Thursday, February 2, 2023

Wenger: ‘Unplayable’ Ramsey went back to basics

Arsene Wenger says he instructed Aaron Ramsey to go back to basics in the hope of jarring the Welshman out of the malaise that affected his game so much that he became ‘unplayable’ in front of frustrated fans at the Emirates.

After over a year on the sidelines and two short loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Ramsey returned to the Arsenal first team fold in late 2011 but struggled for 18 months to find the form his pre-leg break performances had promised.

Labeled a failure by certain sections of the fanbase after a number of below-par games, Wenger revealed today that he told the midfielder not to take the abuse personally before pleading with him to simplify his approach in the hope his confidence would return.

“He went through a bad patch, and I couldn’t play him any more at Emirates Stadium,” Wenger told assembled guests at an Emirates Business Breakfast in New York.

“I sat down with Aaron and I told him, ‘I don’t think people don’t like you, but they don’t like your game at the moment’. It was in his hands to change that.

“He had to come back to a more simple game. When you go through a bad patch in life you always go back to the basics. In football you slowly get confidence back and then you play naturally again.

“The problem is that if you play a great shot in golf or tennis, when you go to your next game you want to play the same shot again. But it doesn’t work like that. You have to do basics, basics, basics, and then slowly you get into the zone where it becomes easier.

“You have to get back to basics to gain confidence. Aaron accepted that, he did it and he gained confidence again. Then you saw a different player, because he is intelligent, and when I came out of the meeting I knew this guy would come back.

“Aaron listened and he realised he had to change his game. That’s why he came back.”

The first signs of Ramsey’s renaissance took place at the tail end of the 2012/2013 season when, in the absence of Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby, he returned from the wing to a central berth alongside Mikel Arteta.

He played nine consecutive games with increasing poise as the Gunners embarked on an 11 game unbeaten run that saw them successfully track down Spurs to seal fourth spot.

We can only assume he spent the ensuing off season fasting and being tempted by the devil because by the time the 2013/14 season started he was well and truly deserving of the mantle ‘Welsh Jesus’*. He’s not looked back since.

Not bad for one chat with the boss.

*He’s even grown a lovely beard.

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the only sam is nelson

Rambo never hid, he was always looking for the ball even in situations where it meant he was going to be dispossessed or lose it. Some of his team mates at the time ought to have been taking a good long look at themselves for letting somebody coming back from an appalling injury take that sort of heat. equally the kind of fans who don’t have even a basic understanding of what makes a team work and how an individual can take or refuse responsibility within it was instructive. depressing that we have so many fans ready to actually boo… Read more »


I don’t always get things right, far from it, but one of the things I’m so happy about is that I was telling everyone I knew was to cut Ramsey some slack, I just kept remembering how good he was before his injury. I was saying before his injury to everyone “this kid will be better than Fabregas and will be one of the best midfielders in the world”. People are quick to forget how good he was when he burst on the scene and he was starting to boss games. I’m so happy to be proven right. I remember… Read more »


Anyone who wants it that pass is on this video at 9mins 30 seconds


Thank you sir!

AS17 is for A.Sanchez not

everything happens for a reason. some of the fans getting on Rambo’s back made us appreciate Wenger’s experience in dealing with the situation. it made us really believe that “Arsene Knows” some other manager would have lost hope and sight and probably sold him off. just ask podga.

Injured Gooner South Africa

Im soryy, that makes absofuckinglutely no sense what so ever. The sheep mentality that Arsenal supporters are prone to, is just fucking painful at times. I remember walking into my favorite football watching venue in Cape Town, and the whole room would literally be baying for the guy’s blood, to the point where I was asking people what the fuck was wrong with them. Like the whole room of people were being asked that, all nicely kitted out in the red and white… I could see that Ramsy was simply being too over protective of the ball, that he was… Read more »

Good Omens

”not because some guy said it, as often seems the case.”

Which precisely and exactly describes your comment, how ironic.


Pretty sure it was the goals and the phonemenal defensive numbers he was putting up that changed their minds, not because some person said he was good now.

I also get annoyed by people that don’t think, but putting thoughts in people’s heads (or no thoughts, in this case) to have a pop seems a little rich.


Unfortunately Arsenals first team isn’t a place for players to regain form and fitness at the expense of results, that’s really what the reserves are there for. When you have fans paying the highest prices in the league for tickets, individual players needs must come second and it’s well within people’s rights to show their dissatisfaction when the manager puts the player before the team.

Sarson Vinegar's Frightening Sarnie

John, that is beyond retarded.

I hope for your sake you’re trolling.


