Tag Archives: ramsey

Cardiff could move for Jamie Mackie

Cardiff eye Mackie, Ramsey and Ledley as they plan for life at the top

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:33 GMT, 21 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:00 GMT, 22 April 2013

Premier League new boys Cardiff have put QPR striker Jamie Mackie on their wish list.

Ex-Cardiff players Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley have also been touted.

The Bluebirds sealed their return to the top flight for the first time since 1962 after a nervy draw at home to Charlton Athletic last Tuesday.

Fancy it Jamie Mackie (left) is likely to be relegated with QPR

Fancy it Jamie Mackie (left) is likely to be relegated with QPR

Aaron Ramsey: It"s taken three years to get over Ryan Shawcross tackle

Ramsey: It's taken me three years to get over THAT tackle by Shawcross

By
Rob Draper

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

03:41 GMT, 17 February 2013

It will soon be three years since Aaron Ramsey was on the receiving end of that tackle from Stoke's Ryan Shawcross, a challenge that broke his leg in a manner which caused onlookers to wince and look away in disgust.

Three long years as far as Ramsey is concerned.

Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge

Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge

The unwanted anniversary comes at the
end of this month and although Ramsey was back playing by November
2010, it would be fair to say the injury and the vehemence of the tackle
had a greater effect on the 23-year-old than a mere nine-month absence.

He was on course to be a worldclass
player, his trajectory well ahead of compatriot Gareth Bale, and he
looked to be a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal.

His comeback season was largely
spent on loan at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff. Last term he recovered
his identity as an Arsenal player.

Only this season has he shown the form that saw him lauded so early in his career.

'It was a really tough thing to go through and I don't wish it upon anybody,' said Ramsey.

'The determination and the
professionalism that you need, all the hours you have to spend in the
gym, it's quite tough. But I've got through that. It's taken me a bit
longer than I would've liked, but I'm happy now where I am, and hoping
to improve and carry on this good form that I'm in.'

His confidence was fractured as well as his leg.

Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal

Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal

'Yes, that's a natural thing,' he
said. 'Confidence is a massive thing and if you're struggling with that
it does reflect in your performances. But I've got that back now. I'm
hungry to keep that shirt and I've proved that with the way I've been
playing of late.

'There has been a good progression
and hopefully I can get back to where I was. That injury did take it out
of me and hopefully that will only have been a minor hiccup when I look
back on my career.'

Bayern Munich in the Champions League will this week provide an acid test, particular after yesterday's exit from the FA Cup.

Ramsey has to establish himself as a guaranteed pick, though 16 starts this season represents progress.

'I'm getting stuck in a lot more,' he
said. 'I'm winning a lot more balls back and reading the game better
and moving the ball quicker, which suit's the way we play. I've had
positive feedback from the boss.'

But he is aware of Arsenal's
eightyear trophy drought – the Champions League represents their last
chance of silverware this season – and of lost opportunities in Europe's
premier competition.

A 4-0 defeat by AC Milan cost them last year despite winning the home leg 3-0.

Before that they could not hold a 2-1 home-leg lead over Barcelona.

He said: 'Hopefully, we can get into a strong position against Bayern in the home leg and we'll be more experienced.'

Michael Owen facing FA rap for throwing punch at Mikel Arteta

Saint Michael's halo slips with Owen facing FA rap for throwing punch at Arteta

By
Ian Ridley

PUBLISHED:

22:09 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

09:36 GMT, 3 February 2013

Michael Owen could face a retrospective disciplinary charge from the FA after attempting to throw a punch at Arsenal's Mikel Arteta in Stoke City's 1-0 defeat at the Emirates.

The former England striker, who had been brought on as a late substitute, reacted fiercely to a strong tackle from the Spaniard and aimed a right-hander – missed by referee Chris Foy – that connected only weakly with Arteta's shoulder.

