The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Wilshere, Podolski, Koscielny, the abuse of Ramsey, and comfortable qualification.

Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier: The whole stadium was awe-struck by Podolski’s volley – except The Ox, who had a bit of a nap.

Afternoon, folks.

We’ve qualified. Wether we top the group, or finish as runners-up remains to be seen, but Arsenal are heading into the last 16 where we’ll most probably have to play Barcelona.

Last night was something of a rarity; a fairly bland and comfortable win, and one that came with no concession. We took the points with two superb goals from Wilshere and Podolksi – Olivier Giroud’s contribution to both shouldn’t go unnoticed – and we never looked in any danger of losing to Montpellier. With Schalke also winning, they go into the final round of games a point ahead of us – finishing 1st will depend on us taking 3 points in Olympiakos, and Montpellier taking points off Schalke.

Whilst it would be difficult to offer monumental praise to anyone after such a routine and formulaic display, I though Laurent Koscielny looked immense at the back. He’s struggled on occasion to find his best form, but he looks like the best centre-back at the club when he’s on his game. With Gibbs now fit to play, it leaves Arsene with a selection problem; does he drop Koscielny in favour of returning Vermaelen to the centre. or leave out Mertesacker and risk upsetting the balance of the central pairing? It’s a tough call to make, especially since the captaincy hasn’t brought out Vermaelen’s best form.

All in all, it was good to see victory achieved without too much exertion, and even better to see us progress where Chelsea (most probably) and Manchester City have failed  Рit goes to show that money cant always buy you everything.

Elsewhere, that oh-so alarming trend of Ramsey bashing has reared it’s ugly and unwelcome head – this time before a game even started. In yesterday’s comments section, a thread discussing team selection quickly descended in a stomping ground for the “if Ramsey plays we’ll lose” club.

Now, I’m all for criticism of players if it’s constructive and has merit. No player should be above that. However, It’s often seen about the Goonersphere that our Welsh midfielder gets his, and everyone else’s, share. His form has been patchy – yes. But there has to be a point where we realise that singling him out for blame at every opportunity is both counter-productive and foolish.

I like Aaron. I see bags of potential in him, and I think some fans conveniently forget that he’s been through a lot for someone so young when they’re on the hunt for a scapegoat. I wouldn’t dispute he should be playing better, but my reason for saying so is simply because I believe he is more than capable of it. He isn’t a “championship player”, or the one reason most likely to make us lose. He’s a young guy with talent that needs our support. We should give it to him.

That’s all for today folks. I’ve opened up a fresh avenue for more Ramsey bashing here, but I’d like to see the other side of that argument, too. Do you think Aaron is unfairly treated? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. I shall return tomorrow.

Category: Match reviews
  • 254Gooner says:

    The caption on the top image just made my day…The Ox having a nap..Buahahahahaha. Nice post!

    November 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm
  • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

    Thanks!

    November 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm
  • Akeem Abdulkareem Lanre says:

    Its true dat we always have a bad game anytime ramsey start a match 4 us bcos of his style of play ( selfishness & inexperience ) .

    November 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      That’s exactly the kind of thing I mean; unfounded, and unfair.

      November 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm
      • 254Gooner says:

        The guy above needs to maybe remember who scored the last time we beat the Mancs…1/5/2011

        November 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm
      • Ufuoma Akpomedaye says:

        Yes d laying into Ramsey is unfair. But I think Ramsey can (and should) do better. Sometimes I think wenger is to blame wen he’s played on d left of a midfield 3 (par his lack of pace) otherwise wen he plays thru d middle, he does fairly well. In my opinion thus, while Ramsey can be annoyingly inconsistent, he does fairly better wen played in a central/attacking midfield role

        November 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm
      • Toye says:

        Don’t say its unfounded.Our game depends on quick transitions and it almost always breaks down when it gets to Ramsey.lets face facts.I do not support the bashing but its a fact that he keeps the ball for longer than necessary only for him to do the simplest of things afterwards then you wonder ” if this is all you wanted to do , why keep the ball for so long’. We have had instances where we play 3 v 1 and Ramsey will end up passing to the 1. You will see him marking space all through a game only for the ball to get past him like he never existed

        November 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm
        • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

          To say we’ll perform badly or lose when he’s in the team is absolutely unfounded.

