Date: 11th December 2007 at 4:05pm
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Reports are appearing that we will be offering a lucrative new, extended deal to our French midfield powerhouse.

That first line could’ve come from circa 2002. Since PV4 left, it’s kinda been put in a shelf, and kept at the back, under old envelopes and board game manuals. But since the start of the season, Arsene obviously went through the drawer and had a bit of a clearout, and came across that phrase, and thought, ‘shall i get rid of this? I’ve not needed it for a year or two…’, but he decided to hold onto it for a while.

And just as well really.

Matty Flamini’s scintillating form since the start of the season has changed the minds of 95% of Gooners who wanted him nowhere near the team. Indeed, whilst I’ve always admired the guy’s tenacity and application, and willingness to be deployed anywhere in the line of fire (most of the time, last season it obviously began to get on his tits…), I wrote a piece in the close season about who did we think would be leaving the Arsenal this summer, and should we let them go/would we miss them, which covered all the possible exits. To my shame, one of you pointed out that I’d missed off Mathieu Flamini from my possibles, and I felt embarrassed that I’d missed him off the list, having felt that he’d been given short thrift by many supporters, I’d delivered the same to him myself.

Since pre-season, the Flamster has firmly established himself as Cesc’s first-choice partner in the middle of the park. A few folk were saying, it’ll only be a matter of time before Gilberto gets his place back!’, but, in a strange act of a situation going full circle (or whatever I actually mean), much in the same way that it took a long-term injury to Gibber to make many Arsenal fans appreciate how much we missed him, it’s needed the same situation with the Flamster to dispel the notion that he’s a stop-gap and nothing more, as without his drive and hustle in the middle of the park these past few games, we’ve lacked the fizz and spark. Truly Gilberto’s successor in that case?

Someone high up at Arsenal has obviously been paying close attention to the games too (you’d hope so really, being a kinda crucial part of their job n’ all…), as if reports are to be believed, Sgt Flamini is to be given a new deal, mooted to be five years, and ‘lucrative’.

I hope they do, and he signs, as it’d be gutting to see an Edu-esque situation arise again, with a player who we had recently learned to love, made to wait for a deal, and then by the time one was presented to him, it was too late, and he’d made his mind up to journey to pastures new. Matty’s been a real gem for us this season, he deserves that starting berth, and someone, somewhere at Arsenal, please make this piece of paper talk a reality. This is one piece of tabloid speculation I’d love to see happen.