What’s the deal with Aaron Ramsey?

by .

The monthly guest post from Jonathan Blaustein. Enjoy it people, just enjoy it.

My son Theo thinks Unai Emery is ugly.

It’s true.

He once remarked on his resemblance to a vampire, and often mocks his “British Guy Teeth.” (I am not making this up.)

I too have a curved nose, and therefore empathize with Arsenal’s Head Coach.

I never thought he was ugly, (if I ever thought about it at all,) but my son has been emphatic. (He’s 11, so he’s emphatic about a lot of things.) Just yesterday, he tried to argue with a Chicago-born barber, in his own make-shift-barber-shop-located-inside-an-accountant’s-office, that LeBron James was definitely better than Michael Jordan.

(That takes balls, or a child’s lack of perspective.)

I figure Unai Emery has enough money to fix his teeth, if he wants to, so he must not want to.

What does that say?

“I’m Basque. I don’t care. You may call them tapas, but really, they are pintxos, and we, the Basques, invented them. When I eat squid, I eat every part of the squid. If I eat the octopus, you will know that I have eaten the whole octopus.”

How can you not love this guy?

Wayne Rooney had them cut hairline from his neck and sew it onto the top of his head, but Unai Emery doesn’t bother to get some teeth whitener?

Why? Because he’s too busy not-losing football matches.

The last time Arsenal lost was back in August. (Pause.) August 18th.

I’m writing this on November 26th here in America, and we’ve just had our Thanksgiving holiday. I’m on a couch at the moment, and certain parts of my body are sending clear signals that I need to stop with the holiday binging.

No more sugar. No more booze.

Back to normal life. Burn off these extra 4 pounds.

Christmas comes next. That’s what we think of here in America, as soon as Thanksgiving ends.

Christmas break.

So I’m thinking of Christmas, and Arsenal have not lost since it was still high-summer-hot, and we were all walking around in T-shirts, shorts and flip flops, saying things like, “I love summer. Summer’s cool.”

Back then, on August 18th, Arsenal got beat by Chelsea, away, in a game they certainly could have drawn, or perhaps even won. They lost, sure, but at least it was respectable.

And Unai Emery’s team hasn’t lost since.

I don’t care how small and cold your heart may be, how are you not erect-nipples-excited about at 17 match (18 now) undefeated run? There are always things that can be improved, even in wins like Sunday’s against Bournemouth, but being 1 point behind Chelsea, and 3 behind Spurs?

As a monthly pundit, I’m extremely pleased. I think Emery deserves time to bring in his guys, (or at least ask Raul and Sven pretty please to include some names on their shopping list,) to fairly compare his rebuild to Klopp’s or Guardiola’s.

Even setting aside the overall volume of money we have to spend compared to those teams, it still is more fair to judge 3-years-in to 3-years-in.

But in the 3 months since August, have I mentioned that Arsenal have not lost?

Sure, within days of this article, maybe Suprs beat us, thereby rendering my main point moot. (And increasing our distance from the Top 4.)

That’s possible. But if so, I can consider that in next month’s column. This one reflects life through Bournemouth, and I think things look pretty great, for where they are.

The only place I feel like we have true egg on our faces, at the moment, is with the Aaron Ramsey situation. Why on earth would Arsenal have given up 50 million pounds for a player, last summer, only to have Emery turn on him a few weeks later?

It makes no sense.

It is possible there were no offers last summer?

I’m wondering if this isn’t an area where Arsene Wenger was a bit prescient, with European football approaching a more American version of free agency.

Over here, players have immense power, in particular in the NBA, for deciding where to play.

The only way to use that power is to run down your contract. If you promise you’ll never, ever sign with a team, as your contracts dwindles, than anyone who trades for you knows it’s a short-term rental.

It’s possible that Ramsey is unwanted, or that the clubs that wanted him realized they could wait half-a-year, (foreign clubs,) spend nothing to buy him, and keep their resources, plus get the player.

To put this in a Kroenke-centric perspective, it’s like the New York Knicks panicking and trading a ton of assets to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony, mid-season, instead of waiting 5 months and getting him for free.

The Nuggets were lauded for their wisdom, and I wonder if Ramsey isn’t an example of the tip of the iceberg.

Sure, Arsenal could have signed him for a likely-exorbitant wage, but barring that, they had to let him walk.

