking isn’t he? he can’t pass and most of the time gives hospital balls.

    To think he is on 20,000 per week (if the buyout is 1 million) is quite frankly ridiculous.

  7. Hi all, I have to say personally i wanted Liverpool to thump PSV, they are the most negative team i’ve seen !! They piss their own league as its rubbish, and against us they had about 3 shots, 2 of which went in. We just couldnt score away despite best efforts and couldnt finish it off at home, but PSV were dire and were just as dire last night. I’m glad Liverpool showed them up as being rubbish, shame we couldnt but thats life, and I hope Liverpool hammer them again at home as I also hate Koeman due to past history (we all know !!), they said he was a tactical man, well last night he had no idea what was going on, it was like even at 3-0 down they were trying to defend the game rather than attacking like any other team should be doing at home in the quarters of the CL (esp at 3-0 down !!)
    As for us, well its all over but we need to make sure we are in the CL next season or we may lose more players in the summer. We’ve had a bad run of luck and bad finishing but then look who’s been missing. Henry injured most of the season, RVP out for most of it, these are 2 players who, when not injured, would have scored goals against PSV for fun given the chances we created. Lets get behind the team for the rest of the season, qualify for the CL and then look forward to next season and winning it all (well maybe the Carling cup) :o)

  8. I agree about Flamini and I understand his decision.
    He can play as a starter in 80% of other Premiereship teams.

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