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Ramsey vs Emery? Why the manager's not to blame for Arsenal split

COMMENT: Would the form be the same? The impact? Would the football Aaron Ramsey is now producing be the same if these next two months weren't his last in an Arsenal shirt...?

Now locked into a deal with Juventus, Ramsey is playing some of the best stuff of his career. No doubt. And with it has come the inevitable hand wringing of former Gooners lamenting those in charge for allowing him to move on.

But why is it manager Unai Emery's fault? Why is the blame levelled at the front office? What about the player himself? Why did it have to reach this point - the point of no return - for Ramsey to get it together?

Better yet. Is what he is producing all down to him? What contribution has the new manager made in this Ramsey revival? Emery's system. A different voice. A different approach. More demanding. Even ruthless. When you compare Emery's relationship with what Ramsey enjoyed (and indulged) with Arsene Wenger. Are those ex-players wailing about the Basque's decision to withdraw the club's contract offer ever going to give the manager credit for finding a way to get Ramsey playing better than we've seen in several years?

If Ramsey has any regrets. If he's second guessing his decision not to commit to the terms tabled before Christmas. He has only himself to blame. For Emery, this was never personal. Otherwise, Ramsey would be in the stands. Left on his own to step up his Italian lessons and prepare for the off.

But the Wales midfielder didn't do enough in preseason. Nor in the first months of the campaign. Emery had spoken to those he trusted with their ear to the ground in England. He'd also made his own assessment watching Arsenal from afar. Ramsey was part of that clique. The group which always managed to do just enough to get by. But nothing more. A nice Cup run. A late top four push. Just enough to get the bonuses in. But never stretching themselves. At least not over the course of a season.

It was all for Ramsey to do. He wasn't going to be indulged. Excused. Emery had already identified Ever Banega, his former Sevilla midfielder, as a potential replacement last summer. The gauntlet had been thrown down. Ramsey had to convince his manager he was worth hanging onto. But he failed. The form Ramsey produced before Christmas nothing like we're seeing now.

Today, Ramsey is keeping his place on merit. Emery making his team selection based on the here and now. Just as a fellow member of that clique, Mesut Ozil, is not guaranteed a place in the away day XI, Ramsey is keeping his. If the Welshman wasn't performing as he is today, he'd be sat alongside Ozil at any away dugout across the country.

Emery summed it up in the aftermath of Thursday's victory over Napoli. Again, Ramsey was among Arsenal's better performers for the first-leg quarterfinal win. The player's attitude winning praise from his manager.

“His performances in this moment for us show that he wants to do something important with us," the Gunners boss said.

“Because I think he feels a lot for Arsenal as a club. When he's here with our supporters, he gives us all he can, not individually, but in the collective.

“I want to enjoy this moment with him. I want to do something important with him. His focus is very big, he's thinking of Arsenal only."

In other words, the penny's dropped. Both for manager and player. Ramsey not only doing the little things demanded by Emery. But also realising he needs to leave the club - and his supporters - in the best possible way. And as Emery says, the manager is willing to help him achieve that.

Should Emery have been more patient? Should he have urged the board to leave the contract offer on the table another month? No. Arsenal is bigger than that. It's bigger than Aaron Ramsey. Across England. And on the continent. The Arsenal name still carries great appeal. As does Emery's. Players should be fighting to join an Emery Arsenal team. Not the other way around.

The one who should've been more patient was Ramsey. For now, it's not being acknowledged. But there's a reason why his football has taken off since the New Year. Emery's approach. His system. It's brought the best out of the Welshman.

Don't blame the manager for Aaron Ramsey's departure.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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