Arsenal have been struggling with the same issues time and again, and this season appears to be no different. Wenger failed to do anything impactful in the transfer window, and their game on field is weak and seems unmotivated. Fans and critics are both tired of the same thing they have been subjected to for almost a decade now.
Now, another reason for criticism is the way Aaron Ramsey’s fitness was handled.
Ramsey has been prey to injuries off late, and his recent hamstring injury is an indicator that maybe his injury is a lot more serious than what Wenger thinks. Another thing is that, Mesut Ozil is still being rested after Germany played in the semifinals at the Euro 2016, while Santi Cazorla and Granit Xhaka also had long periods of rest – so why hasn’t the same been extended towards Ramsey? He definitely looked like he was in more need of it.
Recently in an interview, Wenger himself admitted that he pushed Ramsey into playing, and that that was a mistake. Based on his injury now, it seems like Ramsey will have to miss playing for a month, and this will hinder his progress. Ramsey was named in the Euro 2016 team of the tournament, and it would’ve pushed his career so much forward if he could maintain that progress in the Premier League as well. Also, this is the seventh major injury he has sustained in the last three seasons.
Out of all the reasons that Wenger has been criticised, this has to be the one that hits home the hardest. The fact that Ramsey would now have to forego precious playing time – especially after his amazing performance at Euro 2016 – just because Wenger mishandled his situation, is pathetic.
Wenger is a person who has created or reinvented several young talents like Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, and even Aaron Ramsey is a product of his training. Moreover, he stuck by Ramsey’s side when he suffered a career-ending leg break. Wenger patiently worked on him and brought him back on his feet.
Having said that, Wenger’s capabilities to bring out the best in players can never be questioned. What the question should be is whether or not Ramsey would benefit from a change of scene at a different club, with a different dynamic.
It is not only that Wenger seems too eager to rush him back and gamble on his fitness, though that is a major concern. Ozil’s imminent return to the first team poses another problem: the player who thrived as a No. 10 for Wales in France has no chance of starting in the same position for Arsenal.
Although Ramsey has enough reasons to leave, it is likely that he would not go against Wenger at any point. The fans would also hope he gets back to fitness soon, as the Gunners could improve if Ramsey plays like he did at the Euro 2016. However, it has already been a long time that people are waiting for him to peak at Arsenal. Now, it all depends on how he performs post-injury, and how the team dynamic changes by then.