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A moment to pause and celebrate the contribution of Aaron Ramsey

By Tony Attwood

Aaron Ramsey has made 215 appearances for Arsenal.  A lot of people believe that for £5m he was a sensational buy.  There is talk of him being the complete central midfielder – a position a lot of players want to play in, but not so many get an absolute chance to do.

Oh yes and he has scored the winning goal in the FA Cup.  Twice.  By the age of 26.

And he’s now the talk of football, although as always he still suffers a fair amount of criticism, including this season.

And he supported World Rhino Day.

But yes, despite all these performances and at least two goals of utter and total significance in the history of the club, he is still doubted by some.  Arsene Wenger has no doubts however.  He’s suggested the Ramsey will soon be Arsenal club captain.  Which presumably means next season when Mert retires from the ring.  Although there is that pesky business of his contract to resolve first.

I have always loved the story of how we signed Ramsey.  Ferguson at Man U and whoever it was that was running Everton at the time, both tried to sign him from Cardiff and there seemed to be a certain feeling about Ramsey going to Man U because like quite a few people in South Wales and Cornwall, he grew up as a Manchester United fan.

The person Arsenal had to deal with was Peter Ridsdale, the man who took Leeds United to two European finals in 2000 and 2001, financing the process by borrowing money against future match receipts.  When Leeds failed to qualify for Europe, they had no money to repay the loans, and decline started which took them into the third tier of English football (for the first time in their history).

Ridsdale accepted no responsibility.

Following this Ridsdale almost took Barnsley into administration, before moving to Cardiff where he asked fans to provide extra cash to help the club buy new players, but instead spent it on paying for accumulated debts.  He later moved on and took over Preston.

That Ridsdale could not see the potential value in Ramsey is not surprising since he always appears (to an outsider and of course that is all I am in commenting on the man) to be more involved in finances than players.  That he was as always desperate to lay his hand on some money is an allegation that is not proven but sounds possible.

But beyond all the Ridsdale bits it is said (and this is probably the clincher) that the deal to take Ramsey to Arsenal was helped by two other facts.

First that the assistant manager of Cardiff was Terry Burton who recommended Ramsey to Arsène Wenger and then recommended to Ramsey that he should join Arsenal and second by the fact that  Arsène Wenger arranged for the Arsenal plane to fly Ramsey and his family to Switzerland to talk about the plans Wenger had for him and his potential future with Arsenal.

Man U apparently told the family to get to Manchester for a meeting with Ferguson – who showed up late.

Now, all these years later, Mr Wenger speaks of Ramsey’s ability to anticipate, which helps him pick up loose balls in midfield, saying, “He has more maturity, he has improved technically, he is more conscious of the importance of technical qualities. His game is clean: he has huge physical power, a huge engine.

“You know your job at 26. It is as simple as that. You know where to be at the right moment to anticipate. You have to win a lot of balls when the ball is in a neutral zone. That means it’s not your ball, it’s not my ball. But if I understand quicker than you, I have many chances to win the ball when it’s in between you.

 “Last year, in October, we lost Ramsey and Cazorla together,   For us it was a handicap. Hopefully this season he can have many more games.”

When questioned about Ramsey as captain Mr Wenger replied, “Why not? It is all there. He has maturity, has improved technically and is more conscious of the importance of his technical qualities. His game is clean. He has a huge physical power.   The target for him will be to have 30 games.”

Now we are seeing a new evolution of Ramsey, as he plays alongside Granit Xhaka.   Ramsey still has the universal nutter P. Morgan on his back, and is booed for being crippled by a man on the pitch at Stoke (it is hard to call him a player) and there are some Arsenal fans who it seems, blame the whole Liverpool disaster on him.

But the fact that tactically it didn’t work was show by the game against Chelsea where using a different approach Ramsey sorted out Fabregas and Kante refusing to let them have time and space.

