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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


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Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey Comes Of Age But How Much Better Can He Get?

Written by on October 21, 2013 | 16 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal

There were times over the last two years when it looked like it might have been for the best if Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal parted ways. Special moments had been few and far between for the Welsh youngster since he.. to read more please click on the link.


16 responses to “Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey Comes Of Age But How Much Better Can He Get?”

  1. Alberta Gooner says:

    A cautionary tale for supporters and pundits who write off players too early and an example for the need to display patience with young players. It couldn’t have been easy for Wenger given what he’s gone through with Abou Diaby, another talented player whose career appears to be nearly over due to ongoing injuries that stem from Dan Smith’s horrific challenge.

    The other point is given the form of Ramsey and Gibbs, the decision by Wenger to lock down them as well as Wilshere, the Ox and Jenkinson on long-term deals last season looks like an exceptionally shrewd and forward-thinking move.

  2. Ed Gomes says:

    The question that I would pose is where will the leadership come from?
    Rosicky should start seeing less time.
    Podolski will be gone soon.
    Is Carzola up to the task? Giroud?
    Already Ozil?
    I think that Mertesacker would seem best suitable, but does he have enough influence?
    Flamini just came in, but he just might have to be the guy.

    The point I’m trying to say is that Arsenal has been here before. They have talented youngsters that could really come through. For me, they’ve always lacked the necessary leadership for when things don’t quite go their way. Where’s the steely resolve going to come from. I put a lot of that blame on Wenger.
    Despite all that Arsenal will be handing Wenger a very nice deal asap. After seeing the debacle that Man United is becoming, the growing pains, still, at City, stability and comfort looks mighty appealing.
    The only question will be whether PSG will come in with a humongous deal.

  3. Smiley says:

    ED – For me and most non delusional fans (i.e.Black Scarf Movement, etc), I’ll take a chance on a the likes of a Klopp. Montella, Garcia, Roberto Martinez, Laudrup, or Simeone over an egotistial manager whose stubborn transfer policies are holding the 4th richest team from becoming a top side as they applaud their 4th place trophy. At least with a Klopp Laudrup or Martinez, they will spend the extra 5-10M above market price for that world class CF or DMC/CB.

    * Arsenal can easily finish 3rd in their CL group (and 5th in league) which would be quite ironic. Wenger stands on his soapbox preaching FFP and how his side are in the black, only to get knocked out by 2 sides who constantly sell off their top players for profit while grooming young talent and making smart transfer purchases… sound familiar?

    The only difference being that Napoli and Dortmund aren’t the 4th richest club in the world.

    PS You can’t compare Moyes to the modern multilingual cosmopolitan manager who played in several leagues. Fergie entered during an era of “Little England Football” where the maority of players were Brits playing blood n thunder soccer with little technique or thought. To appoint a culturally insular Groundskeeper Wille to a high profile Manyoo organization with such culturally diverse world class talent is not the same as the Fergie situation. I bet RvP & co. barely understand Moyes’ English let alone him speaking French or Spanish.

  4. Alberta Gooner says:

    @Ed

    Well for those supporters who’ve been around for a bit and seen a little bit more, we recall two doubles and an unbeaten season. Oh and recall the years prior to Wenger. This might set us apart from younger, more recent fans who’ve lack patience and perspective over a few years without a trophy.

    Those of us who’ve followed the club for a bit also recall seeing Patrick Vieira pitch up as an unknown 20-year-old and turn into the club’s captain. We recall the same thing with Cesc and Robin van Persie. Cesc talks about that transformation in a really interesting interview with Sid Lowe in the Guardian here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/oct/24/cesc-fabregas-arsenal-barcelona

    When it comes to leadership, well, only the players really know the inner workings of the dressing room. But if you look at how some players are perceived outside the club, Aaron Ramsey has been appointed captain of Wales, Arteta captained Everton prior to moving to north London.

    Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me that you’ve blamed Wenger for the “problems” at Arsenal given you’ve claimed not to care about somebody and display a pretty limited knowledge about Wenger’s time there, to say nothing about the era prior to his arrival.

    Still you can take some comfort that you remain well ahead of some of our professed supporters on this blog, who managed to throw tantrums when the club is in first place. It’s like the club’s success is an affront to their pride because they’ve spent the better part of the past five years poor mouthing Wenger. Pathetic little Chicken Littles. No wonder they’ve never found their way to Islington. At the very least, they’d be laughed out of the pubs.

  5. ” At least with a Klopp, Laudrup or Martinez, they will spend the extra 5-10M above market price for that world class CF or DMC/CB.” …….
    ….nice line but who are these world class players that Dortmund, Swansea and Everton overpaid for.

    Nice job of cherry picking but if you are going to go down that road then why not tell the full story rather than the pieces that fall neatly into your narrative?

