It’s time to make Welbeck and Ramsey take the consequences

By Tony Attwood

The issue of players getting injured

On 10 October 2006 Arsene Wenger picked up on a comment by his old pal Lyon coach Gerard Houllier then at Lyon, who compared international managers to car thieves saying, “what the national coaches are doing is like taking the car from the garage without even asking permission.

“They’ll then use his car for ten days, and abandon it in a field without any petrol left in the tank.

“We have to recover it, but it is broken down. A month later, they’ll come to take your car again – and for good measure you’re expected to be nice about it. The national coaches have the law on their side nowadays. None of them call any more. They don’t have to make any compromises.”
Tragically the situation hasn’t changed and so we now have injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck.
What makes the situation even more unsavory is that the major reporting teams (the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph etc) who covered the Wales match couldn’t even be arsed to mention that Ramsey was injured.
Oh well, just another Arsenal player.  Who cares if he was having an “excellent game” for Wales, if we lose him for the match against Liverpool.  Who cares if he scores?
Well, seemingly he does – and he cares enough to take the risk time and time and time again.
So it surely must be time for the clubs to fight back – to say to players, “We’d urge you not to go, but if you must, then do remember that if you come back injured
a) we will stop paying your salary until you are fit enough to be picked for Arsenal
b) we might not pick you anyway

One of the bonuses with Ramsey was that he played for a country that was never likely to get into the finals of a international competition, but now that protection seems to have gone too.  With the Euro competition expanded so that just about every European country can qualify there is every chance that Wales will get in.

Ramsey came off three minutes from full time with an apparent groin injury.  How serious it is we don’t know, but it is Liverpool next saturday, and that might be too soon for his recovery.

And all that happened after Danny Welbeck got done playing for England.  He tweaked his knee, and just like Ramsey it was late in the game.

Here’s where more damage can occur

1: Wojciech Szczesny

Republic of Ireland v Poland, March 29 (Euro champ qual)

2, 3, 4: Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott

Italy v England, March 30 (friendly)

5: Gabriel

Brazil v Chile, March 29 (friendly)

6: Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud

France v Denmark, March 29 (friendly)

7: Tomas Rosicky

Slovakia v Czech Republic, March 30 (friendly)

8, 9: Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski

Georgia v Germany, March 29 (Euro qualifier)

10: David Ooooooooooooooooooospina

Colombia v Kuwait, March 29 (friendly)

12: Alexis

Brazil v Chile, March 29 (friendly)

13: Santi Cazorla

Netherlands v Spain, March 31 (friendly)

Be afraid, be very afraid.

From the anniversary files… in the days of high scoring

29 March 1958: Portsmouth 5 Arsenal 4.  It was the second time in two months that Arsenal lost 4-5.  In between these two games Arsenal also beat Chelsea 5-4.



26 Replies to “It’s time to make Welbeck and Ramsey take the consequences”

  1. Watching Chile v Brazil and Souza went in hard on Sanchez, could have broken his leg. You just wonder what the point for some of these friendlies is. Will be lucky not to lose ‘just’ Welbeck and Ramsey to injuries after these games.

    I tried to get tickets for this match too and they were saying saying sold out, but surprising to see so many empty seats…..

  2. Absolutely nothing friendly about this match. Exciting and concerning at the same time.

  3. National Team Coaches like car thieves eh? That’s a nice one but it is not funny because it pretty much describes the situation. National Team Coaches are takers not givers. They do not add anything to the technical development of any player and many are so cocky because of the backing of FIFA for this kind of rubbish. So, what do you do if you are a Manager of a top club like Arsenal? Can you really muscle the player the way you at Untold are suggesting? The Clubs, Country FAs and FIFA need to thrash this out. After all, he that pays the Piper is supposed to dictate the tune.

  4. What a great article! If players go “All out” for their countries and get injured in a meaningless friendly, they should have their wages stopped until fully fit. Also, why have meaningless friendlies at this time of the season! Wake up FIFA.

  5. England is one of the few nations that have insurance in place to pay compensation to clubs whose players are injured playing/training for their Countries.
    If indeed Ramsey is injured then Arsenal will have to pay his wages, if on the other hand Wellbeck is injured then Compensation will be paid.
    As it stands a player can’t refuse to play for their countries and there instances of where a player has wanted to retire from international duty only for thier country to refuse the request
    What this article fails to apprecaiteis that the majority of players have no affinity or indeed any loyalty to their club for they are no more than their employers whereas to play international football is a great honour.

  6. Are you seriously suggesting that players injured on international duty should not be paid unti fit.? Seriously?
    So a broken leg which might keep someone out for a year would be no pay for a year. Well best of luck with that one.
    I love internationals and am pleased for our guys when they get picked and anyway, they have no option but to go or are banned by FIFA for two matches for every game they refuse to play in.
    Older players have the option to retire, but honestly would you expect Ramsey or Welbeck to say I don’t wish to play again incase Mr Wenger doesn’t pay me.
    Not one of your better suggestions.

  7. I really do not like WC friendlies, as stated above we get many players injured. Hope they are not serious.

    Dont think your suggestion will be taken seriously, but they need to pay for the services of the players. Personally i could do without WC football sometimes.

