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Written by Andy Hughes on Friday, 13 April 2012 17:29


Aaron Ramsey has proven to be quite the polarizing figure during his time at Arsenal. He was one of the hottest prospects on these shores when he was a youngster at Cardiff. Subsequently when Arsenal signed him, it was seen somewhat as a coup with such heavy interest from a club with the enormity of Manchester United.

Everything was going according to plan for the then 18 year old, he was impressing whenever making starts or substitute appearances, and he managed to make a full 90 minutes before hitting his 19th birthday. He looked like he was a player Arsenal had somewhat lacked over the years. He was strong, quick, he could pass and his engine was quite remarkable for such a young player with such little big match experience. Some were dreaming of a midfield that could one day contain Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere & Aaron Ramsey. Then, disaster struck for him at the Brittania two years ago. He suffered an injury that could have potentially been career ending. It’s quite a superb achievement that he has managed to come back, fight through his horrific injury, endure frustrating loan spells at Nottingham Forrest & Cardiff and make a real fight of it, to play for Arsenal. Let’s also not forget his achievements on the international stage. The late Gary Speed, an outstanding leader himself in the past, chose Ramsey to lead the new, young Welsh revolution. If that’s not a good maker of outstanding character, I’m not quite sure what is.

I find it quite bewildering that just two years later so many seem to endlessly criticise him, and some go as far to say as they want him out of the club. No-one is saying that he doesn’t have problems; he has often formed quite a frustrating figure whenever he has been on the pitch. He sometimes lingers on the ball for that one second too long, he doesn’t always make the right choice in the final third and he hasn’t shown exceptional finishing ability. What he does provide however, is an outstanding work-rate. He is never invisible on the pitch; he always does his bit defensively, and is usually always involved some way in our attacks, for good or bad. People may remember Cesc’s finishing was often criticised in his younger days, granted he offered more than Ramsey does to this side, but the comparison is still a valid one. It seemed as if Cesc would never find his finishing touch in front of goal, but in the 2009/10 season he grabbed an outstanding 15 Premier League goals in 27 league games. Those are impressive figures for a midfielder, and I’m sure Ramsey will one day replicate that. Spaces all around the penalty area are accommodated by our number #16, he gets into some fantastic positions to score, but it’s just that final touch he is missing too often.

There is no doubt this has been an extremely tough season for the Welshman. People must not forget this is his first full season for Arsenal. He hasn’t been able to develop a huge amount over the last two years, he has had to focus on his recovery rather than progressing as a player. He has been thrust in-to a season that hasn’t been the most stable. He hasn’t had the luxury of being an 18 or a 19 year old progressing at a normal stage. Ramsey was robbed of a vital time period in his development. He is now 21 years old, and he obviously feels that he needs to prove something to Wenger and the fans with increased pressure being placed upon his shoulders. Basically, what I’m saying is that we should get behind this young man, and not use him as a perennial scapegoat every time we fail to win. A player with the application and spirit of Aaron Ramsey is what so many say we need, someone with character that has a will to win. While Ramsey has hardly had an outstanding year, he is someone who can grow if we give him the chance; it’s just down to us to give it to him.

Mean Lean's Response

Thank you for a well written piece Andy. I agree with all of the above and quite frankly I am amazed by the negativity surrounding Aaron at present. I suppose when a young player having his first full season after such a horrendous injury is the target of such anger shows that we must be doing rather well right now. There seems to be this rather strange desire to have a continuous moan about someone on your team.

Unfortunately development isn't allowed these days, context isn't applied but not all youngsters can come from the Championship and then play consistently well at the highest level, especially after spending a year out of the game.

While Ramsey is an unpolished diamond, his potential is clear if you are willing to look hard enough. He is a tough character and he shows that on the pitch. He can have an awful game but he will never shy away from demanding the ball. He is a fighter and a winner, it will be those characteristics that will enable him to improve so he can reach a higher level. The likes of Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta are two great players for Ramsey to learn from. I believe that Ramsey will be a more influential player than both of them in time.

