Aaron Ramsey: One Blogger Makes Amends…


Note: I actually wrote most of this BEFORE the CardiffCity match, but it is more apropos than ever…

His performance in that match was simply awesome, even “magisterial,” as Ray Hudson would say… The placement of both goals was exquisite.  The first was a great run and an extension of a sublime pass from Mesut Ozil.  The second took more effort…something that AR-16 is NEVER short on… He ran the break; tried to play Theo Walcott in, but kept running (of course); took the return pass (a touch to take the ball away from the defender, which, to be frank, appeared a tad heavy…); and struck with deadly precision into the top corner against a stranded (but onrushing) keeper.  Wow!  It could even be argued (okay this is a stretch…) that Ramsey had a hand in the 2nd goal—the one that clinched the match—because his running is such an example to the team, and Flamini made like Aaron and kept running so that Ozil could put the ball on a platter and seal the points.  To top it all off, he celebrated none of the goals against his former club and responded with a local sign to their accolades as he left the pitch.  Class in every regard…

So, without further ado…I present…My Ram-Sey A-Pol-O-Gy…

Aaron Ramsey, I’m sorry, very sorry, if I ever said a bad word about you.  You are Da Man and as much a ray of sunshine to this Arsenal squad and Gooners everywhere as that image at the top of the (unbelievable) tattoo you’ve had etched onto your leg… Good job on recovering from the (brutal) leg break.  Your leg, like your spirit, is (maybe) “ink-destructible”… (Oooh, that too was a stretch…)

In truth, I think my worst offense was an occasional moan that we didn’t have the players to keep you out of the starting line-up.  At the same time, I consistently noted that maybe you belonged there as you always had the engine to go the full 90.  The fact that you kept going (and going and going…) and trying things (including audacious shots from distance…) brought out the haters, and I don’t think I ever crossed into that category.  (Critical yes, hater, no…)   It also helped bring out a never-say-die attitude in the squad which may have been THE key factor in our painful-yet-successful get-up for 4th last season and one that has clearly carried over to this year’s efforts.


With 8 goals in the league and 13 overall (plus, how many assists?…) you’ve stepped into the (scoring) void and become one of our biggest stories, if not THE biggest.  The critique used to be “squad player at best,” and your versatility and engine may have changed that to “Best Squad Player,” if not “Best Player in the Squad.”  With Wilshere struggling (for fitness and form), Ozil getting used to his new landscape (full of Shawcrosses ready to scythe him down…), and big layoffs for Poldolski and Walcott and Cazorla, we’ve needed an attacking midfielder (if not a second striker) to play off our other workhorse, the one whose name rhymes with “Hey Jude.”  You’ve answered that call and then some.  Many will insist that your best spot is as a defensive midfielder, or at least a 2nd in the double pivot, but no matter where you start, that ability to run and run and run means that you’re never too far off the ball.  A little bit of confidence and suddenly it’s the net (not row Z nor the corner flag) that you’re finding…

This weekend you returned to Cardiff, where you played (starting at the age of 8…debuting in the first team at 16…) and where you did a few months on loan during your long re-hab.  It must’ve been (at least somewhat) bittersweet.  I couldn’t truly gauge the response (watching on the telly as I was), but I did hear a smattering of boos on your early touches.  That you were such a key figure in a dominant team performance was ultimately acknowledged, and I would guess that the hops in an ale would remove any bitterness even the most dyed-in-the-wool Cardiff supporter might’ve tasted earlier.

In praising you, we cannot help but discuss the injury.  In fact, I’d rather not dwell on it nor repeat what we all know.  Instead, I’d prefer to touch upon another scar which you must bear, the loss of (Wales manager) Gary Speed, who (perhaps prematurely) made you Captain of Wales.  To take two such blows, one to flesh and one to spirit, is something that surely has shown you the full spectrum of life.  Image is one thing; self-belief (self-worth?) is another, and transiency is always with us.  No matter how the world judges you, you must find your own contentment and live with yourself… I believe you have taken these lessons and done the absolute most you could with them.  Well. Done. Lad.

