Flamini was a one-season wonder: time for Arsenal fans to get over his departure

Mathieu Flamini is hoping that his experience of playing in the English Premier League might help gain him a rare starting place for AC Milan when they take on Portsmouth in the Uefa Cup tonight.

The Flamster left Arsenal on a free transfer last summer and like so many others who have departed Arsene Wenger’s squad, he has struggled to break into the first team at his new club.

"It is hard to have a good impact as soon as a player arrives at a new club, a new tournament and a new country,” says Flamini. "I am in good shape but I still need to get more confidence and become more consistent in order to be at 100 per cent.

"My objective is to get into the first team but I first have to get to know my team-mates and Milan's style of play better, as it is completely different to Arsenal's."

You don’t say.

The loss of Flamini is one of the excuses frequently mentioned by Gooners as a reason for our indifferent start to this season and while I’m not in complete disagreement, I think Mathieu flattered to deceive...

Arsene Wenger paid nothing to bring Flamini to North London, so we should have no complaints about him leaving for a similar fee.

Matty had a full year when he could have put pen to paper to commit his future to the Arsenal, but he didn’t. The cynic in me suspects that he put more into his last season at the Emirates so he could play himself into the shop window. I’m not saying that’s particularly what he did, but it’s interesting that he was a mere squad player up until the start of the 2007-08 season.

And let’s not forget that he has previous form - he had a fabulous last season at Marseilles, catching the eye of Arsene Wenger, but agreed verbally that he would stay at the French club. Of course he did not.

Earlier this year, history repeated itself. Yes, Flamini had a great last season for the Gunners. But it was his only great season at the club and let’s not forget - we won nothing. Oh and he said a number of times he was happy to stay at Arsenal, but he did not.

There are way too many among us still bemoaning Flamini’s exit, but I suspect, as the Rossoneri are finding out to their cost (which is £55,000 per week), with a new deal in place for the next four years, Mathieu’s maybe not quite as determined when it comes to fighting for his place in the starting line up.

In my opinion it wasn’t the loss of Flamini that has affected Arsenal so badly this year, but rather his loss coupled with the sale of Gilberto at the same time.

But whether you agree with me or not, both Flamini and Gilberto are gone and the current squad has to get on with things. That could be with Denilson, Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey or someone else if Le Gaffer decides to take the plunge in the January transfer window.

The bottom line is that we’ve seen some great players leave Arsenal over the years and when they do, with an obvious exception or two, we should wish them all luck in their future careers. But they’re gone and any amount of wishful thinking doesn’t help the remaining Arsenal players.

So for all those fane who keep saying that we miss Flamini, get over it. He’s gone and he’s reverted to type - a squad player, who will probably up his game when he gets close to the end of his current contract.