An interesting piece by Victor Thompson yesterday on Aaron Ramsey
“Interesting” because, in my view, he makes “good” points and some “no so good” points.
Let me explain
About Ramsey, Victor is spot on. An Arsenal player of immense stature, character and ability. He stands up there with the Greats for what he has done on and off the field.
So impressive, such quality and a human being of real achievement. And but for his recent hamstring injury we would be a cert for the Champions League by now
The “not so good points” that jarred were the references to “mercenaries”.
All players are mercenaries – I looked at Collins Thesaurus for synonyms and these are the words I find listed…
“acquisitive, covetous, grasping, greedy, money grubbing”
Looking back into history terms such as “hireling and soldiers of fortune”
So often when fans are unhappy with players they drag up the word “mercenary” to insult them and when you see what the word actually means we should be cautious in our use of such toxic language.
All players are acquisitive. All of us are acquisitive. We want the best for ourselves.
We are mercenaries – we offer our services in our own work to the highest bidder.
We haggle – we negotiate, we press for more. That is life
So far so good.
We fans are the fans. The players are the mercenaries.
We pay for the privilege of seeing the “mercenaries” do their best.
Some players are better than others are, it is as simple as that but as long as they give their best on and off the pitch that is fine.
Jenkinson is one of our fans favourite – he is a mercenary. Ramsey too. He has offered himself to us and to Juventus.
Now where Victor loses it for me is where he brackets together Sanchez and Walcott.
Sanchez was highly paid – he scored some wonderful goals (e.g. -against AV in the Cup final). He gave us some great moments – real celebrations. He was not an easy character – not all players are and he could sulk but not to be especially identified as money grubbing or a soldier of war. He wanted the best for himself and sometimes sulked. Ramsey also wanted the best. Both were entitled to seek their best. As it is Sanchez has failed at United – that maybe down to him or the United management but he served us well
So did Theo. Always wholehearted for Arsenal FC despite the boos and the moans. He never turned on AFC – he was loyal and I bet he looks for our result every time we play. He never quite made it and the boo boys got at him but he kept his dignity and in every interview he was AFC solid.
Most of us will recall his two goals v THFC at the Emirates when we were two down – and the goal he made for Adebayor in the Champions League giving us a victory so quickly to be erased by an immediate bad penalty award against us
So in praising Ramsey – as we all should do because he is the absolute tops– don’t let’s show our frustration at his departure by turning on players who have given us some great moments. Criticise them for weaknesses but do not whip us hate by calling them “mercenaries”.
My name is Graham Perry and I have been a lifelong Arsenal supporter since 1952 when I saw the ten men in red shirts hold out heroically until the 84th minute at Wembley.
The Arsenal thing was confirmed by a meeting with Alex James during Easter 1953. As with most of us it is a family thing with my father always waxing eloquent about the Chapman years.
I am married with four children and five grandchildren. I have been a solicitor in a legal aid practice and have just stepped down after 13 years as an Immigration Judge.
Arsenal is in the blood. The goals and the excitement matter but so does the Community thing and sharing Arsenal with friends and family over so many years.
Want nothing more than to see Wenger hold aloft the Premier League Trophy again.