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Ramsey is Fit Again: How Badly Was He Missed?

“[When you’re out for] three months, then it takes two or three weeks. “He has worked very hard for a while in training now. What he lacks is competition.

“He’s an all-round midfielder who can score goals and always drives the team forward. He’s a real box-to-box player so it’s good to have him back.

“It’s an area where we are short because we have many midfielders out. We have Wilshere and Ozil out in this area, so of course it’s good to have him back.” – Arsene Wenger

These words show how delighted Arsene Wenger is to have a player like Ramsey back in his ranks following a lengthy layoff on his birthday against West Ham. Ramsey started the season in a hot streak with three goals in two games against Fenerbahce in the Champions League playoffs and Mikel Arteta’s thigh injury gave Ramsey a chance to maraud the box-to-box role alongside new recruit, Mathieu Flamini, that manned the anchor role.

Following a great performance in the Olivier Giroud-inspired win against the old enemy, a hot Ramsey went into supernova in the month of September with a brace against Sunderland, a late winner against Olympique Marseille, the match opener against Stoke and the game clincher against Swansea. His efforts in the month didn’t go unnoticed as he was given the Barclays Player of the Month award while his manager, Arsene Wenger, won the Manager of the Month award.

Double recognition: Ramsey and Wenger are presented with their awards at Arsenal's London Colney training ground

Ramsey didn’t rest on his laurels and the good form continued in October and November, as the Welshman scored a wonder goal against Norwich, a thunderbolt against Liverpool, a brave header in Germany and two goals against his previous employers, Cardiff. This took his tally to 13 goals for the campaign and he was leading the club’s scoring charts before Olivier Giroud caught up with him in the goal count and overtook him.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t just the goals that epitomized Ramsey’s scintillating form for the club in the first half of the season. Ramsey’s stats this s (via WhoScored) have been jaw-dropping to say the least,

STATS (EPL Only)

Aaron Ramsey

Appearances (Subs)

17 (1)

Goals Scored

8

Assists

6

Overall shots (Shots per Game)

40 (2.2)

Bookings (Yellow / Red)

2 / 0

Total Tackles (Tackles per Game)

66 (3.7)

Total Interceptions (Interceptions per Game)

19 (1.1)

Total Fouls Committed (Fouls per Game)

27 (1.5)

Dribbles (Attempted/Per Game)

27 (1.5)

Total Passes (Accurate Passes)

1262 (1064)

Pass Completion %

84.3

Total Long Balls (Accurate)

89 (62)

Total Through Balls (Accurate)

23 (7)

With the fitness levels of an Ox, Ramsey played Arsenal’s first 18 games in the Premier League, notching up eight goals and six assists. In these 18 games, Arsenal amassed 12 wins, three draws and suffered three defeats. Ramsey missed out on Arsenal’s remaining 14 League games and in his absence, the Gunners have eight victories, three draws and suffered three defeats which include those humiliating results against Liverpool and Chelsea.

This shows that the Gunners had a 66% win ratio in the Premier League when Ramsey took to the pitch but had a 57% win ratio while he was at the treatment table.

In Europe, Ramsey made eight appearances and scored five goals (which includes the two qualifiers and the six group stage fixtures) but he missed the crucial double-legged knockout affair with Bayern Munich where it was a classic case of deja vu as the Gunners were below par at home before a spirited performance in Germany that wasn’t enough to secure qualification.

Ramsey was a growing influential figure within the team and his absence was a bitter pill to swallow as the Gunners lacked his determination, inspiration, commitment, doggedness, technical ability, and most importantly, goals.

 

With Ramsey out, Arsenal struggled to find goals from other sources, with Theo Walcott suffering an unfortunate anterior cruciate ligament injury when he was picking form in the right time. Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski have stepped up the plate on a couple of occasions but the team has been over-reliant on Olivier Giroud and we all know how it has panned out. The Handsome French Bloke has done well to score 19 goals thus far but without the likes of Ramsey, things haven’t been the same.

I won’t expect Ramsey to start against Everton tomorrow but the FA Cup semifinal against Wigan would be a perfect opportunity for the Welsh Messi to show the fans what they’ve missed.

