Tag Archives: flamini

Flamini – Doling Out Justice

Originally posted on Goonersphere

Alan sat slumped in his highback leather chair, his bare feet surrounded by bubbling water as the new-fangled foot spa attempted to dissolve the stress that plagued him.

His brow, furrowed by the myriad of questions that his mind was furiously trying to answer, instantly snapped to smoothness, as the fax machine in his office chirped to life. The fax machine was reserved for transfer business, but the infernal window had closed. What could be coming through this dated piece of hardware?

He lifted his feet out of the spa, and wrapped his silk dragon kimono around his frame. He grabbed the remote for his office sound system and turned off the powerful melodies of Aswad. This wasn’t the time for reggae.

He ripped the fax sheet from the aperture in the grey lump of plastic. It was from his Head Scout, and it was mystifyingly short. 

“Guv, I’ve just witnessed Mathieu Flamini train on his own in a London Park. He did circuits for an hour, destroyed a bunch of youths with karate, and wildly gesticulated at a large rottweiler. He has still got it. Send the message boss, he’s waiting.”

Alan looked into his full length vanity mirror, dramatically took off his sunglasses that he always wore indoors, and hoarsely whispered, ” By God…”

He ran from his office, shedding his kimono and donning training gear as he ran. Within minutes, he was on Crystal Palace’s training ground roof.

He lifted the tarpaulin from the massive metal, round structure. He then switched it on, and a blitzing beam of light leapt out, reaching the dark night sky. 

There, amongst the plethora of twinkling stars and never-ending inky blackness, surrounded by a circle of white light, was a pointing hand……….

The next twenty four hours passed without extraordinary incident. Training, shiatsu, happy ending. Everything that encompassed his routine was still in place, despite the set of events he had put in place with the previous night’s actions. 

He wrapped himself in a club towel, and thanked Dolph the masseuse for his service. His feet flip-flopped to his office, where his mind once more darkened to his sides current plight. 

His now supple back reached the comfort of his chair, and a long sigh left his freshly moisturised mouth. He let his eyelids meet, but they didn’t have a chance for a long meeting.

A squalling, screeching noise broke the silence. He once more exited his fortress of solitude and donned the training gear he kept on a peg on the back of his door. 

He followed the noise, which led him, and a growing group of staff at the club, to the entrance of the training site.

Slowly, a strange image met their eyes.

A turtle head, inch by inch, revealed itself. It was not the garden variety of tortoise, but the large, Galapagos Island type, that was crawling its way to them. Attached to the edge of its giant shell, were a string of bobbling, severed heads. As the creature got nearer, they noticed that the heads were people they recognised. Lee Cattermole, Glenn Whelan, Nemanja Matic. All five of the heads had been detached from Premier League hatchet men……

Atop the massive shell, was a man. Nay, not a man. On top of the shell was an inspiration to man. Wearing nothing but a hessian sack with holes on each side for his limbs to poke out, was Mathieu Flamini.

Alan came forward from the gaggle of people staring at the Frenchman. 

He offered his hand, ” Mathieu, thank you for answering my call.”

Mathieu leapt from the turtle, Frankie Dettori style, observed the offered hand, and instead waggled his eyebrows three times, before touching his genitalia.

“I do not shake hands, it is not efficient energy usage. I am here to help Crystal Palace, and to ensure my bromance with the genius that is Mesut Ozil continues. Use my ‘skills’ as you wish. You will, however, have to adhere to my conditions.”

Pardew raised his eyebrow, but his desperation meant he was between a rock and a crazy place. In the eyes of efficiency, to signal his agreement, he simply let Flamini continue.

“One, all names used have to contain one syllable. Efficiency, you see.”
“Two, I must fight ecological crime at a moments notice. You cannot stop this.”

“Three. All sleeves MUST be short sleeve. Any long sleeves seen will be obliterated on sight.”

Alan nodded curtly. He was just keen to bolster his ranks with quality, and Flamini would add steel to the soft underbelly of his side. 

