QPR 2-1 Arsenal | Ramsey instead of the Ox, Wenger? Really?

Our recent form had been so good that one or two ridiculous articles surfaced over the last week talking up our title chances for next season. Well, as if to remind even the most blind Arsenal fan that there is still plenty wrong at our great club, we managed to turn in an insipid performance and lose to a woeful QPR team. More importantly, we blew the chance to pull six points clear of Spurs and heap massive pressure on them ahead of their match with Swansea tomorrow.

So how did we manage that? Two main reasons I think. Firstly, we have started to believe our own hype and began the game as if our mere superior presence on the pitch would be enough to take all three points. It’s only little QPR, they’re crap, right? This haughty attitude meant we were caught off guard as the pumped up hosts ran their socks off to close us down and deny us time on the ball.

I thought we’d overcome such arrogance, but it appears not. Blackburn, Fulham, Swansea, Sunderland in the cup and now QPR have beaten us because they wanted it more and were willing to run through brick walls for a win.

When they did have possession it was either lumped to Zamora (who always seems to give us problems despite his mediocrity) or played into Taraabt, whose quick feet and willingness to run at us troubled our defenders all game long. Contrast his performance with Theo’s, who despite his goal continues to be frustratingly inconsistent. Too often when he had possession he dropped it off to Sagna or played an easy pass infield. He should be far more eager to run at his marker, but tends to shy away from the responsibility and as a result our attacks peter out.

One person who doesn’t do that is Oxlade-Chamberlain, which brings me neatly on to the second reason we lost — Wenger’s team selection. I am yet again angry and frustrated that Ramsey was selected in a wide left position. We got away with it against Everton, but not today. He constantly drifted infield, which is only natural as he is a central midfielder and has played there over 30 times already this season. His instincts therefore mean he won’t hug the touchline to give us width on that flank. This meant our play was predictable and easy to defend as all QPR had to do was string bodies across their penalty area and pick us off when we tried to thread balls through to van Persie.

Arsene Wenger

Where was the Ox, gaffer?

Now I’m not blaming Ramsey, it’s not his fault he was asked to play out there and I think he’ll be become a good player if he’s blooded properly. But he should’ve been subbed at half time after, like the whole team, an impotent display which saw us lucky to go in on level terms. Taraabt had given QPR a deserved lead when a nothing ball was allowed to reach him and he turned Vermaelen far too easily before slipping it wide of Szczesny. Walcott’s equaliser came when he reacted well after his own shot had hit the post to turn the loose ball home.

We started the second half much better, but still only created one good chance when van Persie latched onto Song’s through ball and was denied by Paddy Kenny. That’s three games without a goal now, something of a drought by his high standards, and things aren’t going for him the way they have done this season.

QPR made us pay on 66 minutes when Vermaelen slipped outside the penalty area and the ball was cut back to the unmarked Diakite, who struck it past Szczesny for 2-1.

Only then, far too late of course, did Wenger decide to take off Ramsey. But instead of replacing him with the Ox, he gave Gervinho the nod.

Now this is where I have a major issue with Wenger’s policy. We currently have two players capable of playing wide left — Gervinho and the Ox. Gervinho has literally done nothing of note since December. Playing in the African Nations seems to have had an adverse effect on him and he is very much out of form. Then you have the Ox, who has bags of confidence, was Man of the Match against Milan three weeks ago and is chomping at the bit to take opponents on. Every time he plays he is dangerous, but Wenger doesn’t want to pick him anymore. How has he slipped to third in the pecking order behind an out of form Gervinho and not-even-a-winger Ramsey?!

I’ll tell you how. Because while most managers base their selections on form and fitness, Wenger factors his players’ development into the equation. Ramsey started today and at Everton because he has been at Arsenal for almost four years and Wenger wants to develop his asset. While most managers can concentrate on results, Wenger must balance this with developing players to sell for profit. He even admitted we need to raise £15-£20 million from transfers each season and this is how he does it.

After losing his place in the San Siro debacle, Wenger was desperate to fit Ramsey into the starting line-up somewhere and Gervinho’s lack of form gave him an opening. After all, there is plenty of time yet for the Ox to develop, so he has to wait behind Gervinho and Ramsey. If Wenger had to pick a team to play for his life today I bet he’d have picked the Ox.