Flashpoint: Michael Owen loses his cool as he clashes with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after a heavy tackle by Gunners' Mikel Arteta

Flashpoint: Michael Owen loses his cool
as he clashes with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after a heavy tackle by Gunners' Mikel Arteta

Flashpoint: Michael Owen loses his cool as he clashes with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after a heavy tackle by Gunners' Mikel Arteta

Flashpoint: Michael Owen loses his cool
as he clashes with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after a heavy tackle by Gunners' Mikel Arteta

Owen then squared up to Jack Wilshere, who had rushed to the scene and the two players became embroiled in a pushing match.

The incident came amid a bad-tempered end to a match, in which Stoke contested Lukas Podolski's winner, between two clubs with a history of confrontation dating back to an incident when Aaron Ramsey broke a leg in a challenge from Ryan Shawcross three years ago.

Shawcross was again in trouble, receiving a yellow card that some will argue should have been red, as he slid into a challenge against Laurent Koscielny with studs up.

'I thought the Arteta challenge was a poor one but Michael shouldn't do that,' said Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

'That should be left to the referee.' Asked whether he expected Owen to be charged retrospectively, Pulis added: 'Let's see what they say. But I think it should have been a free-kick for us.

'If Michael has done what he has done and they look at it, they will deal with it.'

Pain game: This was the rash challenge that sparked the flashpoint

Stoking the flames: This was the rash challenge that sparked the flashpoint

Michael Owen and Arteta

Pulis was also aggrieved when Glenn Whelan was booked for a tackle that Stoke felt was not a free-kick and that Shawcross had needed four stitches in a leg wound after the challenge with Koscielny.

Jon Walters also required six stitches in a head wound after a clash of heads with Arsenal's 8million debutant Nacho Monreal. 'Glenn's was never a booking and when that went against us like that, it irritates you,' said Pulis. Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, felt that Shawcross should have been sent off.

'It looked it to me [to be a sending off] but I will have to look at it again,' said the Arsenal manager. 'I am maybe not completely objective with Ryan Shawcross, that is why I am cautious with my statement.'

Wenger had, however, not seen the Owen punch and so could not comment.

Jack Wilshere wants Theo Walcott to sign new Arsenal contract

Don't Jack it in here, Theo! Wilshere pleads for Walcott to sign new Arsenal deal

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

Jack Wilshere has urged close friend Theo Walcott to give Arsenal six of the best by signing his new deal.

Arsenal persuaded five of British football’s brightest talents, including midfielder Wilshere, to extend their contracts last week, but an impasse remains with Walcott.

‘Everybody at the club wants Theo to re-sign. But that is something he has to sort out, it is up to him and the club if they can reach an agreement and I hope they do,’ said Wilshere, after Mikel Arteta’s penalty had given them a 1-0 win at Wigan.

Friends: Jack Wilshere (left) is keen for Theo Walcott to sign a new deal

Friends: Jack Wilshere (left) is keen for Theo Walcott to sign a new deal

‘Theo’s been great for us. We just signed five British boys so hopefully he can be the sixth and cap it off.

‘I’m always winding him up, saying, “C’mon Theo, sign”. It’s up to him and the club. Theo knows what he means to us and what he means to the fans.’

Wilshere hopes that the 24-year-old will be influenced by the lead shown by himself, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

He added: ‘I think he looked at that. We’re all great friends, the British boys, we all go out together, have meals together and sit together when we’re on the road, so hopefully he can follow us and sign.’

Wilshere’s return from a 16-month injury lay-off appears to have had recuperative effects on Arsenal.

Brit of all right: (left to right) Aaron Ramsey, Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Wilshere train at London Colney this week

Brit of all right: (left to right) Aaron Ramsey, Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Wilshere train at London Colney this week

Another win on the road…

ARSENAL have won 16 points away from home this season, but are 12th in the home form table.

