Friday, 25 March 2011
Aaron Ramsey takes Wales armband for England game
Ahead of tomorrow's big match in Cardiff (one of my all time favourite places to watch football) both teams have appointed a new Captain. The man who is wearing the armband for Wales is a rather more palatable choice than England's returning skipper. Leading his side for the first time tomorrow is Arsenal's very own Aaron Ramsey. It's a wonderful reward for Rambo following his year long absence from the Arsenal team, caused by a disgusting, leg-shattering foul by the oafish Ryan Shawcross.
Ramsey's appointment has caused some controversy among Wales followers it seems. Many of the experts on the other side of the Severn Bridge have questioned why a 20 year-old, returning from serious injury, has been chosen ahead of more experienced players like James Collins. It never ceases to amaze me how the mind of the ex-footballer can work. Why would Gary Speed give the honour of leading his Country to a man who was recently fined by his Club for getting drunk and abusive at a team event? Far better, surely, to give the Captaincy to a young tyro, making his way in the game, possessive of exceptional talent, and playing at one of the leading Club's in the World. Gary Speed is on record today describing Aaron as a "leader." I hope he is right, because Arsenal need leaders - if it means that our leaders are aged 20 and 19 (the other being Jack Wilshere) then so be it, just so long as we get some in the side.
For England we know that Jack Wilshere will be in the starting line-up for Capello's team. The contest between the Arsenal boys will give an interest in the fixture that most Gooners would not have had otherwise. I certainly wouldn't have bothered tuning in were it not for Ramsey v Wilshere in midfield. I hope both of the boys excel in the game (Ramsey's previous appearance for Wales v England was in U21 action and he scored a screamer) but most of all I hope they come back to Arsenal without an injury. With Wilshere playing tomorrow he really needs to be rested from England's pointless friendly with Ghana on Wednesday - he is still a boy and playing unnecessary matches only puts him at further risk of injury. The thought that he might have to go and play for England U21 in the Summer is an absolute joke. Hopefully Capello will tell Pearce to leave the boy out - if he doesn't then Arsene Wenger will have to make sure Jack is "injured" at season's end.