The following article is a guest post by our fellow gooners from 11Gunners: The Unofficial Arsenal FC Blog
Indian Education system is quiet idealistic in its approach and quiet philosophical as well, if I can say so. I learnt it long back in school that everything happens for good. Every action has a tinge of positivity in it, which is in turn, is elementary to the existence of everything in this world. Aaron Ramsey was at the receiving end of a horrendous tackle in the game against Stoke and he’ll have to pay for someone else’s crime by sitting on the sidelines for months to come. But something pleasant has come out of it, pardon me for saying this, but the Ramsey incident has brought in more positive for the team than previously thought. The ‘Ramsey Effect’ is here for everyone to see, & its repercussions are far telling than any seen/heard/felt before.
Watching the game LIVE on the tube, I felt helpless seeing the young Welshman gasping for thin air as he went down on the turf. Tears rolling down Fabregas’ eyes conveyed the grim picture better than any words could. Birmingham was still fresh in my mind and I was praying for this to have a different ending. The game was at a stalemate then, with a victory the least Arsenal needed, to stay in the hunt for the title. What happened next, as they say, is history. The ‘RE’ had just begun to cast its spell mind you.
The team came out roaring & ended up bagging all 3 points on offer. The Delaps & Co. were nowhere to be seen. It was all Rosicky, Fabregas, Vermaelen then on. Sol Campbell was instrumental in the final quarter of the game with lunging tackles a many. His experience did play a big part in the way this team reacted and this is what experience does when the chips are down. Experience is the best teacher to clear self-doubts, & who better than the big Sol in this regard. The guy has made his presence felt alright. This Arsenal team has looked different after that rather tragic evening. The Ramsey incident has galvanised this outfit and the difference is there to be seen. Before the game began, entire focus was on how to counter Delap’s hand-grenades, rather than outscore them on the contrary. I have said this time & again that ruthlessness apart, our team has all the other ingredients to achieve glory. What several team meetings & innumerable other training regimes couldn’t, the Ramsey injury brought out in totality. Arsenal won the game against our bogey team Stoke, & won it rather convincingly with a 2-goal cushion.
This was followed up with an emotional victory against Burnley. Hoardings courtesy the Arsenal faithful, in the pre-match warm up told the story; “Get Well Soon Aaron”. It reminded one & all, of the tragic mishap that possibly jeopardised a talent as prodigious as Ramsey’, for a long long time to come. Wenger saying he didn’t believe in co-incidents after various Gunners suffered horrific injuries in the past seasons, did justify his love for Don Vito ‘Godfather’ Corleone. But his words made total sense nonetheless. 3 players in 4 years ain’t no co-incidence, and there is definite & foreseeable pattern to it. A pattern which is dreadful at it’s very off-set. After all how many other clubs have had a similar fate? None.
We responded commendably against Burnley even though we lost Cescy within half an hour mark. With our talismanic captain not around, it was Walcott’s turn to step up his game. He had things to prove to the British press and boy did he do that in some style or what!?
The dream run continued against Porto. Arsenal attacked them from the word go and Porto players were running for cover, helter-skelter. The Nasris and Arshavins were all over the Portuguese side. Nasri scored a peach of a goal, arguably the best in the Champion’s league this season, & Nicklas Bendtner finally grabbed his hat-trick.
Hull City were up next. We took time dispatching them, but dispatch them we did. A late strike from the now resurgent Dane bagged us another 3 in the kitty.
Next team to fall victim of the ‘Ramsey effect’ were fellow London rivals, West Ham (pardon my wit for referring them as rivals in the first place!). Again, things were going against the script with Vermaelen shown red for a rather flimsy tackle. Likes of Vidic & Terry get away with those week-in & week-out. The word that ref’s have a thing against the team from N5 got reiterated all over again following that incident. Denilson’s early opener did give us a slender lead for most parts, but we needed another to assure maximum returns. A late Cesc Fabregas penalty did exactly that. His 18’th goal of an irresistible season so far. Phew!
Given the way my Arsenal have performed over the past fortnight or so, post the Ramsey conundrum i.e., I now feel more than confident than ever, looking up to the Catalans as they get themselves ready for a visit to the Emirates later this month. I duly feel we’ll give them a taste of their own medicine & won’t submit like apes before them, like Manure did last season. On paper, we are weak when compared ‘personnel-to-personnel’, but when it comes to technique & positional sense, they don’t come any better than the Arsenal. Likes of Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky, Fabregas, et al are all accomplished & proven masters of the one-touch football, which the Barca faithful pride themselves for. Cesc, especially, will have a point to make to his childhood team & prove that his decision to ditch them early was indeed a fruitful one!
The league is still anyone’s to grab, with Manure & Chavs very much in the reckoning. Despite our relatively easier run-in, all games here-on are a ‘must win’. Not to forget, we face Man Arabs and Tiny Tots, who are both vying for the coveted 4th spot, before the season bids adieu as well. Both should be feisty affairs alright. If we are to become champions of England after a gap of 5 years, the team will have to rise to the occasion on every single outing. But with this team, & the mental fortitude that they now inherit, I’m backing them to do just that. Whatever be the outcome, I am more proud being a Gooner than I was a fortnight ago. Guess it’s the ‘Ramsey Effect’ catching up on me as well! Keep Gunning everyone…
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