My hope is that all of Wales can salute you and that you become Captain again, in time.  Even if you haven’t gone off to Spain for the world record transfer fee, you may be the best Welsh player in the world (at the moment at least)…

Speaking of players off to Spain…(and I don’t really mind the other Welsh fellow heading that way…)  That was a tough moment when OUR guy, Cesc Fabregas did the same two summers ago.  It was a very dark moment for Gooners and very tough on you to slot in for Cesc.  As such, you bore the brunt of more than a few disgruntled fans.  I guess the manager believed you could take it and hoped you were (maybe) recovered from the leg break more than you were (or than was humanly possible).

At that time, you were still recovering and still very raw.  As a guy who was always the best player (in his age group at least), you were more comfortable running with the ball.  Cesc is a fantastic player, but his strength lies in single touches and knowing the field before receiving the ball.  You, in fact, are a far stronger athlete, and, as time goes by, you are picking up some of Cesc’s attributes.  I believe you can thrive in our fluid set up and work well from any starting position, though, for me, AW was correct and a #10 you are.  More importantly, over time, I’ve seen less reliance on running with the ball (and better running in general—less over-striding, less of that running-in-quicksand futility chasing lost causes…), and you’re picking up the many moves of the other technical types we’ve brought in.  I see more left-footed touches a la Santi, though certainly multiple right-footed touches and quick circles (in the style of Tomas Rosicky) could earn you the nick-name of another classical maestro…(Milo—who are the leading lights in Welsh classical music?…) Fewer touches and quicker thinking (and continued goal scoring) will make us cease to long for Cesc, while audacious creativity and a taste for flare brings to mind another who played in Spain (Zidane).  As long as you try those things closer to the opponent’s goal than to our own, I’m fine with it…

In the end—the end, hah, you’re only 22!—it’s a great story of perseverance and redemption and one of faith—both personal and on the part of management.  I remember 2008, when AW took you to Austria for the Euros and you decided to sign for us instead of ManU.  He was scouting Nasri and Arshavin at the time, but you’ve turned out to be much more valuable than either.  Along the way, many doubted that it was the right choice.  Hell, some might have even said we should have done like Sir Alex and bought Michael Carrick (or Anderson…) instead.  Sometimes, investing in the future, even a future which might appear to have been snapped in two (in two places…), turns out to be worthwhile…

Well done, Aaron.  Well done Arsenal.  Apologies, all around… 😉

Written by: 17highburyterrace

42 thoughts on “Aaron Ramsey: One Blogger Makes Amends…

  • Fantastic read from BK`s Mountain Man !. 😆

    I know that you, like me being a runner, probably appreciates the amount of running Rambo does more than some of the BK couch potatoes !. hahaha
    I`d bet my Love Shack that a team of 11 Rambo`s would always beat a team of 11 Arshavins every day of the week !.
    However, Rambo is not just an engine, I`ve always thought he is highly skilled as well !.
    In Monsters book of ingredients to make a SQ footballer !…….Rambo has at least two of the vital ingredients ……Stamina and Skill !……then add some of my favourite Wenger sayings ( with French accent ! )………Desire, Attitude and of course my bestest one…..Mental Strength and you have a top footballer !.
    Not only that, but a fine, honest, humble and grounded young man !.
    Also it is great that he is Welsh…..he`s never going to get fatigued or injured playing in a World Cup or European Championships !. hahaha

  • Super post about our very own Welsh engine, 17. Really nicely pitched and great recognition of both his footballing talents and character. Is there a more professional 22 year old out there?

  • I read the post smiling and wandering what would have been if Aaron did not suffer that leg break? Then I worry because one of them record fee payers may be stockpilling their bulion with raw cash right now, preparing to really knock hard on The Emirates door end of season for his signature, and the question is; Are we ready to fight off the vultures?