Over to you Gooners, Aaron Ramsey is fit again but how badly was he missed?

Sayonara.

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Arsenal Midfield Trio Sign New Contracts

image

I always believe that for every disciplined effort, there’s a multiple reward. That was a tenet I lived with for as long as I can remember and I proud to say I’m living that dream.

This can also be applied in the beautiful game and you can look no further than a player like Aaron Ramsey. The bloke arrived as a youngster in 2008, preferring the Gunners over Manchester United and with players like Cesc Fabregas pulling all the strings, Ramsey had the best platform to learn.

After his slow introduction to the thick of things, Ramsey grew in confidence and in time he displaced Denilson and Abou Diaby till that ill-fated moment at the Britannia Stadium when he suffered a double fracture. The injury brought his progress to an abrupt halt and it took a couple of loan spells in lower division sides before he returned to stake his claim for a first team berth.

The departures of Fabregas and Samir Nasri took its toll on Ramsey and he was plunged into the action to play as the club’s newly found creative hub. In his new role, Ramsey struggled for fitness and form and he lost his place to Tomas Rosicky as the Gunners surged to a third place finish.

Despite his on the pitch turmoil, Arsene Wenger kept his faith with his Welsh protégé and handed him a long term contract with his fellow Brits, and some Gunners, who thought they knew better, expressed their disapproval of handing a player in poor form a new deal.

This season, a beast was unleashed from the Welsh Dragon and he went on to score 13 goals in 27 appearances, averaging a goal in two games. His impact on the pitch has been exemplary and it’s not just his goalscoring exploits, Ramsey has also raked up assists, tackles, interceptions and the whole nine yards, making him a very complete footballer.

The tale of Santi Cazorla is one that brings a lot of happy memories. He certainly hasn’t reached the heights and great standards he set in his awesome debut campaign but it would be attributed to the fact that he has been displaced from his natural position by the acquisition of Mesut Ozil.

In his first season with the Gunners. Cazorla was a class act, scoring 12 goals and handing 12 assists, endearing himself to the hearts of the fans worldwide.

In Gedion Zelalem, the Gunners have a gem that is bound to shine like a star and his time will come sooner, rather than later. His performances in the Asia Tour was a firm reminder of his qualities and the Gunners are eager to see the Young German strut his stuff.

The club has announced that these aforementioned players have signed new contracts to extend their futures with the club.

Arsene Wenger expressed his delight as well,

“Cazorla and Ramsey are absolutely key players for us, and this news is a boost to the whole club. Gedion is very young of course, but he has shown already that he has fantastic promise, and we all look forward to his development with us”

It’s heartwarming to see that a lot of players have signed long term deals and it’s going to be beneficial to the overall morale of the team.

I wish the midfield trio all the best in their future endeavors.

Sayonara.

Updates on Ramsey’s Injury and Thoughts on his Replacements

Ramsey will miss the rest of the festive period

Aaron Ramsey has been one of the standout performers for Arsenal this season and his goalscoring exploits have endeared him to the fans. When he’s not scoring, he’s on the pitch giving a 110 percent for his side with his energy, work rate, tackles and of course, his neat passing range.

With his indispensable status in the team, Ramsey has featured heavily for the Gunners this season and these run of games have taken their toll on the Welshman as he pulled up short in the game against West Ham and he signified the bench that his time on the pitch was up. Arsene Wenger brought on Lukas Podolski in his stead and the rest they say was history.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League

In his post-match conference, Wenger was asked about the extent of Ramsey’s injury,

“It looks [serious]. It looks like a thigh strain. I don’t know how serious the thigh strain is but the Christmas period certainly is over for him. It was his birthday today.”

This means that Ramsey is likely to miss the crucial Premier League clashes against Newcastle and Cardiff. He may also miss the FA Cup third round North London Derby clash which would make him gutted because the game against Tottenham has an extra incentive, feeling and atmosphere about it.

According to the PhysioRoom.com, a player with grade one thigh strains should be rested from any sporting activity for about three weeks, and grade two thigh strains for about four to six weeks. In the case of a complete rupture, the thigh muscle will have to be repaired surgically and the rehabilitation afterwards will take about three months.

