By Bilal Zaidi
What was reported here a few days ago
has been finally confirmed today by AC Milan
. Anyone who has read my last few articles on him will know how much I like Flamini, but this isn’t the end of the world at all. He is a great player who has covered more ground than any other football player this year in the Premier League. It is quite easy to see what a great deal Milan have got here but who are we to complain. They played to the rules of the game, he saw out his contract and he didn’t go and have secret meetings in hotels while his contract still had many years to run on it, or even, icecream-ing before our match against Milan with Inter (Hleb-esq).
At the beginning of the season I was surprised when Flamini chose to stay, he came very close to moving to Birmingham who now look like they are dropping into the Championship. I won’t lie, at the beginning of the season I was the first to question why Flamini was holding a place down straight away because from his past performances in central midfield he really didn’t look that special. However, some players really need a consistent number of games under their belt to really get the best out of them and that is exactly what has happened with Flamini. Can it still happen for Gilberto who really hasn’t had a consistent run for a very long time. This season Gilberto has looked past it but last season he was one of our best players if not the best performer alongside Toure and Fabregas.
We also let go of Diarra who would have been an able replacement if he wasn’t so impatient. Yes we made £3 milllion from his sale in only 6 months but we may now be spending a bit more than that to find a replacement for Flamini.
I hope this isn’t another summer of frustration of seeing our side weakened by player departures and not enough coming in. For the last five seasons or so I have seen our legendary invincibles side slowly leave, many for free or little money at all. The likes of Lauren, Cole (Wanker), Campbell, Pires, Ljungberg, Wiltord, Reyes, Vieira, Edu, Henry, Bergkamp (retired). We have a VERY SMALL SIDE and we can’t afford to let numbers drop any more, since we clearly do not have that much quality in depth within our ranks compared to our rivals.
You can see how different our team play is when our best eleven isn’t playing. Our first eleven could beat any side in Europe but after that it starts to become questionable. We have been unlucky that injuries to key players have let us down this season but for any of the top four this should never be an excuse, it is the job of the management staff to ensure our squad is good after the first eleven players.
However it is not all doom and gloom. Looking back on our season we did better than most expected comparative to our spending again compared to our rivals. Players have emerged; Sagna and Clichy are the best full backs in the premiership and potentially Europe going by this year’s performances. We have two solid centre backs who have at times not been at their best but are without a doubt still top defenders. We have the best young central midfielder of his kind in the world in our Mr. Fabregas and a striker who has scored 30 goals at the age of 23, after living legend Henry left the club in Adebayor. We have Van Persie who is known around the world to be one of the most gifted players around to return next year hopefully with full fitness along with Rosicky. Our summer signing Eduardo showed his quality in the short time he had to show what he could do and a few others to look at properly next season in Walcott, Bendtner and Carlos Vela. We now have the European Championships, the Olympics and a Champions League final to look forward to watching in the next few months.
Thank you Flamini for your great season, good luck…God Bless.