  • 17

    Well said, and I was likely with you about squad player and engine…

    That said, I think it’s his mix of self-belief (which the other Welsh guy has along with RvJ and others) that carried him through all the difficulty. That he has some humility for having suffered thruogh the injury and potential lost future (now found) is what makes him so well liked now, as it is something those others I noted before (Welsh guy and ManU striker type) dont have at all.

    A great quote from an old boxing trainer, to offset what CM noted, goes something like “In the end, it is not the skill to win that is so important, but the will to win” (sic).. To do so with some humility retained is an extra..

    cheers — jgc

  • to be honest, he was ramshit last season… but he’s definitely rambbooo this season…

  • See this is the problem…People like jeff called Ramsey shit last season, when he really wasn’t!!! He’s a brilliant player now, and he wasn’t BRILLIANT last season, but he wasn’t shit. He was always somewhere in between.

    Also, it is a shame we have lost some bloggers on this site, because of the sudden improvement of players such as Ramsey and Giroud. I guess I am such a staunch defender of our own players, that it does take a lot for me to criticize them. I was never the biggest fan of Giroud, but he came very close to scoring a lot of goals last season. He got in to good positions, he just couldn’t quite finish. I was never the biggest fan of Per Mertesacker either, yet look what he has done!!! I just thought it was too big a risk to play him because of his lack of pace, but his speed of thought and anticipation compensates for any lack of pace. Also, the rise of Per has coincided with the steady improvement of Koscielny, who I have always liked as a player. Now don’t get me wrong, I do get on the players sometimes, and I’m truly not the best judge of talent, as I didn’t foresee the likes of Mertesacker displacing Vermaelen permanently, or Giroud becoming the all-round force that he is now, but SOMEONE DID, and that’s the only person who counts for anything in the end, that person being Arsene Wenger. I do have to give myself some credit though, for not calling our own players “shit”, and owning up to the fact that I made mistakes with Per and Olivier. Some people have a hard time admitting they were wrong. Arrogance drives me bonkers. It’s not a big deal…You were wrong…So what??? Come back on the site and be wrong again AND correct again…That’s the fun part about football and life…If you were right all the time, you would never learn very much.

  • Hi all..
    17h.. what are doing man.. you make me want to cry.. hehehe..

    Lucky me.. I am Ramsey fans all this time.. hehehe.. as long as I remembered.. I never had a doubt in his ability..
    Comparing to Wilshere.. I did criticies him a lot.. but I’m might be in the same position as you do now.. so before that happened.. I must say apology to Wilshere.. hahaha..

    Football is a very fantastic thing to watch.. how a person simply goes from Zero to Hero.. but another guys just go the opposite way.. from Hero to Zero..

    But seeing Ramsey nowaday.. the most credit must give to Wenger.. His the only person who still believe in Ramsey in his difficult time.. just as Wilshere.. RvP.. and Diaby.. hehehe.. Hope Diaby will give us surprise in next season.. hahaha..

    Hope Ramsey will continue progreesing and be our new Legend.. not like RvP.. almost be our legend but he made himself as our enemy.. hehehe..

  • And guys.. who will you choose.. Morata or Pato.. as Wenger won’t bring them both..

    I think Morata for loan is more reasonable.. you know what I mean.. for free.. hehehe..

    One in one out (Betdner) is enough for me.. Podolski.. Ox.. Diaby are coming back soon.. And our youngster like Gnabry.. Eisfeld.. Akpom.. Zelalem.. Miyaichi.. are good enough and need time to progress like Ramsey did.. just need to give them some trust..

  • 17HT – Can I just say that I am glad your pre-post wasn’t wasted – It wasn’t.

    Great, great tribute.

    I can also admit to wondering about Aaron Ramsey having a future at Arsenal. Two season’s ago I remember writing that I thought, for his sake, he should go out on loan. Not just on loan, but go abroad to get away from the venom that was being thrown at him at the time. It really was that bad. Not so much on this site, but there were a few, but elsewhere, it really was, or should have been, unspeakable.

