Friday, 5 October 2012

Ramsey axed as Wales captain -Jenkinson for England! -BFG's West Ham recall

Morning Gooners.

The big news today is the decision by Wales boss Chris Coleman to axe Aaron Ramsey from the captain's position. The Daily Mail have the inside line on this one.

In a way it's not a surprise. Coleman and Ramsey have never seen eye to eye since his appointment but it will probably be a huge blow for the young Welshman. He has taken enormous pride in being his country's captain.

Coleman was at London Colney yesterday to inform Ramsey of his decision to strip him of the armband.

I really hope this is not a psychological set back for the midfielder. He has had so much to deal with in the last year - the death of Gary Speed and fighting back to full fitness following a potentially career threatening injury. He said the last 12 months have been the most difficult of his life.

Speaking after Wednesday's win, Ramsey said:

"A lot happened last year for me. There were loads of things going on off the pitch as well. 
"But I’m feeling good now, I’m happy and hopefully that’s showing in my performances."
I've been impressed by the Welshman this season. I thought he had his best performance in an Arsenal shirt at Eastlands last month. And his cameo on Wednesday night was good as well. It really seems like he's stepped up a notch this season.

I just hope that Coleman's decision doesn't have a negative impact on Ramsey. I'm sure Arsene Wenger will speak to him about the situation and make sure the midfielder channels the disappointment in the right way. I have no doubt that Ramsey will be back as Wales captain at some point during his career because Gary Speed obviously saw something in him to give him the armband in the first place.

But for now he'll have to channel all his energy into making sure he gets into the Arsenal first team on a regular basis.

One Arsenal player who is set to be given the chance to represent his country at the highest level is Carl Jenkinson who looks set to be called up by England to play in their friendly with Sweden next month.

England boss Roy Hodgson said
"We kept Jenkinson up our sleeves on this occasion, but he’ll be in our thoughts for the next friendly."
When I watched the pre-Olympiacos press conference which Jenkinson spoke at, I thought he was hedging his bets towards playing for England rather than Finland. And it looks like he'll get his chance sooner rather than later.

Elsewhere there is positive news regarding Per Mertesacker who is set to be declared fit to play this weekend after being struck down by flu.

And one player I expect to start tomorrow's game at West Ham is Olivier Giroud. He's again fronted up to the media after Wednesday's win... despite not finding the back of the net.

The handsome Frenchman said:

"I try [to score], I try all I can. Sometimes you need to keep the faith, to keep going. When you are a striker, sometimes it’s difficult. I don’t know why, but I do try to do the right thing.
"I think I’m a little unlucky. I’ll keep going and continue to work hard in training. People say to me, ‘the goal is coming soon, don’t worry, we trust you’ and it’s very important for me to feel the support of people and my team-mates.
"We are good team. Although we lost against Chelsea I think it was an accident. We are confident for the future and I am confident. I don’t worry about the future. The goals are coming soon."
I do think it's great that he's not afraid to come out and speak with the media. The whole will he be a regular scorer has become a bit boring now. He's got his first goal and now there seems to be more expectation on him (mainly from the media rather than Arsenal fans) that he should be scoring every game.

The greedy badger might have scored 30 goals last season but he didn't score one a game. I like Giroud. I think he's got all it takes to be a top player for Arsenal. He's scored once and got four assists so far this season, so that's not bad going for a player new to the Premier League.

The problem for him is that he's not the greedy badger. The media will always have questions about a striker. If he scores lots and then goes through a barren patch they'll be questions. If he doesn't find the back of the net there will be questions. He's damned if he does score and he's damed if he doesn't.

I just hope he finds his feet  in the league sooner rather than later because we'll be a much more rounded team with him leading the attack in my opinion.

The manager will host his pre-match press conference later. Where we might be able to get the inside track into why the Frenchman and Roy Hodgson seemed to have a little tiff in the director's box after Wednesday's match.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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