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Aaron and Theo and a mixed day

by Walter Broeckx

The first day of the transfer window has  not been a bad day for Arsenal.

And I don’t refer to  the fact that Cesc has not been sold to Barcelona for the moment. But the bad news on this will be that the media will keep this fire burning for some 2 months.

Some good news with the fact that Aaron Ramsey signed a new contract with The Arsenal. Giving a player who is out with a serious injury a new contract is always a risky thing. One never knows how a player comes back after such an injury. As we have seen with Eduardo who has been struggling since his comeback. I know the injuries have been of a different kind. Eduardo was not only a fracture but also a rupture of his ligaments in his foot and this is harder to overcome than the injury sustained by Ramsey. Ramsey had a double fracture but this was in the middle of his leg and no damage was done to his ligaments or so. Not that we know anyway.

This should mean that Ramsey should have an easier recovery if you compare this with the work Eduardo was facing. Maybe the word easier is a bad choice as it will be hard work for Aaron anyway. Anyone who has faced such a injury knows what it takes to come back. But Arsenal shows it has faith in Aaron and in his ability to come back. The biggest question mark will be if Ramsey will also can put it behind him in his mind. Only time can give us the answer to this question but I have a feeling that he looks a strong and tough young man. But no one can know how he will react in a game when tackles come flying in.

Just in the last days I was watching a few games on our sports channel from Arsenal in the last season and I must say that he really looked good in those games. I’m not going to say that Ramsey’s broken leg cost us the title like the Eduardo’s  injury did 2 seasons ago. Because it would put too much pressure on his still very young shoulders. He still is only 19 years and at that age you should not be carrying the team. But in the games he played he was doing very good for a young lad. And he showed glimpses of what Cesc said during last season: that Ramsey is looking better than he did at this age. I don’t think you can get a better compliment.

Another thing that can work in the long time is the fact that Wenger and Arsenal by showing their faith in Aaron when he is out with an injury it could mean something for Ramsey. Something that you cannot measure in terms of money. But something that could have an influence later in his career. The fact that Arsenal was there in his darkest hour could give him an extra bond with Arsenal. Maybe I am seeing things a bit too much as a fan, but that is what I am, but if in the future Ramsey was asked to make a choice the decision today to keep the faith in him could make him stay at our club. Maybe we just bought some loyalty?

Anyway,  good to know that when Ramsey is back he will be wearing the red and white of The Arsenal.

Some thoughts on another Arsenal youngster: Theo Walcott. As I am not from England I must admit that I am not that close on this as some of you will be. But as it could have a big influence on Arsenal I will give you my thoughts.

I think Walcott has lost his place last summer. When he went out to play, against the will of Wenger, with the U21 and then also with the national team, or was it the other way round? Anyway, because of his injury he got during that summer he lost the preseason and when he finally came back he was kicked out of it straight away. Birmingham if you still remember and oh what a surprise… Birmingham, not for nothing the evil empire in football. So out injured again and so the whole season went on like that. Sometimes fit and most of the time not.

So I think Theo will be disappointed with the decision from Capello. And he should be. But I hope it will make him realise that it would be better to listen to Wenger next time. But as Johan Cruijf used to say: “every bad thing has a good thing in it” the fact that Theo will not go to South Africa means that he can take a good rest this summer. I think it will be the first time in a couple of years that Walcott can have the summer to recover and this should mean good news for Arsenal. This should mean that he will be fit and fresh to start the season.

So the bad news for Theo personally means good news for Arsenal fans over the world. But maybe some Arsenal fans who also support England will be feeling a bit unhappy for the moment. But maybe they will be feeling better when Theo destroys the opponents at the start of the season with his runs.

And another good thing will be that he will not get injured playing the world cup. Now let’s hope and pray for those Arsenal players who will go.

_______________________

Temporary editor’s note: As Tony is going away for a few days to get a well deserved rest,  I have agreed to take over the operation of the site during his time away .  If you have something that cant wait to be published you can send it to this  email address  walterbroeckx@hotmail.com.

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Commentary notes: If you want to comment please have a quick read of this, to make sure you comment is published.

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28 comments to Aaron and Theo and a mixed day

  • lp

    I agree with you about Walcott. I think it’ll be good for him to have a rest and proof everyone that he’s good and should be in the WC squad. Same goes with Nasri.

  • kenyan gal

    Another proof of “Arsene knows”. He is a GENIUS. Do you think Wenger likes it or hates it when he is right? By the way 98% of the time he is right. Oh and by the way Walter i will be on a BUS to South Africa – that’s how near it is from my country. We call it down South.

  • Gooner Frank

    What does Walcott do when he finds out he is not going to the World cup he goes on holiday and buries his head in the sand.He should be at London Conley every day of the summer learn to cross a ball.Having pace is not enough.He should be watching every second of the world cup.He still has so much to learn.As George Best said 90% of football is in the head.