          November 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

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  • 254Gooner says:

    Ramsey is good. I hope he does not try too hard to appease fickle fans who just use him as a scapegoat. I actually like him too, rate him highly and get really upset when he is abused for even the slight of bad touches or misplaced passes. Him, JW10, the Ox, Eisfeld, Jenko and the likes of le Coq and Gibbs are the future of this great club. Hip hip hooray to Rambo!

    November 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm
  • Alex Murtagh (@murtyyy) says:

    I think that Ramsey is getting a tough time from the fans and it isn’t always just. Since his injury he really has been struggling to find constant form and i don’t think Wenger playing him on the right has helped him this season. Personally i can see Ramsey moving on within the next couple of seasons because other players are developing quicker than him and he will be on the bench for most games and as a young player he won’t want that. I think he’s a player with potential but he needs to live up to that this season

    November 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    • Emeka says:

      You never know he might just stay and be an Arsenal favourite in the mould of Ray Parlour!!

      November 23, 2012 at 11:02 am
  • Jonas says:

    Totally agree on Ramsey, great player just lack some confidence and consistency. He can be the next Lampard.

    November 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  • Jamaicangunner says:

    Ramsey has a bad effect on the team,arsenal at the moment plays without a natural defensive mid, and wen ramsey is placed in midfield he is very very very ineffective has he does not hold the ball, he does not defend properly and wors he doesnt distribute the ball either plus hes a total waste infront of goal, he needs to bench and develop the hunger for the game, watch ppl play in his position and learn from them, in addition we r stifling our brightest talent the ox, wen we deploy ramsey on the wing, playing the ox this season has brought ntn but goals for us as he makes early tackles and win possession which result in counters and goal scoring opportunities…ramsey needs to develop playing carling and f.a cup and sub in reg matches

    November 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm
  • young_gunnerz says:

    Ramsey is a good player brimming with potential. He has the skill to do great things for this club. When we lose Its not because of him its because of the whole team. 1 player wont cause us to play badly. The whole team collectively does. He does make quite a few misplaced passes but so does every other player in the sport. When we start booing from the stands it just makes the player nervous and makes everything much worse. We tend to boo the players who want to give their all for the club and that’s not right encourage the lad help build his confidence because I have seen flashes of genius from him. The whole purpose of having a stadium full of mostly the home team fans is to provide an advantage of sorts to the home team, its to cheer them on and encourage them forward with our support.

    November 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm
  • Twivil says:

    When Rambo came on yesterday he lifted a seriously flagging team. We went from fall back and defend mode (at home) to get some more goals mode- immediately. That’s because he can read an attack and drive forward better than any player at the club. The problem is- he needs players to play with and apart from Jack a bit (yes he will improve) there are no other space finders/ pass movers and forward runners playing regularly in the team. Rosicky and Diaby have the engines as well– but they are not there. This is why we moved from being one of the best midfield sides in Europe to a bog standard Prem midfield this last two seasons. No engines!!!! This is why we have been out-worked by Sunderland, Wigan , West Brom and Norwich!! Any team can pass and move for 5 minutes but keeping going for a game is different. Aaron can- Caz, Art, cannot. Rambo, Jack and A N other are the future. Arsenal have too many pass and walk merchants. It will work against 10 men and poor teams but look what Chelsea and ManU and Shalke did to our central midfield! They target out CM players and burn them off. AW has made a rod for his own back in this area this season. He needed a defensive CM with legs- and he ain’t got one good enough.

    November 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm
  • ACE hh says:

    To me, I feel Ramsey often looks complacent and not alert, which bothers me.

    First and foremost while I don’t comment on his talent, I have issues with his mentality. When you give the ball away cheaply and misplace passes more regularly than the others do, questions are certainly going to be raised.

    I really don’t like to make comparisons but look at our Jack Wilshere. Every game, whether he plays well or not, his commitment and hunger can be seen. He wears his heart on his sleeve and will always chase for the ball if he was the culprit for losing the ball.

