Mathieu Flamini has revealed that the horrific injury to Eduardo at Birmingham was the reason behind Arsenal's failure to win the Premier League title in the 2007/08 season. The Gunners had a five point lead at the top of the table with 12 games to go but the horrific incident turned out to be the deciding factor in the season, allowing Manchester United to close the gap on the Gunners and eventually win the title.
"I think the main event [that ended Arsenal's title challenge] was when we went to Birmingham with the injury of Eduardo. It was a big shock and we conceded two points. Sometimes this can happen in a season when we were doing so well. After that I think we lost a bit of focus," Flamini told www.arsenal.com.
"I have a lot of good memories [of that time]. I remember the cohesion in the group, everyone was fighting for each other on the pitch, it was a great team spirit - as good as we have now in the dressing room," he added.
The 29-year-old went on to add that he is still in close contact with Cesc Fabregas and that the player is happy living his dream in Barcelona. The midfielder was linked with a move back to the Premier League with Manchester United but after two failed bids from the League Champions, Fabregas came out and rubbished all rumours, thus bringing an end to a long drawn saga. The Frenchman is also good friends with Alex Hleb and Tomas Rosicky and played his first game in over four years alongside the Czech Republic international in the North London Derby on 1 September.
"I am still very close with Cesc. He is still a very good friend of mine. It's difficult in football to have close friends because of the competitions but I'm still close with Cesc. I saw him in the summer, he has a little girl now and I'm really happy for him. He's happy where he is and I always keep him in my heart. Sometimes you have connections with players and you can't explain it. We had a lot of players [in 2007/08] who were very close off the pitch," he concluded.