Mathieu Flamini hails Arsene Wenger
Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has offered up his personal tribute to manager Arsene Wenger ahead of the many more who will join the chorus, as the Gunners boss prepares to take charge of the team for the 1,000th time at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
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While the emotion surrounding the momentous occasion for Wenger may be diluted by the significance of the Premier League clash against the Blues, Frenchman Flamini is quoted in several newspapers suggesting his boss deserves all the plaudits likely to come his way from a cross-section of the game's leading lights.
"It's an unbelievable achievement," said Flamini ahead of the landmark fixture for Wenger. "He means so much to the club for the achievements he has done until now. Congratulations to him, first of all.
"I think it's someone who knows exactly what he wants. He has a vision since the beginning, he's moved to Arsenal and he still has the same one. He knows exactly how he wants to play and he's not really changed, he's still the same person.
"He had a philosophy before and he still has the same ones, that's why it's so easy for me to come back and to find my place in this team.
"The focus is on small passes and high pressing and to attack. At Arsenal the football is focused on attacking and playing nice football. His philosophy was exactly the same, his style, his management and desire to win."
Flamini went on to provide an upbeat view of Arsenal's title chances, as he omitted Liverpool from his equation when weighing up the Gunners' chief title rivals.
"We have a few more games to come which are not easy, because Chelsea and Manchester City are also fighting for the title," he added.
"In the title race, it's very important not to drop any more points because it's not a marathon now it's a sprint. We have a few more games and we want to win every single one.
"The Premier League is one of the objectives but we still have the FA Cup [semi-final against Wigan next month] and we really want to make something of this competition too.
"It's a great opportunity, everyone is waiting for Arsenal to win a title and everyone is talking around the club that Arsenal haven't won a title for a while. It's a great opportunity for us and it's in our hands and I can assure everyone we will do everything to go through and win it this year.
"Both competitions are very important for us. Winning titles is very important for every single player, the management team and the fans. We will fight and give everything to win a title this season.
"I'm focused on our team. The Premier League is very competitive, it's a very open championship and that means every single point is important.
"I would love to win a title, it means so much to the players, to the manager and the fans. We believe we can do it, we will give everything to do it."