Are Arsenal handling the Ramsey situation well?

Just when we thought that the Aaron Ramsey story of ‘will he or won’t he leave the Club’ had been flogged to death, flickers of new life have appeared since he scored ‘that goal at Fulham’, leading me to believe that it needs a bit more flogging and that is exactly what I intend to do.

Ramsey’s contract ends in the summer and he will be a free agent to leave at that point but he can sign a pre-contract with another European team in January. (I think) Obviously if he leaves for free in the summer, the club will miss out on a lucrative transfer fee from any potential sale. Conversely, if he is sold in January, he may miss out on a hefty signing on fee.

There are people who have criticised both the player and the club over how things have been handled. In the player’s case the criticism has been levelled for not wanting to show more loyalty to the club that has nurtured him from a raw talent to the highly rated player that he is today and, as such, Ramsey should show more willing to sign an extension to his present contract. In the club’s case, of course, the criticism is for allowing Ramsey’s contract to have run down as far as it has.

As this has unfolded I have found myself asking what could or should the player or the club have done differently and I have struggled to find an alternative. In the case of Ramsey, I completely respect his right to stay at Arsenal for as long as his contract lasts and not a minute longer and as it draws to a close I also respect his right to seek the best offer that might be out there before committing to Arsenal, and that clearly is what he is doing right now.

In the club’s case, the criticism has been for allowing Ramsey’s contract to run down to the last year, meaning that the club should have got him to sign an extension earlier. Now for the life of me I cannot see how anyone can force a footballer to sign a contract when the person does not want to do so. By way of solution, there have been two suggestions put forward as to how the club should have acted differently. The first is that the club should have offered much more, much earlier: rumours have it that Ramsey wanted his wages to match Özil, we have no proof of that but then again if it is true why shouldn’t he, or at least, why shouldn’t he try?

The second is that the club should have threatened to leave him on the bench for six months, or some such Draconian action, unless he made a decision. This suggestion is so impractical that it borders on infantile; the negative effect it would have on the other players not to mention steering other potential signings away would be profound to say the least. Most other players at the club, certainly the young ones will (or certainly would) like to envisage themselves in the same situation as Ramsey and that is, as their contracts near an end they will be in demand – having options as to where their career may take them. If that strongarm tactic of threatening to be sent to the stands is attempted on one player, it follows that other players would believe that it would be tried with them. Who in their right mind would want to work in that environment when you have other choices and how would that endear the world’s elite footballers to the Home of Football? There would only be one loser in this scenario and that would be the club. Or perhaps two losers – you and me, also, missing out on viewing the players that the club should be attracting.

The same people who criticise the club have pointed to other clubs’ success in stopping players run down their contracts. This to me is like comparing apples with oranges. In Man City’s case when a player nears the end of his contract he knows that no-one else out there can match the wages that City can pay and therefore there is no point in shopping around for a potential higher wage because it will never happen, the player is in the situation of take it or leave it and most of them take it.

Some of the same people point to Tottenham as being more comparable and sing their praises as how they have managed to tie their talent down long before they reach the dangerous area we are in with Ramsey right now. This is true up to a point; they have managed to get Kane and Alli to sign extensions and, at first sight it does looks like Tottenham have been more savvy.

But if we drill down a bit, other things appear. Firstly, there is only Kane and Alli that any other top club would fight over, so apart from increasing their wages the enticement/caveat that must have been explained to Kane (for example), is that if you leave for City (again for example) you will be fighting for your place and that might affect the upward trajectory that you’re currently enjoying at Tottenham. The same is true if you join United and even if you wanted to go back to the club you dreamed about playing for as a child, you will still have to vie for a starting berth with Aubameyang and Lacazette, whereas if you stay at Tottenham you will remain top dog. The opposite is the case with Ramsey; he is vying with Özil for prime pitch real estate.

