Ramsey Off – Free Transfer Not As Bad As It Seems

Were William Congreve writing today, he’d sit back, pipe in mouth, pleased as punch with his work. Sipping his celebratory glass of port, he’d tease his Twitter followers with 140 characters:

Mourning Bride coming along nicely. In theatres 2019: Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned,

Once he’d waded through all the abuse and fawning replies, he’d come across one which intrigues him:

Yeah, it’s good and clever but completely wrong. Check out Arsenal Twitter now Aaron Ramsey’s leaving

You can feel the sense of deflation in your mind’s eye.

Football supporters turning on a former hero is nothing new. Players left in the past and were called Judas or some variant of that, usually “F***ing Judas!” We assumed everyone else thought more or less the same but couldn’t be sure unless the terrace chant went up. 

Now, just check social media for your answer. As with most things on twitter, knees jerked faster than a dose of St Vitus Dance. 

According to the Book of Ornstein:

The four-year agreement was in place but before a final contract was drawn up, Arsenal pulled out.

What Gazidis giveth, Sanllehi taketh away

And so ends the stay of Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal, or at least that’s how it looks. The timeline snuggles nicely into the theory that Ivan’s departure is the catalyst for the club’s change of heart. In the past, it’s been claimed Ramsey is close to Gazidis; I don’t know if that’s true but it fits the narrative now. 

Whatever the reason – and nobody would talk to Ornstein last night – Arsenal face losing Ramsey for nothing in June. That’s a calculated decision on the hierarchy’s part and there will be maths to back it up.

It’s A Big Fag Packet

Fag packet economics is a dangerous game but I’ve indulged in it. By my reckoning, the net benefit in financial terms of not paying Ramsey £250k per week but losing a fee of £35m, is around £45m. 

Modern bloody football. Turns fans into accountants.

Anyway, so the sums add up. Ramsey is on his last big payday which Arsenal were ready to meet but now aren’t. I don’t blame the player for his demands whatever they were – and I plucked £250k out of the air – because we made a rod for our own backs with Ozil.

So far, you’ll note I haven’t passed comment on Ramsey’s stay. I’m almost reluctant to do so because it makes this piece an obituary. 

He is a Marmite player which for a man who scored the winning goal in two FA Cup finals, is quite surprising. I’d expect someone with that track record to be close to a club icon and for some he is. But not everyone.

After the diabolical tackle from Shawcross and his Ramsey’s journey back to fitness, his career exploded in 2013-14 with a goal almost every other game on average. The stepping stone to something bigger? 

There were hints and signs that it might be. But for the most part, Ramsey did a good job as far as I’m concerned, of being a square peg shoved habitually into a round hole. He never played in the central role which brings the best out of him. It’s not compatible with late-era Wenger’s style.

Emery made a play of telling the world Ramsey was the lynchpin of the future. Flannel or keeping in with the boss (Gazidis) on Emery’s part? An equal measure of both, I think. The new boss, however, is not the same as the old boss.

A Decade In The Making

Ramsey’s case isn’t helped by the emergence of Emile Smith-Rowe or Matteo Guendouzi’s form since arriving at the club. There’s bags of potential there in players who seem a more natural fit with Emery’s thinking.

Maybe that’s what the catalyst for change really is. Half-a-dozen games and over 100 training sessions; it could be as simple as Unai Emery changing his mind over the player. 

Certainly with the two youngsters I’ve mentioned, there’s a feeling Ramsey is expendable. The question is whether we’ll get a fee and see the £45m benefit boost to £80m to be spent elsewhere?

I’m not convinced we will unless January sees an offer Ramsey feels he can’t refuse. As I said yesterday, I don’t see Chelsea wanting him but is Mourinho’s United the right place for anyone? 

Whatever the outcome, I hope time will give him the respect due for his service. In years gone by, he’d have been due a testimonial last year. 10 years at a club and his legacy is a stream of abuse on social media. Something’s not right with the way the modern fan looks at the game. 

We’ll see if history is a kinder judge.

’til Tomorrow.

17 thoughts on “Ramsey Off – Free Transfer Not As Bad As It Seems

  1. The more I look at the dealings of Wenger and Ivan the more it resembles Dumb & Dumber. They told us we had little to spend, but passed up huge potential transfer income:

    Alexis – £50m, Ozil – £50m, Ramsey – £40m, Welbeck – £10m. A conservative estimate of £150 million that could have been used to bring in new players.

    One has an Economics degree, the other a black belt in bull sh!t. Both have set the Club back 5-10 years.