    Watching Geo-Ger and hoping Ozil is fine. Georgia is defending well(and attacking at times too) but Ger should win i think.

    Aha, (0-1) now.

  8. I’m now absolutely convinced atkinson is a biased ref. When it’s your team playing you sometimes question yourself, as you might think you tend ton see things your way. But today watching Brazil V Chile, I was kind of neutral, even though I’d have wanted Sanchez to end on a winning side. I know it was only a friendly, but some of atkinson’s decisions showed his clear bias. Twice I noticed the Brazil wall standing like 5m away from the ball during Chilean free kicks, and I even laughed to myself saying that wall is way too close. Then Brazil get a freekick in injury time and the wall is pushed back to the usual distance we are used to seeing! Then there was the incident where Miranda hauled Sanchez down when he was the last man in defense. In any other match that would have been a straight red, but again not sure if its because this was a friendly, and atkinson chose to show only a yellow. OK, I know he missed the stamp on Neymar, but I could argue that was actually because he didn’t see it. Am I saying he was biased towards Brazil, yes. They’re the bigger side on paper (even though Chile outplayed them from the first minute to the final whistle), and also Brazil had about five or six players in their side who play in the PL(Willian, Ferrnandinho, Coutinho, Oscar, Felipe Luis…, am in no way suggesting there is a chelsea link there 🙂 ), while Chile had only one. These prem league refs, shaking my head.

  9. Surely a compromise would be to only allow players to wear their countries shirt if they were fully insured? That should make sense to both the player, the country and the club. If the player knows he is not insured, he can then either accept that or take out his own insurance to cover any potential loss of salary.

  10. @ken
    The problem with this type of insurance is that is very very expensive and many of not all of non European associations quite simply don’t generate enough income to be able to pay the premiums
    UEFA & FIFA insist that the countries who participate in the later stages of their completions have to cover players wages if they get injured but that’s not an issue as the countries that participate are paid quite significant monies to compete in the finals

  11. Tony, you have overlooked the FIFA’s Club Protection Programme!

    Four Arsenal players were injured in the October international break.

    It is difficult to determine, how the Arsenal used the FIFA’s CPP.

    WE know the effect the injuries had on the Arsenal and their league form. That is why the 25 squad rule, should be amended.

    Players can retire from international football. Certainly, in the case of Rosicky, the player should consider his past injuries and retire.

    Tomas, will then understand his non-selection?

  12. This is a problem that is virtually insurmountable.
    Players will want to play for their country.
    National coaches are dictatorial in their demands for players to be available.
    There is a fine line to be trod by club managers when insisting their charges are unfit to travel.
    I have some sympathy with guys like Roy Hodgson. As national manager he never sees his squad often enough. He has to battle to have players released for internationals, some games being meaningless friendlies. And there is much criticism when his team fails to perform. The guy is on a hiding to nothing.
    The more I read of players in the top echelon and their injuries, I liken them to top class race horses where the slightest knock seems to prevent them performing.
    Groin strain and hamstring problems seem rife among highly trained young men and it beggars belief that some injuries can occur during the pre-match warm-up.
    There doesn’t appear a magic wand in order to provide a satisfactory solution
    to the problem.
    Except perhaps to select our national squad from the country’s pub teams where most players can play a whole season without being
    injured… least not on the field of play. 😉

  13. Lets hope there are no more injuries.

    A number of questions come to mind: –

    Is it necessary to have so many internationals, if so, is it essential that such internationals are scheduled at a critical time of the league season?

    It is logical to consider that when the national associations take temporary ownership of players they have a responsibility for the well being of those players; that not all associations have taken the necessary steps to ensure this is something which needs to be addressed. At present the assumption that the clubs take the rap for whatever injuries are sustained has led to a degree of arrogance in the way some international associations/managers relate to the players.

    One way to reduce insurance premiums would be for the refs to do their job properly and eliminate all the thug tackles, presently permitted, hence reducing and minimizing the level of injuries.

  14. We all find it frustrating, but not paying injured players isn’t an option. Unless you want to set in motion that player wanting to leave the club and, in addition, bring all sorts of actions against us which we are guaranteed to lose.

    Things could be a bit better for us, if we had an ultra ruthless manager; but we don’t, we have a fair-minded one, and I’m not sorry about that.

    What I would love to see is Ramsay, Wellbeck too to a degree, achieve a slightly better balance between the demands of performing to a high level and a common sense approach to understanding and managing your/their own body.

    In Ramsay’s case- you’re 3-0 up, job done, you’ve played great, now, given the fact you’ve clearly been tiring as the game progressed, and a couple of times seemed to be on the point of over-stretching, and given the catalogue of muscular injuries you’ve had in the last 15 months…take it very easy.

    It’s a difficult balance, the more you find out about the mindset of elite sportsmen the more you’ll hear of the need to play without inhibition and, more importantly, doubt, yet it still seems reasonable to expect a player who has had injury problems, and is no doubt desperate to get over them, to take them into account and recognise when he’s in the danger zone and when he can play with more caution.