In the last few months pretty much everything in the Ramsey case has followed the increasingly well-trodden path taken previously by Sanchez and Özil. Both refused to sign a new contract, this generated headlines that served as advertisement to the fact that they would listen to offers from other clubs. Sanchez and Ozil were pampered by Arsenal in an attempt to get them to stay; that’s to say, both players always played whenever and wherever they wanted; the same was true of Ramsey – until something totally different happened, Arsenal withdrew the offer of a four year contract – a brilliant piece of business in my opinion. Ramsey will continue as before following the usual path but, by withdrawing the contract offer, the Club are saying to other clubs that we are prepared to let him go and thereby letting potential suitors know that there will be no resistance from Arsenal if someone wants to buy him in January.

In brief, Arsenal have removed the obstacle of the four year contract and by doing so are making it easier for other clubs to believe that they can sign Ramsey which, in turn, increases the possibility of getting something from him, by way of a transfer fee, in January.

The other advantage of withdrawing the contract offer is that it frees up Emery to pick Ramsey as and when he wants rather than having to pander to him in an attempt to entice him to stay. A big part of me wants him to re-sign but another part of me really wants to hasten the time when Emery has all the players and the team that he sees in his mind’s eye. Is Ramsey part of that? I don’t know. It should be interesting to see how this one pans out.

Please feel free to disagree with anything up there, in fact, the more the better.



26 Responses to Are Arsenal handling the Ramsey situation well?

  1. LBG says:

    Thanks for all effort LB. Sorry that it is an Interlull and we have exhausted everything except Ramsey……..again!!
    Sorry, NO Club can “tie down” ANY player by ANY extended contract in the modern game, because another ‘ country ‘ will come in to outbid/make a more attractive offer to the player, his agent, his family, his dogs ….and he will move on……if he feels like it.
    Spurs are Spursey not Savvy. Kane and Ali have decided ( currently) that they prefer to stick, at the moment, with the fifth best team in North London ( Barnet, Enfield, Watford…)
    What is required is a touch of loyalty from players. “Old-fashioned, impossible” in the modern game – ” a footballers career is so short, they need to make the money when they are young”. Bollocks!
    Sell Ramsey at Christmas; put him on the bench if he won’t go. You are not as good as your agent says, and are in danger of destroying your legacy, Aaron!


    Ramsy must go ,his time at arsenal is over unless he agries what arsenal has put for him on plate.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m trying to think about something to disagree with, LB, but you’ve gone and covered all angles.

    As you say, it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out, and I never quite believe noises I hear about these things.

    As you all know, I’d flog him for reasons I’ve given too many times, but in terms of salary (and I have no idea what he, or anyone else, earns) I’d say he ought to be about 10th on the pay ladder

    Thank you

  4. Harry Barracuda says:

    Just wave goodbye and move on. To us he’s not worth what he wants, let someone else pay him absurd wages.

  5. Dan says:

    I think the club should have given Ramsey the contract that he wants. He’s arguably the best player at Arsenal and though I agree that from now on all players should re-sign with 18 months to go or be sold, Ramsey should be the last exception. He’s a fantastic player about to hit his peak and would be gutting to see him playing well for a rival. Fans that don’t rate Ramsey don’t really know that much about football. Shame he hasn’t been more keen to sign up though, it’s disappointing.

  6. LB says:

    I like the pics as ever, I also like the little changes, sometimes when writing I am aware that I get myself into punctuation pickles but then when I read it in the morning I see that they have been solved and say to myself, oh, that’s how it works.

    You are never too old to learn 🙂

  7. kfdickie says:

    Great read LB. I wonder why the club let everyone know that they withdrew the offer, there must be a reason, double bluff, its not the usual AFC way. If another club wanted him badly, having an offer on the table would not put them off. I think we would regret seeing him playing in the premier league for another club, especially as he hasn’t had a ‘run’ in the new Emeryball team. [Lack of idea for his style, sorry]..

  8. RC78 says:

    Gr8 post.

    I think that we should sign him up before the end of the year and I think that he would like to stay but he is playing hard to get as he wants to get a big deal. If he does not sign before the end of November, let us be civilized with him and tell him we will sell him at an acceptable price in the winter transfer window but only to a club abroad so basically Barca, Juventus, Bayern a priori. Although he stayed he will stay until the end of the year, he knows he owes us so I think we can convince him either way.