Ramsey is a player that could actually do with some rest, so that he can recharge his batteries and come back stronger and refreshed.

Santi Cazorla is a player that has been eased into action following an ankle injury but the manager chose to rest him in the crucial games against Manchester City and Chelsea. When he took to the pitch against West Ham, he became a beast of a player when he went to the No. 10 role alongside Mesut Ozil and was directly involved in Walcott’s first goal.

Ramsey’s stats this season (via WhoScored) have been jaw-dropping to say the least,

STATS (EPL Only)

Aaron Ramsey

Appearances (Subs)

17 (1)

Goals Scored

8

Assists

6

Overall shots (Shots per Game)

40 (2.2)

Bookings (Yellow / Red)

2 / 0

Total Tackles (Tackles per Game)

66 (3.7)

Total Interceptions (Interceptions per Game)

19 (1.1)

Total Fouls Committed (Fouls per Game)

27 (1.5)

Dribbles (Attempted/Per Game)

27 (1.5)

Total Passes (Accurate Passes)

1262 (1064)

Pass Completion %

84.3

Total Long Balls (Accurate)

89 (62)

Total Through Balls (Accurate)

23 (7)

To lose a player with such amazing stats to injury is heartbreaking but Arsenal is a team with sufficient depth to cover for his absence. With the game against Newcastle coming up next, Wenger can opt for a more defensive approach with Mikel Arteta playing alongside Mathieu Flamini.

When Flamini plays in tandem with Arteta in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, there’s this solidity they bring to the team and they offer a lot of protection to the rearguard. They are both seasoned veterans and their experience and discipline are always on show when they take to the pitch.

This season, Flamini has proved to the fans that some of the best things in life are free. His arrival mitigated a short-term challenge at the club, as Arsenal was desperately in need of cover in central midfield following the injury suffered by Mikel Arteta. In his second debut as a first half substitute for Jack Wilshere in the North London Derby, Flamini made his presence felt and he has been very vocal, directing his teammates and he has been willing to put his body on the line for his team.

He has offered some steel in midfield and his presence and influence have been hugely felt in the games he has played so far.

According to WhoScored, listed below are Mathieu Flamini’s stats this season,

 

Premier League

Champions League

Appearances (subs)

9 (4)

4

Tackles made (per game)

19 (1.5)

9 (2.3)

Interceptions made (per game)

16 (1.2)

12 (3)

Fouls committed (per game)

12 (0.9)

5 (1.3)

Clearances (per game)

20 (1.5)

6 (1.5)

Blocked shots (per game)

4 (0.1)

3 (0.1)

Total Passes (accurate passes)

507 (435)

294 (264)

Pass Completion percentage

91.7%

89.8%

Bookings (Yellow/Red)

(5/0)

-

Flamini stats this season have shown how he has been an asset to the team in the games he has played thus far. When he’s not with the ball, he keeps barking instructions to his teammates, putting them on track. His passing range is very impressive too, and from the tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocked shots, you’d know he’s the real deal as an anchor man.

Wenger can also opt to bring on Jack Wilshere to play his favored box-to-box position where he made his breakthrough in the 2010/11 campaign.

All-action: Wilshere produced a man-of-the-match performance against Barcelona in Arsenal's 2-1 victory

This season, the acquisition of Mesut Ozil and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey has seen Wilshere drafted to the wings and he hasn’t been too effective, even though he has scored four goals in 17 appearances – his highest goalscoring tally in Arsenal colors.

Bringing Wilshere to the middle of the park alongside Arteta would see the maestro make those trademark lung-bursting runs and he’s be seeking to create something out of nothing for his team, which will be beneficial to the team’s cause as each game progresses.

Wilshere has dominated the back pages for his off the pitch shenanigans but it’s high time he earns plaudits for his performances on it.

Sayonara.

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Power Ranking Aaron Ramsey’s Goals for Arsenal this Season

Aaron Ramsey has been an epitome of excellence and a breath of fresh air for Arsenal this season. The tale of his career is the type of stuff you wanna watch in a documentary and get inspired.

