Red Bull Arena

Next Game

New York Red Bulls v Arsenal

Saturday, 26 July 2014, 22:00

Friendly Match

Last Game

Boreham Wd 0 - 2 Arsenal

Saturday, 19 July 2014, 15:00

Friendly Match

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

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester City winger Jesus Navas hungry for more trophies

Jesus Navas believes Manchester City have the quality to win the Premier League and Champions League this season.

Premier League: Wayne Rooney wants Manchester United captaincy and title challenge

Wayne Rooney is keen to be named Man United captain and is confident the team can challenge for the title.

Liverpool's Adam Lallana could miss start of Premier League with knee injury

Adam Lallana looks set to miss the start of the new Premier League season after suffering a knee injury in training.

Mail Box

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property