Olympic Ideals Or Reality Bites: Tough Choice For Ramsey

As the middle of November approaches, it is like animals waking from hibernation; the first bleary-eyed steps are being taken towards the full bloom of the winter’s transfer nonsense. Some of it will of course prove to be prophetic when viewed with hindsight and to be honest, most of this morning’s concerns players whose careers at Arsenal are destined to be on the periphery at best. There will always be the exception to prove the rule as Mr20%s test the waters to try to strengthen their negotiating hands.

Daily Heil reports this morning suggest that Manuel Almunia and Sebastien Squillaci have tested the patience of their manager once too often and are on their way out of the club. Given that the Spaniard was on loan at West Ham and available in the Summer, it is hardly surprising. That Squillaci has had Almunia-esque injuries, there is no amazement either. Yet we are still supposed to be in awe at this knowledge, gasping as if Aliens in Toy Story.

They suggest Maruoane Chamakh is available for a loan or permanent offer which suggests someone has been spending far too much time reading the social media sites rather than talking to anyone at Arsenal. That the African Cup of Nations takes place next Winter and thus makes him of little interest to teams who may be inclined to make an offer, has escaped the hacks attention. And he may be there for the full tournament with some of the nations who might have expected to challenge for the trophy, failing to qualify.

As for Andrey Arshavin. Schalke? Really? Somebody has been in the gossip kitchen, taken a pinch of mistranslated Russian media interviews and added to a smidgen of fine-bottled international not in the club starting line-up to come up with a alcohol-free codswallop cocktail. OK George?

Elsewhere, rabid nationalism is the order of the day. No, not poppies; it was a farcical row that had a simple solution which the simpletons couldn’t find quickly enough allowing the oxygen of publicity to those who should never get it. I’m talking Team GB. Again.

Aaron Ramsey gave an interesting insight into what has been happening with regard to the players. The Welshman said,

I don’t regret what I was doing [modelling the Team GB kit]. Gareth and I are contracted to Adidas and it was a shoot for them. My view hasn’t changed. If it doesn’t affect Wales’ identity then I still want to play.

His international Lords and Masters beg to differ with their perception being that the Dragon will be subsumed into a permanent Team GB. It won’t but the power in the corridors that the Celtic nations hold, might be diminished. That is likely to happen any way as part of Fifa’s desire to move toward the fully democratic Utopia.

More disconcerting is the hint of bullying,

It is up to the players [whether they play for Team GB]. The PFA haven’t given us any reason why we can’t play in the Olympics. Maybe we’ll have a meeting, but I am not sure. It is still a long way away, so a lot can happen.

In the sense that the FAW and their cohorts should not be able to metaphorical gun to the players heads, Ramsey is correct. But the truth is that the decision is with the clubs. It is a Fifa sanctioned tournament but organised by the IOC and therefore the clubs have no obligation to release players.

For Ramsey it is tough. Wales are no closer to qualifying for a major tournament than at any time since 1958. Some might argue they are further away and it is hard not to have sympathy with this thinking. Yet he may like to consider what has happened at Arsenal in recent seasons.

Diaby was lined up as Vieira’s successor, was injured against Valencia pre-season and lost out to Flamini. Diarra did not wait for Flamini to go and was gone, allowing Diaby back into the frame before injury struck and Wilshere moved into midfield prominence. Injury to those two and Ramsey is in situ. A fluid part of the side at the best of times, Ramsey might like to consider more deeply whether he will be able to force himself into the midfield starting line-up if he misses a month of pre-season with the team. It only takes one player to strike a rich vein of form and the pecking order changes.

Anyway, that’s next Summer. International weekend means that the break is past its halfway point. Just time to see England get taught a lesson about loving the ball and caressing it, rather than trapping it as if it were a bag of wet cement.

’til Tomorrow.


Posted on November 12, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. Morning all – remember position is pointless. Read the post.

  2. Good words well laid out as always, YW.

    Could care less about England’s trials tonight – the only thing that matters to me is getting all our tyros back to the fold in one piece.