As Mr Wenger said of that game, “Aaron had a disciplined performance and that was absolutely vital for us. If he starts from a strong defensive position, he can be dangerous against anybody. He has a huge influence going forwards, we know that, and we know that he can contribute to that. The strength in his game was, of course, his usual top-quality physicality. But he’s more focused on technical quality in his first touch and that makes him more dangerous.”
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Here are Ramsey’s figures with Arsenal – the total column including European and League Cup games
Season League FA Cup Total inc others
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2008–09 9 0 4 0 22 1
2009–10 18 3 2 1 29 4
2010–11 7 1 1 0 8 1
2011–12 34 2 3 0 44 3
2012–13 36 1 3 0 47 2
2013–14 23 10 2 1 34 16
2014–15 29 6 4 0 41 10
2015–16 31 5 2 1 40 6
2016–17 23 1 4 3 32 4
2017–18 5 1 0 0 5 1
Total 215 30 25 6 302 48
Career Total 242 32 30 7 335 51

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27 comments to A moment to pause and celebrate the contribution of Aaron Ramsey

  • An absolute bargain at 5mill and a thoroughly nice chap too . I recently was given a signed boot by Aaron which I proudly display with all my other Arsenal memorabilia , he’s had to cope with a lot and there’s no doubting his ability like most it’s all about consistency

  • Menace

    Excellent article. Amazing player with superb mental posture.

  • Laos gooner

    I will always hold Aaron in high regard as he chose us when a scum offer was on the table. I add more to that regard when I think of his recovery from the sinister, calculated attack of that shawcross boy. I can’t call shawcross a man, dogs and cowards make that kind of attack. I have become fully committed to my hate of P**s Morgan for his continued personal aggression towards Aaron. I wish the vitriol expressed by that morgan excuse could be directed against him and that he is prohibited from attending our Arsenal games. I was so pleased when the handshake refusal occurred.
    I hope Rambo does get the captaincy as I feel it would be a great reward for all his struggles following the G.B.H. of shawcross and it would surely upset that morgan whinger. I would also like to see more performances similar to the chavs game where he has more freedom of movement. I don’t think it is coincidence that one of his best performances in some time came when he played a role closer to that which he plays for Wales and would be happy to see more of the same for the rest of the season.
    A great player to have at the club who has accepted the roles he has been given and kept going until the chances to occupy the position he favours are presented to him. A player who will continue to grow and become a true Arsenal legend as far as I am concerned.
    If we are to be critical of players lets direct our criticism at those who did not make it or thought themselves better than the reality around them, perhaps a thought for Mr. Hyphen chambermaid.

  • Jax

    It’s good to have an article dedicated to one of our more popular (and dare I say it) consistently reliable players.
    Aaron had a troubled start at Arsenal but didn’t complain, came through to be the player he is (lauded at international level) and will be a worthy successor to Per.
    More like this please Tony

  • WalterBroeckx

    I had half written an article about him but time once again time was short. Thanks for writing the article I was going to write. Come to think of it I will hold what I had written already and keep it for when he makes it a hattrick of FA cup winning goals…. 🙂 Excellent article Tony

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    We should be reading that in late May then Walter!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic – am on my way to Borehamwood for this afternoon’s Women’s game against Birmingham City. Always a tough test but hopefully one we will be equal to this afternoon. Kickoff is 14:00, I’ll try and post updates as the game progresses

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope he has a good and long run of games this season .

  • Josif

    Wonderful and extremely intelligent player who has managed to fight back against injuries and morons of all types. I had never doubted his quality but I must admit he has managed to do much, much more than I had expected (a completely opposite example is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain).

    My two favourite replies from Rambo:

    1.He was having a Q/A session on Facebook and one Arsenal fan made a typewriting mistake asking Rambo: “Who is better player – Oil (sic!) or Cazorla?” Rambo responded cleverly: “Oil – he is such a slick passer. 😉 ”

    2.He was asked about Piers Morgan’s comments about him. He responded calmly: “Who is Piers Morgan?”

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I am not a hater of Aaron Ramsey neither am I a monkey on his back nor am Mr Peirs Morgan (the Chieftain of the Arsenal AAA supporters) who offered him a handshake after whipping him but Ramsey declined accepting to forgive and forget according to media reports.

    I am somehow hesitant in following the bandwagon support for Ramsey captaining the Arsenal first team squad next season when Theo Walcott the longest serving Arsenal player is still at the club next season who should be handed the Arsenal senior team squad captaincy when Mertesacker retired as the captain imho.

    Both Walcott and Ramsey are top quality who are mostly regularly playing for Arsenal and the national team of their countries and have scored goals that helped Arsenal to several top 4th place finish and to many FA Cup wins. But had both unfortunately suffered big injury spells which sidelined them for very long time and they also had had bad form spells at some points in their careers for Arsenal and their countries.

