The years at Arsenal, leader of Wales, in black and white Aaron Ramsey will never be able to establish himself between tactical misunderstandings and too many injuries.
There are stories that just don’t work. Stories that seem perfect on paper but which, when tested in practice, do not give the desired results and indeed end up being downright harmful. Disappointments, sensational flops. The one between certainly belongs to this category Aaron Ramsey and Juventus.
Summer 2019 marks the beginning of a new era for the Juventus club which says goodbye to Massimiliano Allegri to entrust the bench to Maurizio Sarri, the coach perhaps furthest from his predecessor in terms of football idea. A turning point that inevitably also has repercussions on the market, especially in midfield, where two players arrive who, due to their technical and physical characteristics, seem destined to write important pages in Juventus history: Adrien Rabiot and, precisely, Ramsey.
Furthermore, both arrive in Turin on a free transfer (but with very heavy salaries) after the end of their respective contracts with PSG and Arsenal. Many expectations are placed in particular on Ramsey, leader of Wales and in full football maturity, who signs as early as February. The former gunner seems to be the perfect player for the new coach’s schemes, as well as the man capable of raising the level of Juve’s midfield also in terms of personality after the huge hole left over the years by the farewells of Pirlo, Vidal, Pogba and Marchisio.
On 15 July Ramsey, recovering from an injury that forced him to end his experience with Arsenal prematurely, introduced himself to the new fans promising to give his contribution to the cause.
“I’m happy to be here. Juventus is one of the greatest teams in the world. Coming here is a dreamor and one challenge. It’s a different experience in terms of culture and lifestyle, but I’m prepared. I look forward to being able to contribute. I’m excited, I hope to be part of something big and make history.”
As a demonstration of a certain personality Ramsey chooses a heavy shirt like the number 8, worn before him by Claudio Marchisio.
“The number 8 it was available and I took it. I know it was worn by Claudio Marchisio, I spoke to him at J Medical, I hope to emulate what he did with the Juventus shirt. I can’t wait to wear it.”
To see him on the pitch, we will have to wait for mid-September when he takes over in the final match of the Champions League against Atletico Madrid in place of Pjanic while his debut in the league, at home against Verona a few days later, is dreamlike. In fact, half an hour is enough for him to score his first goal, that of the momentary 1-1, albeit also thanks to a lucky detour and almost slipping.
However, enough to convince Sarri to deploy him as a starter in the next two games, carving out the role of attacking midfielder for him. To stop it is a muscle injury. The first of a very long series that will end up compromising his Italian experience together with an evident tactical misunderstanding: midfielder, mezzala, attacking midfielder, winger?
Sarri first, then Pirlo and finally Allegri will never be able to find the right position on the pitch for the former Arsenal, who however when he wears the Wales shirt punctually reborn making the black and white fans turn up their noses, while the person directly affected by the withdrawal of the national team try to explain the reason for this strange metamorphosis.
“Philosophy and training methods are different in Juve compared to those carried out with the Wales national team. In the national team there are people who have been there for years used to handle me and who knows how to bring out the best in mehelping me to play many consecutive matches, as I was able to demonstrate at Euro 2020. I feel good when I’m handled properly and when I have the opportunity to play regularly. When my match performance is high, I would need more rest and recovery during the week, instead of spending a lot of time on the pitch causing fatigue in subsequent matches. Recovery is a big part for me.”
A criticism, not too veiled, not only of the various coaches who have succeeded one another on the Juve bench but above all of the staff, accused of not knowing how to understand their needs.
The high point of Ramsey’s difficult adventure at Juventus certainly comes on March 8, 2020, when the Welsh midfielder scores the opening goal against Inter in a completely deserted ‘Stadium’. In fact, that will also be the last match of the Italian championship before the long forced stop due to the pandemic.
When he returns to the field, Ramsey plays a few pieces but by now it is clear that the spark with the Old Lady has not struck. The return of Allegri, who has always preferred more physical players in the middle of the field, actually scores the final word, so much so that from August 2021 to January 2022 he takes the field just five times between the championship and the Champions League for a handful of minutes overall.
Although initially the Livorno native actually tries to relaunch him by deploying him in an almost completely new role, namely that of low play in front of the defense. A solution that Allegri, who in the meantime was orphaned by Pjanic, appears to be firmly convinced of.
“Ramsey he’s already good at reading the game and banning, but he also has geometries and game cleaning: if he is convinced he can become great director. Pcan be very important to us and to convince him I also told him that in that position you run less”.
But that won’t be enough. Thus during the winter session the sale becomes inevitable and Ramsey moves to Scotland, where the bets on him are the Rangers. Result? Decisive penalty from the penalty spot in the Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt and immediate return to Turin, where, however, no one is more willing to bet on this talented but too discontinuous player, and above all unreliable from a physical point of view. In summer 2022 therefore comes the consensual termination of the contract with a lot of rich severance pay.
The black and white experience ends definitively with 70 appearances and 6 goals for a total of 3043 minutes in three seasons which earned him a Scudetto (first championship won in his career), an Italian Cup and an Italian Super Cup. But perhaps, other numbers explain even better what Ramsey was at Juventus: 38 games missed due to injury for more than 200 total days in the infirmary. Far too much to be able to engrave. Enough to talk about flop. Resounding.
Ramsey today, at 32, plays in the ranks of Nice in Ligue 1, with which he made 12 appearances, scoring on his absolute debut a few minutes after entering the field. He also participated in the World Cup in Qatar with his Wales, but this time without being able to affect. In short, Juventus now represents only a chapter from the past. A decidedly unfortunate chapter for both parties.
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Ramsey’s adventure at Juventus: a sensational flop | Goal.com Italy