Morning guys and gals. Hope you’re all well. As well as can be given that last night Ramsey’s confirmation as a Juventus player in the summer was confirmed by Ornstein, then Ramsey himself, then Juventus, then the club.
It marks yet another example of what I honestly deem negligence on behalf of the club that we are losing a player at his peak physically and age-wise to yet another free transfer. Yet again we have a player who has seen his contract run down and left the club in a poor negotiating decision from the off.
So that’s Nasri, van Persie, Sagna, Alexis, Özil, even Walcott tan down his deal until the club signed him up on vastly inflated wages, which then made him difficult to move on until Everton came sniffing.
It marks a period of time in which from a commercial and business perspective we have, quite frankly, been an utter joke. Holding on to players too long, waiting too long to negotiate, not protecting their market value and the result is situations like this. Which we have seen time and time again and it appears the club never learned any lessons.
Well, that was under the Gazidis/Wenger reign, which from a contract negotiation perspective we have to hope that the new hierarchy have learned lessons.
We have to have learned lessons. We aren’t a club with an owner willing to plough cash in to the club and as a result sensible buying and selling is what we have to be good at. But we’ve been shocking at it and the result is this latest first team player walking off in to the sunset with a staggering payout because Juve don’t have to pay a fee.
From a Ramsey perspective I haven’t always been the biggest of fans, but it’s fair to say I’ve flip-flopped based on his form, because there’s been timed where he’s frustrated me, times where he’s elated me, but what you can’t say is that he’s been anything else other than the consummate professional. And the fact he’s found his way back in to the Arsenal team having been ostracised to some extent by Emery shows just how great a pro he is. Unai wouldn’t have him back in if he wasn’t and my hope, now that we have clarity, is that we can give a club legend the send off he deserves, because he is a club legend.
Think about his goal against Hull. Attacking midfielder arriving at the right time in the box to win us the cup.
Think about that goal against Chelski. Attacking midfielder arriving at the right time in the box to win us the cup.
Aaron Ramsey has not once, but twice, written himself into Arsenal folklore and for that we should all be grateful. Even those fans who aren’t his biggest fan. I still remember both of those moments and I hope I can remember – god willing – those two goals until my dying days.
He should be applauded every time he plays and my hope is that the fans get behind him in appreciation for the rest of the season. There are bad ways (Adebayor, Nasri, van Persie) to leave the club and there are good ways to leave the club and Ramsey has chosen a good way through his behaviour and connection to the club. 11 years is a long time in football and when he retires he will be known as an Arsenal man, regardless of who he goes on to play for, which is nice.
As for Arsenal, we need to look at what type of player we need to go for that fits Unai’s system. Whether that is a direct replacement I’m not so sure. The challenge Ramsey has when he started the season was that Unai played him in a high press, but that only lasted a few weeks and then it seemed like he didn’t really know what to do with him, or what his best position was. Do we need a wide forward instead? Do we need a different type of box-to-box midfielder? Perhaps one who is a little better on the ball? Ramsey was a goal scorer, a player late arriving and somebody who liked a long-range shot, but he wasn’t somebody with vision. Perhaps a player who can spot the runs of Lacazette or Auba is a better option?
We also need to sort our sh*t out and to me that means taking players like Holding, Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Lacazette – all players who have looked good this season – and making sure they get nowhere near the last 18 months of their deal. If there is no decision in sight from a player and his representatives then be clinical: move them on for a decent fee and reinvest the cash. As it stands we are heading for a pretty penny-pinching summer because we don’t have that many obvious saleable assets.
It’s not how a club our size can be run and certainly not going to get us back to the top table.
And as for Gazidis, well, as every passing week goes by I thank my lucky stars that we’re rid of the guy, because he has been a massive cause for some of the f*ck ups we’ve seen like this current contract situation. I hope Milan are sitting up and taking note.
That’s probably where I think I’ll call it a day for now. We might get some team news ahead of BATE on Thursday so let’s see just how ‘injured’ some of the players were last weekend.