Is that as likely as them bungling the situation this badly? That he had them over a barrel? And they chose to walk away?

Honestly, I don’t know, but seeing him leave for nothing seems like a big failure. I guess it hasn’t happened yet, so perhaps we’ll know more by the December or January column.

On the fresh news front, Mesut Ozil was dropped for the Bournemouth game, a sure warning from Emery as to who wears the pants at the moment at Arsenal.

And that Szczesny/Fabianski interview popped up, thereby proving what Pete had been on about for years: that Arsenal’s goalkeeping coach was more clueless comedian than proper teacher.

It’s kind of amazing to think that Wenger was allowed to keep plodding on with the same old tired methods, year after year. I suppose he earned his last few years with the FA Cup trophies, (in fairness,) but here in America, coaches and GM’s at high profile franchises never get to stay around that long, and keep all the power, unless they deliver time and again.

Doc Rivers, who was considered a legend once he won the NBA title as coach of the Celtics in 2008, was stripped of his General Manager duties for the Clippers a few years back, when it was clear that Lob City had run its course. He was allowed to keep his Head Coach duties only, and now they’re winning again, and playing fresh basketball.

This idea that one person can do it all, and do all the parts well, seems outmoded these days, and I’m extremely glad that Arsenal are finally run like a modern outfit.

So I guess that’s where I’ll leave you. Unai Emery wears the pants in the dressing room, and may or may not be ugly. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wore a haircut on Sunday that made me say aloud, “No American would ever wear that haircut!”

And then today on Twitter, I saw a video about our-new-hero Lucas Torreira drinking maté, Uruguayan-style.

It’s a truly global product these days, gents, and we best all get used to it.

221 Responses to “What’s the deal with Aaron Ramsey?”

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  1. mysticleaves

    “We had Spurs last year, Chelsea the season before, United the season before that. Those aren’t strategies. Those are the law of averages saying you will give a great performance at home against a good side every so often.”


  2. Guns of Hackney

    Getting the ref excuses in early, are we?

    As they say in boxing…”if you knock the other guy out…you don’t need the ref/judges”.

    If Arsenal play well and score more goals than Spurs, we will win.

  3. Graham62


    Good on Emery for setting boundaries regarding Pires.

    It’s all about sending out the correct messages.

    Open training sessions are a thing of the past.

  4. Dream10

    City are just too much man. They’ve turned up the tempo on Bournemouth in the 2nd half. Sterling tied for lead in goals and leading in assists. Best player in the league so far this season.

  5. mysticleaves

    Remember someone saying Sterling fluked his scoring numbers last season. lol. Dude is a legit goal scoring threat these days and his assist game is on point too.

    Can’t wait for Pep to leave the prem. He has the league in his pocket. How do you compete with that?

  6. Marc


    I reckon Pep will probably be off in a couple of years – sort of works for us because it’s going to take until season after next before we really see a full “modern” Arsenal team. We just need to get into the CL places ASAP to help with the finance.

  7. Leedsgunner


    Excellent comments from Graham Brooks again, by far the most articulate and knowledgeable of the contributors of AFTV.

    I agree with his suggestion of 3-4-3 although I would start Iwobi instead of Auba. For the game tomorrow, I think Auba would have much more impact from the bench, when the Sp*rs defenders are tiring… and do a swap for Auba for Laca and Iwobi for Mkhitaryan in the second half.

  8. mysticleaves

    Marc, yeah. One can only hope so. I think with Chelsea, Liverpool and Chelsea and a pep-less City, we can compete once in a while.

    Soton leading 2-0. TBH I wonder why Jose hasn’t been sacked yet. Good for us I get. We have 1 less club to contend with for top4

  9. Marc

    ManU 2 nil down.

    If and it’s a big if it stays like that and if again big if we win tomorrow we’d be 9 points in front. Get a result at Old Toilet and they’d be 12 points behind us.

    No way Mourinho survives that – he just can’t.

  10. Leedsgunner

    If Soton win this game, Man Utd will be even more eager to win against us… although Man Utd might be tempted to play their strongest players tonight in order to rescue this game…

  11. Marc


    On face value of course you are right but the number of rumours about Utd players who are unhappy / want to leave / don’t like Mourinho etc etc you just wonder if you’re starting to see them down tools a bit. Exactly what happened at Chelsea.