    Dortmund and Napoli – two teams that were financial basket cases just a decade or so ago on account of financial mismanagement. Interesting that Dortmund’s financial collapse was hastened by stadium expansion and ultimately they had to sell their 80,000 seat stadium.

    With the exception of Insigne who else exactly has Napoli groomed?

    Smiley ………..I suspect you are actually jolly Paul Gardner?

  6. Smiley says:

    Obviously the likes of Swansea, Everton and Dortmund are less wealthy than Arsenal but that doesn’t mean that Laudrup’s (Wilfred Bony), Spanish Bob’s (Lukakau loan) or Klopp’s (Aubemayang & Mikhatarian) hubris would have precluded them from paying the extra million this transfer window (Higuain, Suarez, Negredo, Soldado, Jovetic, Rossi, Benteke, etc) to bring Arsenal much closer to the top sides and have enough depth to compete on all fronts no?

    A decade ago Arsenal were The Invincibles and Manciteh were fighting to avoid relegation… we are living in the present decade.

    My point about Napoli and Dortmund was that they are nowhere near the financial power of an Arsenal yet have made healthy profits over the past few seasons while avoiding the red. Exactly for what Wenger pats himself on the back, yet he can easily get knocked out of the group by either.

    PS The likes of Hamsik and Cavanni reached their peaks while at Napoli. And Dortmund spent quite a bit of scratch for Aubemayang and Mikhatarian… very Wenger-like that 2 top players (Mikhatarian & Aubemayang) cost as much as 1 world class player (Ozil).

  7. Alberta Gooner says:

    Top of the league and some “supporters” don’t care. They are too busy trolling to watch matches or acquaint themselves with some basic facts.

    Does anybody know why Arsenal is so much more wealthy than the Swanseas, Evertons and Dortmunds? It might have something to do with that shiny new stadium that required a period of patience and parsimony on the club’s part. I recognize some of our newer supporters might not have had the benefit of visiting Highbury or the new stadium but there’s some pretty big differences in the amount of matchday revenue generated by the club. And it’s funny but I seem to recall a fair amount of caterwauling about that in the comments of this blog, long-winded and pointless bleating about how Arsenal didn’t buy “world class” players.

    If I had the time to dig up some of those statements, I would but there’s some present-day cluelessness that needs to be addressed. The reason Everton got Lukaku on loan was the omelet maker refused to loan Demba Ba to Arsenal at the deadline. This is actually pretty well known and Mourinho even publicly addressed by saying he refsued to deal him because Arsenal became title rivals when they acquired Ozil.

    http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1543756/mesut-ozil-deal-led-jose-mourinho-blocking-demba-ba-move?cc=5901

    So castigating Wenger for not being able to get Lukaku goes beyond the usual garden variety trolling on this blog that uses hypothetical scenarios or offers some dumbassed false choices. No, this is slapheaded idiocy that would be laughed at by teenaged fanboys who know that Mourinho wouldn’t sell anything other than a virus to Wenger.

    But even this type of blinkered ignorance isn’t as telling as the fact that the self-same supporters who have bitched about Wenger being a penny-pincher are now complaining about the amount spent on Mesut Ozil. The attempts to suspend of disbelief in order to continue a face-saving argument on an Internet forum that they know better than Arsene Wenger is both amazing and appalling. The fact it comes from professed Arsenal supporters is even more remarkable. I don’t think you’d even get this sort of incoherent nonsense from an irrational Spurs fan.

    There are legitimate criticisms that can be made about Arsene Wenger and Arsenal over the past few years but positing dumbassed theories is likely to get responses from well-informed supporters who actually watch the games, have gone to the stadium and read about the club. It’s one reason I enjoy reading Bobby’s insights. And, just a shout out, he made a guest appearance on this week’s Arsenal-America podcast that’s well worth a listen for people who actually want to learn about the club.

    https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/arsenal-america-podcast/id585892922

    Apologies for the long-winded response and I promise not to mock the trolls any further.

  8. Ed Gomes says:

    AG, I’ve mentioned before that Wenger did an incredible job last campaign. For me, Arsenal had no business finishing in the top 4.
    I’m not an Arsenal fan, and don’t know the ins and outs at the club. I am aware of the fantastic job Wenger has done in bringing this club to prominence. That being said, they had and have the resources to have kept RVP and continue building around him. I still believe that Cesc would still be at Arsenal if the future looked more promising. Everyone knew that he wanted to go back to Barca, but it didn’t need to happen when it did.
    As an outsider, I see a club that continually shoots itself in the foot. Frankly they brought on a huge player and he flopped, I would get the apprehension. But paying for a Podolski and to a certain extent Giroud and crossing your fingers isn’t good enough.
    Who ever replaces Wenger could be a huge flop, but Wenger has wasted plenty of opportunities. Just a thought.