  • Terence mcGovern

    Any money says that lennon gets an injury and England get exposed. Capello has just handed the media a very large stick to beat him with. In truth Rooney got to decide who he wanted on the pitch so Walcott and bent got axed. That world class footballer Emile Heskey who Rooney loves playing with had a guaranteed place.
    There is more chance of peace breaking out in the middle east this summer than of England winning the world cup. Their fall from grace will be as entertaining as ever.
    At knockout stage, over-paid/indulged player believing his media image gets sent off for petulance and england go out on penalties.
    Standard formula. I hope it is Rooney again like last time.
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy eh.

  • goonergerry

    Walter I could not agree more.
    But, Capello isn’t the coach many think he is-he has treated Theo badly and has made a big mistake by omitting him. Theo is a big game player, a confidence player and offers something others do not have- pace and finishing- used as a high impact sub could be very effective.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Walter

    I am afraid you are wearing rose-tinted spectacles where Wenger is concerned about Theo and England. I don’t disagree that Theo didn’t merit his place, but the causes you claim are entirely spurious and inaccurate.

    Wenger deliberately trashed the England 2006 campaign by publicly touting a 17 year old Walcott for the squad when he was French and it would back the French cause by stopping 24 year old Jermaine Defoe going when Owen and Rooney were both either half-fit or unfit. Walcott’s media trashing thereafter was entirely Wenger’s responsibility, something he should take full ownership of. If I had been the Arsenal Chairman, I would not accept such actions by my manager and would issue a public repudiation stating the following:

    1. If the player is not good enough to be on the Arsenal bench, he is not good enough for England at age 17. And I don’t expect my manager to be saying he is.
    2. If the manager were English, his comments might be beneficial as he would presumably want England to do well. As he was French, his actions were unacceptable to his host country.
    3. In the absence of a retraction of the statement, he would be sacked for gross professional misconduct and a blackballing by all other English clubs would be recommended to boot.

    It is quite reasonable to support France during the World Cup, quite another to work in England and trash the English campaign too. That is what Wenger did, he knows he did and the only question is whether he is coerced by the French FA to act in such a manner. If they did, I expect M. Platini to take robust action to ensure that it does not continue in future…..

    That’s where this story started Walter and the tension between Walcot and Wenger stems from that.

    I hope all parties can learn from it in the future.

    From the article you just wrote, I suspect that may be a challenge where Wenger is concerned…….

  • Arselicked

    I agree with you Terence, Rooney made the choice. I didn’t like his attitude in the game against Mexico when he got offside because Theo delayed a pass.

    It seemed like Reyes – Henry all over again.

  • Arsefactor

    Theo might be rested and ready to go next season but its not clear to me that he will get in the Arsenal side.
    We now have Chamakh and a fit Van Persie (long may it last!).
    I expect Eduardo and/or Vela might leave but at the moment Theo has a lot of competition with (in no particular order):
    Arshavin, Bendtner, Eduardo, Vela, Eboue, Nasri, Traore, Rosicky.
    You can probably add to that Wilshere too.

    So given those options it’s conceivable to me that he might not even make the bench!

  • daokta

    @Rhys Jaggar – extreme paranoia is the only way I can describe your rant.

  • walter

    As the England squad is announced I can only laugh with the fact that Heskey is included. I think he is one of the most overrated strikers in the EPL. He scored 1 goals every 5 games in his career. Not completely bad but not that excellent and certainly not top level. But he is big and strong and… well that’s about it.
    The moment Villa signed him the season before the last and they were in front of us I knew that Villa would lose points. Heskey just isn’t a striker that scores a lot. I think Rooney wants nobody to take his spot in the sunshine maybe? 😉

    But to be fair I’m not here to write on the England team, which I wish all the best and I sure hope they will reach the semi final at least, but only wanted to comment on what the not selection of Walcot could mean for Arsenal.

  • Christianjimmy

    I’m with daokta (dakota?)- paranoid much Rhys Jaggar? As has been discussed on these pages in the past – it is not the job of a club manager to produce players for an international team, host country or not. And to suggest that Wenger delibrately caused Walcott to go to Germany to “trash” the england campaign is ridiculous.
    As Tony and Walter remind us frequently, anyone is welcome to an opinion if they can back it up – and while your argument is logically expressed, it is based on paranoid fantasy. 1) Wenger is not out to destroy the english team. 2) The premier league would obviously have no authority or remit to do anything about it even if he did, and 3) nor would Arsenal – “gross professional misconduct” being a meaningless phrase in this situation, bandied about by someone who has no concept of what it might mean.

