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July 2021

Why Ramsey is not Cesc and why Rosicky still has a future with us.


Publication on July 20th: Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.

The book that re-writes the Arsenal story.


By Walter Broeckx

Continuing our review of Arsenal players and positions, we move up further and see what we have on the attacking midfield place.

The open gap that the departure of Cesc gave us. One could say that we didn’t have another player like Cesc available last season. He was world class and well they don’t grow on trees so finding another one with his quality is not that easy.

We could have one ourselves in Jack Wilshere but well we know he was out injured all season. Now even when fit he never would have filled the Cesc gap on his own. Talent enough but too young. Don’t forget when Cesc was his age he wasn’t as dominant as he was in the last two seasons.

If all goes well Jack should be back somewhere in September but we have to be careful with him and don’t overplay him. So I wouldn’t rely on him that much for the coming season. Handle him with care please and for the moaners: please give the boy the time to work his way back. It can take a full year so let us not moan after a first bad game.

For the rest one could say we had two other players who took that place last season. Ramsey and Rosicky. Ramsey started 27 games and Rosicky 19 games. Ramsey was present at the start of the season and then fell back. Rosicky was coming back to his best level in the second part of the season.

Both have one critical thing: they don’t score enough goals. Rosicky never was a high scoring midfielder but still only one goal in the PL in 19 starts is not that good. But it was a golden goal that we all remember and feel warm about.

But a player in his position should score a few more goals.  The strong points for Rosicky is that he works hard and his twisting and turning, changing direction and speed. At 31 after two lost seasons he says he is only 29 as a footballer but well we have to take in account that he will not be able to be fit and influential for an entire season.

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Ramsey is a player (and I forecast that there could be a hot debate about him below this article) that divides the opinions. It seems that a part of the fans have elected him to be our boo boy last season. I just wonder if this was some part of misplaced anger aimed at him for all the wrong reasons. Let me explain.

Cesc left us and left the fans behind who were angry, disappointed. Well we all know how we felt. Even if we could partly understand he wanted to go home to grand dad we still were bitterly disappointed.  And I think a part of the fan base took it on the player who came in to take his place. And this was Ramsey in the first place. The tragic thing is that Ramsey was starting at Arsenal again for the first season after his terrible leg break. And he was first of all trying to get on with the speed of the game (at first it was all right), the duels, the intensity.

But people expected him just to be another Cesc. Cesc, as I have said a world class player at his age but Ramsey is 21 years old now and lost almost 2 full seasons because of his injury. So a football  age of 19 one could say. And then we have to compare him with the Cesc of 19. And we have forgotten but Cesc at 19 was nowhere the Cesc when being 22. Cesc at 19 had to grow and learn a lot. Brilliant at times but also a lot of lost balls, missed chances, over doing it…

So when Ramsey didn’t perform at the highest Cesc-level the fickle part of the Arsenal supporters took him as the victim after Eboue had left us. They didn’t give him any time to grow. The first bad game and out came the booooos and the bad words on twitter and even hoping for another broken leg and terrible diseases. Maybe that fickle part was just angry at Cesc but as he was out of reach they chose the player that replaced him as their target to be angry at?

Maybe Cesc was partly to blame for the high expectations of those boo-boys. Because it was Cesc himself who said, shortly before Shawcross came along, that Ramsey at his age was better than he had been at the same age. And that he had to play to his best to keep Ramsey behind him. That were nice words from Cesc that showed that Ramsey had a great future ahead at that time. But it also maybe put extra weight on Ramsey his shoulders and more expectations by the supporters.

And after the first ups and downs early in the season Ramsey found his feet and was very much involved in the team that gave us the first good run in the season. But then came for him maybe a big shock at the end of November. The death of the Gary Speed seemed to have a big impact. After all it was Gary Speed who made him captain of Wales at the age of 20. Gary Speed himself a midfielder in his playing days certainly believed in Ramsey. So the sudden death and the way he died was something that could have weighed on young Aaron. And it seemed to have affected him and his game.

But alongside Speed, Wenger also believes in Ramsey. Are they wrong, and are the boo boys right? History has shown that most of the time Wenger is right in seeing the potential from a player.  But with some fans not wanting to give Ramsey the time to develop it could be doubly hard for Ramsey to overcome a dip in form.

So what to expect for the coming season? I think Rosicky will play a substantial part of the games but with his age it will not be a surprise that he will have to sit on the bench every now and then. And the big question will be (for both players in fact): will Ramsey make the final step up the ladder? If Ramsey makes a flying start to the season I think we will see him a lot at first with Rosicky sitting on the bench. If Ramsey has a more hesitant start we will see more of Rosicky at the start and Ramsey coming in later in the game.

