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.
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.