At the time it was revealed Cesc Fabregas wasn’t returning to Arsenal, reports (including me) suggested it was largely due to Mesut Ozil’s arrival last summer. However, after taking a deeper look at that line of thought, it occurred to me that it’s because Arsene was already beginning to build something special in central midfield, in the wake of Cesc’s exit in 2011. In the British duo of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, I believe Le Prof had made up his mind to complement whatever signings he makes with this pair. That wouldn’t have happened had Cesc returned.
If we closely observe the versatility of our midfield signings since both Aaron and Jack were integrated into the team, some sort of protection for this pair can be seen.
Santi Cazorla is a brilliant playmaker centrally and out wide, but he doesn’t possess that energy or drive that this British duo brings, through the middle. Same can be said about the assist machine, Mesut Ozil who favours the perfect pass from wide positions (as most of his assists last season suggested) to showing quick feet or tireless running from the middle of the park.
Only Oxlade-Chamberlain stands out as a player who possesses similar qualities to this duo, but then again his robust stature and extra pace gives us something a little bit different from the aforementioned pair. An ability that suits him well on the wings. Mikel Arteta’s style is also different, with the Spaniard preferring a simpler, more cautious style probably because of his slight change in position to a deeper role.
Aaron Ramsey had a fantastic season last year, but looking back, one can only wish Jack Wilshere was on the same wavelength with the Welshman more often. This term though, it looks very much possible and it seems like the right time for the duo to kick on, instead of it being one or the other.
The performances of the duo in the Norwich game at the Emirates needs to be replicated more consistently and if this happens at the beginning of the season, our game will be taken to a whole new dimension. And that’s aside the added influence of Mesut, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and the possible defensive midfielder at the base of our possession zone.
I’m also not sure it’s a coincidence that this same duo were on separate ends of what was arguably the best team goal and individual strikes respectively, last term. Wilshere’s strike against Norwich and his Welsh counterpart’s double moment of brilliance twice against the same opponents on the final days also show how the pair are interconnected in red and white.
A lot need to understand that Arsene is going British and this duo have been earmarked as the symbol of the club. Nothing else explains the constant belief Wenger showed in Ramsey in his ‘dark’ years or the trust he showed in Jack by offering him the iconic no.10 jersey or refusing to drop him almost throughout the Englishman’s impeccable 2010/2011 season. I read so much meaning into these details, because we have a manager who doesn’t do things randomly without any meaning.
Don’t forget he also hijacked Manchester United’s deal for Aaron when he already had a ‘project’ in Wilshere at the club. The plan had always been to integrate these two together, irrespective of whether we signed Paul Pogba and Marco Reus in the coming years. They’re the future of the club and will continue to be protected as long as Arsene is on the helm. The sooner we realize this, the better we would appreciate the club’s long term vision.
The issue of the future captaincy is also a debate worth touching on. We’ve heard Arsene and Jack shed light on this issue in the past. Even Steven Gerrard had his fair share of opinion on how Jack could lead the England national team in the coming years.
Aaron Ramsey also has a brief experience of how it feels to captain his country. It’s almost inevitable this duo would share the club’s leadership in the near future. Who knows, it could even come sooner than we think considering the fact that Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta have contracts expiring next summer.
Per Mertesacker, the favourite to succeed Thomas would also be approaching 30 by then, while his British duo would be nearing their mid 20s. Gives Arsene food for thought. Hope he digests that well and comes up with the best possible solution to a situation I feel we should handle with caution.
Back to tactical issues, the dynamism of the ‘British twins’ should be used to devastating effect this year, while Arsene also finds a way to blend the rest of his key men into an invincible unit. He’s done it before, and this time he has a more gritty side to achieve domestic and global dominance that would hardly be replicated even when ARCHIE Jack Wilshere calls time on his Arsenal career.