Ramsey Returns Along With Others
Happily the Chilean miners have all been safely returned to their families but Sky News coverage left me thinking it could have been, well, a bit more showbiz, if you like, a touch more like their election coverage. Instead of ’33 of 33′ being shown, perhaps a box with ‘Net Gains’, blue for positives, red for negatives. And Peter Snow could have brought out the ‘Swingometer’, leaping around the set telling us about the percentage swings on the rescue capsule, “a central path to be furrowed, a 7% swing to the right and it’s the mother of all headaches for the man inside as the capsule hits the wall”.
Anyway, onto the world of Arsenal which as it happens is shaping up rather nicely for once following an international break. Injuries suffered are more than outweighed by those on the verge of comebacks. Perhaps the most heartwarming is that of Aaron Ramsey. Having suffered a physical assault courtesy of the trademarked Stoke City – I kid you not when I tell you that one of their community schemes is called “Kickz” – method of football, Ramsey is back on the training pitches,
I think I’m on track, the target is November time. I’m just doing my pre-season work now, trying to get a bit of spring back in my right leg, but apart from that all is going well so far. I’ve been doing strengthening exercises for a long time now and I’m starting to feel the benefits. I’m now outside training with the fitness coach and I feel good.
I’m doing a little bit of ball work around mannequins and it feels great to be back outside, kicking the ball around again. I hate being in the gym. That’s the worst bit about this. It’s much better to be out in the air with a ball or even just running, I don’t mind that. I just want to be out of the building.
I hope they turned the lights off as the electricity bill will eat into this year’s profit. His return ought to be a time of celebration and will no doubt bring forth a slew of apologetic and remorseful stories about that lovely little Ryan Shawcross, cast as the villain in this scenario by us nasty Arsenal fans who really should know that he isn’t that sort of lad.
Arsene gave a cautionary note,
You never know what the psychological impact on your future game will be. Some players are never the same any more. They lose that freedom to go into the challenges.
The club has witnessed this aspect before with Eduardo, understandably reticent initially with challenges. It is a bit hard to turn around to a player and question their mentality in those circumstances. When a child falls off a bike, you tell them to get back on, what’s the worst that can happen? You fall off again. It’s a bit different with players, “Go on, get stuck into them, what’s the worst that can happen?” is not much of a motivational speech at the best of times. When the unsaid part is that someone’s career might be over, it is a demotivating to the nth degree.
Elsewhere, Manuel Almunia is doing his level best to be fit for Saturday. It is a problem for Wenger. Fabianski has done little wrong in the past two games, suggesting that some of his problem has been flitting in and out of the side. For Almunia, it is like history is repeating itself, except this time he is being usurped. One man who did little to further his cause was Vito Mannone, his performance for Italy’s Under-21s in the week suggesting that he was ill-advised to criticise those who are ahead of him in the goalkeeping queue at Arsenal.
I suspect Fabianksi will keep his place irrespective of Almunia’s physical state. The defence needs some stability behind them and it would be crushing for the Pole’s confidence to be dropped especially as he has worked hard to eradicate the memories of last season. That said, he like all of them, is one mistake from being tarred, feathered, hung, drawn and quartered and hoisted upon Traitor’s Gate.