    Nonetheless, I don’t know if Ramsey has leadership quality, personality cult and changing room respect from the generality of the Gunners superior to those which Walcott has which has made Le Prof to be looking to prefer Ramsey as Arsenal senior team squad captain above the long serving Arsenal player Walcott. But I should think Le Prof knoweth.

  • Gord

    I guess we are a bit more than 12 minutes into the ladies game. Arsenal seemed to have been bossing play, but Birmingham (through White) are the first to score.

  • Gord

    Closing in on half time, Arsenal Ladies still generating chances. Jodie Taylor finally evening out the score.

    COYLG!

  • Gord

    Half time has arrived. Perhaps Andrew will fill in some details?

    COYLG!

  • Jax

    Samuel
    Wales manager Gary Speed made Ramsey his captain (aged 20) in 2011. He was a bit too young IMO and wasn’t entirely successful, and replaced by Ashley Williams when Chris Coleman took over following Speed’s death.
    Theo has made a few captains appearances for Arsenal, but his seniority doesn’t make him a good captain really. Ramsey would do a far better job, but if he continues to lose games through long term injuries it would defeat the appointment.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Gord- yes Arsenal well on top in every statistic but bulges in the Onion Sack which are one all. We have missed three or four excellent chances and have played virtually the whole half in the Birmingham end of the pitch. Some excellent high pressing but so far only the one goal to show.

  • Jax

    …….and of course Wenger could dangle the captaincy carrot during the reported upcomming contract negotiations.
    Wouldn’t be be the first (or even second) time he’s used that ploy.

  • Gord

    It’s that White person from Birmingham again. 🙁

    Now we need to chase another equalizing goal.

    COYLG!

  • Gord

    Quinn and Evans replaced Janssen and Carter on 69 minutes. In the 80th minute Quinn is dismissed for a foul on White. Still chasing another equalizing goal.

    COYLG!

  • Gord

    It looks like the dying moments of the game have lots of excitement. I will leave that for Andrew.

    COYLG!

  • Jax

    Sorry to put this on the Aaron thread, but it was too good to leave off.
    Corrupt Ghanaian referees are (literally) in a different league:
    ‘Ghana: Alhaji Baba Gedo, president of second-tier Amidaus Professionals, discussing refereeing standards on Happy FM. “I used to pay countless fat bribes to referees – but I’ve stopped now because I didn’t benefit from it. You pay the bribe and the referee will still go ahead and rob you, which means he’s also collected a bribe from your opponents. That’s what pissed me off.”’

  • Gord

    I guess the Ladies team hijacked Andrew for being the most vocal supporter, and are plying him with ale or something.

    Jax, perhaps start your article with something like:

    OT: Corruption News.

    Corrupt Ghanaian referees are ….

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    There is something supremely satisfying about a 90th minute goal to win a match.

    The sending off looked nailed on to me. Another long ball over the top with Ellen White getting in front of the defender who looked to catch her. Last player – red card.

    If she hadn’t been brought down she would have been favourite to repeat her first two goals and we would have been out of it (and probably blown our chance of the title as well). As it was the free kick was easily saved.

    We equalised for the second time through Lisa Evans who burst through the Birmingham defence and gave Berger in the Birmingham goal no chance. Suddenly Birmingham stopped wasting time and their fouling became more desperate resulting in two late cards.

    In the 89 th minute they were -rightly- penalised for handball following an Arsenal cross from the right hand side. Up stepped Jodie Taylor and she made absolutely no mistake with a low penalty to the right hand corner.

    Somehow Arsenal had managed to scrape a win when most supporters thought we were going to lose. We always struggle against Birmingham who always play the same. Defend deep, constant niggling fouls, long balls hoping that one of their forwards can beet the defenders. Today it only just failed.

    In truth we should have scored four goals in the first half and been out of sight. We will have to be much sharper next weekend against Manchester City

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Gord sorry to keep you on tenterhooks before the last post. Coffee needed I’m afraid!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Top man, top player, hope this happens

  • Gord

    Arsenal.com now has a report up on the ladies game. I’m surprised there is no mention of Andrew in that report. 🙂

    Congratulations ladies!

  • ARSENAL 13

    I’ve always thought of Rambo as a captain material. He has the strength in character to take up the role successfully.

    BTW, if reports are right about Rambo confronting RVP and then Alexis, I would say hez already a captain.

  • Sammy The Snake

    There’s only 1 Rambo. Respect to Ramsey.

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