The most important thing for Ramsey is not feel forced to score (as Cesc felt at some stage in his early days). Just focus on letting others score first. And after a while the confidence for that assist will lift him and make him more relaxed and it will lead to him scoring more goals himself. This season could be a major step in his career. If he could end up with double numbers in goals and assists he will be almost there. But please let us not get on his back from the first misplaced ball. Wouldn’t it be a shame to drive him out and see him flourish at one of our rivals in a few years time?



42 comments to Why Ramsey is not Cesc and why Rosicky still has a future with us.

  • arsenal fan

    Ramsey is more of Denilsons replacement, slowww, doesn’t track back, no vision and takes the easy sideways pass or loses possession when he tries anything more difficult.

  • colario

    I could not agree more with your last paragraph. A good blog, thank you.

  • Arden About

    Well said. I think the boy will do well

  • Zgooner

    Arteta can play in that spot too.. but for the moment we rely more on him defensively.. he plays deeper in the back.. oversees.

  • Klaus

    Couldn’t agree more about the goals from midfield lacking last term. That added weight on RVP cannot be replicated again this season, regardless of who our front man is. Arteta the only midfielder who had a decent return

  • SouthernGunner

    Don’t understand the Ramsey criticism at all. No one had a bad word to say about him before he was injured, so why people feel the need to trash talk him after overcoming a serious setback, which wasn’t his fault, is beyond me. Doubt there are many 21 year olds out there who have his kind of attitude.

    I also seem to rememer Cesc similarly getting criticised for not being Viera. Some people are just never happy.

  • ArminAzadian

    Ramsey can be a great player but I simply do not believe he has what it takes to fit in a fast counter attacking team like Arsenal, i think he slows the game down. he is technically gifted but needs to come down to earth if he is to be successful. I definitely wants him to stay at AFC.

  • GroovT

    I totaly agree on this article. At the end of the day you have to make a decision. I personnally think that Wenger will play Podolski at this place. Thus Ramsey and Rosicky are second choices. Of course I can be wrong! But I bet that Podolski will be in the starting 11 at the beginning of the season along with Arteta and Song in Midfield. Maybe Ramsey or Rosicky can play on the right (or even on the left as it happenned sometimes). But only if Walcott leaves.

  • O Jimmy

    As always a very thoughtful piece…i think somewhere down the line we all wanted a trophy @ all cost so anyone who seems not to contribute to that cause got stick from us…there can only be one Cesc time for Le Proff to get the issue of van persie over and done with and lets get down to serious title challenge because for the first time in a long while am up for the season…mixture of age groups plus talent and hardworking players…
    gooner from Mombasa Kenya
    Kip the faith

  • dre

    i believe in Wenger to make a better choice this coming season and i hope if RVP didn’t go there would not be much chance to see Ramsey flops.

  • Jack can do well this reason.

  • nicky

    Two points need to be said.
    1. Ramsey may well prove his class during the Olympics. He is too good a player to turn into a poor one in half a season.
    2. Sadly, the boo boys, mainly at the Emirates, simply need to have a target in order to vent their abuse. Ramsey appears to be a natural successor to Denilson as the recipient of their bile.
    Even if next season saw us emulate the Invincibles they still find someone on the playing staff on which to direct sighs, moans and groans whenever they appeared.
    And then these morons are surprised when the team fails to perform.

  • rusty

    Ramsey’s role as captain of the Welsh squad doesn’t get enough press — I think both the team’s failure to qualify for the Euro championships (although not surprising) and the death of Gary Speed both represented adversity as significant as a broken leg. He’s still a very young player, but this may well be the first year or two that he’s really been challenged in this way.

  • SouthernGunner

    @da silva

    Thing is Wilshere hasn’t played for a year, so we shouldn’t expect too much too soon from him.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Jack starts getting booed by the same idiots who did it to players before him.

  • nicky

    Sad to think that you are probably 100% right.

  • Goona Gal

    Rambo is a top player and think he did well last season. He showed serious mental strength and was an important player for us. I believe that despite his injury, he still has everything in him to be one of the best midfielders in the EPL.

    I am a big fan of his and believe he has a lot of goals in him. One of the most promising things I saw in his game last season was his willingness to take a shot at goal. Unfortunately some of his attempts didn’t come off for him, but he wasn’t skying them into row Z either so it shows he is on the right track. The creative ability is still there and like I have said before I reckon he has a lot of goals in him.

    Arsenal need creative attacking players like him who are strong and confident enough to try something different. That’s why I always applaud players like him willing to shoot and cheer no end for them trying different things. Ramsey has had an unbelievably tough year (both mentally and physically), I am hoping that he can build on the gains he made last season this season.

