Not that we ever needed to be given a clear indication of the bromance between Mesut and the Flamster, but we got treated to ‘exhibit A’ on the official site yesterday, with Özil waxing lyrical about his partner in crime. Specifically, about his performance and two goals against the Spuds, which were both beauts you have to say.
It’s clear that Flamini has a place in the squad, not least to keep Mes happy and having fun, so with ‘fun guy‘ Flamini around we know our maestro in the middle will be enjoying his stuff.
The only down side, of course, will be that Flamini will be earning probably about £30-£40k per week, so it makes it difficult for the club to properly justify a contract extension on what is essentially a friend for Mesut. Perhaps the contract negotiations that Özil is currently in for an extension will include a ‘Mathieu Clause’, in which part of Özil’s wages offset having the Flamster around? After all, it’s not like any of these players really need any of the extra money they earn from increased wages through contract extensions, is it? So perhaps the extra £40k-per-week we’ll offer our German genius can be used on keeping the tough tackling Frenchman around?
Flamini could be a ‘wellbeing’ physio. He looks after Mesut’s wellbeing by making him happy and generally larking around on the training ground.
The reality is that Flamini will not get enough game time this season to depose Coquelin and despite the fact he was given a chance to stake a claim at Leicester, unfortunately for Ho an injury scuppered that hope, which is a shame because he’d performed well against the Spuds and I though he started ok against Leicester too.
Quite where this leaves Arteta is anybodies guess, because if Flamini has moved him down the pecking order in the defensive midfield role, I’m not quite sure where else he fits in. When/if Jack returns from injury, I would have thought he’d be ahead of Arteta in taking the role occupied by Santi and even Rambo would probably be preferred than the Spaniard, which is making me wonder whether the captains armband has been cursed by some little old gypsy in the forest, or something.
Think about it; since Henry our captains have been either crazy or out of form, or just not good enough to get in to the team. Whatever the situation, the role of the captain at Arsenal seems to have been reduced to that of the man that chooses heads or tails and the guy who has to wear a bit of elastic around his arm. Gallas, Vermaelen, Arteta. Cursed I tells ya.
If I was Santi and big Per, I’d be finding excuses not to wear the blasted thing, like a skin condition or something.
Perhaps the role of captain in today’s game is a diminishing one anyway though. After all, the game has become far more technical, far more data driven and players are far more aware of their specific roles on the pitch, that perhaps the captaincy is just an acknowledgement of who has been there the longest or who is the oldest? Arsène might argue that he wants eleven captains on the pitch, with eleven soldiers all taking responsibility, but if you have that, do you still need an overarching leader on the field?
Wayne Rooney was captain for United last weekend, but I didn’t see him barking orders, organising or getting his team to shape up. The press would also have you believe that ‘JT’ is the perfect leader, but with him out of the team does that mean that Chelski are suddenly rudderless? I know they’re rudderless now, but that’s not down to ‘JT’ and his absence (he’s too busy finding car parking spaces to nick from people who need them), but more the failings of the manager and collective confidence of the team.
The role of the captain is a dying tradition that means little in today’s footballing world. It is merely another part of footballing tradition and do you know what? I’m ok with that. As long as the whole world accepts it, let’s just embrace it’s symbolic existence rather than actual importance.
Anyway, off to work, so I’ll see thee soon.