Why is it beyond retarded? Do you not think our team should consist of the best 11 players we have available? What do you think the reserves are there for? Do you not think that perhaps fans booing forced the corrections in his game that has made him now probably our most important player?

the only sam is nelson

it’s obvious that the reason Rambo has improved is because of the work he has done with the manager and his team of trainers and physios. to attempt to infer that this is somehow resulting from the booing of idiots is beyond stupid.

if you want a market-led, fan-dictated decision making process I would advise you to stick with the X Factor where your vote actually counts. You may want to consider the correlation between actual success vs what you are talking about ie fan approval, but then again, if you’d considered that you’d probably not have made your posts.


As the comment below states, it was Wenger himself that has revealed that it was fan pressure that forced him to talk to Ramsey so clearly it does work, maybe you should read the article.


Again I never said I agreed with booing but the first team is not the place for players to gain/regain form and fitness, that is what the reserves are for. Players must be in the first team on merit.


Yeah, because beating a bunch of 18-year-olds is comparable to playing against a top Premiership team.

I also think that the only thought in his head when getitng booed must have been ‘well, the fans want me to simplify my game and play passes a little safer, they probably want to me to exploit this little bit of space here and as they understand the pressing game so perfectly I will take my cues from them as’.

Ever watch Lassie?


DR the reserves have historically been for the first team players who didn’t play the on Saturday and those coming back from injury not a glorified youth league so that’s exactly where Ramsey should have been, and it’s exactly where Diaby should be for the next couple of months as well. I repeat players regaining form and fitness should not be at the expense of league points, players must earn the right to be in the first team.


Fitness, yes, form, no. I wouldn’t feel confident of taking on Tyson just because I’d beaten up a 12 year old, unless our players are pretty delusional then the reserves won’t do much for them. You need to play games at the top level to get used to being at the top level, you don’t start them every game and you don’t always give them 90 minutes, which is the issue with Ramsey as we had no cover in that area…it was a mistake but I think Wenegr has lwearnt not to trust French cunts in the future so we… Read more »


We’ll have to disagree on the purpose of the reserves but I certainly agree with your assessment that he shouldn’t have played so many games coming off such an injury but again that’s why I think a couple of months in the less pressurised environment of the reserves would have helped.

Merlin's Panini

Surely there’s more to form than just playing. It’s mainly a mental thing. Being lumped in the reserves would, in most cases, make players feel worse about themselves and more than likely compound their loss of form even more greatly. If you’re having a difficult time, having the trust of the manager is crucial. Knowing that you’re seen as being dependable by given the chance to shake off the bad form in the first team is much more effective. Of course, some idiots are going to boo because they don’t understand the point, but when it is for the good… Read more »


If by idiots you mean the fans who pay hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year to attend games then no a lot of us don’t understand why a player who isn’t of the required level plays match after match at our expense! We’ve been lucky with Ramsey, but there have been many players who have been given far too many opportunities in the first team when they weren’t up to it. If it wasn’t for Ramsey’s intelligence he could have easily become another Denilson, who look equally promising in his early games. Unfortunately Ramsey copped it when he… Read more »


Worked out alright didn’t it John? Not to question whether you know more about the purposes of Arsenal’s first/reserve teams than Arsene Wenger, but your argument does have more than a tinge of redundancy to it given Le Prof’s record of giving young, unproven players big first team minutes so as to aid their development with an eye on the future.


Arsexual, it hasn’t particularly over the last 10 years, in fact it’s only worked when the team has had several experienced players in it. Over the last decade It’s lead to the better youngster being bought by our rivals and the rest being difficult to off load and on undeservedly high wages.

Seduce me, Arsene

To be fair, I understand what John is trying to say. Wenger has here revealed that he had a talk with Ramsey on the back of the fans booing him. Because the fans booing precipitated this event, and had no doubt payed on Ramsey’s mind, it was in fact a significant reason for his determination to be better again. In a way, it makes players accountable to fans, rather than simply to the coach and club. If you found yourself in the workplace and loyal customers were getting on your back telling you your work had gone to shit, you… Read more »


Not convinced.

If he cares, he’ll try to do something about it. If he doesn’t, the boos won’t matter at all.

I think we’re confusing correlation for causality again.