  • Goona Gal

    However my criticism of him was that I noted that there wasn’t as much understanding link play between him and RVP in midfield, hence why he didn’t provide him with many assists, and I have to say, vice versa. That’s why I am not sure how I feel about Ramsey being in Team GB for this reason. I feel he would of really benefitted from a preseason with his new team mates so he could get to know their playing styles, work on his game and develop understanding. It remains to be seen whether it was worth putting Team GB before his Arsenal career. I would really like to see how Ramsey does playing with Podolski as I think that might work well. As he won’t have a pre season, AW will probably ease him back in very slowly. Ramsey may even struggle to get back in the team if others step up in his absence so he has taken a risk. I doubt Giggs (his idol) in the prime of his career would of made the same choice as Ramsey has done. Which makes me wonder with all the abuse directed at him, if Ramsey is reconsidering his long term AFC career. Time will tell, though I will remain a fan and will even try a catch some of the olympic footy now that we have a vested interest.

  • robl


  • alex

    Tell us he is still young and Ramsey has time in his side to be a good player and will make your article sensible.Otherwise simply because you like and love Ramsey please do not mix fiction with the reality.The death of Gary Speed that happened very early what has to do at all to carry on and on with his bad performance.If that the case you deem him mentally unfit.This indirectly seems to me underestimate the judgement of Mr.Wenger.
    Not an excuse but fact is he was a subject of a horrible injury.Horrible,and i agree with you.
    My take of Ramsey is just a normal player.Infact Very normal, not very good one, at best a squad player.
    In an ideal world as a replacement of Cesc one would expect the likes of Silva . Proper midfielder that is confident on keeping the ball and able to dribble past two three players Able on his own to change the game as marshals well in the midfield.Not side passer.That is exactly Ramsey at the moment.Jack is better on those departments in comparing with Ramsey but i am not gloating as still has to show us more and be consistent before i say he had it all.
    We lost Cesc.Period.
    My wish is to sign that kind of player in that midfield as is evident that we missing creativity and the beautiful Arsenal play.We have good and strong defensive department and very good defensive mid fielders and decent striking force(verdict is still out for the new players)But Ramsey is a player to me that need to be loaned.Sorry i have not seen anything from the kid.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Alex 10.03pm, read you comment – made me laugh. Thanks.

  • asd

    The 1st team is not a learning ground. If Ramsey is still recovering from the broken leg, let him recover at another team (that’s why there is a loan system) so don’t blame the boo boys, blame the manager.

  • Goona Gal

    @ asd – brilliant! ‘The 1st team is not a learning ground. If Ramsey is still recovering from the broken leg, let him recover at another team (that’s why there is a loan system) so don’t blame the boo boys, blame the manager’. Absolute quality in fact!

  • Mark Ibrahim

    Great article. Echoes most of my feeling about Ramsey. I think he has great potential but too much was asked of him too soon last season. He needs to be slowly reintegrated into the team.
    Secondly, I am most interested to see if Wenger will promote any of our midfield academy players. Some may disagree, but I really rate Lansbury. I like his attacking drive and he can score to. Not sure if Wenger has a problem with his personality or what but I want to see him in our squad this year. Another promising talent is Chuks Aneke. You don’t have to follow a rainbow for the pot of gold under your nose.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Goona Gal in fact they just say: BUY ME BIG SHINING SUPERSTARS!!!!!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter, I can’t work out why the muppets really bother.

  • alex

    Goona gal
    Please to make you laugh !!!

  • Goona Gal

    @ Alex- Don’t sell yourself short, It’s probably not just me you’ve made laugh. Do you think you can get to Wenger before the season starts some how?

  • bjtgooner

    The hope is that Ramsey will kick on next season and approach the level he should be at.

    The impression I had towards the end of last season was that some fans (probably AAA twits) had upset him and he was trying too hard to do well and not disappoint. As in any sport when one tries too hard the performance does not always follow. In time I think Ramsey will become the class player we expect, but lets cut him some slack.

    I look forward to Ramsey, Diaby & Wilshere playing an important role next season & being able to rotate Song, Arteta & Rosicky etc with some of the younger young players e.g. Coquelin cementing places in the first team.

  • Black Hei

    There is alot to forgive with regards to Ramsey. He don’t need to be a Cesc, but not tracking back for the 2 counters by WBA, jogging while getting hit by 1 goal after another, that is criminal as he was playing in Arteta’s position and he should know what was required of him.

  • robl

    @ Black Hei, fair point, but he’s just a kid and needs a break to analyse and learn from his first real premier league season. Weather the olympics will allow him time to do this is another matter. Also a lot depends on how Diaby comes back – if he finds consistantcy and remains injury free a good preseason could force Ramsey down the pecking order anyway.

  • ARSENAL 13

    some stats for the boo boys….

