Aaron Ramsey’s loan move to Nottingham Forest today has surprised and even shocked a lot of people. Without a comment yet from any of the parties involved, I’ll try and fathom out the reasoning behind the move, using a combination of supposition, assumption and plain old speculation.
Firstly, what is Arsene Wenger thinking? On the very day that he admits to rushing Fabregas back too early after an injury, and promising to be more cautious in the future, he throws Aaron Ramsey in the deep end, after just 45 minutes of reserve football in 9 months, and tells him to get on with it. You could say that Wenger is neglecting his duty of care. As soon as the kid is back in training, he casts him off to Billy Davies until he comes back fully fit. Billy Davies. Billy fucking Davies.
But let’s calm down and look at it objectively. What does it actually mean, this loan until January 3rd?
Forest will play 8 games.
Mon 29 19:45 A Leicester City FLC
Sat 4 15:00 H Bristol City FLC
Sat 11 15:00 A Scunthorpe FLC
Sat 18 15:00 H Crystal Palace FLC
Sun 26 15:00 A Middlesbrough FLC
Wed 29 19:45 H Derby County FLC
Sat 1 15:00 H Barnsley FLC
Mon 3 15:00 A Ipswich FLC
Surely Ramsey can’t just start in the first team? He’s been out for nine months. I can’t believe that he will be ready to play any part until maybe the Palace game on the 18th December. Claude Davis v Aaron Ramsey. Jesus wept, I can’t bear to look. Surely Wenger wouldn’t allow him to share the same pitch as that animal.
That will leave Ramsey with just four more games v Middlesbrough, Derby, Ipswich and Barnsley, none of whom are particularly aggressive. Robbie Savage won’t even get within a yard of him.Maybe Wenger has been influenced by this fixture list.
The assumption would be that Ramsey will play a few games for Forest’s Reserves before he moves into the first team. But they only have one fixture, on December 14th at Rotherham. So the intention must be that Ramsey goes straight into the first team squad. Gulp! Let’s hope there is some sort of progressive arrangement where his pitch-time is limited to start with. I hope to God Wenger knows what he’s doing and isn’t rushing Ramsey back due to Fabregas’ injury and the need to play his Captain sparingly.
Cardiff fans will be disappointed that he didn’t come home for the loan spell. Mainly, because Cardiff fans have a very high opinion of their status, and believe that everyone should want to play for them. Massive club and all that.
But there are several factors which could have put Ramsey off. Firstly, the press attention in South Wales would have been ridiculous. He can do without that as he recovers.
Secondly, there is an unrealistic air of expectation at the club. A section of our crowd has started howling in anguish at every misplaced pass. They have called for our manager to be sacked while we are second in the table. This isn’t a healthy environment for a recovering player. Can you imagine what the pressure would be like if City went a goal down at home to Preston with Aaron on the bench? They’d be chanting his name after 10 minutes, and then expecting a hat-trick.
Ramsey’s Forest connection is strong. Earnshaw is at the club, and so is his former house-mate Chris Gunter. Maybe Gunter told Aaron Ramsey about the abuse he received at Leckwith last week. Maybe that didn’t go down too well. But then Ramsey has already experienced a warm welcome from his hometown fans, which makes Gunter’s catcalls look like a cwtch and a kiss.
As he was enjoying a night out in Cardiff last month, a group of Cardiff fans began taunting him about leaving the club for Arsenal. After suffering the abuse for a while, Aaron and his pals left the bar, only to be followed. Aaron Ramsey’s best friend was knifed in the face by a Cardiff fan. Now whether or not the attackers were season ticket holders, or just thugs who had been to one game, in Ramsey’s eyes, they were City fans. Well done lads, you did us proud. I’d be surprised if he ever wants to play for us again.
But I think I trust Arsene Wenger. I think he knows what he’s doing. Nottingham is a good place for Ramsey to quietly play himself back into shape without the insane attention and expectation of South Wales. I’m just very surprised that Arsenal didn’t want to monitor his progress a little more closely and tentatively. And I don’t think Forest’s style of play – (i.e. loads of giant players fouling to disrupt opponents and hope for a breakaway) is the best suited for Aaron. Swansea would have been better, or even Doncaster, the Arsenal of the Championship. I really hope that Wenger knows what he’s doing. Fingers crossed.