I agree with you all to a certain extent, but there’s one thing I do want to point out: These men are professionals. There is definitely a time when we fans must give them support and cultivate them, but it is also a mark of champion in how one responds to criticism. especially at this level. Being a professional, one must realize criticism is part of the profession and they must know how to embrace it and go even higher. The battle is with oneself, and how one chooses to respond and act in face of criticism and difficulty brings… Read more »

Injured Gooner South Africa

Dude, you are being way toooooo fucking diplomatic, a big part of being a supporter is to be that 12th player, to show support, this in it’s essence gives you the right to turn to your “fellow player” and to show your displeasure when the guy is under-performing, and let me make this clear. There is a clear difference between a player busting a gut, and another sulking around on the pitch. The one you boo, the other you shout encouragement at. It really is that simple. Especially if that player is coming back from a potentially career ending injury.


Yes, but you need to distinguish between criticism and abuse.

Injured Gooner South Africa



Aaron Ramsey crawled through a River of Shit and came out clean on the other side. [Read that in Morgan Freeman’s Voice]


Further proof that Wenger is more than just a manager.

Bolarinwa Mayowa

Exactly, he even knew that Pires could only see when he’s played on the left forward, he pays a lot of attention to details


Yeah. A regular manager would just have taken Pires to an optician.


A regular manager would have simply sold him


Whatever works for Ramsey should work for Wilshere too. Back to basics, keep it simple and tidy instead of trying to keep hold of the ball for too long. Jack should take heed.


“Wenger said ‘Let there be God’: and there was God.”


What a man!


This was very evident too. The last six months or so of the 2012/13 season you could see Ramsey wasn’t trying to do anything special and just played a simple, tidy game sitting in front on the defence. He went back to basics. He was sublime in that deep role and clearly gained his confidence back.

It was clear to see how that helped him last season, he truly went back to his natural game, constantly making runs into the box and looking to score. Everything he tried came off. He was exceptional and long may it continue.

Midwest Gooner

I love this article so much and Ramsey even more. Last summer I met a crusty ole gooner on vacation in Chicago. When I mentioned Ramsey was our best player down the stretch (2013), he looked at me like I knew nothing of the game. I thought about that bitter man all of last season. I can picture him at the pub telling his friends all the reasons why Ramsey is overrated. It makes me smile

Pat's Rice

God I hope Arsene writes a book when he retires – would be fascinating.


Thats the professor for you. Must be a delight for any young player to work with.


People were still moaning about him at the end of 12/13 but from February you could see he was different, this must be when he started doing the basics right again, nothing spectacular, and that built his confidence for Welsh Jesus mode.


Arsene knows.

Aaron knows.

Jack's Right Foot

Sometimes I lapse back into 2012/2013 mode where I forget that Ramsey is the king of players. Remembering what he has become makes me instantly happy. Well done Arsene for making him the player he is today! Very exciting.


we all know wenger has wise words by the players he has bought and turned into great players over the years and his dialect bought in Ozil and Sanchez and many before them, Rambo is a 20 million pound player now and remeber we only paid half a million, wenger saw his attributes before his injury setback were glad he could mentallly get over it “THERE’S ONLY ONE AaRON RAMSEY”


Your valuations may be slightly off.

On a different note, would you like to buy this priceless medallion…for you only 20,000 Euro???

Dominic Powell

If Ramsey is only worth 20 million pounds now, i will shoot myself.


£20 million for Rambo? That wouldn’t even buy half of him!


I’m sorry but I dunno what you are on about, I know people like Bale Suarez etc going for 75-80m but I’d seriously reject that. Ramsey is a big part of a team, he will dominate games and he will take us back to the very top.


Le Professeur working his magic.


I remember my first visit at the emirates in 2008. In match programm was Aarons poster. I put that on my wall with feeling that he gonna be great player. And now? Legend in the making!


Ramsey is a huge reason I love AFC so much. I first started watching Arsenal when Ramsey was breaking into the team in 2009-2010. He was such a stud, easily my favorite player. It’s a dream as a fan to witness him fulfill the potential he had after such a long struggle to find it again.

Bee Geeroud

He spent his last holiday in the Maasai Mara wilderness though details on a concurrent stay by the devil are scanty at this point.


That’s why Arsene Wenger is a better man than c*nts like Jose Murinho.

Mo baz

Two things this article shows. 1. Aaron Ramsey is intelligent, Willing and listens to Wenger. 2. That Wenger is, and gas always been, the best developer of Talent these shores has seen. His charm, ability to speak to players and improve them is second to none. Clearly evident in comments by Sanchez and Ozil. Both said speaking to Wenger convinced them to join. We are very lucky to have him. The trophiless: I acknowledge that he may have not got it right with every micro decision he made. But the constraints we have worked with in the transfer market, competing… Read more »


I’d be surprised if we get a manager better than this after he goes.


