Aaron Ramsey – Drop him and he won’t sign, play him and we won’t improve in this system – Positives, needs and hopes

Too easy and too difficult… Positives, Needs and Hopes

If I was an Everton fan… How on earth did we not win?!?! Arsenal were not good in any of their outfield departments, there to be taken and we were good but our final third choices kept us from a big win.
If I were an Arsenal fan, I would give Cech a break. He was excellent and won the game for them.

If I was being positive…. We have a great result yet again without playing well. First, clean sheet too.

If I was being real…. The gear stick at Arsenal looks broken. We look stuck in second. Occasionally slip into third.
Everton (much like Cardiff) made it as difficult as possible and played in fourth gear.
The results are good, the performances are concerning.

It is too easy to attack Arsenal and looks too difficult for Arsenal to attack.

FORMATION: 4-2-4 (not our set up but was how we played)


* Petr Cech
Fantastic reactions, 1 on 1’s, command of box and even decisions with his feet

* Auba’s second touch gets him away from defenders. Split second between his first and second touch.
Will see more from him when that second touch is shorter.

* I am not seeing the ‘team press.’ What I am seeing is the ‘first man press.’ When we get the rest of the team organized, we will see the great value in pressuring their first pass so quickly.

* Under Wenger we were not ruthless off the ball.  We have started tactical fouling in their defensive and the middle third.
Like so many aspects of the game, we are not so much making strides ahead of our opponents but catching up to modern football.

* Lacazette either wins the ball or slows down the opponent by challenging from behind. Obvious improvement in his game.

* To our credit, we faced many corners and defended them very well.

* Too many GK’s flap or punch unnecessarily on crosses/corners. Cech is catching many. Maybe this is why Leno is not playing yet?


* I am concerned that Emery has spent many hours working on two parts of our game that are not working.
1) Playing out of the back. Only worked against Chelsea in the first half.
2) High line. We are playing it when there is no pressure on the ball.
As I said earlier, we are making it easy for teams to attack us.

* Aaron Ramsey.
I think his situation will have a large negative knock on effect.
The club want him to sign a new contract. It is proving very difficult so it makes it hard for Emery to leave him out. He has not had a game worthy of £250,000+ per week yet. Drop him, he gets upset and does not sign, keep him in the team and I am not sure these victories continue.
Let me explain…. Emery clearly does not trust his wandering ways as a midfielder. He is playing him in a foreign position that is not working. He is not playing between the lines and linking play or getting on the end of chances. The knock on effect is that Ozil is out of position; Mkhi is not playing when he has not been great but had more impact moments, Bellerin is exposed defensively with limited help and there is a huge hole between our midfielders and where a true attacking midfielder should be to link the play. This is leading to way too many low percentage long passes to a line of four players who are not good at holding up the play.

If he signs, I will be worried as I’m not seeing it working let alone working to the value of a quarter of a million pounds each week at the cash point.

If he leaves, I will partly be sad because he has spent way too much time playing at a club and never played as a box-to-box #8 in a 3-man midfield.

Today, he was not trusted to receive when checking back, we needed a powerful dribbler from deep but he was too high and he was not involved until the 40th minute.

Personally, I would play 4-3-3 against a good opponent. Like this…

Until we buy, a wide player or two you have all players playing in their best position.
Ramsey would get to run from deep and still have two players holding.
Regardless of our intent to play 4-2-3-1, today we played 4-2-4 and this allows easy transition for opponents with 50 yards of space with no pressure.

Against easier opposition, I have always wanted 3-2-3-2. (See below)

This gives us width on attack and enables us to play faster and not have to wait for Ballerina to run 40 yards.
Allows Auba and Laca to play together and Ozil to play attacking midfield.
Until we buy wide players, AMN would offer pace and stamina out wide. Far more to his offensive game than Bellerin. Mkhi on left, remember Milan away?
I would play Mavropanos at CLD as we would need height in the back and I think Lichsteiner is better than Mustafi until we realize that DeLigt at Ajax is the new Tony Adams.
Also, gives us three true defenders to deal with counter rather than two and a midfielder. Plus Torreira and Guendouzi.
Might just make us ‘not so easy to attack and make our attacks less difficult!’


* Xhaka needs to open his hips and receive on his right foot. Takes too long to open up, hence why we rarely played forward. Against teams who do not press him, he can. Everton gave him no time so this detail meant multiple unnecessary negative passes.

* Everton exposed gap between Monreal and Sokratis. Many teams are using this pass including us. Be careful Arsenal!

* Bellerin is a single threat when attacking. To be fair, his single threat of offering the cross/final ball has improved.
Never understood why he has not attempted to work on his dribbling/beating a defender and his shooting.
Could be a triple threat!

* I wish Lacazette would play with the same aggression in the box as he does outside. Worst that would happen is a free kick 90 yards from goal.

