Good morning, happy Thursday. Just a very quick one today.
Manchester City put nine past Burton Albion last night in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola opted to put out a very strong team, which was a bit surprising. But there really weren’t that many first team players in it. David Silva, Leroy Sane and maybe Kyle Walker were the surprising ones. Guardiola rotated everywhere else. Kevin De Bruyne also played, but he’s still working his way back to full fitness so that made sense.
The second leg will be played in a couple of weeks’ time, which will be a very interesting affair. Man City don’t have this tie won yet, as Burton could pull a rabbit out of the hat. City really need to make sure they don’t concede an early goal. Don’t be surprised to see Guardiola change his system, and play five at the back instead of the usual four. The big guns will surely travel to Burton. If City manage to get an early goal, they’ll be in a good position. That could put it to bed, because, even though you can see Burton scoring 10, it’s very unlikely they’ll score 11.
Elsewhere, a report by Fabrizio Romano in the Guardian says that Aaron Ramsey has agreed a deal to join Juventus in the summer. The Italian journalist is extremely reliable, and I would take his word as true. The report says he has signed a five-year deal, worth around £140,000 per week. That figure does seem quite low, but I saw suggestions that this is after tax, and it makes him Juventus’ second-highest earner, behind Cristiano Ronaldo but ahead of the likes of Paulo Dybala.
Ramsey is a fantastic player and this is a good signing by Juventus. Arsenal would have liked to hold onto him, but with his contract up in the summer, and the club withdrawing their offer of a new deal, that wasn’t possible. They clearly weren’t prepared to pay him what he wanted, and after seeing what Unai Emery thinks, they were probably right. He’s not a player that starts every week under Emery, and he must believe that somebody else would be better suited to his system. If that’s the case, there can’t be many complaints.
Ramsey will leave the Emirates after 11 years at the club. He signed from Cardiff in 2008, and played 252 Premier League games for the Gunners, with more to come. He has won three FA Cups with the club, scoring the winner in two. Does that mean he goes down as an Arsenal legend? He is responsible for two trophies, so that probably means he is. Some people will say he is a legend, others won’t.
Ramsey leaving isn’t the end of the world, but him leaving on a free is very poor management from Arsenal. They have been in this situation far too many times in recent years, and need to sort it out. Far too much money is being wasted by them. With Danny Welbeck also set to leave on a free in the summer, upwards of £50m is being wasted in transfer fees. And if Stan Kroenke will only let Arsenal spend what they make in player sales, they’re not helping themselves. Situations like this shouldn’t be allowed happen.
Tomorrow’s in-depth article will be on Arsenal winning the league at Anfield in 1989. It’s an incredible story, which I’m sure you’ve heard about. I’m thinking of changing things around on the site again, with me maybe writing less blogs. They may not come every day anymore, and may be more occasional than they are now. This is because quite a lot of work goes into the in-depth articles and they can be a struggle to get done. Not many – if any – people read the daily blog anyway, so I don’t think it would be much of a loss. I may go for more news pieces, but I’ll have a think about it. There’ll still be plenty of stories up here anyway!
Drop back for that article tomorrow. In the meantime, have a good Thursday.