Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini believes the trust within the squad has been pivotal for the club’s early success this season.
The Frenchman was brought back to the club on a free transfer after he left AC Milan in the summer and has been sensational for the Gunners since making his return.
The 29 year old suggests that Arsene Wenger’s belief in the squad has been the key to Arsenal’s strong form this season.
Speaking to Arsenal official website, he said:
We are trusting each other. This is the result of a lot of work. Trust is very important. The main thing is to have quality in the team but after that you need to find team spirit.
Many people were talking outside of the Club but from the inside we knew we had a lot of qualities. We had a difficult period but the manager never changed his philosophy and believed very strongly in this team. I’m really happy he has proved what he did was the right thing.
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When you start helping each other, fighting for each other on the pitch, this helps you to win games. Especially during a difficult period, it helps you to stay focused, be a unit, and go from a bad period to a good period.
Team spirit is difficult to find, and difficult to keep, so we have to work very hard on that. What makes the difference is the solidarity in the team. Technique, once you have it, you have it. But solidarity, you have to work on it.
Flamini believes his midfield role at Arsenal is key to the club’s defensive solidity but admits his performances could be eclipsed by the likes of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud in the attacking third. He added:
I am not a striker, I am a defensive midfielder, protecting the defence, trying to find the best balance in the team between the defence and attack.
That’s very important. For a team to be strong defensively makes all the difference. If you want to win titles, if you want to travel anywhere, you have to be strong defensively. With the qualities we have in the team I am sure we will score goals anywhere.
Defensive work is maybe a bit more difficult to see than when you score or make an assist. But it’s very important as part of the balance of the team. Winning games is a quality of effort. It’s teamwork. I am trying to do my best for the team.
The back four do a lot of work so I am trying to protect my defence to the maximum.
The Gunners were missing a proper defensive midfielder since the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona. The club were expected to sign a big name to fill up that spot but Wenger thought otherwise and signed Flamini on a free transfer. The move was severely criticized by critics and fans, but after a few weeks into the season we can see how good a signing he actually is. He has been excellent, commanding his team mates, tackling hard and striking fear into our opponents – the type of player we have craved.
Flamini might not be a big name or as talented as Ozil but he gives the side the balance which we have been missing in the past few seasons. He doesn’t often contribute much in the attacking department but he gives the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere the confidence to go forward because they know the Frenchman will cover for them if they lose the ball.
He is unique and actually enjoys sitting deep and does not really care about getting forward which has reduced the pressure on the defenders so we are not as vulnerable to counter attacks. He has definitely been the signing of summer for me this season.
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