  3. first.?

  4. The only really bit of good news is that RvP made it through 90 minutes and won’t have to play against Germany, thus being nicely rested for the real games to come.

  5. top 3?

  6. Rosicky assisted both goals.

  7. Yes well done people – rosettes for the pair of you.

  8. Gunner From Nigeria


    I love your last paragraph about how Spain would teach England a lesson and the bit about trapping a ball as if it a wet bag of cement.

    Xabi Alonso alluded to similar facts in this piece.


  9. as highlighted in the post
    rambo needs to think carefully..
    he was ahead of jack in the order..until the assault at stoke..
    in his absence jack shone and made himself first team with little or no comp..
    jacks injured..rambo gets his chance again and begins to shine
    for me jacks still the better all round player but for wenger its a difficult choice when they are both available, a headache that you dont want to go away as a manager..
    if rambo goes for gold its a choice wenger wont have and rambo may regret it given the form jack showed last season..
    losing your place through injury or form is one thing but giving it away is another and i think rambo risks that this summer..

  10. Position comments? Why I ask? What is there is commenting first or commenting second?

    Yogi, are there any prizes?

    Anyway, nice post, Ramsey is well within his rights to want to play for Team GB in the Olympics, it’s a world event and representing a nation or rather the GB for him will be special.

    Arshavin for Schalke got me laughing. Oh really? He isn’t going anywhere, right George? Speaking of Schalke, have anyone seen their young striker Pukki? Very very confident on the ball and can score at ease. I see great potential in that player.

    Another gossip that has been doing the rounds is that Arsene enquired Lucien Favre for Marco Reus from Borussia Monchengladbach, all you find in his video compilation are his magnificient volleys week in week out and while I was watching one of their match highlights last night, I noticed that he scored another volley this week.

  11. Yeah there is a piece on Reus from Jamie Sanderson in The Independent, 18M release clause and some injury question marks but sounds the business. Germany are flush with youth talent.

  12. germanys a huge pool of talent at the minute..
    so is france..

  13. Can you get me the link to that one Jonny?

  14. France has diminished a little bit, Germany is overflowing at the moment. I heard that it is due to the way the lower leagues in Germany operate.

    Thanks Jonny.

  15. Excellent article on Reus but Reus is not left footed, he is right footed, but can use the other foot also.

  16. france had dimished in comparison to 10 years ago or so..
    but its getting better now theres lots of players in france that are attracting interest..
    your right germanys the one that seems like the gold mine at the minute but wenger got kozzer and gervinho, went after m’villa and expresses interest in hazard so the french league aint too bad as far as talent goes..

  17. France, Germany, Spain – all well ahead of us in terms of outstanding talent.

    Never hear much about Italian youth or youth set-up.

  18. to be fair all the ‘major’ leagues have a good pool of talent..
    theres good players everywhere but i think theres only certain styles that would suit the PL..spain is the closest but we have to be careful cos its nowhere near as physical so the adjustment could be harder..
    germany and france seem close for fast flowing football as well as lets kick em style..

    italys full of good players also but their leagues a bag of shit..too slow and they all dive, its like la liga in slow motion…crap

  19. Nice post YW and a very good point regarding Ramsey. At the moment he is arguably a starter in almost every game, as he should be with his performances. But surely he should not approach an opportunity such as playing in the Olympics and only think about what ot might do to his standing at the club? For even if he where to fall down the pecking order as such, whether due to injury or whatever arising from said tournament, he should have enough belief in his own abilities to reclaim his starting position. That plus the fact that if/when Diaby and JW are fit and healthy again we may be forced to let a player or two go from midfield, thereby removiing some of the competition for places anyways?

    Jonny – Fully agree with your points mate about Sitchin. But I would also like to point out that as some(if not all) of his ideas go against the vast majority of accepted beliefs, he is ridiculed and criticised where others are tolerated at worst and lauded at best. The important thing to remember is that he is taking as truth the writings that he has translated and running from there. Which, as you pointed out, is a bit of a problem if you do not believe/agree with that in the first place. I would still recommend listening to it all and then, if still interested, reading the book. The story that he ends up with after his translation is quite out there but at the same time is, in some parts anyway, the forerunner to the Old Testament, Torah and Koran. Personally I would give more weight to Sitchin than any of the three books mentioned but then again I grew up watching Star Trek!!

