Dec 26, Arsenal player of the season till then and arguably the Premier League’s broke down at West Ham clutching his thigh. He was initially expected to be back within a month but in typical Arsenal fashion he was out for three months. Aaron Ramsey has finally recovered from the thigh injury and will be in the squad for Everton and it is as refreshing as a win over that lot down the Seven Sisters road. It won’t be an overstatement to say that he is the player we have missed the most, of course Walcott gives us what no other player can but the Englishman had been hit and miss this season and we did fairly well when he wasn’t available earlier in the season.
The Welsh Dynamite started the season in imperious form scoring goals from midfield ,driving the team forward and putting in some stirring match winning displays. Not only was he irresistible going forward but he was indefatigable tracking back. He is the only one midfielder in our squad that can attack and defend in equal measure. Arteta and Flamini have had their best performances this season when they have played alongside Ramsey. Arteta isn’t mobile enough to hold the entire midfield on his own and Flamini by nature is a defensive player and lacks guile, both need Rambo to thrive and it isn’t to say that they can’t play without Ramsey but they play better with him.
Ramsey is the only natural box to box midfielder in our squad, Diaby ticks all the boxes but is perennially unavailable. Jack Wilshere doesn’t know what is his best position, Ozil, Cazorla hardly do the dirty stuff and Rosicky despite his extraordinary workrate is at his best when driving forward rather than tracking back. Ramsey despite his injury is the club’s second topscorer and leads in the tackles per game average (3.7).
Interestingly Ozil’s form faded since Ramsey and Walcott got injured. Ozil’s game is based on runners in front of him and finding them with his laser precision passes. Ramsey and Walcott are the only players at Arsenal making effective runs without the ball and Ozil’s game suffered as a result of their absence. Unfortunately the three won’t be in action together until next season.
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It is no coincidence that our form has waned without Ramsey. It’s just some 18 months back some flimsy supporters were calling for the Welshman to be dropped or worse get injured. It’s the same group that laments his loss and his loss couldn’t have been more pronounced. As Arsenal’s title challenge crumbled, Aaron Ramsey’s injury will be looked back with deepest regrets and bitterest of frustrations. Arsenal fans be careful what you wish for. COYG