Don’t Panic

Morning all. There is no Arsenal news as the club flies out to Singapore for some pre-season friendlies. There is a fake news story going around that Arsenal are after some Barcelona flop named Gomes. I took a quick look at his stats and I can only say that if Arsenal are actually going for him, the club’s ambitions are awfully low.

Obviously stats don’t tell the whole story but they do paint the picture of a player who has never impressed at any level. It’s not impossible for him to be made into a good player but if Arsenal are actually going to sign Gomes as a replacement for Ramsey, we are taking a massive step down in quality.

That said, I was also down on Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, and Leno based on the data I saw and the club signed them. So, there does seem to be something else the club is seeing that I don’t see in the data. This is the point where some noob says “you’re not a professional scout, you should just shut up and support the players” which is one of my favorite things people say because: 1) the scouts get things wrong all the time and have an awful track record 2) even Arsene Wenger, who was at one time one of the best talent scouts in world football, got a ton of players wrong and actually got very few players right if you look back at all of his purchases and 3) I get a lot of things right based on just basic stats.

Anyway, I don’t know why I wrote all that because I don’t see any links to this player outside of sources like Metro and the Daily Star. So, don’t waste any psychic energy on this.

I also wouldn’t worry about Aaron Ramsey’s contract situation. I’m not worried about anything until it actually happens. It’s clear that he’s angling for maximum payout and you can’t really blame him for that, he turns 28 this winter and this is his last big contract. If he signs for Arsenal, great. If we sell him, fine (but he has to agree to be sold and I don’t see why he would). If he walks out at the end of the season on a free, well, I think I would feel like maybe he could go fuck himself. I recognize those are rude words and you’re not allowed to say them in the comments (you get filtered) but honestly, if he walks away on a free at the end of the season, it’s a real dick move and the only reason he would do that is for the money.

The stats suggest that we should have given him a new deal in 2015/16. That was one of his best seasons of his career. He followed up with a pretty poor season (due to injury) but came back again with his best season of his career. Maybe he feels like we’ve been getting him for cheap these last three seasons and thus he’s every right to hold us over the barrel. We don’t know what he’s thinking.

I was asked “how much should he be paid” on Twitter and I don’t have an answer there either. He holds all of the cards here. If he leaves on a free next spring, he’s going to get a huge signing bonus plus a large salary. That’s what Ozil did to us and that’s why we paid him 300k (reportedly) a week or whatever. So, I think you’re looking at Ozil money for Ramsey, if you want to keep him. And maybe we don’t want to keep him? I don’t know. Maybe he helps us get back into the Champions League and we all just say “thanks Aaron!”

Anyway, this is all stuff that you shouldn’t worry about because it’s all out of our control. You should worry about how you treat people around you in the service industry! I’ll write something about that tomorrow. Unless there’s some sort of actual Arsenal news ever again.



  1. Thanks, Tim. I’m relaxed. I know we’re signing Coman and all the center-backs, so everything’s going to be great.

    Genuine question: What did Gomes do at Valencia to turn Barca’s heads?

    Anyway, Ozil just retired from international football. Sounded like a really bad situation. Good for us, though, as he can focus on Arsenal without those ridiculous international friendlies.

    1. yeah, oliver bierhoff was an idiot to publicly criticize mesut ozil. it’s not ozil’s fault that germany didn’t advance from the group stage. no, that would be the manager. ozil is, by far, the best player germany has and they have no one who can do what he does. that’s a huge loss for germany.

  2. give me thiago alcantara for ramsey and i’ll take it. likewise, i’d take kovacic, max meyer, lo celso, leandro paredes, or even arturo vidal. i believe arsenal could sign any of those players, not to mention steven n’zonzi.

    ramsey’s stats are undeniable. the question i would ask is would arsenal be a better team with him and his stats or without? patrick vieira didn’t put up big stats but arsenal were clearly a better team thanks to paddy despite paddy’s diminished scoring/assisting contribution.

    i was super-excited when arsenal signed ramsey but i’ve been left unimpressed with what he’s evolved into. he used to be a player who readily displayed the decisiveness and awareness to do what the game asked. now, he seems to ask “how can i score more goals”. i’d prefer he stay because he’s a gooner now. maybe his extending and arsenal making him captain brings back that level of maturity and judgement that seems to have abandoned his play. we’ll see.

    1. “…..he used to be a player who readily displayed the decisiveness and awareness to do what the game asked. now, he seems to ask “how can i score more goals”.

      His stats show a pretty rounded player on O and D. In fact, Tim written about this very thing several times. Here’s one. The only guys better than than him on D in this comparison are dedicated DM, with next to no creative productivity

      The lazy narrativitis. around Ramsey needs to stop.

      Doc do you have that comparison box you gave us for Torreira and kante? Can remember which post it was in.