    I would keep him and if we need to free up some salary, then let us sell Mustafi. I know he is having an OK season with us but I think that Holding is doing fine, Monreal can come in and Kos is coming back so we can let him go.

  9. RC78 says:

    Ramsey, Ozil, Miky and to some extent Iwobi are the players that can really create chances especially through their passing and movement. 4 players for 2 positions is reasonable 🙂

    We are still short of 1 winger though and I hope we get one this winter.

    As for AMN and Smith-Rowe, let us see where they will be playing. It seems Emery likes Smith-Rowe quite upfront and AMN as part of midfield.

  10. RC78 says:

    Cech – Bellerin, Sok, Kos?, Monreal – Ram, LT, Guendouzi – Ozil, Auba – Laca

    Leno – Licthen, Mav, Hol, Kola – Xhaka, El Neny, AMN – Miky, Well, Iwo

    + 1 winger (recruit), Smithe-Rowe, Nketiah

    In terms of recruit – an impact player could be Calhancolu (AC Milan), Coman (Bayern Munich once back to fitness), Sancho (Dortmund), Suso (Milan), Callejon/Mertens (Napoli), Traore (Wolves), Zaha (Palace), Munian (Bilbao), Fekir (Lyon) and the big dream is of course Mbappe

  11. LB says:


    “If another club wanted him badly, having an offer on the table would not put them off.”

    You are of course right to say that, if another club wanted him badly then an offer from Arsenal would not put them off.

    But what if the potential buying club were only 80% decided.

    Would withdrawing the offer increase their interest in signing him or decrease it?

    Surely it would increase it and by doing so Arsenal have increased the chances of getting something for him in January which is the reason why I think this new tactic from the club is very clever indeed.

    See you soon………………..

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank you LB.

    I feel that like many of his Arsenal peers his career has never reached the full potential that was anticipated. Injuries have played a big part in that but overall his performances have been very inconsistent. When he’s good he’s very, very good but when he’s bad he’s Ozil.

    So I’ll be happy if he stays,under Arsenal terms, but I will not be unhappy if he leaves.

  13. chas says:

    Thanks for another belter, LB.

    I can’t believe you didn’t manage to mention either food or Spain in one of your posts – not even Welsh rarebit or cock-a-leekie! (even if it is Scottish) 🙂

    Perhaps part of both the Club’s and Rambo’s dilemma is that Mesut has recently signed his last big contract and at 30 will hopefully play for us for the next two and a half seasons. The whole world and his wife can see that Mesut and Aaron in the same team just doesn’t work because they want to fill the same space (or “prime pitch real estate” 🙂 ).

    Ramsey is coming up to 28 and is, presumably, looking for his last whopper contract. He’s not going to play in his preferred position at Arsenal with Ozil at the Club, so what’s he to do? (I still don’t understand why pro footballers at top Prem clubs haven’t got enough money to last several lifetimes with the obscene amounts they earn)

    Likewise for the Club, how can massive wages be justified if he won’t even be playing in his best position because there’s already someone better there? His goalscoring is better than Mesut’s but that’s about it.

    Anyway, as you say, it should be interesting how the situation develops up to and including January. If he’s not sold then, I hope he plays out of his skin for the rest of the season as he’s in the shop window and drives us on to a successful season. If he signs a pre-contract in Jan, I’d imagine his motivation will dwindle as he sinks into self-preservation mode.

    Thanks again, LB, for a fine post. And you are very kind about my editing. Sometimes I’m convinced the value I add is less than zero.

  14. chas says:

    Soz, killed the blog at 12.18pm a new record!

  15. LB says:

    Too high brow, people need a slidder.

  16. chas says:

    Bit better than the Gibraltar debacle.

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    Training session photos

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  24. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha the phone calls

    Clearly misses out Mom to her female best mate which is 17 hrs, and always just 1 hour before they meet up 🙄

  25. chas says:


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