Away P W D L Pts
1 Man Utd 10 7 1 2 22
2 Arsenal 10 4 4 2 16
3 Man City 8 4 4 0 16

Home
11 Liverpool 10 4 3 3 15
12 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 14

They have won five of the eight Premier League matches he has appeared in, including the last three, their best run since March.

On Saturday at Wigan, to the delight of Arsene Wenger, he combined technical acumen with bravery.

Never better illustrated than during the first period when he timed a sliding challenge on Shaun Maloney to perfection, only to be cautioned by referee Jon Moss.

‘I think it was a foul on Wilshere by Maloney. It looked a perfect tackle. I think he was a bit provoked by the crowd reaction,’ said Wenger.

‘I like Wilshere. After 25 minutes you look at him and he is dirty from top to bottom.’

This is a very different Arsenal midfield to the one the 20-year-old was used to before his catalogue of injuries. Having previously operated alongside Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song, Wilshere’s relationship with Spanish duo Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla is developing apace.

Midfield maestro: Wilshere is on a fine run of form

Midfield maestro: Wilshere is on a fine run of form

‘Suddenly, there are a lot of good things to talk about. But let’s not go overboard,’ urged Wenger, after his side moved into the Champions League places.

‘As much as we had not to be depressed after what happened previously, we have to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next game.

‘I always said the group is very good mentally and that will come out in the end and hopefully we can show that now.

‘Our game is based on movement and technical quality and fluency and that demands confidence so it is very important we have confidence to play.

‘The domination was not convincing but we got the three points and it is important that you win these kinds of games, too. We have rebuilt the team and how far we go will be decided from now on.’

One person who will not be part of the revolution is long-term target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has extended his contract with Schalke for another two years until June 2015.

Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson sign new deals at Arsenal

Five young British Gunners extend deal at Emirates… but Walcott still hasn't signed

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UPDATED:

15:51 GMT, 19 December 2012

Arsenal have confirmed five of their new-look British core have signed long-term contracts with the club.

As Sportsmail exclusively revealed this morning, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson have all agreed fresh deals with the Gunners.

And the north London club confirmed the news this afternoon.

Proud: (From left to right) Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all penned new deals

Proud: (From left to right) Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all penned new deals

Manager Arsne Wenger said: 'We are
delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term
contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young
players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the Club.

'Jack
is certainly the best known, the leader of this group – but the other
four players are exceptional footballers, and we’re very happy that we
could conclude their new deals at the same time.

I'm in: Jack Wilshere is one of five of Arsenal's young British players to sign a new deal

I'm in: Jack Wilshere is one of five of Arsenal's young British players to sign a new deal

Wenger continued: 'Gibbs, Jenkinson,
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Wilshere represent a core of the squad
and it’s an extension for a long period for all of them.

'I’m a strong
believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British
players, it’s always easier to keep them together and that’s what we’ll
try to achieve going forward.'

Committed: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) agreed a long-term deal to stay in north London

Committed: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) agreed a long-term deal to stay in north London

Me too: English left back Kieran Gibbs also pledged his future to Arsenal

Me too: English left back Kieran Gibbs also pledged his future to Arsenal

Arsenal’s push to keep their best British talent indicates a deliberate shift in Wenger’s thinking.

After basing his sides around foreign
players for years, the manager seems to have had a change of heart after
the likes of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael
Clichy all left the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking after the thumping win at
Reading, Wenger said: ‘We have a core of good young English players and I
hope we will be able to build a team around them and that they can
achieve something together.’

Another British player who continues to negotiate a new deal at the club is Theo Walcott. The striker rejected a deal worth 75,000 a week in August, and hopes to get closer to 100,000.

VIDEO: Watch Arsenal's players as they sing some Christman chants

Gareth Bale insists he did not dive to win a penalty against Scotland

Bale insists he did not dive to win a penalty for Wales against Scotland

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UPDATED:

21:41 GMT, 13 October 2012

Gareth Bale hit back at claims he dived to win the penalty which sparked Wales’s second-half fightback against Scotland.