    As for Ramsey, he goes sideways and often times looks like he isn’t sure of what to do. Again, his giving away of cheap balls says something about his alertness too.

    When people criticise, it is always of a reason. Personally speaking, I don’t think he is good enough, but obviously I want every Arsenal player to do well. While I don’t condone booing and it is certainly not constructive, I really do hope Ramsey improves because his current form only renders him an impact sub, unfortunately.

    November 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      I may not entirely agree with you, but I appreciate the way you’ve put your point across.

      November 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm
  • Rory says:

    Ramsey appears to be selfish, quite often with his play. I know Arsene likes to play with triangles, but with Ramsey, he no sooner has passed the ball as he`s running toward the player he`s just passed to, asking for the ball back. Instead of opening up space, he takes it away…and often makes the pass back to him the only one viable. He frequently does not run back, I`ve seen him jog back when a great chance is being generated. I think some fans get frustrated that he seems to get in the lineup regardless of how he plays, where other players have to fight hard to get a look. I`m not saying it`s scientific, but I can tell you my heart sinks everytime I see him in the starting lineup. It did last year, it does this. Last year Rosicky came on and played well, and banished Ramsey to the bench. When that happened we played miles better. This year, when Diaby was healthy for all of a few games, and Ramsey was not counted on, we played better. This year, not that Wilshire is healthy, Ramsey should once again be a bit player, and that should help us. I don`t think he is a championship player, but he`s also not Arsenal quality. He should be loaned or sold. You`re ignoring people`s points because of the way they make them : `that`s unfounded“, well plenty of fans dont like his play, and feel he is selfish. They see him not run back on defence, they see him take the ball off his fellow players, they see a player that isnt good enough to be gifted a spot week after week. You OPINION is worth no more than theirs.

    November 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm
    • James 'Raul' Stokes says:

      I respect peoples opinions, just not remarks like “we will lose if Ramsey plays”.

      November 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm
  • Philbet says:

    I always laugh at the stupid ‘Ramsey should be loaned’ comment, here is a guy who was a starting midfielder for most of last season in a side that finished third in the EPL, Quite what is to gain from loaning a player this good in indefinable, He may not be everyone’s favorite Arsenal player but to decry him in such a way shows a basic simplistic lack of understanding of the game of football, He is either good enough for the squad/team or he isn’t and should be sold. I think he is plenty good enough and will have a long and successful career at Arsenal, time will prove me right or wrong:

    November 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    • Gilberto says:

      Denilson played the most games two seasons before he left.

      Face facts here, we are not as good as a team when Ramsey plays.

      He never gives a WORLD CLASS performance in our team.

      Every other single first 11 starter arsenal player shines occasionally

      We too big a club to carry a person with potential that does not deliver, when speaking of potential we should be talking about Jack Wilshere and the OX. Outstanding players.
      When I watch a game I don‚??t care if a player makes mistakes as long as he brings something to the game. Giroud had a lot of bad first touches and misplaced passes vs Montpellier but still brought so much to the game.

      November 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm
  • MQ says:

    I did cry when Ramsey broke his leg! Overall I want AR to do well but I just feel the AFC has better players in reserves or he needs to play side by side with Jack to look good!

    November 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm
  • Stephen O Abifarin says:

    I respect Ufuoma but hate many Nigerian Gooners for their blind criticism. Ramsey always cover highest kilometers on the pitch, always marking his opponent though he does not know how to tackle, run into box 18 with ease and always making a run to divert opponents attention from other players[ which is the secret of Barcelonal being in victories]
    Wenger is the one destroying Ramsey. He is being play where a player must possess dribbling skills along with speed. Let Wenger him in the middle. Anytime he fucked up, the coach should bench him for 2 matches and watch if you guys will not see the best in RAMSEY

    November 23, 2012 at 9:58 am
    • ACE hh says:

      I feel there are better players in the middle than Ramsey. Wilshere arteta cazorla diaby rosicky. Can Ramsey displace any of them? I think not at the moment.

      I do like Ramsey as an impact sub though.

      November 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

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