Aaron Ramsey had a blinder at Euro 2016. Leading Wales to an unexpected semi-final (albeit one he was unfortunately suspended from) and standing out in every match he played in. He ended with stats of 5 appearances 4 assists and 1 goal, in my eyes he’s been the best Arsenal player at the tournament (Koscielny gets an honourable mention) outshining the likes of Giroud and Ozil. He seemed back to his brilliant 2013/2014 best and one hopes that he can carry that form into the new season, once he’s had a suitable break. But a question I’ve been asking myself is ‘’where was this Ramsey last season’’? He had flashes of brilliance like the goal against Spurs but often at times he was frustrating to watch, he slowed our play and was the bearer of many people’s frustration in the ground and on Twitter. I believe his poor performances have nothing to do with form, I believe it’s down to the atmosphere created at the Emirates and the tactics employed by AW. I use Giroud as a basis for comparison for this; Giroud in a 2 up front for France is a striker reborn, yes he is still slow, yes he still frustrates, but look at the goals he’s scored and helped create for Griezzmann. The goal against the Republic of Ireland showed exactly what Giroud can offer, when he has a partner he can offer the knockdown from a ball over the top and if he was up top on his own, he would have most likely lost the opportunity to score and been slammed for it. Playing up top on your own is a hard job, and believe it or not Giroud is okay. Not great but okay.
In a formation of 4-2-3-1 Ramsey was sometimes deployed wide right, if Cazorla was available he would have played there and Ramsey would have been in his favoured CM role, allowing him to dictate the play and get in the box to convert chances. This is how Chris Coleman utilised him for Wales and look at the benefits it reaped. With Cazorla getting injured early in the season and Walcott horrendously out of form, it was left to Ramsey to play that position and he himself has mentioned it is not his favoured role. Bad performances and worse results for Arsenal led supporters to look for scapegoats and Ramsey was the victim of that, along with Giroud and Walcott. Now away from the toxic support of the Emirates and having a coach that plays to your strengths does wonders for your confidence. I am not in any way saying AW has become a bad coach but injuries to key members of the squad have forced us to play players out of position as we don’t have subsequent cover. Now recently I have seen a lot of talk about the formation 4-3-1-2 and I have to say I wasn’t keen on it, but I have been won round by it and I’m keen to see the change next season. I assume with AW going for Vardy he has this change in formation in his mind. I took the liberty of creating a potential line up for next season (see below)
Yes, I snuck Draxler in there, sue me okay I just love him and can dream that one day he will grace the Emirates pitch. The media are suggesting this may be the case and a bid has been tabled. I also left the second CB slot free as I doubt Mertesacker will start first choice next year. But that to me is a formation that could see us flourish next season, Xhaka will patrol the back 4, allowing Ramsey and Ozil to get forward and support Alexis and Giroud. You could also put Ozil at CM and move Alexis to AM allowing for a new CF to come in *cough* Lacazette *cough* and partner Giroud, but this is all ifs and buts. I truly hope Ramsey comes back next season and builds on his brilliant Euros, after coming back from his horrific leg break he could be about to enter the peak years of his ability, let’s hope that’s in an Arsenal shirt and no one else’s.
Twitter is an interesting place, especially Arsenal Twitter. Every summer accounts pop up claiming to be ITK, that they know information, transfer dealings that are so secret, Twitter is the place to the divulge information. There are only a few accounts I trust 100%; @goonerdave66 (of course) @messiminutes @fkhanage to name a few, and many that you know are only tweeting for Retweets and attention. I myself sometimes can be guilty of believing these so called ITK’s and I get myself all excited believing we’re potentially signing Lionel Messi only to end up with some up and coming kid who will take years to nurture his talent. Of course recent windows have seen the arrival of £32m Sanchez and £42m Ozil, so we can spend, I just hope the club have something up their sleeve. I refuse to believe a club as big as ours had no plan b for when Vardy rejected us, it’s only the 7th July but already I’m worried we could be left behind. Man United have made massive signings and City will spend big now Guardiola has officially taken over. Chelsea, I’m expecting signings from after the disaster of last season. So Arsene really needs to pull his tight finger out, do it Arsene, and do it quick.
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Huge football fan, Arsenal is my team, love to talk and debate about all things Arsenal, and about football in general. Tweet me @bendraper87 for anything football related, happy to share my views with you!