    Like I say, I wanted him to go and find ‘his’ game. He was constantly being played out wide, a position that did not appear to suit? May be AW felt it was the position where he could do the least damage to the team, while he went through the period of recovery, but that again is a damning fan’s perspective which I am guilty of. However, if I am honest, with other things going on, I could not remember how good he was as a teenager. Some players you can have an instant picture of a moment of brilliance that can stick with you … but, to my shame, I had none. But that did not make me one of the inhumane crowd, who some were wishing he would break his leg a second time … and they probably could remember, but choose to ignore it?

    It is probably why I defended Szczesney through his difficult period .. I remember that debut against a rampant Manchester United. Whatever difficulties he had recently, it was only in his head. I appreciated that in Ramsey too. If anything I was more critical of AW for keep putting him into the fire. The short loan period was never enough to clear the mental scar.

    The bigger picture was of course that we were reeling from the Eduardo incident, and then later the players leaving, and in trying to maintain our minimum goal of finishing in the top 4 meant we needed players on the pitch to step up and fill the void. Some perhaps, did not have the talent, others, quite simply could have done without that extra pressure. Hence my criticism of AW, and I am not sure the end result fully justified the means of getting there in Aaron Ramsey’s case? Of course in our current financial (comparative) luxury we can afford to buy in players to ease the burden. Perhaps Jack Wilshere is feeling the benefit of that which was never afforded in Ramsey’s time, and so we are seeing a quicker turnaround?

    None of the above can take away from Ramsey’s integrity, and why now he so much deserves the accolades given so excellently in this post.

    A fine example of humility and quality writing, and an ever finer example of humanity …

    Aaron Ramsey, with slightly bowed head, I salute you.

  • Well Rambo if you do read this mate you have done it. This is very beautiful apology to say the least.

    18 months ago on this very site I was defending the honor of my local lad from Caerphilly. Not because he was from my town, nor because he was welsh (of which I was accused of having some sort of bias towards him for the fact he was welsh being a Welshman myself) but because I saw the talent I knew he had the talent but it would just take time.

    Then came that night in Munchen when he and another boo boy Koscielny were reborn as not just as good players but “WORLD CLASS” players (roles they both grow into every passing game). There will be bad days for him like any other player, but the one thing we all can rely on is his steely determination and never say die attitude. Even the current best players in the world lack his mentality this boy will never go missing and never hide. The opposition know you can just kick this boy out of the game and it scares them.

    Ramsey’s story is one I would want to read when he releases his book after he retires. I can see the title now ” The Broken Man to the Ballon D’or By Aaron Ramsey” ;).

    This still very young lad @ 22 has been through more trials and tribulation in the last 2 years than any other player in their entire career. He is an example to all, he oozes class and he is still improving. Wenger believes he will get even better, I believe he will get even better and the rest of the football world can watch out when he gets even better.

    Aaron Ramsey, you fill me with pride and admiration

    Bloody Well Done Fella

  • And people like Milo is not objective enough to say the least.. yes,he’s definitely shit last season,even Mr.Wenger said recently dat it’s hard to pick him based on the sticks he got from the fans. People were complaining,and it’s fair enough for me.. but today he’s totally different.. he’s RAmbooo!! i thought you must judge the player based on his performance and not talent… is ramsey the most talented skillful player on the team..??? No! but he’s currently our best performer!!! dat’s all dat matters!

  • Yes, but what is “shit” jeff?

    I went to nearly every home game last year and watched a young guy slowly coming back to his best after a horrific injury. To put it simply, the geezer, like many young players was developing and I for one always believed he would be a great player

    You calling him “shit” is part of the problem, and no, its not fair enough that people were complaining.. Its a misunderstanding and failure to recognise what Arsene Wenger and Arsenal were attempting to achieve, which is “building” a team from within.

    Excellent stuff 17. A very refreshing and humble article.