As long as Arsenal FC exists, Wenger will be remembered as THE man. He’s not perfect, but this club wouldn’t be the club it is without him.

Momo (@MuhamLAD)

I don’t think football will ever get a manager better than this


Rambo is still unplayable just in a different context of the word , best player we’ve got on his day….. One of the best in the Prem


I remember Mclintock telling Ramsey the same thing a couple years ago. Now that he is fully fit, Jack Wilshere needs to do the same. He’s so talented and no doubt he listens to the criticism. He even called the prick Scholes and even said he needs to grow up now. England’s shit World Cup is a blessing for us. Hopefully a fully fit Jack can put his head down and work hard and step up a few levels like Ramsey has.

Edu's Braces

Hey English press, see what happens when you ask an interesting positive question? You get an interesting positive answer. Who knew.


Yes but we have a narrative to flesh out, we don’t want to paint Wenger as the intelligent world-leading manager he is!


Yeah, Arsene is so much more willing to talk to the foreign press too; much like he was up until the last 10 years.

If they actually cared about the quality of their product they’d be ashamed.


I never, ever booed Ramsey and couldn’t understand the fans that did. I think it takes real courage and psychological strength to come back from that kind of injury and play at elite level, and was pretty disappointed by the impatience of some fellow fans. Sorry if that sounds smug- honestly not meant to be. I just think it’s harsh to boo a guy trying to find form after an appalling leg break. Anyway- he has silenced everyone now!


I think on top its hard to have any ill feeling to anyone who gets an injury like that for your club, its why alot of us still have a soft spot for Diaby and why nobody ever said a bad word about Eduardo. All 3 of those injuries were so bad but I’m really really happy that all it did was delay Ramseys envitable rise to be a world class player rather then have the impact it had on Diaby and Eduardo’s career, I still maintain both of those two would have been top top class for us without… Read more »

Yankee Gooner

I was saying “boo-urns.”


There is no going back for Ramsey now. Wenger has instilled in him the belief that will take him to the highest heights of success. Credit to him that he also listened. He’s a hard-working guy whose also smart. A wonderful example for other younger guys who’re trying to make a name for themselves at a club. I can’t even imagine the club without Arsene

Petit's Handbag

If we get 35 league games from Rambo this season, the league is ours


Invincibles 2.0? Better not jinx it…

Ooh To Be A Gooner

Little bit profanity alert. Penultimate para shod read: “saw them successfully track down Sp*rs to seal fourth spot”


Just out of curiosity i looked this up on squawka. I dont understand why James is worth 60m and Ramsey supposedly 20m.|ligue_1/2013/2014/james_rodríguez/58/58/5251/0/p#pass_completion/assists/chances_created/shot_accuracy/goals_scored/tackles_won/aerial_duels_won_%/interceptions/clearances#total


First, Ramsey is not worth 20m, although currently he is priceless since he won’t be sold, if you want an estimate of his value start with Vidal’s (if he’ll sold, that is).

Second, I recommend using per 90mins stats. What stands out is almost twice as many chances created by rodriguez.

Finally, price is set by the buyer’s willingness to pay and that is very different when the buyer is RM. But what people say is that he is currently the most popular player in south america and since he is actually good looking, rm will earn gazillions on marketing.


Sorry stupid link…but i compared Ramsey to James and Ramsey has much better stats and not even in percentages…absolute numbers even having missed 14 games. Ramsey is also more physical and powerful so what makes James so highly rated? Was it just that one goal in the WC?

Springbank 1965

Arsene’s mentoring may well be a significant factor, but the main reason Ramsey ‘is back’ is because of Ramsey himself.

Sterling Archer

I always believed in Rambo. Especially when he came back from injury to score the only goal at the emirates, the day we beat Man Utd 1-0. I knew he was special. But he blew me away last season, he’s such an important player for us. I’m hoping jack and diaby can get back into form. It’s going to be a record breaking season for us. Expect big things. Come on u gooners


I didn’t like seeing Aaron when I first started following arsenal 3 years ago. I hardly understood football back then. Now im bsessed with him, my favourite player in the world! Now I refuse to not like sanogo, though he doesn’t seem to play in the same level. He tries so hard and always wants the ball. And Wenger sees something in him, playing him in important games. Hopefully he does a Ramsey! And I still think there’s not much wrong with jack. I don’t understand the fans and press finding y faults with his game. Most of our contenders… Read more »


Some you win, Ramsey, some you lose, Gervinho/Arshavin. Wish some fans would encourage with ‘cmon’ rather than boo.