  12. Rainman

    lol Man utd dropping points again. We absolutely have a golden opportunity to improve our disgusting away record at Old trafford this time. They are there for the taking.

  13. Marc

    2-2 with Southampton having more shots, more shots on target and making fewer fouls.

    Assuming Chelsea win tomorrow no matter what happens in our game that will leave Utd at least 8 points behind 4th.

    Has Mourinho despite all the money spent made a single good signing?

  14. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Bel papa hold kolsanic

    Torr xhara

    Iwobi Rambo ozil


    This is what I think it will be..

    Also seeing Eddie the other night looks like the lads got taller n beefed up

    Be good if he is on the bench

  15. Marc


    No way Ramsey starts – the only player who played mid week that has a look in is Holding. Not only did Ramsey start but he wasn’t even any good.

    Would be very happy for Chelsea to drop points. They have some very good players but I said at the start of the season the lack of a top level striker would hurt them – maybe that’s about to start kicking in.

  16. Leedsgunner

    Man United dropping points to Southampton is great for us.

    If Southampton can score two against this defence I’m sure we can as well… and recently we’ve been learning to keep clean sheets — so dare I dream it? Six points against Tottenham and Man United?

    That would be one way to make up those silly points dropped against Crystal Palace and Wolves.

  17. Leedsgunner


    1. He is still contracted to Arsenal FC
    2. He has more experience of North London Derbies?

    Why not have him on the bench if he able?

    I personally think it is a sensible decision to let Ramsey go if he is going to ask for silly money but at the same time I don’t feel the need to run him down. After all, he’s been a decent servant to the club… I wish him well.

  18. Graham62


    Not disputing he has been a “decent servant to the club” and not running him down, but feel he is not 100% committed to the cause.

    He’ll be on the bench.

    I also wish him well.

  19. Leedsgunner

    I want a win in both games this week, this time not in vain hope, desperately wishing we will pull something off but this year, with this squad in the form we are in, we should be good enough to compete toe to toe versus Sp*rs and Man United.

    We might not be good enough for the title yet but we should be good enough to beat an overstretched Sp*urs side and the most lacklustre Man United side in years. If we do, confidence and momentum will be with us… in sport confidence and momentum can do wonders in motivating a team to achieve something amazing.

  20. Graham62

    Nothing like a NLD to get that adrenaline pumping.

    The Emirates should be rocking tomorrow.

    Come on you Gunners!!

  21. Marc


    If we can get a result in both matches it will as you give us a huge boost. You’d hope the “management” would see these results as an opportunity and put some money into January – I don’t expect hundreds of millions but the Spud’s are broke and ManU have more players who want to leave than join. A little bit of cash or some political manoeuvring to bring in a loan player or two could make a huge difference in the pursuit of top 4.

  22. Leedsgunner

    Merson and Seaman as well as others have suggested that we are where we are by “luck” and they are ex-Arsenal. Why are they so disrespectful?

    In so many ways we are stronger, fitter, more mentally tough, barring our LB we have our first XI injury free and refreshed, we have finished games stronger… plus we have a NEW HEAD COACH.

    We can do this.

    2-0 to the Arsenal.

  23. HighburyLegend

    The cunt Merson really start to piss me off.

    (Let’s hope we will have our traditional luck tomorrow, ah ah!!)

  24. Olumide

    Interesting stats when you check the number of shots and shots on target compared to goals scored.
    1. Lacazette has had more shots (24 vs 21) than Aubameyang. They both have the same number of shots on target (11 vs 11).
    2. Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah have had 23 and 22 shots on target respectively. They’ve scored 1 fewer goal than Aubameyang.
    3. Among the top 10 highest goal scorers presently, Aubameyang has the second lowest number of shots on target. The lowest is Glenn Murray who has scored 7 goals from 9 shots on target.

  25. gonsterous

    is it just me or does GOH come across as a massive tw@t ? He was alright till the summer, now all his comments are just unbearable.

  26. useroz

    “But the NLD does add some energy to tired legs especially players like Alli and Kane. Son is also very fresh which is a worry.”

    Apparently Aldi says the NLD with Arsenal no longer their big game…

    May be true but wot a spud twat.

