It was very interesting to see the difference in the reactions of PE Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey when they were substituted during Arsenal’s win over Newcastle on Saturday. Twenty minutes before the end of the game, with the Gunners winning 2-0, Emery decided to swap Henrik Mkhitaryan for Aubameyang and the Gabonese hitman was visibly annoyed with the coach.
When Emery was asked about it after the game he said: “It’s normal. I want the players when I change the team or when I decide them not to start them in the first XI to be angry and have ambition to play and help the team and stay on the pitch. For me it’s a normal situation.”
Just ten minutes later it was obvious that one player didn’t want to “have ambition to play and help the team and stay on the pitch” as Aaron Ramsey asked to be replaced because he was tired. But Emery still defended him. “It’s also normal.” he said. “He played with the national team two matches and then he played 80 minutes with us, so he asked us to change him. It’s not a big problem but he was tired. I think it is no problem.”
I think it is a big problem if a player that earns in excess of 100,000 Pounds a week (and wants more) can’t play two 90-minute games in a week, with three days rest in between, because “he was tired”. If he was injured or got a knock on the head I would accept it, but in my opinion that just shows Ramsey’s level of commitment to the team, especially when directly compared to Aubameyang!