Touted as the next big thing when he was signed from Cardiff, he gave the fans a glimpse of his sheer quality when he scored in his debut against Fenerbahce in 2008. His progression was continuous and he was on a steep learning curve, understudying a maestro like Cesc Fabregas but in February 2010, his career suffered a massive setback when he suffered a horrific injury at Stoke.

His recuperation and return was marred with loan spells and little niggling injuries but when the Gunners lost Fabregas and Samir Nasri in acrimonious circumstances, Arsene Wenger charged Ramsey with the task of being Arsenal’s creative hub, a feat he struggled badly with in the 2011/12 campaign.

In Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky, the Gunners had natural playmakers and while they played in the hole behind the striker, Ramsey was used as a jack-of-all-trades, featuring in a host of unfamiliar positions but when Wenger placed him alongside Mikel Arteta in the base of the midfield, Ramsey’s transformation began and his goal that sent Wigan to Championship football in the 4-1 win in May was no less than he deserved.

This season, Ramsey has advanced to astronomical levels in his overall game play (best tackler in the Premier League, amazing passing statistics and the whole nine yards) and the most jaw-dropping achievement about the young lad this season has been his ability to find the back of the net with consummate ease.

In the wake of Ramsey winning another Goal of the Month award in the official website, Gooner Daily has decided to give a power ranking to all Aaron Ramsey’s 13 goals this season, from the easiest of tap ins to his most splendid strike.

Enjoy!

13. Tap in against Stoke 

Mesut Ozil stands on the edge of the box and fires a shot that is parried by Asmir Begovic into Ramsey’s path. He makes no mistake with an easy tap in to make it 1-0.

12. Placed Effort Against Sunderland 

Arsenal rubbed salt into Sunderland’s wounds when Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil and Giroud exchanged some passes with the Handsome French Bloke providing a key through ball to Ramsey and the Welsh midfielder showed great composure to slot the ball home. A feat Theo Walcott lacked all game long.

11. Tap in Against Fenerbahce (home)

Arsenal kept probing for a goal and the breakthrough arrived when Lukas Podolski sent Walcott through but the pass was intercepted by Egemen. Egemen’s attempt to remove the ball from danger was a tame one and the ball rolled to Ramsey’s path leaving the Welshman no choice but to dispatch it into an empty net.

10. Match Clincher Against Cardiff

At the dying minutes, Theo Walcott replaced a clearly jaded Ozil and it took the speedster just 48 seconds to create an assist for Ramsey that latched unto his pass and fired a sumptuous shot past Marshall to put the icing on a well baked cake.

9. Header Against Borussia Dortmund

Against the run of play with Arsenal’s first meaningful attack, Tomas Rosicky showed great anticipation to win the ball from Bender before feeding Mesut Ozil on his right. The German maestro lofted the ball into the box and Olivier Giroud contended in the air against Subotic and cushioned the ball for an onrushing Aaron Ramsey that connected with a diving header to nod the ball past Roman Weidenfeller in goal.

8. Header Against Cardiff

With Giroud running across, he took a defender with him which cleared the path for Ramsey to lurk into the area and superbly guide Ozil’s peach of a pass to the net, leaving Marshall no chance in Hell.

13/14: Cardiff 0-3 Arsenal - Aaron Ramsey

7. Deflected Shot Against Marseille

With the game reaching its climax, the man on fire, Aaron Ramsey, received the ball on the edge of the box and closed in on goal before blasting a shot that went past Mandanda with the aid of a deflection off Nicolas N’ Koulou’s foot.

6. Side Footer Against Fenerbahce (home)

The match clincher arrived when Wilshere fashioned a chance for Gibbs and the Englishman drilled an effort into the danger area. The ball was met stylishly by an onrushing Ramsey that sidefooted it into Volkan Demirel’s net to put the game beyond doubt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7dXCRpaM9k

5. Piledriver Against Fenerbahce (away)

Arsenal’s second goal arrived when an unmarked Ramsey guided the ball to the edge of the box before blasting a low drive that was parried into the net by Volkan Demirel. For a keeper of his quality, that would go down as a blooper but Arsenal didn’t care.

