Ramsey. We want you to succeed, do it for us….
Aaron Ramsey is an enigma. He has proven quality. Look at the 13/14 season, winning the FA cup, and performing well in Euro 2016.
But has he done it enough?
And is criticism of him valid, or warranted? Since then, he has not performed as well, or as consistently as before.
A legitimate question is why.
Playing in the middle
After his terrible injury at Stoke, Wenger played him on the wing, and he didn’t utilise his strengths, though he arguably found his form in the middle, in his stellar 13/14 season. Since then, he has played in the middle consistently, with occasional placements on the wing and he has not recaptured the 13/14 season form, despite this.
Some believe that Wenger wants to play him on the wing. He doesn’t. He’s said numerous times that his best position is in the centre.
Ramsey was one of his country’s best players in Euro 2016. Whilst England beat Wales, and perhaps deserved to, Wales finished top of the group, and got further in the tournament. People are naturally bemused that Ramsey is performing spectacularly for Wales, yet not as much for Arsenal.
He is playing centrally for Wales, though in a slightly more advanced position. However, he cannot play number 10, since this at Arsenal is Ozil’s position. Nobody else can perform in Ozil’s function currently.
He did, of course, suffer an abominable injury at Stoke City. And he came back, played through 11/12 and 12/13, and of course had his finest season in 13/14. He did score that wonderful winner vs. Hull City in the FA Cup final, naturally….
It is this sentiment (intermixed with sympathy for his injury) that perhaps shields criticism of him. Sentiment is fine; football is inherently emotive. All sports are emotive. But then this shouldn’t in my mind deflect legitimate criticism.
Ramsey is good and welcome at Arsenal
Ramsey is a good player, and this isn’t intended to mock him, or denigrate him. It’s to present why to some Ramsey is maligned.
My view is that he doesn’t perform as well enough as he should, and that we know his quality and that at a top club, consistent performances are paramount.
Moreover, it’s wrong to say he’s played on the wing a lot. Granted, he was on the wing vs. Man United. But more often than not, most of the time, he does play in the middle.
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Just that some of the criticism is indeed (in my view at least) justified. It’s not an “agenda”. It’s not “designed to bring him down”. It’s based if anything on “tough love”. People want him to succeed, and he has not performed at the level of 13/14 for some time. He has had some injuries, but no more than others, really. All have missed months out, and have been consistently high performing. Take Alexis. He missed months last season, but when he came back he scored goals again. Alexis doesn’t play well in every game (no human being can, let’s realise that) but he is given slack since he performs 80/90% of the time.
I want Ramsey to succeed. But then in my mind, much of the criticism will diminish if he performs to his optimum like Alexis, Koscielny, Cech, Bellerin, Coquelin, Mustafi, et al do most of the time.
Criticism, in any event in life, is welcome and inevitable. The only issue is if it’s fair or non-constructive. Ramsey’s criticism, generally, comes from a place of good intentions and good faith.
MarbleHallsTV is an Arsenal social media account on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Been a Gooner since the 90s, inspired by Ian Wright, then Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Pires, Campbell, Rosicky, Koscielny, Ozil and Sanchez. A digital marketer/entrpreneur by profession, born in UK living in the Americas now.