Chris Coleman has expressed his dismay that Aaron Ramsey is still not fit to play for his country, with the Wales manager revealing the midfielder broke down in training with Arsenal last week and is not certain to be back in time to face Serbia in November.
Ramsey injured his hamstring in Arsenal’s opening game against Liverpool and has not featured since, ruling him out of the opening World Cup qualifier against Moldova early in September and next week’s double header against Austria and Georgia.
Coleman’s disappointment stems from the fact that Ramsey, who had a shorter pre-season because of his involvement at Euro 2016, arguably should not have started against Liverpool – Wenger admitted afterwards that he “pushed” the player – and the Wales manager’s frustration has been exacerbated by the initial prognosis proving inaccurate.
“I had an indication he would only be out for three weeks when he initially did it,” Coleman said. “That was six weeks ago. So I don’t know now. I have had more information from Sean Connelly, our head physio, who is liaising with Arsenal, that he has broken down in training. That came from Arsenal to Sean. We have not yet been given a date on when he will definitely be back.”
Last week Wenger ruled Ramsey out of Arsenal’s matches leading up to the international break but Coleman fears the situation could be worse. He was asked whether he thought Ramsey would be available for the home game against Serbia on 12 November and replied: “I can’t be sure. I was sure in the last camp that I would have him for this camp. I spoke to Rambo two or three days before the press conference and he said: ‘Yeah.’ I thought we’d have him back for this camp at least. It is frustrating. It is preventables.
“I don’t know the exact history of what he has been doing the last six weeks. So it is hard to comment on whether he was pushed too hard or not enough. I am disappointed because we are without him again. Could that have been prevented in the way he was looked after when he got back from the tournament? I don’t know. But you can’t help but think, if only. It is disappointing. For us to be without him for 30% of the campaign [three of 10 games so far] it’s tough.”
While Coleman is clearly annoyed, he sees no value in paying a visit to Arsenal to try to get to the bottom of the situation. “That would maybe not be building bridges with them. He belongs to them. I can have my say because he is a Wales player and I can say what I think. There is nothing wrong with being honest. I am not insulting anyone, people can understand our frustration. But ultimately he belongs to them and we have to be mindful of that.”