There’s also the added possibility he is desperate for Oxlade-Chamberlain not to go to the Euros, despite what he says publicly. Going to a major tournament at a very young age set Theo back and maybe Wenger is worried about the effect it could have on the Ox. So by keeping him out of the limelight he reduces that chance.

Either way, in selecting Ramsey he had long-term objectives in mind instead of picking the best team available to get a vital win under our belts today. To me, that’s unforgivable. As usual from Arsenal it smacks of false economy, because on a day when Chelsea closed the gap on us, if we now miss out on the Champions League because of these three dropped points and a halt to our momentum that’s £40m we’ll miss out on.

And that’s far more than we’ll ever get for Ramsey anyway.

Now we have to hope Swansea do us a favour tomorrow against a Tottenham team who’ll be lifted by our failure today. It’s still in our hands of course, but until we get back to doing things properly on and off the pitch our top four spot is by no means a certainty.

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Comments
  1. tea tea

    I have posted below somewhere already. Pls don’t mind i post here again since seems it is quite about the topic.

    Have spent some time to make a stat. Arsenal won total 27 games so far. 12 of them which Ramsey was not started including the creditable run last few weeks. On the other hand, loss 14 games, 13 of them which he was started including some cheap loss. I don’t want him to leave but I am question why AW use him so many. He even not use Gervinho & Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but put him on wing instead (or AM, i am not used where should he play today). I am not going to blame Ramsey. He has worked hard. I don’t want AW left. He is the only one I think can best use the club’s limited resource. I am not simply want to bring the stat the question the player and the manager. Simply Win & loss % mean not much, but if you go through below stat and result, at least for me, seems without him the team run better and more efficient.

    Win Total 27 games (15 start, 12 not start)
    Loss Total 14 games (13 start, 1 not start)

    • Ramsey as Start
    X Ramsey Not as start

    Aug 16 FT Arsenal 1-0 Udinese 58,159 Champions League (Play-off round) *
    Aug 24 FT Udinese 1-2 Arsenal 25,687 Champions League (Play-off round) *
    Sep 10 FT Arsenal 1-0 Swansea City 60,087 Premier League *
    Sep 20 FT Arsenal 3-1 Shrewsbury Town 46,539 Carling Cup (Round 3) X
    Sep 24 FT Arsenal 3-0 Bolton Wanderers 59,727 Premier League *
    Sep 28 FT Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos 59,676 Champions League (2011 First Phase) X
    Oct 16 FT Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland 60,078 Premier League X
    Oct 19 FT Marseille 0-1 Arsenal 24,534 Champions League (2011 First Phase) X
    Oct 23 FT Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City 59,671 Premier League *
    Oct 25 FT Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Wanderers 56,628 Carling Cup (Round 4) X
    Oct 29 FT Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal 41,801 Premier League *
    Nov 19 FT Norwich City 1-2 Arsenal 26,801 Premier League *
    Nov 23 FT Arsenal 2-1 Borussia Dortmund 59,531 Champions League (2011 First Phase) *
    Dec 3 FT Wigan Athletic 0-4 Arsenal 19,280 Premier League *
    Dec 10 FT Arsenal 1-0 Everton 60,062 Premier League *
    Dec 21 FT Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal 35,818 Premier League *
    Dec 31 FT Arsenal 1-0 Queens Park Rangers 60,067 Premier League *
    Jan 9 FT Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United 59,615 FA Cup (Round 3) *
    Jan 29 FT Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa 60,019 FA Cup (Round 4) *
    Feb 4 FT Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn Rovers 59,643 Premier League X
    Feb 11 FT Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal 40,312 Premier League X
    Feb 26 FT Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham Hotspur 60,106 Premier League X
    Mar 3 FT Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal 44,922 Premier League X
    Mar 6 FT Arsenal 3-0 AC Milan 59,973 Champions League (Round of 16) X
    Mar 12 FT Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle United 60,095 Premier League X
    Mar 21 FT Everton 0-1 Arsenal 30,330 Premier League *
    Mar 24 FT Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa 60,108 Premier League X
    Win Total 27 games (15 start, 12 not start)