With that acknowledgment of agreement, Flamini uttered a cry surely summoned by some otherwordly force, and kung-fu kicked himself to the training pitch.

Pardew and Palace had the mercenary they needed…..

Goodbye – Not Sorry – Seems To Be The Hardest Word

An original Goonersphere article.

During the final match of this past season, it was easy to overlook the fact that three players who had spent a cumulative 22 years at our club, were there to bid farewell to Arsenal, and to Gooners everywhere.

Continue reading Goodbye – Not Sorry – Seems To Be The Hardest Word

It’s Happened Again – For The 21st Year……

We had plenty of time to adjust to it.

Any occasion in which events go against the grain, it is difficult to acclimatise to the new settings.

We had the whole of the second half of this season to wrap our heads around the fact that our neighbours – who for so long squirmed under our boot – had finally wriggled free of our supremacy and were going to reverse tradition.

Continue reading It’s Happened Again – For The 21st Year……

Arsenal Vs Aston Villa – Match Preview

Well, we have finally reached the end of the 2015-16 season, and the majority of Gooners will be mightily relieved this is the case.

This campaign has seen more missed opportunities than an Ade Akinbiyi season, not to take away the fabulous achievements of Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City. With a squad more than capable of constructing a title challenge, yet in the home straight, Arsenal were staving off challenges from the Manchester clubs for the coveted Top4 spots.


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The Arsenal Job Centre – Offering a Future To The Futureless

Originally featured on Goonersphere

The exterior of the building was as abject as the interior. A squat, dumpy looking two-storey with nothing in particular to draw any attention to it.

The main entrance was the only detachment from the mundane, with double automatic doors which opened without effort.   Inside the building, as soon as you passed the double-door threshold, the room opened out. Filling the cavernous space were so many identical pine desks and lumbar support office chairs. It was as if Ikea had made a nest. The walls were a shade of beige which trapped sunlight and smothered it in boredom.

Make no mistake, this was the place that dreams went to die.


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Arsenal 0-0 Southampton – Home Truths As Stalemate Occurs Again

’80’s Hip-Hop collective De La Soul laid down some lyrics that seem very relevant right now for Gooners.

Three, is the magic number.

Now, it wasn’t quite ‘magic’, but the number three conspired to rob Arsenal of three points and put a rather ugly dent in our title challenge.


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Replacing Coquelin – The Candidates.

Francis Coquelin’s meteoric rise from forgotten man to Arsenal’s midfield lynchpin has been nothing short of Hollywood script material.

Kicking up dust at Charlton, the Gunners annual injury crisis meant that all resources were utilised. Coquelin was recalled from his loan at The Valley and from his first match until the catastrophic moment he was injured, he has shown he had all the assets required to make the defensive midfield spot his own.


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Mathieu Flamini – Not Just The Earth’s Saviour

With the news that Arsenal’s bench-warming combative midfielder is also potentially the globe’s best bet to ensure humanity’s survival, Mathieu Flamini became more than a wildly gesticulating footballer with a vendetta against shirt sleeves.
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Age Has its Benefits

Arsenal for a time – were cursed.

It was common knowledge that for a period in their recent history – Arsenal were continually shorn of their Captains.

During the term more frequently described as ‘the drought’, Arsene Wenger would honour the teams star player with the accolade of skippering their comrades through choppy waters and potentially lifting any silverware that may have been won.

As soon as the armband was slipped onto their limb, then the rumours began. soon after, the sharks began to circle as the arm accessory seemed to act as a drop of blood in the water, sending the predators into a frenzy. This in turn saw Gooners dreading any transfer windows due to the constant nerve-shredding worry that their talisman would leave for pastures new or more often – a bigger bank balance.  


Steadier waters have been sailed into in more recent times and the awarding of the Captains rank is now as it should be – a distinct privilege that the incumbent acknowledges with a humble grace.

So with the news that our current Skipper Mikel Arteta signing a one year extension to his tenure at Arsenal – you could be forgiven for thinking that this would be heralded by fans with trumpets, tickertape and maybe, just maybe, assorted confectionary.
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