Tibetan Gooner

Many have tried, tried to break him down and finally broken his leg yet he came, came back not only upgraded foot but damn version kickass to whole new level of horizon! Hope it does the same for Walcott and Diaby aswell in perimeters of Arse-potions.

a s ernal

Further proof of the destructive effect of cowardly booing players who are giving 100%.
Makes me cringe every time I hear it. pathetic mob-mentality crowd antics. So happy Ramsey finally shut up those losers.


Welcome back Aaron. I confess that I doubted you and I’m happy to admit my poor judgement.

And Ryan Across is a cunt.


Aaron Ramsey aligns with Arsenal perfectly: “Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent”

And I think we’ve hit the class phase, from now and for the foreseeable future.


Blessed be the Welsh Jesus! In his name, we condemn Mourinho and the dutch skunk to failure this season


Always liked Ramsey. Hopefully the Boss can give Wilshere the reality check he really needs too.


…find it hard to believe, most were on his case like they are now with jack.;)


Great timing with this article Blogs, just bought my 14-15 Ramsey Kit this morning! Was very hesitant about getting a jersey with anyone’s name on it (almost got Rosicky) because of past heartbreaks, but just love this guy so much. The Welsh Jesus has given me faith again!


He was unplayable then and still is. Just now it’s the opposition that can’t play him not the boss!


Correction. Ryan Shawcross is a cunt.

And fuck auto-complete too.

LosAngeles Gunner

I saw him play poorly But i always knew he will improve if he works hard,That same eye I watch sanogo he needs a lot of work.


I look at Jack Wilshere’s game and think he too needs to go back to basics. He over elaborates on the ball at times when an obvious/simpler choice is available and tries to force through crowded space. He’s a very talented lad and if he can rediscover his edge, we have a great player on our hands.


Bear in mind he is a very different player than Ramsey.

His game is based on dynamics and dribbling where Ramsey is more pass and move/vision.

Jack needs time. He is a year behind in development off Ramsey simply because he is a year younger.

Going back to basics is one thing but you do not want to quash the unique elements that the player brings in his natural game either. Rather, it is a question of the development process and continued experience.

After all, Ramsey was similarly frustrating at similar age, as was Fabregas and Walcott.


Around about age 23 is when young players come good. if they don’t they probably will not later on. Ramsey improved at that age. Ditto Fabregas and Walcott before him. The great Henry too. Which is why I am constantly perplexed why time and again, fans tend to like to discount players before they have a chance to prove otherwise. Ramsey is a classic example (and I am guilty myself here) But Jack who is a year younger, is now the target for a lot of negativity. And campbell who has followed up an excellent campaign in Greece (where many… Read more »


Dude give ur opinion not all d shit in ur head


Wow Arsene really is a shrewd manager. Back to basics is exactly what rambo needed. its like arsene is in my head. bravo!

Man Manny

Thanks once again Arsene for giving us this Ramsey. You have been frustrated by some who betrayed you after the work you put in them. I just hope Ramsey and his teammates will repay you by giving their all every match day. I know you are still looking to bring in one or two players but if we are lucky on the injury front, this team will deliver if they do. I see you lifting another trophy soon. I hope and that it will be one of the two you truly desire if not both. You deserve them- especially the… Read more »

Al Gilmore

I can’t decide which it is – breathtaking arrogance or rampant self-delusion for anyone to think that their boo-ing had anything to do with the improvement in Ramsey’s game. The improvement it down to Wenger, his staff and the player himself. Let’s be clear, the booing did not help Ramsey, it probable hindered him and held back his recovery. When you’ve been out with such a devastating injury, it takes immense dedication and courage to get back playing at all, nevermind get to the level he was just reaching before his injury. What he needed was the crowd to get… Read more »

Tazmanian Jesus

Love the hair and beard he has prepared for pre-season. Welsh Jesus is becoming quite swoontastic if I may say so.


Nice to see a player turn negative criticism from fans and turn it into a positive
I wish more players in the squad had his mental character!


Wilshere will most likely not come out good.they have similar issues but different attitudes.
Ramsey had a psychological problem called choking,meaning he was forced to act mechanical after injury.he was forcing himself to play the game based on past experiences.he needed to forget all he knew and start all over. But for wishere he has similar problem but his attitude and the English press will never allow him correct himself.

Gbenga Ogunbule

“Good to hear that Aaron was willing to take on the advice though, and look what a player he’s become – he scored the winner in the FA Cup Final, for God’s sake (and unless it’s in a particularly obscure gospel, that’s something Jesus never achieved).

Taken from the ARSEBLOG ARTICLE. WTH(what the hell) as com over you to talk about my saviour like that……

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