Bale, who scored twice in the dramatic 2-1 win in Cardiff, went down under a challenge from Shaun Maloney when there appeared to be minimal contact before Bale clipped his own heels.

But the 23-year-old put the blame at the door of the Wigan wideman, who conceded after the ‘Battle of Britain’ showdown that he was at fault.

Flashpoint: Bale trips over but claims he was clipped by Maloney

Flashpoint: Bale trips over but claims he was clipped by Maloney

Tottenham ace Bale said: ‘Somebody clipped me and I went over. It was a simple penalty and it was nice to get up and slot it away.’

After James Morrison’s 27th-minute opener, Scotland looked set to claim three points before referee Florian Meyer pointed to the spot.

Bale’s Wales team-mate Joe Allen said: ‘My instinct was that it was a penalty. It was a difficult decision, but it looked like his ankle was clipped.’

Spot on: Bale scores the resulting penalty

Spot on: Bale scores the resulting penalty

There was no doubt over Bale’s 88th-minute wonder goal in this all-action Group A contest. It eases the mounting pressure on Wales boss Chris Coleman, who says Bale will go on to join such Welsh greats as John Charles, Ian Rush and Ryan Giggs.

‘It’s not a case of can Gareth be like them, he will be,’ said Coleman.
But Wales are without suspended Aaron Ramsey on Tuesday in Croatia.

I"m doing things my way now, insists Wales boss Coleman

I'm doing things my way now, insists Wales boss Coleman

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UPDATED:

21:21 GMT, 11 October 2012

Wales manager Chris Coleman insists he
is finally doing things his own way as he heads into a World Cup
qualifier with Scotland that will have a huge bearing on whether he
stays in his job.

The former Fulham and Coventry City
boss has endured a nightmare start – losing his first four matches –
since taking over from erstwhile playing colleague Gary Speed.

Under pressure: Wales boss Chris Coleman

Under pressure: Wales boss Chris Coleman

Wales lost 6-1 in Serbia last month – their third heaviest defeat since the Second World War – leaving questions as to Coleman's suitability as boss.

He has since relieved Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey of his duties as captain, replacing the midfielder with Ashley Williams, and finally admits to having escaped the legacy of the previous regime.

Three points in Cardiff before a sell-out crowd will go a long way towards restoring confidence. But a fifth defeat would make his start the worst of any Wales manager.

Fridays' match is followed by a difficult trip to Croatia on Tuesday and adding two more defeats to a record that is in stark contrast to Speed's four victories from five will leave serious questions to be answered.

Coleman, however, was pleased to finally have escaped the pressure he felt at having to follow the path set down by his late friend, albeit a path which was successful.

'I have felt inhibited,' he said, 'I felt the pressure of keeping to the same philosophy – that things couldn't change. That you don't fix what isn't broken.

New captain: Ashley Williams

New captain: Ashley Williams

'But we are four games in and we haven't won. We haven't gone forward. I had to change things.

'After the Serbia game, my normal reaction would have been an aggressive one. But I immediately looked more at myself.

'I thought that I was doing things the way someone else was doing them. It's tough because a lot of those things were good – but they were someone else's.

'We had a rhythm and flow under Gary. But we have lost it. And I think the players were looking at me saying: “What do you want to do”

'That's why I made Ashley skipper. It's a subtle change. We wanted a more experienced captain and he ticks all those boxes.

'Look, you can try on someone else's jacket but if it doesn't fit you, you can't keep wearing it.'

Williams is a logical choice to assume captaincy responsibilities. He said: 'It always falls on the shoulders of the manager when you get results like the one we got in Serbia but all the boys really like him.

Boost: Gareth Bale

Boost: Gareth Bale

'We actually want to win for him. You hear it all the time but it's true in this case. He's going to be criticised but we'd like to turn things around for him because I don't think the stick has been deserved.

'We have let him down. We need to put it right.