I like many Arsenal fans are very interested to see how the dynamic of the midfield unfolds when Jack Wilshere and hopefully Abou Diaby return to the fold. Arsene must already have his pecking order in his mind and I wonder what that will be. What is certain, is that we have plenty of quality options in that area of the pitch and next season should be exciting. Hopefully Aaron can work very hard on his game and return to pre season fresh and hungry.

Before I go, something was sent to me and I thought I would share. Tony Gale has been rightly chastised for his anti Arsenal commentary but we have come to expect that from others outside the club. But I have been getting rather wound up about Stewart Robson's appalling and what seems obvious intentional negativity towards Arsenal when commentating for various television stations.

He is getting paid a wage by our football club for his talking tactics section on Arsenal player. I'd say Robson is a much better target than a youngster who is giving his all for the club.

Here is a petition to have him replaced. When you compare his ramblings to that of ex Manchester United player Gary Neville then it just puts into perspective the kind of drivel we have to listen to.


Comments (27)

  • KnysnaGunner
    Fully support the comments above. I have tried to sign the petition a few times but due to a technical problem have been unable to. I will keep on trying because I feel strongly that someone who is employed by Arsenal should not be allowed to constantly spew out unwarranted criticism against our players and team.
  • KnysnaGunner
    For some reason won't accept my signature to the petition. I thought I should email the letter to the club. Can anyone suggest the best email address to use?
  • Ron
    Ramsey is class
    He is trying a bit too hard and is forcing things.
    He will stand. That's what arsenal have been waiting for.
    Full support for Aaron
  • Anonymous  - He should be sold
    ''People may remember Cesc’s finishing was often criticised in his younger days, granted he offered more than Ramsey does to this side, but the comparison is still a valid one. It seemed as if Cesc would never find his finishing touch in front of goal''

    Cesc was cesc, you cant tell me Ramsey will ever become a world class player like Cesc. He is average, he slows our play down alot. saying he was a hot prospect 3/4 years ago is right, but so was Fransis Jeffers.

    Ramsey is simply not good enough for Arsenal
  • Gerry Lennon
    I think part of the problem regards Ramsey is the weight of expectation of him fulfilling his full potential, which, even his most ardent supporter cannot say he has reached?
    AW also seems to think he will play himself into being a great midfielder, but in a season where the team have been under great pressure to get points from every game, and so indvidual mistakes can become the focus of any losses, Ramsey has not had it easy. Made worse recently by being played out of position, and more frustratingly, ahead of players who fill the needs better. That is the reality.
    In an ideal world he would have used this last year to build up his confidence so he could play with more freedom. Unfortunately, the comparison between his international form with Wales and that with Arsenal does raise the serious question as to whether his game is actually suited to the way Arsenal play?
    In view of the possibility of an even more crowded midfield options next season I cannot see him much opportunity to squeeze himself on to the bench, let alone a starting berth ... on merit that is. Even without any new signings, although one, may be two are expectected, you have the likes of Coquelin at the head of the queue, but Ozyakup, Yennaris, and Eisfeld all eager to make an impression.
    The option of going out on a season long loan could be the making of him, whether at home or abroad. The pressure would be off, out of the gaze of critical fans, and he might just find the time catch up on his earlier promise?
  • Gooooooner
    Really don't like these comparisons to Cesc, very tenuous, Cesc's overall game was brilliant and ahead of his years you can't comepare Cesc to Ramsey based just on finishing, especially for a CM for heavens sake.

    Hes been playing poorly, doesnt make any decisive passes, misses the easiest of chances, and if we do want work rate, we can play either Frimpong or Coquelin for industry and play Song further up.

    Let him go on loan to bolton for couple of years and return when hes ready, we have many a midfielder to replace Ramsey in the mean while.
  • Anonymous
    he needs to pass the ball more quickly
  • Mark
    I am sorry but I don't see why Ramsey needs support. This is the same mentality we had with Denilson, Bentner, Eboue, et al. What did it bring us apart from losing the best years we had with Cesc.

    Aaron is not good enough to be at Arsenal at the moment. He is paid £35k a week and is not doing it. In fact he hasn't done it all this season. And that includes the Chelsea away game when he hardly touched the ball.