4. Roofer Against Swansea

Arsenal doubled their money shortly afterwards, when Ramsey teed up Wilshere that did well to win a challenge before feeding Giroud. The Frenchman wasted no time in executing a neat one-two with Wilshere, then he fashioned a chance for Ramsey that had a touch before slamming the roof of the net with a piledriver.

3. One-Timed Volley Against Sunderland

Arsenal got the lead when Jenkinson sighted Ramsey on his left and dinked the ball to the Welshman that was slammed home with a first-time shot giving Westwood no chance in Hell. It was a truly delightful goal from a player in extremely good form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ylSCPih8k

2. Individual Solo Dribble Against Norwich

At 2-1, there was some nervousness and anxiety felt by the fans but the Gunners extended their lead in breathtaking fashion as Ramsey made mincemeat of three able-bodied defenders before blasting his shot past Ruddy to make it three.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WsH38dHwlQ

1. Magnificent Strike Against Liverpool

Ramsey showed Giroud the benefits of power over precision when he latched onto Ozil’s peach of a pass to blast the ball past Mignolet in goal to put the Gunners two goals to the good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTNLteBsJUs

Gooner Daily celebrates Aaron Ramsey and can only hope that the goals keep pouring for the “Welsh Messi” as he’s fondly dubbed.

Do you agree with Gooner Daily’s power rankings? Feel free to share your comments.

Sayonara.

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Dortmund 0 Arsenal 1: If Ramsey Doesn’t Inspire You, Nothing Else Will

13/14: Dortmund v Arsenal - Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey does it again!

Aaron Ramsey has been a class act all season long and it’s heartwarming to see the Welsh Dragon in super hot form, as he marked his 200th appearance for Arsenal with his 26th goal for the club. It’s worth noting that Ramsey has scored 11 goals in his last 16 games for the club and with the season still in its infant stage, the bookmakers are tipping the Welshman to hit the 20-goal mark (a la Frank Lampard) this season.

The title of today’s article is inspired from an article on Canon Crested with the same name, as the blogger, Simon Seez, shares his thoughts about how Ramsey’s situation from his bright fledgling Arsenal career to his Shawcrossation that halted his progress abruptly. Shortly after recovering, he was burdened with the ominous task of replacing Cesc Fabregas and $amir Na$ri which turned out to be a burden too large to bear but with the injection of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, as well as protection from Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, Ramsey has been liberated and Arsenal is reaping the dividends.

It’s an amazing article by Canon Crested and trust me, it’s worth a read.

Both teams had notched up good commanding victories over the weekend so the stage was set for the clash of two tactical titans but the onus on the home side to get a victory. They had defeated the Gunners away and had not lost to any English side since the days Merlin was the Chief Wizard at Camelot. But as they say, records are made to be broken!

Shortly after Per Mertesacker had done well to intercept a Marco Reus cross that was meant for Robert Lewandowski, Reus floated another cross that was headed back into Arsenal’s danger area by either Ramsey or Sven Bender, as both players went for the same ball but the loose ball was attacked by Neven Subotic and it just crept wide. Kevin Grosskreutz shimmed past Kieran Gibbs and lofted a cross for Kuba but he didn’t wrap his foot around the ball to make good contact.

At the dying moments of the first 45 minutes, Lewandowski and Kuba combined well to tee up Mkhitaryan whose shot missed by a lick of paint with Wojciech Szczesny rooted to the spot. The Dortmund onslaught continued at the start of the second half with Reus getting on the end of a Grosskreutz cross but his header was parried to safety by Szczesny in goal. Kuba had a cross that was taken away to safety but it rolled effortlessly into Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s path but the Armenian schemer’s one-timed volley killed a bird in the sky.

Dortmund hit the Gunners on the break and a swift attack saw Kuba bear down on goal but his goal-bound shot was parried by Szczesny which fell kindly into Reus’ path but the winger was flagged offside so his goal was disallowed. Shortly afterwards, Mkhitaryan dinked a pass to Nuri Sahin but the Turkish enforcer was offside as well.