'Speaking for the players, we all want to win for the manager. I'm sure we won't lose the next two matches.'

There are mitigating circumstances to Wales' sudden decline. Coleman has suffered horribly through withdrawals of his major players. For instance, he has not been able to name Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy in the same squad. Wales have also selected tough opposition in their friendlies. Mexico and Bosnia are strong at the moment.

Having said that, it was a shock that Wales conceded six goals just three days after a solid show with 10 men against Belgium.

'I don't think I will ever come to terms with what happened in Serbia, if I'm honest,' said Coleman. 'When you lose a game of football it's never a nice feeling. But when you get hit for six, especially for your country, you never swallow that.

'That feeling after the game, I never want to experience that again. Freak results happen, bad results happen. It makes you want to work harder, but come to terms with it No. Forget about it No. Brush it to one side You have to.

'The questions are: “How do we prepare for Scotland” and “How can we get three points”

'We have trained with a good intensity this week. It will be fast, aggressive and the atmosphere will be fantastic. I hope that we embrace it.'

Ashley Williams surprised to take over as Wales captain from Aaron Ramsey

Williams surprised to win Wales captaincy as he thought Ramsey was doing good job

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 11 October 2012

Wales captain Ashley Williams admits he was surprised to be asked to lead the side again and has revealed he received congratulations from his predecessor Aaron Ramsey.

Dragons boss Chris Coleman opted to switch the armband from Arsenal midfielder Ramsey to Swansea skipper Williams ahead of the current international break, in which Wales play a double-header of World Cup qualifiers against Scotland at home on Friday and Croatia away on Tuesday.

Williams, 28, has captained his country on four occasions but after Ramsey had been named as skipper in 2011 at the age of 20, the Swans centre-back did not think he would get another opportunity.

Surprise: Ashley Williams (right) was not expecting to captain Wales again

Surprise: Ashley Williams (right) was not expecting to captain Wales again

Asked if had believed the armband would come his way again, Williams said: 'Probably not to be honest, because I thought Aaron was doing a good job.

'I was just concentrating on trying to play my best for Wales. So probably not, but I'm happy.

'He (Coleman) asked me if I wanted to do it – he didn't tell me I had to.

'He called me and said he had spoken to Aaron. Obviously I was over the moon, and he just said we would have a chat when we got to camp.'

Asked about Ramsey's reaction, Williams said: 'I have spoken to Aaron and he said congratulations.

'We kind of laughed and that was it really – no big deal. We get on fine.'

Wales head into the Scotland clash bottom of Group A having lost their first two fixtures, a 2-0 home reverse to Belgium and then a humiliating 6-1 defeat in Serbia.

Those results last month extended the Dragons' losing streak since Coleman was appointed as manager to five games, including the 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica in the Gary Speed memorial match.

Williams feels Friday's contest at Cardiff City Stadium is 'definitely a must-win match' and has stressed that the players want a victory for their manager, on whom the pressure has been increasing.

Referring to Coleman, Williams said: 'After the results I think you are always going to get criticised like that, especially him – being the manager, it is obviously going to fall on his shoulders.

'But I think all the boys really like him and we have enjoyed working with him.

'We really want to win for him as well – I think that is true in this case.

'He is going to be criticised and we would like to turn that around for him because I don't think it's really deserved.

Deposed: Ramsey has lost the Wales armband

Deposed: Ramsey has lost the Wales armband

'I think we have kind of let him down on the pitch and we would like to put that right.”

Scotland opened their own campaign in somewhat disappointing fashion with two home draws, 0-0 with Serbia and 1-1 with Macedonia.

It means the heat has also been on their manager Craig Levein, although Coleman is adamant both he and his opposite number can handle the criticism.

'Craig is a big boy like me,' Coleman said. 'We know as soon as you walk in the door, especially if it is an international job, there is more scrutiny on the games because there are fewer of them and less time to get things right.