    Pastys – Not spelled correctly I admit but until MDGunner starts to make them correctly, then “Pastys” they shall remain!

  20. I do not think for a yping player to get take the opportunity to play in an international tournament, which in Ramsey’s case may well be his only major tournament, will make him any worse a player. Good luck to him. The chance that missing a few games for AFC, which Jack and others may also miss because of Olympic duty, would seriously damage his career seems a bit far fetched.
    I think the Team GB story is set to run and run

  21. @sirram
    it was a joke, jonny was in first place for half hour or so. have s little coffee friend. you come across thick.
    and germany has always had good young talent. the issue ,or one of the issues, has been that the players are reluctant to leave the german domestic league.

  22. Big post today. Love it. Totally agree keep it up.

  23. hay irish. morning all..

  24. i check out Zacharia too. interesting and we shall find out in 2012 if his theory holds water. nice game for your national team irish. permission granted to walk with your chest out this next few days.

  25. check out the books by Eric Foundanican. i believe the title was ‘ CHARIOTS OF GODS ‘.

  26. Yes agreed – difficult to ever comment on anything one hasn’t actually read. :0)

    All the good people grew up watching Star Trek.

    Looks like Wellington in more hot water


    This kid is a proper handful eh? Hope he doesn’t do ‘a Pennant’ and squander his talent – cos on the basis of what he could do a couple of years ago he has plenty.

  27. hope you all are having a great weekend?ok YW am not ashamed to say this,i actually just signed up to twitter because of you so be kind enough to tell me how to locate you over there.gracias in advance

  28. Goonerkam- Sorry mate, I was making a loose remark myself! Yes, slowly, players are moving out of the German soil as well. Hopefully, that’s for the good.

  29. Have a major exam tomorrow, too much of studies on systems development is getting to me. Maybe that is why accountants should always stay away from Computer technology.

    Anyway, have a nice weekend guys! I will try to make it at night!

  30. @goonerkam

    Eric von Daniken has been proved to be a bit of a liar.


    You should read this (the pdf) before anymore Sitchin


  31. Goonerkam – Thanks mate!! Was a very convincing win, if not the most convincing performance. Don’t let the score line fool you as Estonia played very well for the first 60 minutes or so but were let down by having 2 players sent off. I have read Eric Von Daniken’s books and many others and do indeed lean more towards the “Alien” theory than any “God” or religious belief. Having said that I have witnessed first hand the power of Faith and the good it can do. Sadly also the bad it must be said. In saying all of that, a very close friend holds to a very simple belief and that is that he has lost (as we all have I am sure) a lot of family and friends that he cared about deeply and would one day like to see again. He believes he will but is too humble to even hazard a guess as to how and where. I like to believe he is onto something there. Either way have a great weekend. I am off to a day long dinner party in Queens with lots of booze involved, so expect to be pretty hungover tomorrow!! COYG!!!!

  32. Dups – I agree that Sitchin takes a few “liberties” but I do believe he is closer to the truth than so-called “mainstream” historians or archaeologists. You are also right in saying that his translations are in some cases wrong but as I said his book came out in the 70’s and was one of the first of it’s kind, so mistakes where bound to be made. I believe he is still worthwhile reading as it will lead the reader in a direction he/she may never have thought to go otherwise.

    As for Von Daniken, he was dismissed out of hand by the so-called mainstream and was ridiculed for daring to think “outside the box”. What they fail to admit is that in most of his books, he is simply asking “what if” such where true and “what if” such a thing happened and then goes from there. yes he is asking for a leap of faith but what is wrong with that? His real crime is in rejecting the main-stream and asking questions that a lot of people do not want answered. A lot of his theories are far-fetched to say the least but at least he offers explanations. Mainstream archaeologists cannot admit that there are places on this planet that are 10’s of thousands of years old because they do not “fit in” with the established mindset. For that alone he should be praised not slandered and ridiculed at every opportunity.

