Rumours Become Transfer Fact As Ramsey Carries A Health Warning For Jack
It’s a strange time, is the calm before the storm or are we in its’ eye, the centre awaiting the wrecking winds through London Colney and The Emirates as holidays draw to a close and thoughts turn toward pre-season training. There are echoes of the past, Arsenal On This Day carries the news of yesteryear and this morning’s story is not dissimilar to times now.
Seemingly straightforward transfers are drawn out affairs although the signature of Olivier Giroud is apparently drying on his contract with Arsenal if the chairman of Montepellier is to be believed. Louis Nicollin wished his ex-striker well as he settled into his new office chair made up of €5 notes, all 3 million of them. Had he held out for a fee of €20m, he might have been able to construct the La-Z-Boy Gizmo chair equivalent but the designers ran out of money. Quite literally.
The Rennes chairman is altogether more savvy about getting his new chair, realising that getting Arsenal to buy two for the price of, well, two, is a better way of going about it. Yann M’vila has apparently been spotted at London Colney as well as the Bethnal Green branch of Lidl whilst his team-mate, Abdou Kader Mangane, is the subject of a £4.1m bid from a mystery club. Quite why it is assumed that the mystery club will be Arsenal is unclear although fair play to Sportsmail Reporter for being the first to link us with the player. Well, the first one to link him that I’ve seen.
Transfer circles need to be complete and when a vacancy appears, it has to be filled. Speculation is part and parcel of the game which is why it is surprising when people get upset. Some of it genuinely does not make sense. For example, Aaron Ramsey to Fulham. This makes sense from the Fulham point of view if it is cast as a loan deal; it is nonsensical for permanent transfer – they would be wiping out their transfer budget for two seasons on one player.
As it is, the basis of the rumour seems to be that Arsenal will have competition for places in midfield. That is genuinely a good thing and is necessary. Especially when injuries strike and Ramsey knows all about that from the last two seasons, personally and from observation.
Once people have moved on from Squillaci, Chamakh, Park and Diaby, Ramsey is the next in the firing line. And given the previous quartet do not play that often, the young Welshman receives criticism frequently. Too many expected him to return immediately at the highest level, full of vim and vigour whereas he plateaued. The tail end of 2010-11 saw 8 Arsenal appearances; that was not enough to get him entirely match fit. As such, 2011-12 was key and understandably it was a season that I felt saw continued improvements in his overall performances. Yes, he had games where he did not play as well as he could but that applies to all of the squad; it isn’t unique to Ramsey. He must of been doing something right; including substitute appearances, he played 44 games last season. His return of three goals was not as good as you might have expected but again, that applies to the rest of the midfield.
Moving forward, I expect him to continue to progress. We know he as the ability and in truth, it is hard to see the benefit of him going on loan. I constantly read that Jack Wilshere will do this or that. I doubt he will be doing much during the opening month or so of the season with his match fitness being brought along gradually. From then on, injuries and suspension will play as much a part in choosing the starting XI for all of the competitions as form.
The criticism of Ramsey carries a warning for Wilshere. Arguably he has greater expectations on his shoulders than Ramsey has or had. It becomes enhanced when the media hype him as the saviour of the nation. The fallout from that will not be pleasant if he does not prove to be love child of Pele and Cruyff rolled into one. Mind you, the sniping tackles suggest that a bit of Nobby Stiles got in there somewhere, the thought of which brings a chill to the spine.