    Either way we have absolutely no excuse, as a team, in the energy and tempo departments with probably 10 changes in the starting 11.

    IF the team plays decent off the mark (1H that is!) Ozil should start. We may spare him from 100% defence commitment but he better delivers in offence. Emery will otherwise sub him @55″ without a blink.

    Prefers AMN to start MF. High energy, pace, defence (mindset) and more PL experience than Guendouzi, as much as I enjoy his style. Torr and Xhara occupy rest positions.

    Would you think Emery would do the 3 at the back plus 2 wing backs model?? Too defensive?

    If Ozil starts leave 1 of Laxa or Auba… hummm. Will start Auba assuming we go offence in 1H and hope it’s firing…

    Don’t see worse than a 50/50 game and can understand the obvious bias the UK media has given the number of Brits spud on the pitch. I like Son tho but he’d sit on the bench.

    Manure needs mad dogs in MF, Moaniho says… he should start next game then.

    Let’s do the spuds followed by an 2 – 8 to the manure…

  27. useroz

    *can’t* understand

    Btw, not allowing ex-players train with the first team is a fine decision. It’s no longer the Wenger playground.

    We train to win…

  28. TonyD

    Ramsey being linked to RM & Juve this morning in the DM.

    Works for me getting Ramsey sold in January.

    Get something for him and replace him with any of the younger previous names Cesc Appeal and others have posted

  29. vickingz

    Expect wenger’s cult to come out in full force with the line “even wenger with his dead team didn’t lose to spurs” should we lose today. I’m kinda scared tbh cos spurs seems to have found their devil now

  30. Graham62

    Believe me, Spuds players and fans are as anxious about this as we are.

    50/50 game that will be decided by a few key moments.

    I’m still going for a 2-1 win to the Arsenal.

  31. Emiratesstroller

    There have been a lot of pundits who claim that Arsenal’s 18 unbeaten record is “luck”.

    What they fail to understand is that Arsenal have become this season a “resilient” team with only Man City winning the first game of season by two clear goals and only four other sides managing to score more than one goal against us. Most of those games were at start of season.

    Crystal Palace is the last game where a team have scored two goals against us
    and they needed two penalties to do so.

    As I wrote earlier this week Arsenal need to keep Kane under control and outside the Arsenal box. We know that he will look for a penalty if the opportunity arises.

  32. Leedsgunner

    For once let’s not talk of Wenger. Not because I want to disrespect him but because frankly I’m tired of even thinking of him and his hapless excuses.

    We’re going forward with Emery now. Let’s get behind the team and hope we can get the job done.

    We did well to pass the first “test” in standing toe to toe with Liverpool… now we need to go better and beat Sp*urs and then Man United.

  33. Redtruth

    “As I wrote earlier this week Arsenal need to keep Kane under control and outside the Arsenal box. We know that he will look for a penalty if the opportunity arises.”

    Lol …No one takes you seriously…deluded.lol

  34. Emiratesstroller


    For the record that is precisely what Arsenal managed to do last season in 2-0
    victory at Emirates. Kane had hardly a kick in that game.

  35. Leedsgunner

    I just hope Mustafi keeps his head and plays with intelligence. Please don’t go to ground at every opportunity or throw away a silly free kick or concede a stupid penalty… especially in the dying minutes of the game.

    Actually, another thundering header like he scored last year against Tottenham would be welcome.

  36. Dream10

    Massive two matches for us today and on Wednesday. We have dropped five points (3 vs Chelsea, two vs Palace) that would have given us a nice cushion in our chase for a CL spot. We’re on a decent run at the moment. Best scenario for us today is a win and Liverpool, Chelsea dropping points

    Seen a couple of tweets flying around that the Welsh wonder might be in the starting XI. In the lineup or the bench, it doesn’t matter. Looking forward to him scoring the winner! COME ON YOU GUNNERS

  37. Dream10


    Mustafi was unbelievable in the home derby. Dominated both boxes in a manner Tony Adams could only dream of lol

  38. gonsterous

    anyone remember that time theo had to come off on a stretcher and he was just smiling and had his fingers up to indicate 2-0 lol. we need to beat them spuds

  39. TitsMcGee

    Ozil was found out when he tried to throw the German FA under the bus instead of sharing the responsibility for the WC debacle.

    Spineless Prima Donna .