By Richard Clarke
The Frenchman had quickly established himself as Arsenal's midfield enforcer and the label likened him to perhaps the world's leading exponent of that role - Gennaro Gattuso.
There will be chance to make a direct comparison on Wednesday night when Milan arrive at Emirates Stadium in the Champions League Knockout Round first leg. Arsène Wenger sees the similarity.
"Yes he had that name," said the manager. "Flamini has a similar style to Gattuso because of his size and the fact he's always up for it.
"Mathieu is mentally strong and is a winner. Players who never give up mentally always improve. He's responsible for the tempo in our game and he's key to that on Wednesday."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Feb 2008