    As it is I dont think Walcott deserves a place on the plane to SA (neither does SWP for that matter, but hey ho) but as Walter rightly points out this is partly due to his lack of pre-season last year having knock on’s with regard to injuries, regular run in the side and of course form. (and his lack of pre-season was thanks to the U21 tournament AND his playing in the WC qualifiers – thanks Fabio)
    As a welshman (and with a name like Rhys, I’d reckon you’d have at least some sympathy to this point of view) whetehr england win or not, I couldnt give two hoots. What the WC means to me is a chance to see good quality football, with some of the best players in the world coming together. I for one will enjoy watching the games, without fear of injury to walcott!!

  • joecc

    Walter, with all due respect to Heskey during the qualification matches he has lead the line against all opposition and let Rooney play a more free role behind him. He’s not the best striker in the world but this is the structure that has served England well throughout the qualification stages. To change it now would subvert everything Capello is trying to do.

    Let me put it this way…. to take Heskey out of the team now would be the equivalent of Wegner abandoning the youth project and spending £100M over the next few weeks. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the irony.

    J

  • Dino Gunners

    I don’t understand the need to sign Aaron to a long-term contract when we did the exact same thing LAST YEAR. while he has improved, that is not a reason to keep signing him long term year after year. Seems like a gross mis-management of the salary by Wenger.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/ramsey-signs-a-new-long-term-contract

  • Harry Flowers

    Rhys Jagger at 11.29a.m…..I think you need to get out of the house old boy. Get some fresh air. The nonsense you came up with would make your average conspiracy theorist blush.

    I feel sorry for Theo. I think he merited a place in the squad. If Paul “I mean” Merson says he didn’t deserve to go..then that surely means he did. Perhaps he doesn’t really fit in with Cappello’s (dull) brand of football anyway. Hopefully this will benefit Theo (and Arsenal) in the long run.
    I lost interest in the England circus years ago….with Theo not even on the bench there goes my last reason to watch a bunch of over-hyped multi-millionaires fall miserably short once again. Hurrah!

  • christianjimmy

    [Off topic] Arsenal announce a big fat no to Barca! http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-turn-down-barca-offer-for-fabregas
    This is the clear, unequivocal answer we’ve been waiting for. What say you now Doom and Gloomers?
    [/off topic]

  • ziv

    What a great message!!!
    “…we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain.”

    It just like Wenger say:”Fxxk you Barca.”

  • walter

    Christianjimmy, I think this is one of the reasons that Tony had in mind when he said that you could get off topic.

    A great reaction from Arsenal!!!

    All that wasted webspace and paper and Arsenal just say one answer: NO!!! Great. 🙂

  • lordgunner

    according to Metro,we are signing J.Cole on 3 years contract
    http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/828929-joe-cole-to-join-arsenal-on-free-transfer-after-signing-three-year-deal

    until on official website,i will believe it of course but good buy if we get him

  • Gooner80

    Hey Walter

    i have high hopes for rambo too, i hope bnot making the cut gives theo a wake up call, if i thought that was all theo was capable of then fine, but i think he can really improve along with nasri and many of our young players. problem is i dont know their character, i know Defoe and ferdinand were cut in previous world cups and england tournaments and this gave them fire in their belly to show just what they can do.

    there is a bit of irony because theo got a back injury playing for both the senior and under 21s when wenger was more than displeased and now he has not even made the cut so it is good news for arsenal because he is will be well rested. CLub country is another story, I am an Englishman and love england but YOU must play well for club first, you must become consistent then you are automatically picked, there is so many benefits of playing well for your club

  • Terence mcGovern

    If we do sign joe Cole, I suppose Rhys will be happy because JC is English so he is automatically a great player……apparently.
    😉

  • FEDDA

    I don’t really think we need Cole, but if we get him, why not? Only thing we are missing is a defender and hopefully a GK. That said, whats the point of improving a contract to a player thats already out injured for most if not a considerable amount of next season. It’s not like he was going anywhere.

  • Flint McCullough

    Good piece, Walter.

    Aaron can become an exceptional player.

    Theo has not had the consistent game time in the 4 years he has been with us, mainly because of a series of lengthy lay off through injury. It has been hard to asses his true ability as he has had no chance to establish any rhythm. Most sensible pros seem to rate him & we have seen him do some extraordinary things, sadly combined with elementary errors. Only 21 so he has plenty of time. He could have been a something different in SA but it does not surprise me he has been left out. In the long run it may do him some good.

    Rhys, this is what AW said in 2006:

    “I was surprised when he was named because he has no real experience but it was a pleasant surprise because he is a big prospect and it will mature him to be exposed under such a top level competition.

    He’ll be in touch with the pressure of the tournament. I don’t think the level of the players will be above the once he is experiencing every day but he will have a bigger responsibility.

