Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Swansea

Monday, 11 May 2015, 20:00

Barclays Prem

The KC Stadium

Last Game

Hull City 1 - 3 Arsenal

Monday, 04 May 2015, 20:00

Barclays Prem

Wenger's Flamini delight

Arsene Wenger admits he did think twice about re-signing Mathieu Flamini for Arsenal, but is delighted he did.

Last Updated: 06/10/13 at 13:55 Post Comment

Mathieu Flamini: Happy to be back at Arsenal

Mathieu Flamini: Happy to be back at Arsenal

Flamini was brought back to the club on a free transfer after he left AC Milan in the summer, and the Frenchman has been sensational for the Gunners since making his return.

"I admit I hesitated. I don't usually let that happen. With me, once they leave, they leave," said Wenger.

"But he has given us a balance between attacking and defending.

"He is also somebody who accepts what I consider to be the dark role in the team. You need that for the balance of the team.

"It was there before but at times on big occasions we seemed afraid defensively.

"He gives us something more on that front. The future will decide if he becomes an important signing - but I was hesitating about it."

29-year-old Flamini admits it feels like he has never been away from the club, he left in 2008.

"I have the sensation I never left. I am happy, enjoying life. It was a great opportunity to come back," he said.

"I had some unfinished business. I had four great years, amazing memories, but I have some regrets.

"I am talking obviously about the Champions League Final in 2006 in Paris which we lost and maybe the 2007-8 run, when we were top of the league and we collapsed in the end.

"All these things stay in the back of your mind. When you are a competitor you wake up in the morning and you want to win.

Motivated

"You want to win every game. You want to win titles. That's what you fight for. So I come back with a lot of motivation.

"I had some good times in Milan, winning a Scudetto. I missed the Premier League a bit so it is good to be back. I missed the game - fast, physical, with a lot of space, open, with lots of goals.

"There is not much difference now from when I left. The same coach is here with the same philosophy, so that's already important to have stability. So maybe that's why it is so easy for me to be part of the team. I really have the sensation I never left.

"We have a lot of qualities, we have proved that in the games until now. But I don't want to say anything. I have heard people around talking about Manchester City, United and Chelsea but Arsenal is a big club, so of course we are part of that group aiming to fight for the title.

"The championship is a marathon not a sprint. If we can create a surprise at the end, why not? Team spirit is very difficult to find and very difficult to keep, so we have to work very hard on that because for me that is what makes the difference.

"The early criticism of the manager? That's football. Football moves quickly in one way or another. Arsenal had a difficult period but the manager never changed his philosophy and believed very strongly in this team.

"I'm really happy he has proved what he did was the right thing.

"I just feel very lucky to do what I do. I wake up every morning and play football, my passion - and I am paid for it. I am enjoying every moment.

"Sometimes it is difficult to realise how lucky we are. When we have young guys coming in the team we tell them to focus, work hard but also to enjoy it, because you have the chance to play in front of 60,000 people."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho agrees new Chelsea deal, claim reports

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has verbally agreed a two-year extension to his contract, according to reports.

Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis could return from injury against Arsenal

Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis could return to action against Arsenal after nearly a month on the sidelines.

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Carlos Tevez penalty hands Juve first-leg lead

Juventus will take a narrow lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid after a 2-1 win in Turin.

Mail Box

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

How Is Coutinho Rated Above Cazorla?

We have a mailbox packed full of views on Santi Cazorla, what Arsenal and United need this summer, the idiocy of St Totteringham's Day and rather a lot more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company