Why it may not work out for Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal – Unless he changes his Mind-set

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.

Poor technique

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.

Any bad pairings with Aaron?

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.

An apt comparison

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.

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3 Responses to Why it may not work out for Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal – Unless he changes his Mind-set

  1. Scrivs January 29, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    Just jumping into the comment to add a bit more.

    I do think Ramsey is a good footballer but do stand by the fact he isn’t a good footballer for Wenger’s type of system.

    When you think of Wales it works out great because his sole responsibility is to create and it works because the only other Alpha on the team is Bale. Every one else in that squad has to do the dirty work. Ramsey doesn’t have to balance what he wants to do creatively with what he needs to do tactically.

    It’s what impressed me with Wilshere in the England squad when he had the run of games getting MotM every single time. He was able to blend his creativity into his tactical responsibilities. Neither was sacrificed.

    Ramsey hasn’t had that click on.

  2. Bogdan January 29, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

    Great article, most of it hard to argue with. The one thing I take issue with all the time is this alleged “lack of discipline”.

    One thing that nobody seems to consider is that perhaps this “lack of discipline” is there by design? Aaron’s movement around the box and his timing are extremely good, as we have seen several times over the last two games. This is a vital trait, especially in the absence of Theo Walcott.

    There is no question that Wenger rates him very highly and Aaron will be given his chance for the remainder of the season. Lets hope he can prove us all wrong, one more time.

  3. Ray January 30, 2017 at 2:12 am #

    I don’t disagree with much of the criticism against Ramsey. I also agree with the points raised in his defence.
    He does try to make things happen. When he gets it right, he does create chances albeit usually for himself.

    I read on a response on the other article raising a good point. Ramsey tries things to unlock defenses rather than “passing it endlessly around the penalty area”. At some point, someone has to trigger the team to make a move.

    Liverpool would be all over trying to sign Ramsey I bet.

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