  33. Leave it to Rambo…I think AW will bring in a another top midfielder before next season gets underway

  34. Altogether now on the count of three.

    Engeeeerland engeeeerland engerlaaaaand… engeeeerland engeeeerland!!!!

    u2 irish.

  35. well done England. Against the World champs, no less! Did the change of captain help?

  36. England winning is another backward step for football.
    Now everyone (well not everyone ,but you get my drift) will think we can beat good teams by playing shit.

  37. I wondered how long before the the doom, George if England had played Spain in an expansive and open fashion they would have been ripped to shreds, Don’t forget we had a game plan against Barcelona that nearly worked, we never tried playing them at their own game

  38. Not the point I was making now is it Ace?
    Just saying, it gives the hoofball merchants more ammunition.
    Can you not see that?
    I simply justifies shitness.
    The same excuses the likes of Stoke put forward.
    We might beat Spain at home ,with friendly lino’s.And 6 subs so tiredness is less a factor(not that friendlies are played at full speed anyway).But we will win fuck all playing like that in tournament play.
    Still as long as you are happy with being dominated and stealing a win,that’s fine

  39. When I say “ace” I mean it in that condescending American way.Not in the “Ace” the ACLF poster way

  40. By the way George it’s me Spy,
    Anyway I know there’s plenty wrong with England and it prob starts at junior level,
    I know they have no chance of winning a comp but they can only play as well as the opponent allows(Spain are world champs)
    Let’s see how future matches pan out,

  41. Spy

    When the old guard come back the future will be a 1st round knock-out as usual.

  42. Spy I know its you see 9.59

  43. I can see the hacks creaming themselves writing tomorrow’s columns. One friendly game is no indication of how good (or bad) England are.

  44. Yeah nice one George ur taking up with too many yanks lately

  45. I read somewhere that Arsenal are the 1st club to have one million fans on twitter. Not to bad if true

  46. USA finished above England in the 2010 World Cup

    There is nothing wrong with Yanks you mother F#*#*@@$ English piece of #*#*#$$.

    In fact, the Arsenal have brought on a tall blonde Yank by the name of Brek Shea. I dunno what Arsene sees in him to be honest. He plays left mid, isn’t that fast, has an okay first touch and thats about it.

  47. tnx dups & irish.interesting reading all. as breathing thinking beings we makeup our own minds as to whom we think is closer to the truth..
    what i can’t understand is blind faith and sheepish obedience to any view. have a good one all , wherever you are..

  48. who said there was something wrong with Yanks?

  49. Bill he is training with us we have most certainly not bought him.I think

  50. george , i could care less about the outcome of these friendlies. do you know if all our guys are in one piece or we have more work for the physios. ? tnx….

  51. Ingerlaaand! We are the bestest innit!

  52. All is well as of yet kam.But we are only half way there.
    Good news is RVP is on his way home for a “feet up”

    Howdy Dexter me old chum?

  53. Dexter, you have the best sense of humour on here

  54. Jorge! Amigo mio!

    I am fooking fab mate, you?

  55. spy

    Ha! Shucks dude, I am touched. Well thats what my shrink says

  56. @Irish – fancy a patsy?

  57. what the british national team realy needs is for the FA to make some tough decisions regarding the domestic league and stop the doping(financial) or their sweetheart teams. encourage technical abilities and competition amongst the clubs. being the dinasures that they are, they havnt and won’t make those hard changes. till then, hoofball it is.
    i think changing the captain was a good idea. terry is TOXIC…

  58. Goonerkam
    Its the English national team(pedantic)

  59. right you are oo7 . but don’t you think if england, wales and etc.. where to combine forces and bring one team to the competitions they would do much much better .?
    just asking.. look at ryan riggs. i don’t think he played in any major international tournament. was he not, at some point , the fastest and the best left winger in europe, and maybe the world.?