'It is a nation looking at you. Craig can handle that, the same as I can.

Good job: Williams said Ramsey was doing a good job

Good job: Williams said Ramsey was doing a good job

'Once you start looking at the negative side of things, it stops you making decisions and it is finished for you.'

Serbia currently top Group A with four points, the same amount that Belgium and Croatia have, while Macedonia have one.

Assessing the situation, Coleman said: 'In terms of us doing a bit of damage in this group, then we have to get a win as quickly as we can.

'There is a game tomorrow night, so why not then Scotland are coming down and they are not going to lie down for us – they are under their own pressure.

'They have a good squad and it is going to be a typical British game I imagine – fast, probably aggressive, and with a fantastic atmosphere. We have to try to use that for our own benefit.'

Coleman confirmed wide man Gareth Bale, who has been nursing a heel complaint, would be taking part in full training today, but the manager does not expect defender Adam Matthews (ankle) to be fit to play in Friday's match.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger buries the hatchet with Ryan Shawcross over Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal boss Wenger buries the hatchet with Shawcross over Ramsey challenge

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 5 October 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels
Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross has 'cleaned up his act' as he looks to
win his first England cap.

Shawcross, 25, was included in Roy
Hodgson's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino
and Poland, having been an unused substitute for a friendly against
Egypt when last called up by Fabio Capello two and a half years ago.

Controversy: Ryan Shawcross's poor challenge on Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey

Controversy: Ryan Shawcross's poor challenge on Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey

Much water has passed under the bridge since a poor challenge from Shawcross left Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey with a double leg fracture during a Barclays Premier League game in February 2010.

Wenger, who was incandescent at the time of the incident, can see why Hodgson included the centre-back in his plans.

'You know what happened is what happened and it is down to Roy Hodgson to select the team. I think he has improved as a player and he has cleaned up his act,' said Wenger

'You cannot convict a player forever because of that.

'I didn't agree at the time with the tackle. I said that, it was just my opinion again, it doesn't mean that the players has to suffer from that his whole life.

'He looks to be nowadays more efficient in his game and more composed.'

Ramsey, meanwhile, is now fully recovered, and came off the bench to score a late goal as Arsenal beat Olympiacos 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The 21-year-old, however, was this week replaced as Wales captain by new manager Chris Coleman.

Wenger feels the move could actually help the midfielder's game for the national side.

'I don't think it will affect him. It can help him play with more freedom,' said Wenger.

'He's at an age where you have to focus first on your game and later on your career on some other things.

'At the moment may it's a bit less responsibility for him and will help him play with a bit more freedom and add something to his game.

'I felt he was a bit young when he was given the armband.'

Aaron Ramsey set to be removed as Wales captain

Ramsey expected to be deposed as captain in Coleman bid to improve hapless Wales

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 4 October 2012

Aaron Ramsey's position as Wales' skipper is under threat as Chris Coleman reacted to last month's thrashing in Serbia by making a change at the top.

Arsenal's playmaker is understood to be facing the axe from a position he has held for little over 18 months.

Coleman is due to make a public announcement on the situation on Friday with Swansea's Ashley Williams earmarked for a promotion.

Reign over: Aaron Ramsey is set to lose the Wales armband

Reign over: Aaron Ramsey is set to lose the Wales armband

Ramsey was a controversial choice when he was handed the armband by former head coach Gary Speed.

But he has not shirked the responsibility, although his relationship with Coleman has not been the easiest.

The former Coventry and Fulham boss risked upsetting the midfielder when he asked Ryan Shawcross to consider playing for the Red Dragons.

And now it appears the Arsenal man is paying the price for Wales' 6-1 capitulation in Novi Sad as Coleman turns to an older head to lead the country ahead of the double-header with Scotland and Croatia in the next ten days.

Decision: Chris Coleman is expected to announce the switch on Friday

Decision: Chris Coleman is expected to announce the switch on Friday