  2. Well I don’t think he deserves a jot of abuse considering he was “ shawcrossed” by the orcs & got two fa cup winners & chose us over Manure.but as you say once we paid bug eyes £350,000 per wk to fanny about & become a regular sick note,the bar as you say was raised.who can blame him?but to be realistic I was never much of a fan of “ Hollywood “.saw him more as a good squad player.nothing more,nothing less.

  3. Uwot?:
    Well I don’t think he deserves a jot of abuse considering he was “ shawcrossed” by the orcs & got two fa cup winners & chose us over Manure.but as you say once we paid bug eyes £350,000 per wk to fanny about & become a regular sick note,the bar as you say was raised.who can blame him?but to be realistic I was never much of a fan of “ Hollywood “.saw him more as a good squad player.nothing more,nothing less.

    How some can deride him, is completely beyond me. He’s entitled to try and get as much money as he can in his playing career and if that’s at Arsenal or elsewhere, then so be it. His stat’s show he’s better than a squad player and I had such great hopes for him prior to being Shawcrossed as the future of our midfield. However, he has been habitually played out of position and had he been played in his preferred position, centrally behind the striker’s I don’t doubt we would have seen more from him than old bug eye’s. Good luck to him I say.

  4. Not for nothing but for all those that are saying it’s Ozil’s fault because he got a big raise at Arsenal, lets not forget that Ramsey turned down 1-2 contracts before Ozil actually signed his.

    Ramsey, a good player but would he get into any of the other top clubs, I highly doubt it. Ramsey is at his best when he plays with a target man and everybody works for him but he isn’t good enough at a club like Arsenal to build a squad around because there are much better midfielders. I would gladly sell Rmasey and sign Fekir. He has his good qualities with his late runs but I do feel that some of what is bantered about around him is based on one brilliant season(interesting that is was Ozil’s first season and he played a major role is allowing Ramsey to constantly make his runs) as opposed to hos career as a whole.

  5. For my friend Bill, Szczesny is getting rave reviews for his overall GK’ing as Juve’s undisputed GK1….shame he wasn’t good enough for Arsenal 🤨

  6. Watford should be interesting and a better assessment of where we are. A convincing 3 points and I’ll say we’re on course for a good season. However it’s not a game we can take likely. They did well to get a draw out of the Spuds and they were narrowly beaten by Utd.

  7. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    Agree, I would like to see:

    Leno(yea I know Cech will start but its about me)
    Bellerin—Mustafi—Sokaritis—-Nach9
    ——–Torriera——-Xhaka
    Iwobi—–Ozil——Aubameyang
    Lacazette

    I drop Ramsey for Iwobi because he offers more as a winger/wide player.

  8. C:
    For my friend Bill, Szczesny is getting rave reviews for his overall GK’ing as Juve’s undisputed GK1….shame he wasn’t good enough for Arsenal

    Credit where it’s due. You made a good call on Wojo and I was wrong. Enjoy this one because that has not happened anytime in the last decade and it probably won’t happen again for another decade. 😉

  9. C

    My wife and I are getting involved in a couple of new projects and ramping up our horse rescue. I hope to follow the blog but my keyboard time is going to go way down. I hope you keep the comment churning.

  10. Interesting that no contract emerged for Ramsey under the Gazidis/Wenger reign. Perhaps it was his intransigence and, if so, it appears to have boomeranged. I wish him well.

  11. Semantics, Blue Yonder; Arsenal made offers this season under Gazidis. Wenger wanted Ramsey to sign and they tried to open talks but Ramsey said no.

  12. YW,

    Isn’t it interesting that people tend to forget that prior to Ozil and Sanchez, both Ramsey and Welbeck rejected the clubs offer and didn’t want to continue discussing and now…..

  13. Ozil also enjoyed protracted contract talks and only signed when a) The club lost it’s marbles and made an offer that only an idiot would have turned down and b) when it became evident that none of the top clubs were interested even on a free.

    That deal was an anomaly then and looks even stranger now given the message that we’re trying to trim the wage bill.

  14. I certainly don’t blame Ramsey for trying to wangle the best deal he can, it’s his job and footballer’s careers are short.

    The only problem is that he’s nowhere near as good as he thinks he is, so there is always the risk that someone could stop and think for a second and decide he simply wasn’t worth it.

    Quite frankly I think all the rumors of big clubs showing an interest are horseshit.

    I think he’ll do well to get into an Everton or a West Ham at best.

    The only way he’d get into Barca would be as a steward.

    Good luck to him, we might still see something sorted out but I never thought he suited Emery’s playing style so I wouldn’t be surprised if Emery came to that conclusion too and told the negotiating team that he wasn’t too fixated on keeping Ramsey anyway.

    Perhaps YW’s fag packet calcs are genuinely indicative of some of the thinking behind it?

    That’s if it isn’t all dreamt up over a pub lunch by some journalist.

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