    That said, and in line with the main thrust of the article- Coleman has no excuse. Ramsay is vital to him, another injury to Ramsay decreases the chances of having a fit and firing player next time around. International managers nearly all seem the same though : their attitude is ‘I need fully fit players here; so if you’re fit enough to play, I’m going to go right ahead and treat you as if your past injury record doesn’t exist’.

    An incredibly stupid attitude, one that may well have cost Michael Owen his career. It could easily be informed by a resentment within them at getting so little time with players throughout the year, and the fact that in many ways the international game now plays second fiddle to the club game. Aye, even though I don’t want a Mourinho or Ferguson type managing my club, it can’t be denied that they act in their club’s best interest when they clearly do what they can to make their players withdraw as often as possible.

    I hope Ramsay and Wellbeck are ok, but it just wouldn’t be an international break without claiming a couple of our players.

  15. @notoverthehill
    The FIFA club protection plan would not have been a factor in the October Internationals as its only applicable to the World Cup.

  16. Perhaps I didn’t explain myself properly.
    If a player is not covered by the country he represents for any injuries he might suffer, then it is his duty to cover himself out of his salary to the satisfaction of his club.
    It’s no different to insuring ones car, house or property.
    If a player does not do this, he cannot expect his club to pay his wages for an undetermined period.
    This can be incorporated in the players contract and it at least ensure clubs do not get punished twice from injuries received that are out of their control.
    If the players union represented their members properly, this should already be in place.

  17. Are players self employed or employees?
    If they’re self employed then there might be a case for the club to withhold payments if they are injured outside of their employment, ie international duties. If they are employees then employment laws apply, and pay deductions illegal.
    I don’t understand how Tony has come up with such a scatterbrained idea.

  18. @tailgunner

    the club employs the players to play for the club. so if the player gets injured while doing their job for the CLUB, then the club should pay the salary. However, the injuries occur outside the club, in other words, the injury have nothing to with the club, then in fact, its a burden to the club. so the player/country should be held responsible, not the club.

  19. Blackfoox
    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Maybe national teams ought to have some kind of insurance in place to compensate the clubs in the event of an injury being picked up on national duty, for the duration of the period the player will be out for. Because, let’s not forget, the club will continue paying the player’s wages while he’s not playing for them. In other words, if the player’s services are not available to the club then whoever was responsible ought to pick the bill up for that.

    That way national team managers would think twice about throwing a half fit player into a match, or if they do then they’ll do it sensibly, like use him only for a few minutes. At the moment this doesn’t seem to be the case; a national manager makes a player play for a full 90 minutes when said player hasn’t been playing for club due to injury.

  20. I suppose it depends on what is written into a players contracts lof employment. Money can be stopped for breaches of club rules and other stoppages seem to be arbitry (FA fines etc). So unless there is a safety net for the players to prevent financial loss caused by injuries then this idea is still a none starter. We shouldn’t be talking about just multi millionaire PL stars here, but lower league players who represent national teams from around the world.

  21. Football and in particular the rules that apply to the employment of players is not only unique but shaped totally Ito the detriment of the clubs.
    Unless a club has suffered an insolvency event the players can not be made redundant, they can’t be sacked for poor performance and save gross misconduct players will never be sacked.
    Quite simply to suggest that the players should take responsibility is a noble idea but will never happen nor will it ever will rules be put Iin place requiring International FAs to fund appropriate insurance the majority of those FAs don’t have the resources nor do their FAs generate the sort of income that many of our county FA raise
    Clubs are paid quite decent money from the FiFA and indeed UEFA when their players for participating in the finals of their tournaments and compensation schemes are in place for a small minority of the the very wealthy national FAs with England, believe it or not, one of the very best in this area
    Ii know it opens up a long running debate and yes of course other clubs have players that return from their international duties with an injury but I wonder if the incidence of such Injuries for returning Arsenal players is out of step with other clubs as surely that is of a greater concern than who will pay players wages

  22. Maybe the National teams should tell the Clubs that their players are being over played during a season so that they do not get injured when they come for National duties….correct me if i am wrong…these players get paid for playing for the National teams too….the clubs and the national team should sit down with fifa and iron something out.players not of Eu origin cant get to play for English teams if they are not playing regularly for their National team…dats y i don not support Tony’s article.

  23. Is Dunga just a cheaper Mourinho? The football Brazil play is appalling. Also Brazil play most of their games outside of Brazil because they receive more money that way. Brazil have also sold the rights to those games to Qatar for the next ten years.

    I used to be a fanatical supporter of Brazilian football but what it has now become is so sad and I can’t see any way back to the days of Tele Santana. I just hope the same does not happen to Arsenal in the future.

  24. I really don’t understand the timing of the March international break, surely it is for the benefit of club and country to have more games in May/June after the domestic season has ended. That way the flow of domestic leagues are not interrupted, injuries wouldn’t have such a big impact to the clubs and the international coaches have more time with the players to plan their games (perhaps 3, 4 or even 5 at a time?) and the players themselves in the national side develop more an understanding quicker.

    What I can understand is the enthusiasm for the international game, but for me personally it is club football all the way, anything changed to benefit that more would get the thumbs up from me! 🙂

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