Is this (Ramsey’s 2014 injury return) the most pressure we have ever put on Aaron Ramsey? I believe it is. While Aaron Ramsey has been injured a few times in his career, two times stand out above the rest. First, the devastating leg break and now his current time away from the squad.
When Ryan Shawcross took over a year off Ramsey’s career we were just beginning to see glimpses of his talent. We were not sure what we were getting, or where Wenger would use him long term. All we knew was that we liked what we saw. His transfer was still fresh in our minds, so the hype of the press was bearing some influence on our thoughts. We were (or rather I was) willing to give him time to grow as a footballer and then he was injured. We were keen to see him back, but hesitant because we didn’t know how the injury would play out on his career.
Ramsey started this year in magnificent fashion. His excellent movement gave him many more open chances and he finished his chances at a rate that I was not expecting. His composure was great, and his work rate was fantastic. He was injured when his form may have been dipping a bit, but with eight league goals we remembered his scoring.
The expectation on Aaron Ramsey by some fans will be that he comes back and starts banging in the goals again to lead Arsenal back to the Champions League next year. Hopefully he does, but being realistic he’s been out of the squad for three months. With six league fixtures remaining we cannot expect him to play all 540 minutes. We cannot expect him to score a goal in every match (there are those who have suggested that, don’t shoot the messenger).
Aaron has been scoring a goal every 186.88 minutes per Arsenal.com Stats Centre. This means that IF he were to play the final 540 minutes of the season that he would score less than three goals.
Given that we are not even sure if he will make the bench this weekend, we know he will not play 90 minutes against Everton. So if he is on the bench then he will likely get 10-20 minutes against Everton provided no players are sent off and changes the substitutions plans of Wenger.
If Arsene then decides to play Aaron for the FA Cup semi-final, then he would likely start from the bench for the West Ham match at home as his legs would not have recovered fully from 70+ minutes in the FA Cup.
The point I am getting at is that Ramsey may not play more than 390 league minutes in the run-in, which based on his goal scoring rate so far is only two goals. What if his goal scoring rate from the earlier part of the season was the anomaly? What if he was only going to score eight goals all season and he just had a massive spurt early on? We need to keep in mind that his fantastic goal scoring streak was miles beyond what anyone expected.
If Aaron had scored six goals before his injury that would be a goal every 249.17 minutes which is still fantastic for any midfielder in the Premier League. The Arsenal fans are heaping the pressure on the young Welshman on this run-in, and I think that many fans are asking just a little too much and relying too much on early season form and not on the true scoring form we will see from Aaron over his career.
Now, while you may not agree, it’s up to Aaron to prove me wrong and I really hope he does.