That season Arsenal were favourites to win the title until that fateful day at Birmingham when Eduardo had his leg obliterated and captain William Gallas lost his nut. It all went pear shaped and Arsene Wenger’s side ended third despite many of the squad having a close relationship on and off the field.
That was the last season where the Gunners looked like title contenders and majority of that quality squad then moved on over the next couple of summers.
Flamini is still close friends with his midfield partner of the 07/08 season Cesc Fabregas, and feels the spirit of that squad is comparable to this season that has been built with a solid, young British core and some experienced heads among them.
Flamini told Arsenal Player:
I am still very close with Cesc. He is still a very good friend of mine. It’s difficult in football to have close friends because of the competitions but I’m still close with Cesc.
I saw him in the summer, he has a little girl now and I’m really happy for him. He’s happy where he is and I always keep him in my heart.
Sometimes you have connections with players and you can’t explain it. We had a lot of players [in 2007/08] who were very close off the pitch.
I have a lot of good memories [of that time]. I remember the cohesion in the group, everyone was fighting for each other on the pitch, it was a great team spirit – as good as we have now in the dressing room.
I think the main event [that ended Arsenal’s title challenge] was when we went to Birmingham with the injury of Eduardo. It was a big shock and we conceded two points. Sometimes this can happen in a season when we were doing so well. After that I think we lost a bit of focus.
One of Arsenal’s strengths as a squad is how much of a tight-nit group they have become. Even the players who have been around for just a season have integrated well and the relationships within the squad appear strong.
There are no winey Nasri’s or Gallas’ around to disrupt the teams ethos, so if they continue to battle hard for one another on the pitch and continue to develop as a unit then these group of players can break the silverware drought.
Wenger’s home grown, British policy has so far worked out very well. The strong core of England internationals as well as Ramsey not only sets a good example in English football but creates a group of committed, loyal players that are less likely to club-hop.
Arsenal’s chances of silverware do look positive this season if injuries do not decimate the squad anymore then it already has. With the added influence of Flamini, as well as the experience of the likes of Sagna, Rosicky and Mertesacker the Gunners have a nice mix of different qualities. I’m feeling positive about the season, especially with Özil in the mix.
What are your thoughts Gooners? Comment below..