      1. there is no “lazy narrativitis around ramsey” from me. i clearly stated that his stats are undeniable. i clearly stated that i prefer he stays. the thread addresses the fact that he could leave and i name-dropped potential replacements. likewise, i made a statement based on my perceived evolution of ramsey’s game over the past nine years. that you may not agree with what i’ve said doesn’t make it a lazy narrative.

        personally, the only stats i care about are wins and loses. more to the point, i care about the quality of the football the club plays more than any player’s stats. my question was would arsenal be better off with a ramsey with big stats or with a ramsey (or someone else) who’s less prolific statistically but more sound, strategically; do we really need ramsey to put up big stats to win the league?

        1. This.

          Especially, especially this bit:
          “I made a statement based on my perceived evolution of ramsey’s game over the past nine years. that you may not agree with what i’ve said doesn’t make it a lazy narrative.”

        2. Sorry bruv, based on the stats, “Ramsey doesn’t defend” is, I’d say, lazy narrativitis. Debunked sooo often on this blog.

    2. the question i would ask is would arsenal be a better team with him and his stats or without?

      That’s the 60,000 dollar question. I guess the answer depends on who replaces him.

  3. I really like Ramsey, but after Arteta left, he has not played with the same discipline. I know he has some amazing goals and assists stats, but he is severely lacking in what made him so good in 13/14. He was matching Arturo Vidal game by game in his defensive stats. His runs forward were unpredictable because of his role when we were not in position, rather than what they are now. He is just another striker but his starting position is just deeper. He has forced Ozil and Sanchez to drop deep to pick the ball up because he is supposed to be a big part of our ball retention. He has all the tools, but between him and Xhaka, he is the senior player and that basically makes him the leader by default.

    I do not think he was our player of the season, it should have been Nacho. I feel that for us to succeed, Ramsey has to revert to a more disciplined role in the side or we will have to choose between him and Ozil. Emery will not let such distinction ruin his first season.

    Ramsey gave us shape, dragged markers away from Arteta and combined via his flicks and one touch passing to give us an amazing 13/14 season. He can’t dictate play and is limited on the ball. As a club, we hold the cards because he is not good enough to be a key player at any top team outside of England. They just don’t use his kind of player and those already there, are just better players.

  4. I have time for Aaron Ramsey.

    It will be interesting to see, if indeed he sticks around, whether Emery can “make a man out of him”.

    In other words, imbue in him the kind of discipline he rarely showed while “expressing himself” under Wenger.

    He has it in him to be the classic box-to-box guy I think he really wants to be but it depends heavily on where Emery sees him in his system. I don’t think we are going to be that kind of pass and move team.

  5. Better pay Ramsey Ozil money than paying 100 million or so for a like to like replacement.

    1. Surely even the biggest Ramsey fans would have to admit that for 100m or so, we could get a better player than Ramsey. Of course, would players priced at that level want to join our club right now…

  6. We need one transfer that’ll make us leap to our feet and applaud. Torreira is great buy, imho, but what I guess Im asking for a fantasy buy that lifts the team and the fans.

    Terribly sad over Mesut’s exit from the German team. He’s not so much burned his bridges as blown them up. Gooners need to show him massive love when he returns to the Emirates. We’re all he’s got now.

    Lots written… this is a good account.

    Key quote…
    “The midfielders created the most chances among all teams in the group stage, yet the strikers were unable to put them away. Germany’s two goals were scored by Marco Reus and Toni Kroos (an incredible once-in-a-lifetime free-kick). So only one goal was scored in open play. In the match against South Korea alone, Ozil created seven gilt-edged chances for his teammates, which were spurned from every angle”.

    Story of his life.

    1. mesut is world class, full stop. germany’s failure to do well in the world cup was down to one man and his name is joachim löw.

      over the past several years, i’ve gone on about the difference between a striker and a center forward. it was plain to see that difference in germany’s play this summer. timo werner is a fantastic talent but he’s no miroslav klose. was klose more talented than werner? no, but klose was a proper center forward while timo werner isn’t.

      playing center forward isn’t necessarily about scoring individual goals, it’s about the team scoring goals because of your play. i made the same point higher up the thread talking about ramsey but i digress. klose made goetze, muller, ballack, and everybody else look good while becoming the top scorer ever in world cup history, surpassing ronaldo. werner doesn’t know how to do that yet but he’s only like 12. löw’s got to know that.

      france had the same dilemma. deschamps started m’bappe at center forward in their opener against australia. at halftime, he’d had enough and put giroud on at center forward for the rest of the world cup. result, m’bappe plays outrageous while france go their second straight major final and win the world championship. is giroud more talented than m’bappe? no, but he’s a proper center forward who can produce despite not scoring a single goal. likewise, m’bappe got to shine.

      germany, in their arrogance, have just lost a generational talent. all of the blame should fall on löw.