    Aug 13 FT Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal 46,894 Premier League *
    Sep 13 FT Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Arsenal Champions League (2011 First Phase) X
    Nov 1 FT Arsenal 0-0 Marseille 59,961 Champions League (2011 First Phase) *
    Nov 26 FT Arsenal 1-1 Fulham 60,043 Premier League *
    Dec 27 FT Arsenal 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 59,686 Premier League *
    Feb 1 Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Arsenal 24,371 Premier League *
    Draw Total 6 games (5 start, 1 not start)

    Aug 20 FT Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool 60,090 Premier League *
    Aug 24 FT Udinese 1-2 Arsenal 25,687 Champions League (Play-off round) *
    Aug 28 FT Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal 75,448 Premier League *
    Sep 17 FT Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Arsenal 22,637 Premier League *
    Oct 2 FT Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Arsenal 36,274 Premier League *
    Nov 29 FT Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City 60,028 Carling Cup (Quarter-finals) *
    Dec 6 FT Olympiakos 3-1 Arsenal 32,000 Champions League (2011 First Phase) X
    Dec 18 FT Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal 47,303 Premier League *
    Jan 2 FT Fulham 2-1 Arsenal 25,700 Premier League *
    Jan 15 FT Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal 20,409 Premier League *
    Jan 22 FT Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United 60,093 Premier League *
    Feb 15 AC Milan 4-0 Arsenal 68,257 Champions League (Round of 16) *
    Feb 18 Sunderland 2-0 Arsenal 26,042 FA Cup (Round 5) *
    Mar 31 Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Arsenal Loftus Road Premier League *
    Loss Total 14 games (13 start, 1 not start)

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  2. siyan

    two people to be blamed. 1) Arsene, for being so fixated on Ramsey. Why play him in the wide instead of Ox or Gervinho. He is inefficient. 2) Why would Alex Song refuse to take shot at goal despite finding himself in the position so often. He is partly responsible for the loss. Having seen the way QPR was monitoring Van Persie anytime Song has the ball, his football sense should have told him to look for options. In a packed goal mouth area deflection and blocking of the goalkeeper’s view always happen.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  3. dik

    im 100% agree with u. arsene player selection is not good, he should not pick ramsey to start. we already watched and disapponted of ramsey. at this stage wenger should not chances or developing or training a player like ramsey.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  4. BRIAN JOHNSON

    VERY GOOD ARTICLE. I HAVE BEING SAYING FOR MONTHS THAT RAMSEY SHOULD NOT START FOR ARSENAL. HE IS TOO SLOW, HE SLOWS DOWN OUR PLAY AND CLEARLY CANNOT SHOOT. BOTH WALCOTT AND RAMSEY ARE OUR WORST PLAYERS AND LACK INTELLIGENCE. HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU SEND ARSHAVIN ON LOAN AND KEEP WALCOTT? I AM 100% SURE HAD ARSHAVIN STARTED 26 GAMES IN A ROW AND STAYED ON THE PITCH FOR 90 MINUTES IN ALMOST ALL OF THEM HE WOULD HAVE HAD AN OUTSTANDING SEASON.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  5. tea tea

    Team Average Win if Ramsey start 45%
    Team Average Win if Ramsey not start 86%

    Team Average Draw if Ramsey start 15%
    Team Average Draw if Ramsey not start 7%

    Team Average Loss if Ramsey start 39%
    Team Average Loss if Ramsey not start 7%

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    • Gooner Steve

      Interesting stats, although to be fair on Ramsey you’d have to apply that to every Arsenal player to see how they compare. Gervinho’s might be similar for example, as he hasn’t started much during our recent winning streak.

      On the face of it though, it does suggest Ramsey isn’t bringing much to the table. Hence the surprise that Wenger prefers him to the Ox of late.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  6. Kwam Are

    Wenger I don’t knw the reason why u alway put Ramsey in a difficult match wat abt chambalin wenger. Ask problem

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  7. Lionel Blair

    I was struggling to think of any reason why Ramsey started wide left today and against Everton, until your two suggestions. I agree it must be because he is trying to develop Ramsey like he did by keep playing Denilson,Senderos and Bendtner.

    Or he doesn’t want Ox to go Euro 2012. It must be one of these, there are no other reasons. Good articel.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  8. tissiam

    the HATERS are back!you,ve been waiting a good while for todays defeat!some people have to moan,critisize to be “happy”.sad really!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

    • Gooner Steve

      You are so right, I was miserable when we won seven games in a row, it really saddened me because what I longed for most was to moan about how crap Arsenal are. That’s why I spend £1,000 a year to go and watch them, because I love moaning when we lose.