  • nice one @ 17HT – you delivered the goods as promised and it’s a fine apology and tribute to our young Welshman


    i have always said that football is all about “NOW” and not about the past hence if it’s Purple in front of your eyes, you say it’s Purple, instead of saying it’s red and this is what my point is.

    if he wasn’t playing as well or at an expected level required or visible by your average fan, then he was bound to get criticized, called names and boo’ed , there is not one single club in this world where their own fans don’t do that to their very own when their performances haven’t been as well as they would like or think they are capable off – if Ronaldo or Messi fire blanks for 3-5 games, how long before their own fans turn against them, i wonder ? will their past accomplishments may buy them a few extra games but eventually their places will come under scrutiny.

    so yes, like you there were many fans slating him and thinking he wasn’t quite ready just yet and may need a loan move to bring him up to speed, they are the same fans more or less who slated Santo’s, Gervinho, Sczny, Theo (The jury is still out on Theo, even though he was our highest scorer last season but at the start of the season, he fired a few blanks and voila the most frustrating player to watch comments were back on)….- to cut a long story short, fans have a short memory and tend to remember what’s on display, so if, at the time people like myself , yourself and the majority thought that he wasn’t playing as well and we needed someone better then it wasn’t wrong – as fans we are all entitled to our opinions and wishes, whether we get our wishes granted or not is down to one man AW.

    also @ Milo – it’s interesting you say that people who were slating him and Giroud have left the building, maybe it would be nice if you named them and shamed them ? but i must repeat myself, people see what’s in front of them and comment on that, Terry once crossed swords with me on Ramsey , where i was critical and being objective as i usually am , he told me that he had been to the Emirates and saw Ramsey ran his socks off all evening to which i said ” Pay Glic’s £60 k per week and he at 153 years young would run you 40 miles instead of his 4 mile runs with man utd supporters ” 😆 – on a more serious note, the same fans who saw him and didn’t like his performances boo’ed him are the ones that cheer him the loudest – no one has left the building, everyone is rooting and supporting him that much more because he has risen above and has stood out to be counted hence he has managed to changed peoples opinions and even the haters – good on him and long it may continue.

    so for instance if Sczny starts putting in world class performances then that doesn’t mean he has been world class since the last 3-4 years, it just means he has turned a corner and we paid the price in the last 3-4 years by losing more games then we should have, nothing changes that but he can help rectify it by winning us more games now and in the future, by repaying the faith shown in by the boss !

  • Jambo – I think you are missing the point about what being a supporter means. They are our players and booing them is out of order, unless they are lazy and/or do not care. Get behind our players and soon they will shine for us – that is what being a supporter means.

    And you wrote:

    “on a more serious note, the same fans who saw him and didn’t like his performances boo’ed him are the ones that cheer him the loudest”

    Interesting you use the word ‘fans’, not ‘supporters’. It are his supporters who should the loudest, the fans just go with the flow. 😉

    On Szczesny:
    he lost us more points than he should have…very objective indeed! You are having a laugh (YAHAL) 😈

  • Hey guys….Thanks for the comments…I’m having troubles with my internet and I’m currently in the car using a cafe’s unsecured network…As such I can’t really respond to all the comments and I won’t be around for my usual game day chat (sometimes a bit of a monologue…) for the Hull match. Our new modem arrives Thursday or Friday…

    I note the seeds of a debate about what it means to be a supporter and, for me, I think, the divide is between those who want to blow off steam or live and die with each moment or result vs those who try to keep a more even keel and approach things as they feel the manager should. Both approaches are valid but (obviously) I prefer the latter. It’s maybe true that we sacrificed performance (and results) in the development of young, promising players. I’m not sure that’s the worst thing…

    Likewise, some would argue that it doesn’t matter how you win things as long as you win them. Again I would disagree and these stories of players who are *developed* rather than merely bought I find preferable. We’re building a lovely “team” with players of real character. Will it be enough to beat the “assembled” squads? We shall see…

    That’s all for me for now…I’ll try to check in later. Cheers!

