Mathieu Flamini has told of his joy at playing a big part in Arsenal’s triumph in the north London derby clash over Tottenham at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger’s side saw off Andre Villas-Boas’ outfit 1-0 in a pulsating encounter last Sunday – during which Flamini, 29, replaced Jack Wilshere as a substitute.
And scheming midfielder Flamini, signed on a free transfer from AC Milan, impressed with a battled-hardened display in which he says he gave everything for the cause.
He said: “I really have the sensation of being back home. Playing against Tottenham in a big derby, it was a great emotion, a great feeling.
“Tottenham is never easy but it is special for the club, for the fans and for the players. Of course, for me it was my first game and I wanted to show everyone how committed I am to this club, how I am ready to give everything on the pitch. I hope everyone saw it; I really did my best when I came on.
“I have heard it a lot that it is like I have never been away. I feel like I never left. There are players I played with before, and even staff, there are a lot of people still here that I knew before and the relationship with the fans was just amazing. I just want to thank everyone for the nice atmosphere on Sunday. It was great.”
And Flamini says he was further buoyed by the Arsenal squad being bolstered by the arrival of by Mesut Ozil and Emiliano Viviano, He added: “The quality is very high in this team and at this club. That is the most important thing, to have players of quality because that makes a difference.
“The team spirit is also very good, and we saw on Sunday that everyone was helping each other on the pitch. That makes a difference in the big games.”