A short piece from me while it is on my mind after three particular conversations on social media about Aaron Ramsey, the ‘Welsh Messi’ – that may give you a clue about who one of the ‘unbiased’ conversations was with 🙂
With Arsenal generally in a state of transition on and off the pitch, the most pressing player situation should be and probably is, securing the extended services of Aaron Ramsey. There is a huge offer on the table and it has been there a while now, that remains unsigned, and trust me the reason he has not picked up his pen is not due to the paucity of the offer. The Welshman has been offered a huge weekly wage that would make him probably the second highest earner at the club, over a long term, but he like Jack ‘can’t seem to find his a a fore mentioned pen!
Ramsey understandably, sensibly and yes frustratingly, just like you and I is waiting to see the direction for 18/19. Whilst the player owes much to Wenger, he like us, must be wondering if the Frenchman can take him to the next level and Arsenal back to the level he and we fans believe we should aspire to return to. Were I in Ramsey’s shoes, I too would wait to see who will be in charge of Arsenal next season, or at the very least seek confirmation of succession plans.
The media would like is to believe that the player has aspirations to play in Spain and many fans sees to be fearful they are right. From my perspective I would suggest applying logic to those rumours and this is where I may differ from the passionate Ramsey fan. If he was keen to play in Spain he would presumably be thinking of Real Madrid or Barcelona and put quite simply, in my view, he is not good enough to play for either team. If I am right and neither would be keen on Ramsey, as he is not technically good enough, would the player consider another Spanish side, knowing he would be unlikely to be challenging for honours? I doubt he would, particularly since no other team in Spain could come come to the money on the table in North London.
Indeed there are arguably only 6 or 7 teams in World football who could match the salary he is being offered at the Emirates and 4 of them are in the Premier League. Even if another English side came in for Ramsey I would like to feel that he would not follow in the footsteps of Adebayor, Nasri, RVP and Alexis but we need to convince him of our project this summer.
So getting back to the comment above that will have annoyed many. Ramsey is not technically good enough for the top 2 in La Liga, nor does he play the game with the ball, swiftly enough. His passing can be superb but can be wayward and his control can be good also and on other occasions he cannot trap the proverbial bag of cement. For these reasons, for me at least, Ramsey is not an elite of world class footballer. However, he absolutely has elite and world class attribute and elements to his game. These attribute are suited to the Premier League and it is these attributes Wenger, or the next manager has to harness more effectively.
Ramsey has an incredible engine, when fully fit and him being fully fit is critical to his game. Sadly he has has so many lay offs and it always takes him a few weeks to get back to his peak fitness ergo peak performance levels. When fully fit Arsenal need to evolve a way of playing that utilises his attacking attributes and does not rely on his defensive work. His has the fitness to work box to box, without doubt but why create a system of way of playing that relies on it? Where our FA Cup talisman is world class is in his joining of the attack at the right moments and in the timing of his runs, crucially into the right spaces. I don’t mind his penchant for the odd flick or back heel in the opposition’s final third but I do mind it in ours. Let Ramsey play to his strengths and not use a system, or partner/s in midfield that expose his frailties.
As another conversation I had this week reminded me, the structure and effectiveness of any good team has to rely on the on field partnerships. It never seemed to matter in the days where any two from Vieira, Edu, Gilberto or Parlour would do but IF Arsenal want Ramsey to extend and flourish in an exciting new Arsenal, Granit Xhaka is not the partner and nor are Elneny or Wilshere. For Ramsey to be allowed to demonstrate to us all his elite attributes, all of which are in the final third, the new vision has to include a top class, purpose built, disciplined defensive midfielder. Quite obviously that will NOT happen under the current manager and I suspect Aaron Ramsey knows that.
My view is that we should build the team around Ramsey’s attributes and find a way, as Coleman did for Wales and push him further up the pitch. If we are able and willing to do so we may well see the form of 2013/14 again on a consistent basis. If we are not able of willing to do so we will continue to see the player who thrills and frustrates in equal measure. I would go out and buy the best DM we can find, sell Xhaka and Elneny and probably then make Ramsey club Captain – There I said it.