Morning all, bank holiday festitivies over (until next month), 3 day weeks a thing of the past, back to the grind this morning. Feels good, eh?
Two players who represent the most promising side of our future on the agenda this morning, starting with Aaron Ramsey who spoke about his goal against United:
Scoring the goal was a special moment for me. This was worth the wait and so many people have helped me through the tough time I had. Hopefully this will give them the same satisfaction as it does me.
After these remaining games, hopefully I can come back and have a good pre-season, and then go again next year.
It’s typical of the timing of football that on Sunday we go to Stoke, where his leg was broken (not where he broke his leg), but obviously we don’t know yet if he’ll play in that one. If Cesc is fit then it’s likely Aaron will find himself on the bench, away from the wild lunges of Lenny. I do hope he gets on at some stage though. If I remember correctly Eduardo was an unused sub on his return to Birmingham but maybe it’s something Ramsey needs to do just to get the final part of the rehab complete.
I could be completely wrong, it might not be something he needs at all, but all the same it’d be nice to see him out there and sticking one to Pubis’s team. And while we’re on the not altogether pleasant subject of Eduardo, Aaron and their injuries, thanks to all the US readers who pointed me in the direction of this story regarding a similar incident in the US.
Steve Zakuani, of the Seattle Sounders, had his leg broken by a player called Brian Mullan. The league’s disciplinary committee added 9 games to the automatic one game suspension and said:
Before this season, MLS worked with all its players, coaches, referees and the two federations to develop, illustrate and discuss several key points of emphasis, One of those points of emphasis is to protect the safety of the player on the ball and reduce or eliminate reckless and violent tackles. Mullan’s tackle is the type of play we need to eliminate from our game and the level of discipline is consistent with our efforts to do so.
What can you say other than ‘Bravo!’? Imagine, the people who have a responsibility for the game doing something to protect the well-being of their players, punishing unacceptable challenges and not caring if the perpetrator was ‘that kind of player’ or not. It makes the FA’s already antiquated rules look even more so, their reasons for never being strong enough to deal with this issue more facile and while other leagues are forward thinking and innovative, the suits remain firmly stuck in the past.
Please give me one good reason why a system like this couldn’t be introduced. The FA hide behind FIFA’s rules which is nonsense. We already know that a system exists in France where players can have their bans lengthened if a disciplinary panel deems it necessary. So why not in England? Why do we have to put up with a system where no matter how reckless, how dangerous or how violent an incident the maximum penalty is a three game ban?
The FA will point to Ben Thatcher and Pedro Mendes as some kind of defence but that only highlights the problem. If you can do it for that then why not when a bad tackle puts a player out of the game for long periods of time? They’re afraid to open a can of worms, I’m sure, but there are enough intelligent people in the game who could make this work. It’s just a shame the FA never seem to listen to any of them. Anyway, hats off the MLS.
Meanwhile, SZCZ admits that going into the United game with the pressure off a bit helped the team’s performance. You can’t help but wonder, having seen what we’ve seen this season, how we might have performed if that had been a game that might have decided the title (or at least gone some way to doing so), but as I said yesterday I think there was pressure on the team to perform. And look at it this way – United knew they needed two wins to take the title and didn’t really show up. If that had been us people would be quick to point the finger at our character. I’m not questioning United’s, by the way, they’ve shown plenty of that during the season, but it’s not always as cut and dried as we might think.
He spoke in support of the manager, as you would expect, and on the subject of anyone leaving the club, he said:
I wouldn’t understand leaving Arsenal because I believe being at this club is the best thing in the world. So, no, I wouldn’t understand leaving.
You can pick that apart if you like but it’s just nice to hear from a young man who, like Ramsey, has a golden future at this club if he really wants it. As much as we all like to talk about how the manager needs to spend money – and I’m not suggesting he doesn’t – isn’t it slightly ironic that one of the problems people were so adamant he needed to solve with the chequebook has been filled from within, from the youth system? Is there any doubt that he should start as number 1 next season? Not for me, anyway, and that’s a measure of his talent and potential.
Sometimes a player’s career can hinge on a lucky break. Had Arsenal’s attempts to sign Reina last summer come to fruition then it’s likely we’d have had to wait years to see Szczesny make the breakthrough – and knowing the kind of character he is he’d probably have let his contract run down and moved somewhere else to play first team football. It was the same with Ashley Cole. On the brink of a permanent move to Crystal Palace and then Sylvinho’s passport issues forced the boss’s hand. The timing has been kind to the young Pole and I’m looking forward to see him develop in an Arsenal shirt over the next few years.
Store: Get your SZCZ t-shirts!
Finally for today we find out if Jack Wilshere will be selected for England U21s this summer for the European Nobody Cares A Jot About These Championships. The smart money says he will be, yet more evidence of the FA’s attitude towards players and what might be best for them. On the one hand continued lack of success in major tournaments is bemoaned, on the other they let Stuart Pearce pick a young man who has already made the step up to the senior team preventing him from getting a proper rest after his first full season and being fit and ready for the European Championships next summer.
They are so smart, S-M-R-T.
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