  • you know me TA, i’m very objective always in my analysis when it comes to Sczny and will continue to be so as well , i know you love it really 😀

    but onto serious points now,

    who am i or you to define a supporter ? one persons fan is another’s supporter, another’s supporter is someone else’s fan , it may well be out of order to some – agreed

    however, football like any sport is a passionate sport and one that is not immune to the boo’s or dislike by any fans when the going gets tough, we all want to see our team do well and sometimes when the results don’t go our way, we look for scapegoats forgetting it’s a team sport – last year, Ramsey was the victim of it, this year , someone else might be in the firing line ? who knows ? but like in any sport and team, you have supporters turn against your very own, if someone like Zidane can get boo’ed by his own then would it make them less of a supporter ? no – it’s just their way of venting out their frustrations and letting the player know exactly how they feel about their performance , so he either makes or breaks – in Ramsey’s case, it made him and he showed his character, where as in Santo’s and Gervinho’s case, it was start the engine time.

    you show your support by being supportive, that’s very good

    some show it by calling it how they see it and even calling their players names i.e JEFF – he is less than a supporter than anyone else ? not in my book, as long as he accepts that he is persuaded by Ramsey to change his opinion of him due to his performances , which he has done

    it’s below the belt to call anyone a knob or a shithead and words to those effect , let alone players but being humans we do let our emotions get the best of us , i do tend to reserve such words for the ref’s though 😀

  • Fcuking Hull !.
    Sagna`s out of tomorrow`s game with a slight hamstring injury !.
    I had it all set up to pop around to Ludvine ( Mrs Sagna ) and give her some blue cheese !. Edam it !.

  • TCM – I am thinking all the stuff written here is finally getting through with regards rotation. However, If Sagna is a forced changed, I cannot, or hope it is the case, that he intends resting Per with Vermaelin, and Gibbs with Monreal, which would leave only Kos as the stable back four we have been praising?

    Perhaps he should look closely at the Under 21’s match, as they had a new CB pairing, and a RB change …
    and lost their unbeaten run to a thumping 1-5 loss!

    See what is in the news tomorrow, eh?

  • Milo,
    I haft to agree with the tone of your comment and the views, or how they can change about a player.
    I think some fans should learn from it before they start jeering or rubbishing our players from the stands or even on blogs like this. Take Bendtner for example , who is to say he could not hit incredible form like Rambo , BFG , Kos or Theo the season before. I have complete faith in Wenger talent finding skills of course that does not mean that he always gets it right, but certainly a massive % of the time he does. Which is why i don’t ever slate our players , the only time i will really question them is if they are lacking imo effort or appear to be being lazy. So if Wenger says he want to keep NB then i have to think he sees something good in him that can help us this season, it is also the reason i am vey keen to see what Sanogo can really do on his first game he did not set the world on fire but i expect BIG things from him atr some point.
    Wenger has also always given the young players a chance more then any other top club that i am aware of , maybe Ajax being the other club that does this and credit to them.
    Aint it great to see king Henry , Pires and Ozil Rambo and all the growing stars. It was also great to hear Arsene say in a recent interview the days of losing our best player(s) every season is over.
    Who is going to be the next player(s) to take the Rambo evolution ??? My money would be on OX , Sanogo or Gnabry

  • Cockie,
    how does the arsenal player thing work again? what do i need to do get get free view? I should get it free anyway. 🙂

  • Hi

    I will chime in and support both JB and Milo as impossible as it sounds. As a professor it is my right to be eccentrically difficult, brilliant and stupid all at once.

    JB is correct in saying sports is about what is in front of you. Dont believe just look at a manager. A few off days and off the player comes. The players know it.

    Milo is correct in saying that fans/supporters/tifosi et al should be more supportive of a player. I agree with that as well, especially with regards to booing and slating. Objective criticism yes, slating no .. At least for me.

    So, where do they meet? Well, in my opinion, one should always expect players to grow, change and develop. For the most part that is positive, witness a better version of Flamini now then earlier, or, for the opposite we need only name Arshavin and Bendtner who have gone “backwards”. Supporters should understand that and support those changes.

