Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is under pressure from all angles at the moment.
Aaron Ramsey would not have planned his ideal season to go the way this one has panned out. He’s been under pressure at club level and his red card against Scotland now means he’s under scrutiny at international level as well.
At times he’s looked a little out of his depth in an Arsenal shirt this season, with the likes of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla progressing well while he’s struggled in a side that probably isn’t going to finish fourth.
In terms of his fitness he’s been fine and has recovered from that bad leg break he sustained earlier in his career. However, the core elements of his game such as his accuracy and consistency have not been at a level that Arsene Wenger expects or demands.
As for Wales, he let his frustrations get the better of him against Scotland, launching into a challenge after giving the ball away, leaving the referee with no real option other than to show him a straight red card.
That means he will not go into the game against Croatia as he’s suspended, increasing the pressure on the rest of the side because they are one decent player down against a side that will be expecting to hit them hard.
The reasons for his dip in form don’t seem completely clear but there’s no doubt that his confidence is suffering a little bit at the moment, which means club and country need to maybe nurse him through this current spell.
Wenger has worked with him for a good length of time so at club level, he will be treated and used in the right way because fortunately Arsenal have one of the most experienced managers in England.
Whether that means he’ll have a spell on loan somewhere at the start of next season or whether he just needs an arm around his shoulder doesn’t really matter, Wenger knows how to deal with it.
Wales is a different story because of his status with the national side and because Chris Coleman doesn’t have the same skill and experience as Wenger when it comes to protecting his players.
There’s no doubt he’s left Wales in a worse situation than they would have otherwise been but that doesn’t mean criticism is instantly the right measure to use and Coleman has to understand that because Ramsey will still be in and around the Wales squad, despite the fact he’s suspended.
He’s not a bad player, he’s just going through the first real rough spell in his career and how he emerges from it is the most important thing. He bagged a goal against Scotland, which was a small step in the right direction but he let himself down with that poor discipline.
Will the goal do him some good?
image: © wonker