The Arsenal players can all be excused for being on a bit of a high this morning following their 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Emirates, but there were concerning signs during the match when Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey forgot what position he was supposed to be playing.
Defensively Arsenal performed wonders, with both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny barely putting a foot wrong all match. Petr Cech also ensured he was in the right place at all times, although he could do nothing to stop Yaya Toure’s sublime goal in the dying stages of the game. How the Manchester City midfielder managed to place his shot perfectly in the top corner with such minimal effort is a mystery, but Cech certainly wasn’t to blame.
Up front, Theo Walcott’s goal would have been the one we were all talking about had the Ivorian not fired in that amazing strike. Olivier Giroud was also stellar leading the forward line, while Mesut Ozil showed once more why he should be this season’s PFA Player-of-the-Year.
If there were to be any criticism, and we are sure Arsene Wenger would have noticed it as well, it was Aaron Ramsey’s inability to play in the position which he had been assigned. He regularly left Mathieu Flamini dangerously exposed, and the ageing Frenchman isn’t capable of performing the role alone anymore.
Arsenal legend turned NBC Sports commentator Lee Dixon was clearly getting exasperated at the Welshman, as the Gunners midfielder found himself waiting in City’s box for the ball rather than performing his defensive midfield responsibilities. Meanwhile, Flamini could be seen waving his arms in the air calling for support, in the hope that Ramsey could track back in time.
In Arsenal’s last match against Aston Villa, former Chelsea star Frank Lampard picked up on Ramsey’s play, saying on Sky Sports (via The Independent): “At the moment he [Ramsey] doesn’t yet have the ability to play in a midfield two.
“I love him as a player, very bright and very clever but you can see the way he’s running back he doesn’t really want to do it.”
As it turned out Ramsey got lucky against City and Toure, but for sure other managers will have picked up on this and will try to exploit Arsenal’s weakness.
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