Against the run of play with Arsenal’s first meaningful attack, Tomas Rosicky showed great anticipation to win the ball from Bender before feeding Mesut Ozil on his right. The German maestro lofted the ball into the box and Olivier Giroud contended in the air against Subotic and cushioned the ball for an onrushing Aaron Ramsey that connected with a diving header to nod the ball past Roman Weidenfeller in goal.

Lewandowski shrugged off a challenge from Gibbs before drilling the ball into the box. Reus arrived on the scene before Laurent Koscielny and he tried to blast the ball towards the goal with a one-time shot but his miscued his effort.

Giroud held up play brilliantly and noticed Ramsey on his far side. The timing and execution of Giroud’s key pass to Ramsey was perfect, the Welshman’s control and balance to get the ball down into his stride was top-notch but the finish failed to match the lovely buildup as the goalie made himself big to parry the shot into safety.

A moment of controversy almost arrived when Lewandowski dived in the box as if he was shot by a sawn-off shotgun but Arteta did well to easy the ball out for a goal kick while Lewandowski hit the deck like a sack of rotten potatoes. Santi Cazorla lofted a dead ball into the danger area and Mertesacker got to the ball before Weidenfeller but his header missed the cross bar by a whisker.

As he has done so fondly this season, Arsene Wenger summoned Nacho Monreal for Cazorla to offer some protection to Gibbs as Dortmund had brought in the speed demon, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for Kuba. Ramsey used his intelligence to win a free kick and when the dead ball was swung into Dortmund’s box, Weidenfeller went for the ball and clattered Koscielny.

Late on, Wenger killed off the game by bringing on Nicklas Bendtner for Giroud and the captain of the Reserves, Thomas Vermaelen, for a brilliant Rosicky. The Czech covered every blade of grass for his team and harried his opponents further up the pitch. Rosicky may be 33 but his football age is really 31 as he said a few months ago.

The home side put up a late surge and Lewandowski tried to con the ref into giving him a penalty after a tussle with Mertesacker but Dortmund’s pleas fell on deaf ears. At the sound of the final whistle, the elation of the players and fans alike knew no bounds as the Gunners had turned up the screw to put up a class act against Dortmund.

Player Ratings

Szczesny (7) was comfortable in goal and must be delighted to have secured another clean sheet.

Sagna (7) worked very hard in defense and kept Marco Reus at bay for the entire game.

Gibbs (7) did really well to return back to full fitness after the scare during the weekend and defended really well.

Mertesacker (8) was a colossus in defense, making a lot of vital interceptions and he kept Lewandowski in a cage and threw away the keys.

Koscielny (8) was equally exceptional at the back, working hard for his team and making some vital blocks.

Arteta (8) put up another matured performance and controlled the tempo of the game for his team.

Ramsey (9)  worked tirelessly for his team and must have been proud to score another match winning goal, He was even unlucky not to get a second.

Cazorla (6) put up a rather subdued performance as you’d expect from a player on the road to full fitness.

Rosicky (9) was excellent up the pitch, holding up play and tackling his opponents further up the pitch.

Ozil (6) didn’t really come to the party but he had a hand in the match winner.

Giroud (7) linked up well with his teammates but didn’t get enough service as he would have hoped.

Monreal (7) came in and offered protection to Gibbs as he was instructed.

As you would expect, Wenger was rather effusive in his praise for his players in after winning such a “big game” and he had some words to say about the “orchestra” vs. “heavy metal” football, citing that his team actually played some “light metal”.

On Ramsey,

“He just shows how difficult it is to have assessment on players because one year ago everyone said ‘yes, but Ramsey cannot score goals. He’s in box in the right positions, but he can’t score’. This season he scores game after game. I was always positive with him because when you watched the games again he was always in situations where he could be dangerous. This season he has gained confidence and he has an unbelievable engine to go from box to box. Confidence and his ability of course makes him a dangerous player.”

This has been one hell of a break through season for the lad and it can only get better for him. His hard work and perseverance has seen him leap to greater heights and at just 23, Ramsey’s future is so bright, he’ll need some shades on. His story can be related to real life situations we face and the moral remains that hard work get really get you far in life.

If Ramsey doesn’t inspire you, nothing else will.

Sayonara.

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