      1. Nah, he hasn’t been a world-class superstar for a long time. He can certainly be world-class at some things, but right now he’s a Europa League player and, you know what, rightfully so. Özil has been coasting for some seasons now, be it at Arsenal or the national team. He’s certainly not at fault for the disaster at the WC, but he’s part of it. He’s indulged in his little cocoon doing nothing but the things that are comfortable to him.
        I tired off him last season, 2-3 months of production every season is very little return for the supposed centerpiece of the team. His half-assed non-commital defensive play is only part of that but he’s not taking responsibility for the team.
        Mind you, I understand he’s not Tony Adams and I won’t entertain any discussion about some pop psychology “body language”, he is what he is. But he’s a highly specialized and very limited luxury player that unfortunately causes structural problems in the teams he plays in. Germany were basically playing Arsenal at the WC and that was sad enough to watch.

        1. The guy’s been consistently one of the best, if not the best, creative providers in Europe statistically since he signed for Arsenal.

          The guy’s usually towards the top of the charts when it comes to distance covered (including high intensity sprints) by Arsenal playes during matches.

          When it comes to end product in big games against the top teams in England, his 5 goals and 8 assists is better than any other current/recent Arsenal player.

          Since his arrival in England in the summer of 2013, he has created more chances (401), more big chances (51) and provided more assists (42) than any other Premier League player.

          Arsenal are lucky to have him in my opinion and i think he’s going to have a great season in a more organized team.

          1. “Distance covered” is not a defensive stat. It’s debatable if it’s a useful stat at all. I didn’t ever state he was lazy or anything, that’s just a cheap shot talking point out there. But his defensive contribution is regularly little more than sticking a leg out half-assedly as an alibi attempt and barely standing in the way. He’s good at creating chance, but that’s my point, it’s not enough. I expect more of him exactly because he’s so gifted.

      2. Mesut Ozil is a luxury player. The icing on the cake if you have a great team that you need to put over the top with some other-level visionary passing. But he’s not a franchise player and not a player you can build a team around. He disappears in big games if the other team can game-plan for him. Where he succeeded on the German national team was they had so many weapons that opponents couldn’t focus on Ozil and leave anyone else that additional space. He’s a great player. I enjoy watching him when he’s in full form, it’s magical the amount of space he can get for himself with a pause on the ball, a dip of his shoulder, a deft flick to the side. But does that make him world-class if he can’t carry a team through a tough game? I dunno…

    2. btw, super excited for olivier giroud. started in the french 5th division and worked his way up the food chain to become a world champion. well done, sir. however, i do feel bad for laurent koscielny, who shared a similar trajectory to the top with giroud.

      it’s like that rap song that goes “started at the bottom, now we here”!

  7. Whatever the stats said; Ramsey’s diffensive mistakes are costly ones. Do we have a stat to show that? especially for him and Nacho monreal?

  8. Claude that chance created for hummels reminds me of how he creates for arsenals strikers aand they fluff them.

    1. Exactly. Time was when he was feeding Giroud and Walcott, and they were refusing to eat. Early in the 2015/16 season, he was on course to becoming EPL Player of the Year.

  9. Assume he stays for this season and does not sign (like jack)…

    IF he get us top 4 then we are a UCL level club and easy to attract a replacement if he choose to leave.

    IF we do not make into top 4 again, losing him does not hurt us because we still finished outside top 4 and we need more quality than him to get to top 4.

    YES! We lose some transfer money. But do you honestly think we can attract top quality for the money you get from a player who is on a last year contract that is better than him in this market???


  10. I like Ramsey, but a serious club wouldnt allow him to enter free agency. Sell if he doesn’t sign. You’re going to take a financial hit, but we as a club need to start getting serious about transfer value lost from run-down contracts.

    A signed up player also tells you that he’s committed to the cause. A player not signed is a distraction, no matter how professionally he applies himself to games, training and representing the club. It also tells other players whose contracts are winding down that they can hold the club over a barrel. I dont see us freezing out a player who is a contract rebel… it’s not the Arsenal way, but man, a player like that is saying clearly that he isn’t fully on board with the cause.

    It’s got to be set policy now, or we store up trouble for ourselves every year.

  11. And if he is sold, Ramsey will go for around Ox money… given age, contract length remaining etc., we should expect a max of 40m. Max.

    Im hopeful he’ll sign on, though. Tremendous player for us.

    1. Agreed. If someone offers us 40m in the next couple of weeks and he still refuses to sign, then sell him. I think Ramsey might do really really well with Emery, but we shouldn’t let him go for nothing.

      I read that Ramsey wants to play abroad. I have no beef with that – if I were a professional player I think I would have wanted to use my skills as a passport to play in different countries and experience different cultures while getting paid. But he should give us a list of teams he’d consider so we can see if we can move him to one of those teams right now.

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