Archive for May, 2014

Listen, let me start by saying I never abused Rambo. I criticized him for his run of form as most did and the rest should have. I’m not a woman or a fanboy so the boyish good looks means nothing to me. I am a football supporter, I’m a Gooner and that’s where my allegiance lies.

Before I begin in earnest, let me say this. If you are one of those “I never doubted him” or “I never criticised him”, let me say this. I call bull%&@€! If you truly support the club, there had to have been a point during this time that you thought about having the lad on loan or sitting him for a while. Either that or you are one of the above, a fangirl/fanboy OR you are blind, in which case you are forgiven, you didn’t get to see the truly dreadful performances he managed at times.

There were times when Aaron’s play made me scream and cry. There were times were another shot or ten of Jack Daniel’s wasn’t enough to erase the missed back-heels, the sloppy passes, and the wayward shots. I wasn’t shy about saying that I backed the lad, but that he needed a loan move to cure his bad form. I was quick to say he needed to be a lot more like Song at Barcelona and make his acquaintance with the Emirates bench and often. You see, for me, it seemed that the trials and tribulations the club were having with Rambo working out his kinks on the pitch with Arsenal instead of with some other outfit on loan wasn’t an ideal situation.

Then came the positional changes! Oh my!!!! Rambo on the right, Rambo on the left, Rambo as an AM, Rambo as a CM, Rambo as a DM…everywhere there was Rambo. The sloppy Rambo that we all saw and most commented on and some abused (never agreed with them by the way). He had/has a non stop motor that I admired but things just weren’t clicking. Looking back at it now, those are the times that have made him the player he is now. Short term suffering for long-term achievement yes, that’s why Arsene gets paid the big bucks and I’m sat here looking like a mug. At the time though, it seemed that this once promising player was being thrown to the wolves, out of position and being run ragged at the cost of matches and points and I hated it.

I was, like we all were, worried about league position and trophies. I wanted him or whoever Arsenal had in form at the moment to play to help the club achieve “things”. So for a good year to 18 months, I criticized the lad. In my mind rightfully so. As the months wore on, I had thoughts that the injury was too severe and that the player wouldn’t reach the level and beyond that he looked so capable of prior to the leg break. I doubted Ramsey. In my mind, once I have doubt, it becomes something that’s very hard to turn off. So, when the moments of great play last year began to become more frequent, I chalked it up to coincidence. It was late in the year, the other teams were fatigued, Ramsey was on decent form and the combination flattered to deceive. So went the narrative in my mind.

Fast forward to the summer, the flashes of brilliance continued, an air of confidence was more evident and those back-heels and touch passes were now coming off rather easily and more frequently. The ball was hitting the back of the net; and it continued well into the season. Despite a slow start after being “Taylored” vs Villa, Arsenal were heading into December fighting for the title and Rambo scoring goals at will. No extended summary was needed. I was WRONG. Plain an UTTERLY WRONG; but, as it benefited the club, I was happy to be wrong. Never been so happy to be wrong in my life. Then came the injury lay off that cost Arsenal the title. That’s how important a piece of the puzzle this kid has become. Let me rephrase that; that’s how important this man has become to the club. Arsenal where making do without Theo, without a proper holding midfielder, or a deadly striker. The club was making do with the likes of Podolski, Chamberlain, Cazorla, etc. out at certain times. Once Rambo and Ă–zil were out, the run was in essence over. What a turnaround it’s been.

It all culminated in the FA Cup victory last week with Ramsey side footing a delicious finish and doing his best Charlie George impersonation lying face up on the pitch and letting the glory sink in. The comeback on the day was complete, but so was the comeback for the player. From terrifically talented youngster, to broken leg sufferer, to misfiring player, to one of the club’s most important players and finally – trophy winner. Doing what the likes of Cesc & RVP had failed to do, LEAD the club to a trophy.

Aaron, Mr. Ramsey, Rambo,

I was wrong. I am sorry, and from all of us, thank you for a wonderful season.

Up the Arsenal!

 

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