    Arsenal career –

    Cesc : goals – 18.81% and Assists – 33.99%
    Ramsey : G- 8.73% , A- 14.56%

    First four years at Arsenal –

    Cesc : G- 8.49%, A- 18.30%
    Ramsey : G- 8.73%, A- 14.56%

    First full season at Arsenal –

    Cesc : G- 6.52%, A- 10.86%
    Ramsey : G- 6.82%, A- 18.18%

    Ramsey is right on track. He will be a great midfielder. Unfortunate leg break has taken two years out of him. AND he has the right people to guide him in Mr Wenger, Steve Bould and Banfield.

    @Black Hei, Have you seen Cesc defend. AND his sweet talks of Arsene being father figure and Arsenal being in his heart forever might have blinded some fans of his Nou Camp back heel near the penalty box. And that WBA game, we had Song and Rosicky in the mid field along side Ramsey. How much did they contribute???…

  • Hakeem

    Diaby is out d picture he should be sold, because he can’t play for 4 minutes without picking up an injury he is too fragile for my liking. Arsenal 1st team is not a lab for esperiment if ramsey can’t perform this season he should be sold or better still loaned.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Mark Ibrahim, I agree with you. To me Aneke has everything in his game to be a top midfielder for Arsenal. As strange as it sounds, I think Aneke would benefit more from training with the first team and close tutelage for AW, than going out on loan at the moment. Playing in League one with players who don’t get ‘one touch’ football or are on the same wave length, isn’t what he needs at the moment.

    I hope that his good friend Yennaris inspired him to believe that he can do well. At Aneke’s confident best, he can play a pass like Song, shoot and is rarely muscled off the ball easily. He needs to work on his defensive game as well as learning to use his height and physique to greater advantage. I hope the lack of expectation this year from fair weather fans will work in Aneke’s favour and he will be a suprise hit.

  • andy bishop

    Ramsey ran himself ragged during the first 20 games he played last year and to use a racing term he “bounced” and not surprisingly after a year out. He may not be in Wengers starting plans but has the quality and hopefully strength this year to step up. With Diaby likely to play only a handful of games and Wilshires fitness still in doubt why send Ramsey on loan?

  • Goona Gal

    ***Off topic, I love Shaolin Vermaelen!

  • Goona Gal

    Oh and this is the fan(antic) that created the image below.

    Arsally must be on cloud nine right now! I love their very cool art. After games he/she captures a memorable moment of the game. I found the site in Jan and I forgot to share the link (I was stressed about us not holding onto 4th place at the time). I try to have a look from time to time to see their visual interpretation of past games. Like this one for example

    They may never of had the chance to watch a game at the Emirates, being based I think in Hong Kong, but the site shows true passion for the Gunners. I have more respect for this person, than some closer to home who think having a go at the club, players and managers al the time is there main job as a supporter.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A very enjoyable link Goona Gal.

    and I hope Vermaelen didn’t injure himself while being the Chinese warrior 😉

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter, It’s amazing to see the love for the Arsenal around the world expressed in different ways like art, photography, poetry, books etc. Supporting the Gunners is a pretty cultured thing really when I think about it.

  • Wooby

    @Walter, interesting perspective on some of the things that might have affected Rambo, esp re: Gary Speed.

    I am a Rambo fan and I think it is important that Wenger figures out how to best use him in our squad. It seems when he is played as an AM, the game becomes too fast for him to process and he is not certain what to do once he has the ball in the attacking third. Now this may be due to inexperience but at the same time, some of the play should be based on “instincts” and this is where I thought his play was lacking last season.

    Part of me therefore wonder if he is not best suited to be a deeper lying midfielder, say playing alongside Arteta or Song as the two deeper lying MF in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1. I do agree with Walter’s last paragraph that this season could be a big one for him. Competition for first team opportunities will be fierce with Ox, Poldi and Jack all capable of playing in the AM role.

  • gunner from india

    i think whatever boos ramsey received last season were not directed at him but wenger, cause when he used to play bad, loosing ball cheaply (used to happen alot than just usual for avg footballers) wenger failed to notice it early enough and make a change, even when rosicky or ox was waitin on bench to come up….i used to get so frustrated at the lack of substitutions even when we were loosing n some players like ramsey were playing badly…… may be wenger was stubborn or he dint want to insult a player by making substitution before 60 minutes???? but i seriously think those things cost us lot of points as we could see the impact the substitutes made but there was very short time left to change the game entirely in our side (like too little and too late)… in this regard i seriously think wenger should learn from alex ferguson who only thinks of winning a game as prime factor above all….. hope to have your opinion on this point…..

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think the fact that Arsenal is the team that won most points after going behind tells us a different story.