    He’s still a bit in shock but at that age you don’t really understand how good you are.

    Now someone is telling him that he is one of the best players in the country and he is ready to go to the World Cup, which can only make him better.”

    He may have made some flippant comments before that but I don’t know quite what you find so wrong in that. He is hardly likely to rubbish his own player is he?

    I agree with Harry but suspect you may be a little “tongue in the cheek” yourself.

  • Gooner Gal

    I couldn’t agree with you more Harry Flowers and Gooner80.

    I am sure AW will speak to Theo and I hope this time Theo listens to him. Capello & Stuart Pearce have a lot to answer for. Theo’s had too much too soon and this knock will toughen him up. I am glad Wiltshire & Gibbs have not been dragged into the farce which is the England squad. I can’t wait for the clean slate which is the 2014 world cup. I hope England get their act together but I doubt them doing well without the help of referee decision’s. If it was down to performances alone, Darren Bent, Ashley Young and maybe Scott Parker would be in the squad.

    I think I read the headline somewhere ‘ Spurs 4 Arsenal 0’ in reference to this Theo situation. Oh well never mind I say, I guess tiny totts players will be pretty exhausted after WC and then will have important CL qualifiers. I hope they don’t make it out of the rounds as it will be more TV money for us (if I understand it correctly), every cloud has a silver lining.

    Joe cole is a nice to have, not need to have. I think he’s more suited to ManIOU or Spurs really and i’d rather not see him play for us though ultimately I will support anyone that AW put’s in the team. Micah Richards would be on the plane to WC if he played for Arsenal.

    I have to say I am really happy with the statement by Arsenal about Captain Fabulous, its quite clear and direct. We will see how Barca respond to it. I think they have behaved disgracefully and shown a lack of class. Cheap and inferior are words that spring to mind about them and Real Madrid fans must be laughing.

  • Gooner80

    you raise an interesting point gooner gal!

    Does anyone know how many of chelsea players, man u, and spuds players are at the world cup compared to Arsenal I hope all of them have twice as much and come back really tired I imagine chelsea must have quite a few, the first real benefit of having youngsters, less of them start and less of them get picked methinks

    I take solace in the fact that chelseas squad ia a year older and aging badly as with Man poo,liverpool are out of the equation and scarily it is spuds on the rising at least until arry makes them go bust, as anyone started a pool yet Im having them going bust 2012!!! The msg today looks clear please keep our players together one thing mourhino made clear and I totally agree is it is not about the individual but about the team, now this bunch of kids has been together for a while now, they know each other and if they give everything for the team, blood sweat and tears, the collective is much stronger, look at mourhinos teams they are not the best but he gets them working hard, if Arsenal dont win anything I as a fan can accept that if I see them fighting for each other, that all most fans ever ask,I have a feeling Nasri is going to step up and if a few others join him and the rest play to their capabilities they can take away 5 years of Hurt

  • Jonathan

    Hopefully the snub wil cause Theo to improve in other areas… he needs to work on his final ball and crossing… He should definitely take the time out and dedicate himself to getting better and bringing home some trophies for Arsenal…

  • Sean

    How can, as someone above did, Theo Walcott be described as a ‘big game player’?

    I’m sure that it didn’t completely inform the England manager’s decision, and it wasn’t solely down to Walcott, but Arsenal last season failed in all the big games didn’t they?
    Man. Utd. and Chelsea in the league, Barcelona, Man. City and Stoke in the cups.
    Maybe Walcott didn’t play in them, I don’t know, but they’re the eight games which determined the success or otherwise of Arsenal’s season.
    He must have played in some.

    Played 8, Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 7.

    I thought it at the time, and I think it still, that Walcott should have stayed at Southampton (albeit with an agreement to go to Arsenal in the future).
    Instead of being a big fish in a small pond and a real hero playing for a ‘town club’ in front of 28,000 people every week, he’s been a shadowy figure, a bit flaky and always on the margins at one of the Bore Four.

    A bad decision all round…..and Southampton wanted to keep hold of him didn’t they?

  • Jonathan

    Yes, perhaps Sean, but at the same time im sure Wenger sees Walcott as he did Henry. The blistering pace and the chance of learning from Dennis Bergkamp and Henry would have done wonders for him (so Wenger thought). It hasnt quite worked out the way he thought it would but we have received glimpses of what Walcott can do (Hattrick against Croatia, Run against Liverpool in the CL, coming on as a sub and scoring against Barcelona, and even that goal he scored this year against Burnley… He ripped Burnley to shreds, yes it was burnley but u need a player who can take control of the game)

  • Gooner Gal

    Spot on Jonathan, he turns up at important times and is a threat. Walcott next season will be deadly, its payback time and this time its personal!