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FA Cup quarterfinal draw

FA Cup

Former Gunner Flamini backing Cesc as captain

Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini believes Cesc Fabregas deserved to be named the Gunners' new captain after William Gallas was relieved of the duty following his comments about his team-mates.

Flamini spent four years at Arsenal before signing for Italian giants AC Milan in the summer on a free transfer, but was back in England on Thursday for Milan's 2-2 Uefa Cup draw at Portsmouth.

Speaking after the game, he backed Arsene Wenger's decision to appoint Fabregas as skipper, telling Sky Sports News: "I am not surprised by the choice. I have talked with him [Fabregas] a bit about it and he is very happy.

"It is great for him, for the club and for the fans. He is a big player in that team. I think he deserves it."

When asked if he understood Gallas' criticism of his team-mates, Flamini said: "It is difficult to say. William Gallas wanted maybe a reaction from his team-mates.

"It is never easy to know what to do. Maybe it will be positive and there will be a reaction from the team."

Of Arsenal's testing start to the season, he added: "Big clubs can have difficult periods. But there is a lot of quality at Arsenal so I am sure they will go forward. The important thing is to keep working hard and I am sure they will be okay. They have some amazing players."

Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey has voiced his desire to become a permanent fixture in Arsenal's starting XI.

Ramsey has made nine appearances for Arsene Wenger's side this term but faces stiff competition in securing a regular role in the Frenchman's side.

He said in The Sun: "I want to kick on and force my way into the starting XI. I want to play week in, week out, and become an established first-team player at Arsenal. I'm an ambitious person and I've always had high expectations."


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