      Here is an alternative match report just for the likes of you who can’t accept people writing constructive criticism about their team:

      “Arsenal are brilliant, they were just very, very unlucky today. They will easily win the league, FA Cup and Champions League next season because Wenger is so clever and everything is just fine at our well-run club.”

      Idiot.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  9. Alex

    You are dead right on the ox. Wenger can’t be blind to his contributions on the pitch. He had 9 mins today, NINE MINUTES. He came on and won two free kicks instantly. Ramsey has done bugger all, all season. I hope he’s really worried about ox’s mallable bone structure due to his age rather than worrying about profits.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  10. Shanzuman

    Yes I agree with the report but we really lost today because of our ineffective mid-field, both in creativity and in assisting our defenders. They failed to close down the massive gaps that QPR found and took advantage. This is despite the fact that we effectively played four in mid-field with Ramsey running everywhere and without contributing to our play. Take their first goal, a low pass from the half way line passed all our mid-fielders and found Taraabt unmarked to score easily. Same with the second goal where was the mid-field to assist in defence? Nobody closed down to intercept very basic passes which made us look so helpless. There was no desire to win the ball and cannot honestly say that anybody in the team stood out. A really bad day at the office which may turn out to harm us if Spurs and Chelsea start playing again.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. Jon

    Hi – I was also so bewildered that Ramsey was starting yesterday. Every time he starts we look lack luster, he is slow and is basically a worse version than Denilson. Just to highlight our great run with him in the team apart from the spurs result our biggest wins where we looked awesome were Ramsey was not in the team. Milan 3-0 Blackburn 7-1 Vila 3-0 etc, the OX has his best game against Milan and we haven’t seen him in that position since. Also I would urge you to write to Wenger please see his address at companies house http://company-director-check.co.uk/director/910401363 as regards the Ramsey debacle. It’s like he has to prove us all wrong with everything, which is why we havent won anything for 7years, because he perseveres with mediocre players for too long, who effect the team. What happened to the old attack is the best option Wenger? Like the team that played against Milan was the old Arsenal pure attach minded, and what happened? Hammered them 3-0, caution doesn’t suit our football as it showed with Ramsey on the wing yesterday! gutted!!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  12. Anonymous

    When we lost in Milan Ramsey was again in the line up, doing nothing. Enough! What in hell does Ramsey adds to the game that we do not know about? There was nobody on the left wing yesterday. We all saw that early on but leave it to wenger to only make a sub at the 70th minute. Arteta was also rubbish yesterday, he was bossed around like a kid and skilled like a baby by Taraabt. I cannot even blame Thomas because he won us so many games but Ramsey?screw you.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. Jonathan

    When we lost in Milan Ramsey was again in the line up, doing nothing. Enough! What in hell does Ramsey adds to the game that we do not know about? There was nobody on the left wing yesterday. We all saw that early on but leave it to wenger to only make a sub at the 70th minute. Arteta was also rubbish yesterday, he was bossed around like a kid and skilled like a baby by Taraabt. I cannot even blame Thomas because he won us so many games but Ramsey?screw you.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  14. bennie

    Wenger’s love for the lad (Ramsey) is costing us dear. He was the reason we nearly lost at Everton. He’s a substitute not a starter at least for now.

    We’re effective and more dangerous in attack with two natural wide-men. They destabilize opposition defenders and that gives RVP room as well as it makes Rosicky more dangerous! I have said it more than once…Ramsey is costing us points! He only adds numbers there!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  15. david

    QPR 2-1 Arsenal: Come on
    Alex Oxlade Chaimberlain is way better than ramsey, like when he came on against blacburn and scored two goals so arsenal could go on to win 7(Yes, SEVEN)-1

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Alex

      Wenger’s love for the lad (Ramsey) is costing us dear. He was the reason we nearly lost at Everton. He’s a substitute not a starter at least for now.

      We’re effective and more dangerous in attack with two natural wide-men. They destabilize opposition defenders and that gives RVP room as well as it makes Rosicky more dangerous! I have said it more than once…Ramsey is costing us points! He only adds numbers there!

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Paddy boy

    :( :( :( :( :( :(
    I’m sad coz arsenal lost

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. Alex

    Tissiam youre completely wrong

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0