* Final need is for us to start sharper. Don’t believe that will happen until most of the above is fixed.


* That Sokratis is ok

* That referees get savvy to the trend of players falling on all fours when barely touched from behind. They grab the ball, get automatic free kick. Half the time they have fooled the ref.

* I have a horrible feeling… that nobody is particularly afraid of Arsenal.

Look at that 3-2-3-2 again ⬆️

Put Zaha on the left and Adama Traore on the right.

Scary good!


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6 Responses to Aaron Ramsey – Drop him and he won’t sign, play him and we won’t improve in this system – Positives, needs and hopes

  1. Jones September 24, 2018 at 8:11 am #

    Mmmmh , you should have been the manager , you seem to know the team better mate, Arsenal manager is only a month old on his job , what you really want , when the Job was on offer you should have applied and we would be flying .

  2. DEW September 24, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    I saw the match slightly from different perspective compared to yours. There were three outstanding players on the pitch that gave me real hope for the future-Cech, Xhaka, and Lacazette. people say Cech was man of the match, but for me Xhaka was. He was really really good with the ball, and he has improved on his weakness on short notice. Xhaka has been consistent at things he is best. The problem with him (for me) was when he is under pressure. Pundits were saying it is Torriera that improves Xhaka, whatever it is he is a class player and he needs to be given new contract if not renewed already.

    Against Everton is not an easy game for any side in PL. The major problems I saw with current side are the central defenders partnership-perhaps it is better to try out the young ones; and the same old staffs associated with Ozil and Ramsey. I think the team is getting shape.

    • Mike McDonald September 24, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

      Dew…. thanks for your comment!
      Maybe Holding gets a run now?

  3. Victor Thompson September 24, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    I can`t suggest a formation at present because for the first half yesterday, I could not detect any kind of shape. Everton were galloping through our defence and but for Cech, we could have been 3 down at half time.

    Meantime, Bellerin was being Bellerin with or withour Wenger and we were resorting once again to our sideways and backwards style again. They should keep that for Strictly Come Dancing. Xhaka would look good in a Coat and Tails.

    Seriously,the first half was as bad as it gets. Neither team was playing good football that you could say was anywhere near top 4. Everton had the redeeming factor of trying to attack us at speed by making things simple and not taking time to look for the numbers to join up. We looked as if we were playing by numbers.

    Xhaka was slow and he made many misplaced passes so it was difficult to see any kind of relationship building up. Ramsey was lost between midfield and attack and Auba and Lacazette were receiving no kind of service. Their goal keeper was largely unemployed whereas Cech was constantly under pressure. Now and again Ozil appeared out of the blue for a cameo role just to remind us that he was there.

    In the midst of the morass, torreiera was dropped into a bunch of individuals who seemed to be completely unrelated to each other.

    I have no idea what Emery is attempting to make of this lot, but there is clearly difficulty in imposing his plans on them. I promised not to criticise him for a season, so I will keep my powder dry but frankly, our first half was as bad as anything we played last season. On one occasion I watched the ball being played across their defensive lines in their last third when, at walking pace, it went back, across field and finally a 20 yards pass back to Cech who subtly played out from defence by hoofing it upfield 60 yards.

    At the end of the day, we relied upon a touch of magic from Lacazzette to win the game for us. I won`t count Aubu`s contribution because it was a yard offside! So instead of short quick passing and high pressing as Emery is reputed to favour we squirmed away with what should have been a 1-0 win against a team which will be languishing in lower mid-table this season.

    • Mike September 24, 2018 at 4:45 pm #

      Victor…. Love your thoughts!
      Like you I’m trying to be patient and remembering Guardiola and Klopps struggles.
      Particularly love your Ozil thought!
      I’d say they are only keeping Mesut to attract ‘other big name players’ to Arsenal. As soon as we get enough, they will sell him

  4. Rob Hubert September 25, 2018 at 3:16 am #

    Personally, I think we are improving. Cech, Torreira and Xhaka were outstanding. We keep complaining about Emery this and that but we forget the personnel he has on ground. The earlier we admit to ourselves that he lacks the players to play his type of game, the easier our thinking will be. Forget all those alternatives you put up as your strongest 11, I disagree with you. Has it crossed your mind that we have too many like for like players in that team? Ozil, Mhiki and Iwobi can all play same 10! Yet, Emery tries to fit all three by changing their positions. Aaron has picked form and I wonder whether its because he plays out of position. Aubameyang isn’t and won’t ever be a Winger but he has to start, so where play him? Lacazette is our best striker and can’t sit down a game, so where play him? The young Greek and Holding are quite inexperienced, will you risk playing them ahead of Papa and Mustafi? The young French kid is good but makes Xhaka extremely poor when they play together, so why play them together? The only position i fault Emery is at RB where Stephan could easily replace Hector

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