Blogs & Opinion


Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Jamie Redknapp says Mathieu Flamini role is vital

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 29th March 2014 view comments

Jamie Redknapp says Mathieu Flamini has proved he needs to play in more big games for Arsenal until Arsene Wenger signs a younger model.

The Frenchman scored a surprise equaliser for the Gunners in their 1-1 draw with Premier League title favourites Manchester City and impressed in a midfield role alongside Mikel Arteta.

Redknapp said Arsenal benefited from having two hard-working players in the centre of the pitch and called on Wenger to use that duo more often in crucial matches, at least until he signs a younger player who can do a similar job.

Flamini: scored in Arsenal's draw with Man City

Flamini: scored in Arsenal's draw with Man City

"He's a player you wouldn't expect to come up trumps, but I felt he made the difference," he said when analysing Flamini's performance on Saturday Night Football.

"It begs the question why doesn't Arsene Wenger play him in these sorts of games. You look at what Jose Mourinho does in big games sometimes - and he goes with Luiz and Matic, belt and braces, and he will stop other teams playing.

"I look at Arsenal and think that in midfield areas where it gets tight and you've got to stop other teams and you can't just have pretty footballers.

"You've got to have players that are going to get the ball to Santi Cazorla. Do I think he's the long-term answer? They got him on a free transfer at the start of the season and almost stumbled across him.

"But they need someone like that, someone who is going to win tackles. To ask Arteta to do it is just too much. He hasn't got the legs to do it."

Crucial

Arsenal travel to Everton next week in a game that will be crucial for their hopes of finishing in the top four, before heading to Wembley to play Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final the following weekend.

And while Redknapp says Champions League qualification is important for Arsenal, he believes the FA Cup should be the priority.

"If you could have one or the other I think Arsene Wenger would probably take the top four," he added.

"But I think for that club now you've got to win a trophy. Nine years is too long. They need those big moments; any player, when you finish your career, talks about those big moments and what you won.

"You don't think about qualifying and finishing fourth and then going out in the quarter-finals [of the Champions League]. They need to win a trophy.

"Financially, of course it's better for them to get in the top four, but it's been miles too long. Arsenal fans want to see silverware back there. That club has been built on winning trophies.

"Whether it's the FA Cup, Capital One Cup or the league they've got to start doing it. This is the year.

"If he doesn't win a trophy this year he'll never win one. He'll never get a better opportunity."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

Which letter surname gets the most goals? Who has made the most passes? Martin has the stats......

Guillem Balague

Balague: Real lack logic

Guillem Balague says Real Madrid’s poor football judgement has left them weaker than last season....

Alan Smith

Smith - Welbeck exit sad for United

Alan Smith says many Man Utd fans will be upset to see Danny Welbeck move to Arsenal....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Kevin Strootman linked with Man United again, Aston Villa seal Tom Cleverley loan and Cesar Azpilicueta signs new Chelsea deal.

Van Gaal not feeling pressure

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal insists he has no regrets about taking the job at Old Trafford this summer.

Stones handed England start

John Stones has been named in England’s starting line-up for Wednesday night’s friendly against Norway.

Hodgson fears for young talent

England boss Roy Hodgson is worried Premier League clubs are too scared to take a gamble on young home produced players.

Torres: Costa signing crucial

Fernando Torres admits he knew his time at Chelsea was up when they signed Diego Costa.

Features

Free Transfer XI: The pick of the players still available following the closure of the transfer window

Free Transfer XI: The pick of the players still available following the closure of the transfer window

Still not had your transfer fix? There are still players out there looking to find a new club this summer...

The Science of Scouting: Abroad

The Science of Scouting: Abroad

The globalisation of football is an opportunity for clubs savvy enough to identify talent from abroad. However, with players being expected to adapt to a new country, the risks are increased in line with the reward.