My good mate Martin Clark and I watched Arsenal play Napoli Thursday night. As always, we chatted about everything under the sun, including Julian Assange’s arrest.
That darkness was outshone by Aaron Ramsey’s performance. I cannot think of any footballer who makes me happy in the way that Aaron does. Because he enjoys playing, and transmits that to onlookers. And because he is so gifted, and imaginative, and unpredictable. I was babbling superlatives almost every time he touched the ball. Two footed, fit, fast, balanced, skillful, brave, shrewd and loving every second that he plays for a living.
At the peak of his powers, aged 28, you would think Arsenal would do everything in their power to hang onto him, including the wage rise he craved. The manager Unai Emery seems ambitious, but has made a colossal blunder, in my opinion. Juventus will pay him £400,000/week. I know, silly money. But get past that impossible, unwarranted and insane football salary reality, and you have a match winner who can help win trophies. The winning goal in two of Arsenal’s three recent cup final victories is proof of that pudding.
And take a look at his goal against Fulham. Four touches.
The first and last bearing the hallmarks of a football wizard. How I would love Ramsey at West Ham.
Maybe he’ll get his hands on the Champions League trophy over in Italy next season.