Just 2 months ago, Aaron Ramsey was being pursued by Man U, Arsenal, and Everton and being hailed by all three clubs as “one for the future.” In the end, it was his choice to join Arsenal and it was something that Arsene Wenger said to him at a private meeting on neutral ground that convinced the young man that Arsenal would be the club for him. The boy came away from the meeting convinced that he would be given every opportunity to succeed at Arsenal and said something that not many gave much thrift to at the time
Arsenal is a club which always gives young players an opportunity at the highest level of the game and I am going to work my hardest to be part of future successes here.
Tonight, he gets his opportunity. Wenger gave a tepid review of Ramsey’s progress, saying that the kid needs to work on his technique, and so I doubt that Ramsey would have been any where near consideration for a starting spot if everyone was healthy. But needs must is the devil’s playground, or something like that, and the lad gets his shot. After my initial response, I am excited for him and really wish I could watch the match, but it’s not being broadcast here in the States and so I’ll have to either do the Beeb’s scrolling update or find some way to do a peer to peer thing. So, here’s to you lad, break a leg, erm… no, wait, don’t do that. Don’t break any legs, yours or anyone else’s, please?
As I said yesterday, I’m now on the record with a sense of dis-ease with the lack of midfield signings and constant midfield injuries. First, to the injuries, it turns out that Cesc and Senderos both picked up a Hammy because the boss overworked them in training. Here’s Wenger’s mea culpa:
But it is always tricky when you have players coming back late. You always try to rush the fitness a little bit. When you play a qualifier you are a bit more pushy with players who come back late and that’s when you get injuries. That is what happened with Fabregas.
Note to Arsene Wenger; Cesc Fabregas is the most important player in the club, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t kill him in training in your haste to get him fully fit. Thanks. I mean, what’s done is done, and I fully back Wenger as manager, but for the love of god, why? Why couldn’t the manager and physios, with all that’s at their disposal, ensure the fitness of their most important player?
As for the signing, all summer I’ve maintained a healthy skepticism that Wenger will sign the big name player that so many of us supporters are slavering over. As much as I would love to see Xabi Alonso in the proper shade of red, I honestly don’t think the club has the resources to do the deal. Well, they sort of have the resources, but I think they’d have to borrow money to do it. Maybe the sale of Justin Hoyte, if they accept Middlesboro’s bid, will help grease the skids a bit here but again I remain doubtful. Every quote I read from every person, from the board to the boss, seems to be setting us up for one of those classic “well, we had a couple of targets, but the price wasn’t right” justifications for not filling out the team. The part that they admit is that they need a body, but then Wenger will say that he may or may not buy, depending on the value. Like I said a few days back, if you have a flat tire and you’re on a road trip, you don’t wait for the repair shop to have a fire sale; you fix the damn flat.
I’m resigned to the notion, though, that Arsenal aren’t buying anyone, not Inler, not Alonso, not Bale, and not Annan or whoever else the press can fabricate as being linked to the club. That way, if the deal does suddenly happen for Alonso I can be double-plus happy.
Anyway, the boys take on FC Twente in a few hours. Here’s to a rousing win and superb performance by all and especially the ones who have been thrown into the breech.
Unless Arsenal sign Alonso… tomorrow.