    This is not about inconsistency as with Theo or others. The lad just doesn't have it. Why should he be ahead of Coqulin or Lansbury or especially Ox? Ox was given one chance against Milan in center midfield and we put 3 past AC Milan. When Ramsey started we lost by 4 goals. He slows everything down and has zero vision. That puts pressure on defense because we can't keep possession and negates all our attacks. Ramsey needs to go on loan and prove he still has a career at a top club after his injury. At the moment he doesn't deserve to be at Arsenal.
  • MeanLean
    "I am sorry but I don't see why Ramsey needs support"

    Personally there are a few reasons. One because he is an Arsenal player, a young Arsenal player at that.

    Secondly because this is his first season back from a leg break.

    Mark, do you think that the usual 21 year old footballer stays that level? Why the rush to sell players who have yet to develop?

    Many big clubs including us tried to sign Ramsey for a reason. There is this unnecessary impatience when it comes to young footballers and I do not get it.

    It is the same attitude that would have sold van Persie for having injury issues in the past, the same attitude that would have sold off Alex Song before he had developed.

    Another thing, can you send me the link that proves Ramsey's wage? I have never seen a list of our players wages (not that it matters) but I would like to know if this is fact or just more rumoured speculation.
  • dkgooner  - Song wasn't good enough ...
    ... according to many a couple of years ago. He should be sold, not fit to wear the shirt, was the cry. Maybe by the same voices that are calling for Ramsey to be dropped/loaned etc. The only question mark I have concerning Ramsey was the wisdom of starting him on the left wing against QPR, but that wasn't his fault - it was AW's decision.
    I'm sure if AW thinks he needs another loan period, he'll get one. Meanwhile, let's give him a chance to find the form he was showing before Shawcross maimed him. After a major injury like that, it takes time, both physically and mentally, and the only way he's going to get back there is by showing him you have confidence in him by playing him. And for us supporters to support.
  • dkgooner  - Stewart Robson
    I've heard him a few times on streams - was shocked when I found it was him. Maybe he's bitter that he got farmed out to West Ham.
    I signed the petition without a problem.
  • Anonymous
    Ramsey is not and won't be cesc, he will be good though, he's just not good enough to play out wide or lead our attack right now, good squad player though
  • arseneknow
    R16 is good player, but NOT Class. Don't compare with F4, he's not deserve yet.
    The problem for R16 is he need time to become mature.
    He always want to show to the people he's great and he can score, that's is problem for him now, same with A25 & B52 before.
    When he cannot got place in pitch, he will becomes crazy and to be selfish to prove he can make goal.
    He forget if a player is good, is not mean he need to make goal always.
    Now, he need a good advice to cool down and learn.
  • Mark
    Mark, do you think that the usual 21 year old footballer stays that level? Why the rush to sell players who have yet to develop?
    Because we are not an academy. There is a perfectly good vertical chain in football. Smaller clubs develop players and then sell to bigger clubs to survive. That filtration system battle hardens younger players and the poorer ones drop out.

    Do you think that Arsene will have a job next year if we fail to win a trophy. Bigger clubs are not set up for patience. I know for a fact (not giving away my identity) that Arsene's dismissal was discussed in case we hadn't qualified for the CL places. Frankly our form only lifted when Ramsey was DROPPED in favour of Rosicky.

    Losing while ' youngsters' grow up is not an option anymore. For the sake of the Arsene Wenger (who I rate as the best), nor for players whose class is far higher and want to win trophies like Cesc or RVP. Players have limited careers and the reason the top ones want to be at a big club is to win trophies.

    Aaron Ramsey is poorer than Lansbury at the moment. Explain to him why he has to go on loan while a player who is NOT near Arsenal quality is favoured and gets picked ahead of him. Ramsey has not shown in any game this season that he is capable of playing in a 'tippy/tappy' midfield.
  • gee  - Stop Lying
    "Do you think that Arsene will have a job next year if we fail to win a trophy. Bigger clubs are not set up for patience. I know for a fact (not giving away my identity) that Arsene's dismissal was discussed in case we hadn't qualified for the CL places. "

    Stop lying and talking shit - twasteman

    you may as well have said " a source close tho the club"
  • Andy
    Guys, I'm not comparing Ramsey with Cesc as a whole, I'm merely taking one aspect of Ramsey's game and comparing it with Cesc's at similar ages. Cesc was one of the best midfielders in the world before he hit 20, it would be silly to compare. All I'm saying is that if Ramsey did start banging in the goals, people would be a lot more forgiving with other aspects of his game.

