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2014 Arsenal Player Reviews: Mathieu Flamini

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"And then he wrote in my yearbook....he just wrote 'I will blind you, see you this summer hopefully!' and signed his name in spit"

Shaun Botterill

Mathieu Flamini rejoined Arsenal on a free transfer last summer, and while it didn't exactly light anyone on fire, the signing grew more popular as everyone who likes a bit of grission in the midfield saw this crazy person with his sleeves cut off his kit jogging around the center of the park.

Ten yellows, one red, a few games missed entirely due to CRAZY, and two goals later, Flamini finished his season, wiped the blood off his broadsword, and walked into the sea, never to be seen again.

...oh sorry, what? You want some information about how he actually played when he wasn't committing professional fouls and getting in trouble with the kit man? Okay.

Here's the deal: Mathieu Flamini is an irritant. He doesn't quite rise to the level of a true midfield destroyer, nor does he really fulfill the role of being a top-class midfield annoyer. He tries really freaking hard and gets super stoked and would 100% attack someone with a spoon in a cafe fight, but as a footballer, at age 29/30, his passing isn't quite good enough for full-time duty on Arsenal, his tackling is okay but not impeccable, and his positioning is--literally--deranged at times. As a squad player, he is useful in certain matches, but the days of him forming the central pairing with Cesc Fabregas and covering all kinds of ground are over. He can fill in at either fullback spot if needed, though, and as a utility man, he can serve a function. And his goal against City was nice.

Grade: C-