430 Comments

In Defence Of Aaron Ramsey (does he need defending?)

A guest post by Kelly Woods  @kmwoods02

 

Aaron Ramsey had his worst game in 12 months against Everton. He tried too hard. He forced things. Yes, he scored a goal, but don’t miss the fact that his performance was poor. And speaking of goals, I’m worried that he’s publicly admitted that he set himself a target of 20 goals this season. Whoa, there, son. Remember, it’s not about you. I know you want to start taking games by the scruff of the neck, but remember to just play your game.

 

These are all things that have come across my Twitter timeline since Saturday’s game. And I follow positive, considered people, who really do support our players. I know they do. And I respect and value all of them and their opinions – at least I do since I cleaned up who I follow. I cannot imagine what the rest of Twitter is saying, and I really don’t want to try.  But if you will, let me articulate how I disagree with almost everything in that first paragraph. And to ask that we consider what it is that we really want from players.

 

First let me get this out of the way – Aaron was not at his effervescent best against Everton. I support, but I’m not blind. The whole team was out of sorts, and most of what he tried didn’t come off. Also true of other players as well. But let me point out a few things, courtesy of the stats-tastic 7amKickoff and his By the Numbers column for Arseblog:

 

Out of 69 passes attempted (the most for the team), 12 were misplaced. All but 2 of those misplaced were attacking passes, trying to create a chance. 5 of them were in prime areas, where goal conversion rates are high. One of the aforementioned 2 was just horrible – it went straight to an Everton player and almost gave me a heart attack. Only 4 tackles attempted, 2 of which were successful, and no dribbles. And no chances created. Also, there was that goal.

 

Ok, so what do stats show? Not the whole story, I’m well aware of that. Aaron’s defensive game was a bit weak and his attacking game was ineffectual on the whole. I think that had a lot to do with not having Arteta next to him, and trying to compete with Jack and Alex for space in the middle. But the question remains – what was he supposed to be doing in this game, and did he do it?

 

I think we should all come to grips with this fact: Aaron is a flair player. He will always try the Hollywood pass. Some seem to think that he’s changed somehow, that he doesn’t do that anymore. And they see yesterday’s performance as a reversion to a previous flawed way of playing. Nonsense. He has always been this player. By all accounts it’s been so since he was 8 years old. Stories of him demanding the ball from older teammates abound. “Let me do it” has always been his way. His off-pitch personality belies this fact, perhaps, as some don’t expect shy, quiet, introverts to behave this way. But it’s been said of him forever that he “expresses himself on the pitch”.

 

But, Kelly, I hear you say. Arsene said he told him to simplify his game. To go back to basics. True. But Aaron said this in an interview when asked about that:

 

“It was a difficult period for me where things weren’t happening the way I would like them to, and he called me in and just told me to simplify my game and get my confidence back that way…I did that for a few games, and then obviously you get more confident as every game goes on, and, yeah, I’m thankful for that.” (emphasis added)

 

That says to me that simplifying his game was not intended to be a permanent change. At least he didn’t interpret it that way. And Arsene had this to say Saturday:

 

“He has the engine and he gambles on getting in the box a lot and he has that timing to get where you need to be. He got rewarded like these kind of players do.”

 

“Gambles.” He gambles. He takes risks. He gets rewarded. He has a “can’t win if you don’t enter” mentality. He has said that he wants to improve his ability to take big games by the scruff of the neck and change them. He has goal targets that he has set for himself. But somehow, all that is now being seen as a potential liability, some sort of indication that he is putting himself above the team. Don’t we want a player that is ambitious? That tries to change games? That wants to score? What do we want, if not that? One of the biggest complaints I hear in games like yesterday is “Somebody DO something! Move, or something!” Yet Aaron tries to do just that, and he has a “poor” game, because it doesn’t come off.

 

I know I am really preaching to the choir here. This is a supporting group of people, many of whom told me yesterday not to worry, that he just had an off day. But here’s the thing. I’m not worried about him. I’m worried about us. This is exactly what I was afraid would happen. His miraculous exploits last season were a joy to watch. But they won’t continue – at least not like that. He is a marked man now. Teams have found out he is good, he will be given much less room to operate. And he is, by his own admission, still trying to improve his game. I’m confident he will continue scoring us goals. But all this means mistakes will happen. Do we really want to start down the road about how badly he’s played, how he’s struggling for form? Why do we do this? “Uh oh, the old Ramsey is rearing his head. Hope this doesn’t mean last season was a fluke.”  It’s like we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the bad thing to happen to us. Optimism reigns, until it doesn’t.

 

Here’s my fear. Suppose it doesn’t change? Suppose the next game is the same as Everton – he does a few things brilliantly, but at the same time lots of things don’t come off? What will we say then? Because the haters and naysayers will start in – they’ve already started I would imagine. Despair that we thought we had a “world-class” player, but of course we can’t have nice things, so look, he’s being shit again. I’m steeling myself for that, and I’m ready to defend him. I hope you are, too.

 

 

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430 comments on “In Defence Of Aaron Ramsey (does he need defending?)

  1. like I said i dont totally disagree with you but just didnt like the way a good debate decended into the sort of crap we thought we had all left behind. personally I love workers or flair players who work hard but mezut wouldn’t be the first player in red and white to take a while to understand the need to track back. Pires didnt cover cashly automatically it took him a while and was often critised early on for being lazy and for pulling out of tackles.

