So much garbage is spoken about players these days, alongside this forced, limp-wristed desire to be positive when the reality is - after the club’s worst start in 32 years, Arsenal is led by a egomaniacal dictator that will only ever leave when his cold dead fingers are crowbarred off his contract.
So let’s start with one player I’ve never been a big fan of, Aaron Ramsey. For me he’s a limited, lightweight player, one of whom consistent inclusion in the first team part-ensures that Arsenal will never compete for a major trophy.
Signed by the club in 2008 for £4.8m and commanding a salary of approximately £100,000 a week, the Welshman famously endured a double-fracture in 2010 during a Premier League game against Stoke City. Prior to that, he was just another Wenger hopeful. A young boy with promise and potential; rarely fulfilled.
Post-injury, his performances were limited and ordinary, understandable perhaps considering the seriousness of the break. However, that was five years ago now, and beyond the fact that Ramsey pings a goal in every now and then, we’re still left with a player that, while possessing undoubted technique in striking a ball, offers little else.
Ramsey’s 16 goals last season silenced a lot of critics, but I always wondered whether this was simply an anomaly. Apart from the two he scored last night in a meaningless victory against the worst team in the entire Champions League group stages, this season Ramsey has returned to the inefficient, somewhat invisible player of old - slow, weak in the tackle and lacking in tactical discipline, producing little discernible effect on a football match, and occasionally, a liability.
Whereas managers and players may have previously ignored Ramsey, following last season’s goal flux, he has likely been signalled out during their pre-match preparations. Opposing players start to watch his runs, mark him out as a threat. Like all players that are specialists in any given area, eventually that threat is negated.
Good players, assuming they have something else in their locker, adapt, others fade into obscurity. Does Ramsey have the ability to broaden his expertise? The question remains unanswered.
If goalscoring is Ramsey’s only speciality, then I’d question his genuine usefulness considering he’s only ever scored two against a top-tiered Premier League club in his entire career - the winner against Man Utd three years ago and one at home to Liverpool last season. As a creator of goals, Ramsey is limited. 21 assists in 160 appearances is average for a central midfielder playing for a big club that formulates its tactics around having multiple attacking options.
One wonders what role Ramsey is actually a specialist in. Is he a defensive midfielder? No. Does he have creative vision? No. A good range of long and short passing? No. Does he turn up in big games? No. The fact is, Ramsey is one of those players that needs those around him to make him look good. A flimsy, technical player that is adequate at everything but master of nothing other than floating around in midfield waiting for a long shot to present itself, or attempting late runs into the box in the hope of getting on the end of a loose ball.
Last season you might say he was rather good at the latter, but if he can’t do that consistently then he’s nothing more than a passenger – a poor man’s Frank Lampard.
Surprisingly, this article is not designed as an attack on Aaron Ramsey. His limitations are not his fault, and neither is it his fault he’s selected in every game, nor infused with the necessary tactical acumen to play a suitable role in a team with title ambitions. At most, he should be a bit-part player, a bench warmer shoved late on when you need an extra attacking option from midfield.
Meanwhile, I can’t be the only one to find his interview technique symptomatic of the malaise that runs like a disease throughout the entire squad. On Wenger, he commented: “He’s been under some unfair criticism.” - ???? “Every player here wants to work hard for him, we have proven that again.” What, like you did against Stoke four days earlier?
Like Per Mertesacker and Mikael Arteta, who are also full of nauseatingly empty words these days, over the long-term it all rings hollow and comes across as nothing more than a bunch of losers brainwashed to accept fourth; backing up a manager because their place is secured in the team. And why wouldn't Ramsey, and other players of his ilk, suck up to Arsene Wenger? After all, you'd love your boss too if you were paid four times what you're worth.
Comments should be intelligent and well-written. All others will be binned.