What follows below is a considered response (a comment on the site) from American Gooner @scrivs to Clive Palmer’s considered article on his journey with Aaron Ramsey, published here on Friday. Clive and Scrivs interact regularly on Twitter and the response was so good that we asked if we could use his comment as an article:
Over to Scrivs…..
Great analysis per usual, Clive. I agree with many of the other assessments on here about his technical ability. I will not go deep into it here on these comments but you can see that he used to be a good street baller with tricks that he cannot translate into the professional game.
I cannot think of another central midfielder that we have that needs to touch the ball more than once before releasing it. Even his shooting technique is terrible (doesn’t land on his shooting leg, leans back, etc.) even though he has scored some wonder goals pretty much on his athletic ability alone.
With many players, you can simply do an eye test to see their technical ability. I like to call them silky players, for whom everything seems effortless. It is why I’m not worried about Lucas. He plays like one of those 50-year old pros in the Sunday leagues with everything around him moving in slow motion.
I want to bring up two questions, which in my mind show his weaknesses for this team. I think he is a good footballer but being a good footballer and being a good footballer for Arsenal are two different things.
1) Is there any other midfielder that we have where most of the fan base say; he needs to play with X to really excel? What I mean here is that the argument is always Ramsey can only shine when he has an Arteta-type midfielder with him.
Why does a supposedly top class central midfielder need a specific type of player next to him? Especially one that is supposed to be so well rounded?
Could it really be that the only reason we bought Xhaka was to help Ramsey’s game? That seems somewhat silly, does it not?
When you look at Elneny, Coq, Xhaka, and Cazorla is there really a bad pairing that you can make from that list? Now add Ramsey and tell me if there are any bad pairings.
2) Does he make anybody else on the team better? You can almost pinpoint how certain players on our squad help make other players better. Coquelin helped Cazorla reach legend status because he handled the work. Iwobi helps Ozil by removing some of the playmaking up high.
When you put Ramsey on the pitch who benefits besides Ramsey? Ozil and Alexis like working the different channels and Ramsey clogs them up. He does not ease the playmaking abilities for Ozil when he is playing CM because his distribution is not at the level of Cazorla, Xhaka or even Elneny.
His work rate is, in my opinion, overrated because much of it is wasted running. As you mentioned, you do not need to be the first person in the box at all times. Coquelin and Elneny are efficient runners. They run where they are needed not where they want to be.
If he isn’t scoring or assisting (which he only showed to be prolific for one season and that was 3 months) does he do other things better than our CMs?
The Milner comparison is apt since he is not a specialist at anything either. On paper, these players sound great. We call them utility players here in the states but they usually only work out when you can put them in smaller positions like RB.
I like players that specialize in a position and own it. I think that’s what great teams are built around. Coquelin was on the verge of being a utility type player but decided he was going to carve a niche and own his position. Elneny takes the same approach.
It is hard to envision the #10 (that number has huge mental significance) ever believing he needs to follow the same mould.
Maybe the 4-3-3 works out better for him but then you also have to take into consideration how it affects our marquee players. Ozil cannot thrive in a 4-3-3 and we now know how to unlock Alexis’s potential in our current system. When you add in dynamic players like Iwobi, Lucas, Welbeck, and Theo around them then for me that 2 CMs just need to be people that know how to do their job.
I do not think Ramsey will never want to be that type. I do not blame him for it but it just is not going to work out here with that mind-set.