    Without them you get last years very solid AR all the time, rather than this years fantastic emergence and coming together of all his promise. Equally, your Cesc’s and Gerry’s favorite kids never develop into superstars.

    Thus, they are both right. One plays on form and what you show and contribute now, *but* supporters should also remember that this years goat may be next games hero!

    cheers — jgc

  • Gezzer
    Strongest team every time for me as they will all get games due to injuries, that you can count on !.

    If you are a Red Member, you get Arsenal Player, but if not, then it is free anyway. You just have to go on the official Arsenal website and register !.

  • PG

    Free registration to Arsenal.com gives a digital membership. Games are free at end of weekend day or Sunday depending on EPL, CL etc..

    cheers — jgc

  • Very festive Totes. You been eating a Chocolate Clog ?.
    Vic`s has a Giroud Arsenal Advent Calendar , he cant wait until tomorrow to open another door and suck on another Giroud chocolate knob !. hahaha

  • I had 2 striper birds to myself the other night cockie, cock mad there were i tell you lol 😉

  • lol, i missed the bit about OG coco willys lol i worry about this VCC as wee TA ha ha ha

  • i am going for Arsenal 4 v Hull 0 , i could have gone to the match tomorrow someone had tickets i could buy.

  • Oh and man u 2 v everton 2 and that would be great if Lukaku is on form it could even be win for everton the only thing that worries me is its at united still i like Roberto and i want Everton to get 1 over Moyes and united.

  • Two stripper birds !……Terry Transplant has a loft of them !. He dresses his Pigeons up like a kid dresses dolls !.
    Anyone think Fozzie B looks like Rod Hull ?, which coincidently leads me to hope that we Rod Hull tomorrow night !.
    I think Fozzie has been kidnapped by Emu with Hull`s Rod up his Arse !. hahaha

    I now must bid you goodnight and hope I don’t have bad dreams of Fozzie Bear naked !.

  • Interesting debate this one, on what it means to be a fan, the nature of our support for a club and a team. I’m squarely with Milo on this – this is our club and team, and we should be the last people to throw scorn at our players; we should be doing that to the Spuds et al.

    There are 2 categories relevant here 1) where players are just not good enough, and 2) where they are simply not trying. On the first category, I will forgive practically anything of a player who gives everything on the field – especially if he is young and learning (remember an 18 year old Gibbs slipping?). It is part of our club ethos to develop young players, and we have been blessed with fantastic talent on the back of this; but we have to accept off days (often quite a few of them) as we blood youngsters against top opposition. Where I have less sympathy is when we have older players, who do not look up to it (or have been tested for years without suggesting they can develop further). Again, I won’t throw stones at the players provided they are tying their best; my question is more one for the manager. Squillaci comes to mind here…. But Wenger’s the manager, and his judgement will be right 10 times more often then mine, so no real complaints. Where I will be critical of a player is if he just doesn’t try – no excuse there, and the sooner we are rid the better.

    On Ramsey I can’t claim to have got it all right. I never once criticised him, as he always put in the work. And I knew the talent was there when he shone brighter than Wilshere as a teenager. But I confess I feared he would never get it back after the break. My support for him was a mixture of plain sentiment and recognition that he was still trying his hardest and had youth on his side. I have no time for those who jeered him – I can barely comprehend how we could do that to a young player, giving his all for the team, who had been through such a horrific injury whilst playing in Arsenal colours. No I don’t understand how anyone calling themselves a fan could engage in such mindlessness.

    For me, being a fan means being part of the longer term picture, not just there for the instant gratification of the good days – and then wash hands of it when we aren’t the best around. Being an Arsenal fan means being able to take pleasure in watching talent develop, watching a team take shape – not just buying a load of pre-formed players with oil cash. And how can we share that pleasure if we don’t get under the skin of the players? Feeling their effort and sharing the grief when it doesn’t quite work out, but knowing it will come good in the end.

    Top article 17HT. Lots of thought brought out; just as it should be


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s