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Automatic midfield upgrade: Flamini will not return in 2016/17

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so long, Mathieu.

adieu
adieu
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

My love, admiration, and respect for Arsene Wenger is well known, both here and in real life. He's one of those revolutionary figures for me, who has totally changed the way I watch and appreciate soccer; what he's brought to Arsenal is incalculably good and I'm glad every single day that he's at Arsenal and not somewhere else. That said, though, the man is not without his faults; his transfer policy, substitution patterns, and sheer stubbornness and unwavering support of his players can get in his way sometimes, to Arsenal's detriment.

The living embodiment of that stubbornness in the last few years has been Mathieu Flamini. Despite an astounding amount of evidence that he's not good enough to compete at this level - seen most recently in the "tackle" he made on Lionel Messi to earn the Argentine a penalty and Barca's second goal - Wenger, for some reason, sticks with Flam and plays him far more often than a player of his ability should be playing.

But now, Flam is 32, and running up against Arsenal's long-standing policy of either not renewing, or only renewing for a year at a time, players on the north side of 30; Flamini appears to have fallen into the former camp, and will, in a perfect example of addition by subtraction, reportedly not be offered a contract next year.

I wish him no ill as a human being, but as a footballer, I'm really glad to see that this is the end of the Flam-era at Arsenal; nothing good comes with him on the pitch these days, and the more time he has to concentrate on his scientific endeavors, the better.