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  2. it descended into crap because some losers in here have decided to object and mar well established points/posiitons …yet they provide no counter……. 😉

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  3. because quite simply…i can back up anything i say….i dont use quotes and links of others to establish things…..heh…. nor do i say:

    ” well if you cant see blah blah then youre a fucking moron”

    whats that supposed to mean?

    thats what the cunts would say to us “well if you cant see wenger is past it then youre a deluded blind follower”

    and without any further explanation…..

    do you know see the similarities perhaps?

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  4. and you reacted, when you have the ability to keep on top with well thought out arguments you fuelled the fire. if you look down the TL many backed your veiw at least in part and you would of maintained the moral highground. The art of negotiation and debate you snatched defeat from the jaws of victory

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  5. yes of course i reacted …cant have a fucking loser know-nothing mug ignoring the points raised and attacking my character or support ad hominem like any other troll out there…. ( right fins ? )

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  6. and to avoid misunderstandings …im not talkign about fins when i say
    “know-nothing loser” but his choice of the word trolling when its someone else doing it….

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  7. New post should read:

    “Silly Season Finale Beckons As Arsene Swears By Mesut”.

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  8. and heh…what defeat ?..im always on top….but i can get nasty too if i want…very nasty..hehe…

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  9. why get frustrated over someone ignoring your points. thats for legroan etc on here the wiider veiw will be appreciated remember your not just debating with one person. on this occasion if you hadnt reacted you.d strolled home with a smug look on your face. You should acknowlege that no one on hear is know-nothing even if they dont see some issues the same way.

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  10. make your points in a indepth analogy post to George its a good debate and I rather dicuss it on here than listen to the usual media shit talk about our player

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  11. a_or_b…this is not about appreciation…lol..this is about whether one can back up what he says or not instead of throwing insults that will inevitably cause reactions.

    and sorry but someone who places djourou above hummels is the real fucking imbecile and knows absolutely fuck all about football. ….lol….

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  12. Someone should write a new blog.

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  13. I’ve had enough of this shit.

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  14. weve had enough of this shit too george……..

    if some can not back up what they say tell them to shut the fuck up and get lost instead of antagonising us with insults.

    hows that?

    am i unfair?

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  15. why dont you ask guru69 to write one and we can all call him a fucking imbecile in the comments?

    ………… ooops……….

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  16. hunter totally unfair and your digging yourself a nice hole after standing tall. taking a small part out of someones point can misrepresent it and even if it was a totally ridiculas statement doesnt mean you should judge their whole footballing knowlege on it. Like i said you can write, so its your turn to send George a post weve all been waiting for it

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  17. lol… im not sending george anything…. i dont think he wants to either.

    “and even if it was a totally ridiculas statement doesnt mean you should judge their whole footballing knowlege on it.”

    i will if they object what i say without providing back up and want to call me names….

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  18. anyway,,the point has been point loud and fucking clear. opinions are fine , but if you want to challenge someone else’s you better back it up instead of simply insulting like we would get insulted as “blind followers”. my conscious is clear. have a nice day. better things to do than having to explain the self-explainable.

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  19. Heaven help us or George.

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  20. Hunter, Ozil may not a be a tackler but he doesn’t have a bad work ethic and just jog around. I haven’t found stats for whole season but I read somewhere until feb he made most passes in the team. As an intelligent football observer you are for sure able to translate that to good work rate. Because to be so integral of the games you need to make yourself available with a lot of off the ball movements. And I for one appreciate that more from him than a couple of crunch tackles a game.

    Also consider that bourinho with his mind set still made Ozil one of his key players. That would be explainable either 1) he’s not as lazy or bad at defending as you think or 2) he’s just so good at what he does you just have to roll with it. Yes you may say premier league might be different, but than that doesn’t explain how bourinho is sucking it up with hazard.

    Further, he’s stats from World Cup are very good indeed. But how about you finding them yourself. Would make more sense wouldn’t it, before posting here.

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  21. What good is backing up your point when you’re willing to trash whatever stats Ozil piles up in favor of what you feel watching Rosicky hustle about?

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  22. Oh come on someone send me a blog to publish.

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  23. Apropos: “As an intelligent football observer you are for sure able to translate that to good work rate.”

    Theres the catch. He’s not an intelligent football observer.

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  24. George just open a new page.

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  25. PG

    Match preview sent! As usual might need a few corrections. Typos. I’m a lover not a writer!

    Feel free to add any thoughts of your own.

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  26. Apropos
    I haven’t read the above thread so I could be wrong but I’m sad to say that anyone pretending that my beloved Rozza has been left out the team for Özil and not St.Jacky (whilst LJW looks to improve his…well…his, fitness) is not being consistent or honest.

    Not serious talk. Not what we come here for.
    My advice would be to not bother wasting your time.

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  27. In other news:

    FT at Turf Moor: 0-0
    Quick! Buy all the LBs! All of them!
    Puts the Arsenal post F Word rebuild into perspective, for those who are not blind.

    And Alex Song returns to play for the Hammers alongside Jenkinson.
    I hope he inspires them to beat Gazprom and City, Taking out a few players on the way, whilst helping out his old team when he plays against us.

    Lansbury scores his first of the season. Poor lad, the quicker he escapes Psycho the better.

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  28. Oh yeah,
    Happy to admit that I too gave our very own Dexter’s comment on the Telegraph the thumbs up!

    Good stuff team, good stuff.

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  29. And Finsbury has come riding to the rescue with a new post. Just what the doctor ordered.http://wp.me/p37nXa-13x

    Like

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