  60. goonerkam

    Haha! I dont think that argument would wash with those who have a patriotic bent man. I dont get the hang up about having some over the top attachment to a country myself, but there are a fair few out there, unfortunately. They definitely wont be happy about seeing the 4 nations becoming one.

  61. I agree Ryan Giggs would have been a shoe in for England, As for a British team it will never happen- You can see that by the pathetic response by Scotland an Wales to an Olympic team

  62. nationalism and the feelings it brings to the table are a stumbling block dexter . i agree. the next step then is to revamp the league and start emphasising the areas in which the game is evolving towards. mandatory youth programs for all clubs and emphasis on technical abilities as well as strength and pace. in five to ten years you shall behold a final product that will contend for first place. presently, the final product isn’t even pleasurable to watch. i think you both will agree.

  63. 1-0 – Says it all really. Nothing substantial yet means everything. It was like watching The Arsenal dance around Man Utd for 90 minutes but still end up losing to a Park(red devil kind!) goal out of nowhere!! Let’s face it, if a Spanish player scored a similar goal last night, it would be the luckiest goal of all time!!! But Jesus we where forced to watch it over and over and over again!! I mean it is one thing for Paddy to sing a song so well that he has to get up and sing it again…….well, we all know where that is going!! And no! It is not the confessional, we all hope! Ok No more non-football talk.

    So who else thinks Diaby sucks?

  64. I have just finished reading a few write ups on the English game. Good God they have no shame!! ” I think England had something like two shots on target. Yes, they did well, won the game and it was a fantastic night for the players and fans to remember.

    But you are not going to win a tournament playing in that style for seven or eight games.” That was from Danny Mills.

    When Man Utd do the same against us, it is the way of champions. Make your fucking minds up, you useless bunch of ……….insert whatever superlative you want, I really doubt whatever you can think up will actually do their ignorance justice!!

    For the record, well done England. I will never understand why but you tend to have the most delicate of mindsets. Yet I for one am always happy when you do well. Equally happy when you do not but what the hey!? Must be an Irish thing? Point being I would rather you did well, in fact I would rather you did your best and stopped the bitching but what do I know. I am a Paddy.

    Robbie Keane has scored more international goals than any other player from England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland. He is second only to Raul and Jan Koller for most European Qualifying goals. And he sucks by the way. I know. Why? Because I have watched him miss at least 50 fucking sitters for Ireland over the last 10 years! Can you imagine how many he would have scored if he was actually good? Did you see him play for Liverpool? they playedhim alongside one “Torres”. Apparently the latter was world class and made our Robbie look “Ordinary”. Robbie went back to the Spuds and started scoring again. 2 goals every 3 games. Fucking sucks!! like I said. Yet he has scored more goals than Zico, Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves, Samuel Eto’o or Thierry Henry for his country.

    Sorry, but I have always felt he got the short end of the straw because he never had the skill of a Ronaldo or a Messi. (Yes I am totally ignoring the fact he is a Spud!!) Just how many goals has Messi scored for Argentina by the way? Yea fuck him!! Maradonna will always be better and Pele above him for that matter. If only because I have actually met Pele. Anyways, well done Engerrland. You do deserve, of all countries, to beat those pretentious bitches from Spain. Even though we all know you should have lost. (See that C’bob—should “have” not “of”, yea, don’t give them shit for saying that, huh?) Just like watching The Arsenal.

  65. the guy that butchered him sucks irish, not Abu.
    not everyone can come back from a horrible injury at the same rate.
    on top of his game, Abu has amazing skills and can turn the game on his own.
    his offensive skills are devastating.
    even when he comes back, cowards that can’t keep up with him try to go for his weak spot and rebreak his leg.
    i know that we havnt been able to get the best out of him to this point but i won’t blame him for it.
    what i will ask of him is to never wear another teams jersy in his off hours. specialy our cross town ,wanabe , rivals.

    how was the party?

  66. Very fair point about ‘pastys’ and MD by the way Irish.

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