  9. Gbenga says:

    Hi Bobby,

    Aaron Ramsey is a fine midfield player who moves the ball very well and has eye for goal. If he was playing for the English team, he would be on the way to Brazil. Playing for Wales, who haven’t qualified for a major tournament in years has hampered what he can do if he plays on the international stage. Maybe with some luck, they might make it to 2018 World Cup in Russia.

  10. Alberta Gooner says:

    @Ed

    Most people would disagree with your opinion about Arsenal’s available resources and that would include RvP, Cesc and their agents, who agitated for moves away from the club. Wenger obviously decided he didn’t want to keep unhappy players and the board backed him .That’s one reason why, by the way, he’ll never, ever move to a club like PSG. But I digress. My point about your post is past performance is no guarantee of future returns. And that’s particularly true in football.

    You see a club that continually shoots itself in the foot. I see a club who has built a new stadium and secured its status as one of Europe’s financial elite. I see a club who has become one of the leading clubs in developing young talent.

    No we’ve not won a trophy in a while but if you bother to listen to the podcast I’ve linked, you’ll hear Bobby explain why he regards Arsenal sticking in the Champions League while building the stadium as an amazing achievement.

    Arsenal moved beyond that period, something demonstrated by the Ozil signing and new commercial deals and are starting to see results on and off the pitch. You may see missed opportunities. I see an evolution.

  11. smiley says:

    Ed – Some people who claim to be “true Arsenal supporters” don’t realize that they are just Wenger fans and care more about ROI than getting the very best outta the 4th richest club performance wise… it’s sad. 🙁

  12. smiley says:

    Ed – Some people who claim to be “true Arsenal supporters” don’t realize that they are just Wenger fans and care more about ROI than getting the very best outta the 4th richest club performance wise… it’s sad. 🙁

  13. Alberta Gooner says:

    Even sadder are “supporters” who can take no joy out of their club’s success. What makes them truly pathetic is they think they are smarter than the manager based on their extensive experience of management on video games and ability to scout players based on YouTube highlight compilations.

  14. Ed Gomes says:

    AG, your last post made me smile.
    What you’ve said about Arsenal, I’ve said the very same about Benfica. Fans have railed against me, due to looking at and seeing the business end of futebol. Their current manager JJ is only at his post, due to how much money Benfica has been able to make on transfers.

    I still feel there’s no excuse to let such talents to go. If they are malcontents, I agree in shipping them off but not to a league rival. RVP won the title for Man United.
    They done a wonderful job in developing and finding young talent, but they’ve been very lackluster in the transfer market for proven quality.
    Ozil was a great grab, but they should have grabbed someone like Martinez (Bayern) when he came available. I just think they’ve missed out on opportunities. I also believe that due to the missed chances on silverware and players, it will give some stars pause before heading to Arsenal.

    If I was a fan, all the what ifs would be pretty frustrating right now. If you’re telling me they’ve overachieved, then I’m mistaken. I thought they had good enough quality for Silverware and sustained growth.

  15. Alberta Gooner says:

    @Ed

    Apparently Wenger did try to hold out for a buyer on the Continent and wanted PSG to bid for RvP but the Quataris ruled it out. Wenger made this point publicly

    http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Wenger-ce-qu-on-voulait-eviter/306440

    He also apparently tried to sound out Juventus about bidding for him before reluctantly selling him to United after the Turin club couldn’t match United’s bid or contract offer for the Dutchman.

    http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1150224/juventus-say-robin-van-persie-deal-was-'impossible‘?cc=5901

    Benfica share some similarities to Arsenal. I believe they financed the construction of the new Estadio da Luz and that may have led them to making some similar decisions to Arsenal.

    Arsenal’s board has acted with a great deal of prudence. Some supporters feel they have been overly cautious and that’s subject of plenty of debate. I think what’s key is they’ve now demonstrated they will push out the boat to get the right player.

    It’s easy to look back and suggest they should have went for Javi Martinez but there were a long list of clubs who wanted him, including Barcelona, and missed out. In fact, there’s a pretty amusing story that Athletic Bilbao didn’t want to sell him and had to sneak back on to the training ground to clean out his locker.

    http://www.football-espana.net/23839/martinez-sneaks-back-bilbao

    What this story does point to is the transfer was highly acrimonious and very expensive for Bayern. It’s easy for fans to have prescriptions and I agree he is a hell of a player who would help Arsenal but I don’t know if that was a realistic solution.

    Transfers are a good deal trickier in real life. Look at the Suarez situation, which was a player Arsenal actually wanted and made two or three bids with the public encouragement of the player and agent. It’s not simple. I will say, though, Arsenal have missed David Dein in terms of negotiating and closing deals given the number of botched transfers. The one that stands out is missing out on Juan Mata a couple summers ago. That was maddening.

  16. smiley says:

    I suppose “success” is a consistent CL spot for the 4th richest club? Or should ignorant fans jump through hoops 10 years straight as Arsenal sits in 1st place after just 9 games… 4 points above Southampton.

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