    Arsene should take a bit of the blame for Ramsey's season too. Early in the season, Arsene seemed to be giving him three different jobs for a player who had only just become a regular. He was defending, spraying the ball about and creating chances, but he never excelled in one area. He does have a great engine, but it's simply too much for one so young and with such little experience, and it burned him out.

    Comparing his career with Bendtner & Denilson is unfair, they had plenty of opportunites, and never suffered as bad an injury as Ramsey has. Ramsey hasn't had the best of seasons but with it being his first full season with Arsenal, what did people expect?
  • charlie  - well
    he is young and its way too early to write him off but on current form we will not challenghe for the title next season with ramsey as a regular. i also think he would be much better as a deeper lying midfielder...
    christian eriksen... thats the man wenger should get in "ramseys position" with rosicky as a back up.and make ramsey the back up for wilshire...
  • okezie  - arsenal
    ramsey is not good for arsenal
  • Mark
    Stop lying and talking shit - twasteman

    Stick to baseball. Arsene Wenger gave an interview to L'Equipe on the same lines. Google it.
  • guyo  - ramsey is not champions material
    no way,ramsey is not a player we need&want.someone of ths calibre is bench or loan material.
  • steww  - Support our players?
    Isn't it a dreadful indictment of the modern football fan that there has to be a public plea to support your own players?
    The rest of us know Aaron is just the scapegoat du jour and everyone will have a new target soon. We saw the same short sighted idiocy with young Denilson. Just because you don't understand what a player brings to the team doesn't mean you should shout for them to go. You simply prove your own lack of class and intelligence.
  • IndoArsenal  - because of poor medic staff
    I personally think that Ramsey's problem is caused by our medic staff, don't know why but i think one thing that really need to be fixed is our medical staff... We had Eduardo, was good footballer before he got that injury, and after that he never back to the same level as before, I think that also happen with Ramsey, I really wish that he can back to the level before he got that injury, and even pass that level, but something wrong really happen with our poor medic staff, and now I really afraid with JW condition, at first he's been diagnosis for only about 6 weeks, and now, the latest news is he won't play int this season... WHAT WRONG WITH OUR MEDIC STAFF ???? And I really, really afraid that what happen to Eduardo, then Ramsey, would it happen to JW ??? Mr. Wenger, instead of you try to buy a big star, I suggest you to spend our money to strengthen our medic staff
  • Gooner80
    Spot on Steww, Mark should be bloody ashamed of himself.

    I meant to see say before but ML, I love the 'giftastic Gunners' great idea. You need to add some more :D
  • Huiru Wam  - When the Arsenal play, I support.
    Has anyone mentioned or noticed that we have the exact same points as last year at the same time?

    It shows that Cesc was not that important to the team, and Aaron is doing a good job if not better, considering his broken leg the year before.

    I would never trade Aaron for that home sick boy.
  • guitougoal  - Off Marks Mark
    "I know for a fact that Arsene dismissal was discussed in case......."

    -such comical statement is not worthy of serious consideration,phony but still laughable.
  • Tim  - abuse aimed at Ramsey is ludicrous
    Aaron Ramsey playing his first season since his horrific leg break, just suffering the awful torment of the death of one of his mentors. People seem to underestimate how much the death of Gary Speed, who saw fit to make Aaron the youngest Welsh captain ever, will have affected Ramsey.

    The death threats aimed at him by utter morons on Twitter etc is horrific to see. I condemn any Arsenal "fan" who feels it acceptable to send such abhorrent abuse to the man. I don't consider these people to be fans. They are merely scumbags.

    Aaron will come good. I have no doubt. Before his leg break (and in several games since) he has shown that he has the class to succeed.
  • Dwang21  - Ramsey next season...
    If he's not ready, then he shouldn't be playing so many games and very important games. Anyway, I think he'll have a more gradual/gentle return next season as Arsenal look to bring in 1 or 2 more midfielders.
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