Though this may not seem the case, the point of this article is not to attack Aaron Ramsey. The aim here is to argue that the club would be better served by dropping him a little further down the pecking order and having him fight for his place in the squad.
With that in mind, allow me to justify this position. Whilst I understand that Aaron Ramsey is still young and has undergone a season-crippling injury, the truth is he just doesn’t offer this Arsenal side enough.
Regardless of talent any youngster would struggle should they be on the end of a leg-snapping Ryan Shawcross tackle and I don’t think anybody really expects him to be in full flow already. The problem is that he’s still getting a remarkable amount of game time and that the pressure on his shoulders this season has been remarkable.
Despite his lack of influence Aaron Ramsey has made an incredible 37 appearances this season and it’s beginning to look like Wenger can’t bear to take his name off the team sheet. Though he started strong he petered out as the season went on and his paltry return of 3 goals and 6 assists really isn’t good enough for the amount of game time he’s had.
He likes to try flicks and tricks, but the truth is he’s best suited keeping it simple and passing it to one of the Gunner’s more creative players. He also freezes up in front of goal and has to be one of Arsenal’s most wasteful players (and that’s saying something for a team who give Gervinho game time).
He was sent clean through on goal during Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, opted not to pass to Robin Van Persie or the Ox who would have had a tap in, managed to beat a City defender take 2-3 seconds (which amounts to a lifetime in an opponent’s penalty area) and then smash the ball high and wide. It’s this lack of vision and composure that has fans so bemused that Wenger is constantly putting him on (he had 20 minutes of game time against City whilst the Ox only had 5).
Contrast him to Tomas Rosicky who has looked like a new player this season. He offers Arsenal some ingenuity in midfield, speed of thought, a great turn of pace, some tough tackling and great dribbling ability but best of all – directness. Whenever he receives the ball he’s always looking to be positive and to drive play forward. He’s exactly the kind of player that Arsenal need to be playing in the centre and that’s why he’s usurped Ramsey’s position.
So there’s no use playing Ramsey down the left where he sticks out like a sore thumb. Give him time to play his way back into contention. Give him a few weeks rest. Make him fight for his place.
What’s your take? Is Aaron Ramsey still a first-teamer?
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