Posts Tagged ‘aaron ramsey’

Football

Five postive things Arsenal can take from the 2-0 defeat by Man City

By Stefano on January 14th, 2013

At face value Sunday was not a good day at the office for Arsene Wenger’s men. A 2-0 home defeat to a team who last won away against them in 1975, to say nothing of lost points in the  race for fourth place.

However, call me an eternal optimist, but there were some positive points that I think Arsenal can take from the game against Man City.

1 Wilshere is back to his best – His performance yesterday was sensational. His movement both on and off the ball was superb and much of his passing exquisite. On countless occasions he took the ball turned and glided past City players, many of whom could do nothing but resort to knocking him over. Sure there was that awful moment when he got caught on his ankle, but he is obviously pretty resilient again. If Wilshere gets injured Arsenal’s season will be over. He is their best player at the moment by a country mile.

2 Flashes of form from Ramsey – The jury is out on Abou Diaby’s  comeback yesterday. His passing was sloppy and he lacked match sharpness. However for Arsenal fans just seeing him get though a game while occasionally showing signs of his genius-  those times when he moves forward and the ball just sticks to his foot – is probably enough for now. The irony is that it was the player who replaced him almost got Arsenal back into the game. Ramsey had his best half hour for the club in ages. His passing was inspired and there were many times when he shielded the ball in difficult situations when there was no one to pass to .The vision which delivered that ball to Walcott where the England player’ shot was cleared off the line was vintage Ramsey. If he can only keep this form up he could prove to be vital to the Gunners as the season progresses.

3 Wojciech Szczęsny looked sharp - Ok, so his distribution wasn’t what it should have been at times, but Arsenal’s Polish goalkeeper must have heard the rumours about possible signings. He could hardly be blamed for either goal and when called on made a series of decent saves. In an indifferent season this was one of his better games.

4 The Emirates really got behind their team – With the side down to 10 men and 2-0 down it could have all gone a bit flat. But at times the atmosphere in the stadium was electric, and the players responded to that passion.

5 The Arteta injury will surely force Wenger’s hand in the transfer market - The Spaniard is out for three weeks now. Diaby is not strong enough to play ninety minutes – and if he does who knows what shape he will be in at the end of it? And Arsenal have a big run of season-shaping fixtures. Surely Wenger will strengthen Arsenal’s midfield. Has that Yann M’Villa signed for anyone yet?



Football

Arsenal update: Gunners target Lucas Biglia wants move. Should Ramsey go on loan? Villa staying at Barca

By Stefano on January 8th, 2013

Arsenal’s pursuit of a new midfielder continues to today with several papers reporting that Wenger once again is targeting Anderlecht’s tough tacking midfielder Lucas Biglia.

The Mirror says that Wenger has been put on alert because the Argentinian has told the Belgian club that he wants to move to a bigger league.

This sounds like pure speculation. Admittedly Biglia has been watched by the Gunners for a while and yes Arsenal haven’t really replaced Alex Song, so maybe keep half an eye on this one.

Arsenal have also been linked (admittedly by the papers not the club) with Rennes’ Yann M’Villa and Wigan’s James McCarthy both of whom are solid in the tackle and good at carrying the ball forward to strikers, but there has been no word from the club.

Meanwhile ex Arsenal striker John Hartson says that he fears that Aaron Ramsey is going backwards at the Emirates and needs a loan deal to sharpen him up.

Hartson points to the fact that in 25 appearances this season, Ramsey has completed 90 minutes on just six occasions. Arsenal manager has also played him several times on the wing, which is arguably not his strongest position.

Hartson told the BBC.

“I don’t think playing on the left, wide left, is his position. [Against Swansea on Sunday] he looked lost at times.”

“I just think he [Ramsey] needs that run of games.”

“Maybe if he did go out on loan because he doesn’t seem to start many games at Arsenal now and when he does start he’s brought off and he doesn’t look happy.”

Given the fact that Ramsey has just signed a new contract and Arsenal are short of midfielders a loan move would seem highly unlikely. What do you think?

BREAKING – The Indie reports that Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has said potential suitors can forget about signing Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer.

“I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market,” Rosell told Catalan radio station RAC1.

“He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left.”

Full story here. However Barca have ruled out selling Villa before and then transfer noise has got louder, so I don’t think this one is completely over



Football

Is Arsene Wenger right to build his team round young British players?

By Stefano on December 20th, 2012

Yesterday Arsene Wenger confirmed what was a pretty badly kept secret that five of his young British charges including Jack Wilshere, had signed long term contracts at the club. The move surprised very few people. Were Wilshere to follow his ex-colleagues on the road to The Etihad or the Camp Nou, then any talk of Arsenal being among Europe’s elite would surely be over for good.

Of the other four, Jenkinson, Oxlade Chamberlain and Gibbs clearly have big futures at the club while Wenger seems to believe more in the potential of Aaron Ramsey than many of the fans.

Wenger has also gone on record as saying how important a British base is to his team

He said

“I believe that we have a good core of young English players. We couldn’t keep the good core of young foreign players but I hope we will be capable of building the team around these English players and for them to achieve something together.

“I believe as well that when a club gives a chance to young players the players must say ‘let’s do it together’ because if you educate players at some stage their fate is in their own hands.”

This of course is a tad ironic from the first manager to ever field a whole team of foreigners in the Premiership in February 2005.

Also if Wenger believes that English players are more loyal to the club than those mercenary foreigners he would do well to remember that the among the first players who were at their peak who left the club was Ashley Cole in 2006.

Both of those dates are actually very interesting. Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since 2005 and I think one of the reasons (money is obviously the main one) Cole left in 2006 was because he felt more of an affinity with the English players who he had met on international duties at Chelsea than he did with all the foreigners at Arsenal.

British football has changed irrevocably since Wenger first took the reins at Arsenal in the late nineties. Then, his team of scouts who delivered some of the best players in France and beyond, were almost unique in the Premiership. These days everyone has teams all over the world searching for the stars of the future.

There does however seem a logic to building a team round British players. I guess Wenger wants to re-create the tightness and loyalty of the famous five defenders from the Graham era and hark back to the consistency of the pre-2005 days where the bed rock of the team was home grown.

The big question though is – are those players good enough to provide the foundations of the future for Arsenal?

Well here’s a quick verdict on all five

Jack Wilshere – For the first two or three games after his return every time Jack went near a challenge you could hear all The Emirates cringe. It does however appear that he is as robust as he can be at this stage and he just gets better in each game. Surely Wenger will make him captain soon. He is not only the most talented footballer that Arsenal’s youth team has bequeathed Wenger but he is articulate, smart and, for most of the time, level headed. I think he is the future of Arsenal.

Aaron Ramsey – I think most Arsenal fans would agree that Aaron simply hasn’t been the same since that tackle. Sure there have been flashes of brilliance but until his altercation with Ryan Shawcross he not only had confidence, he had swagger. These days he tends to disappear from games at times. And his goal scoring record isn’t what it ought to be for an attack minded midfielder. However, there have been moments this year (against City and Olympiakos) when the old Ramsey shone through. Also Wenger has played him out of position on the wing which hasn’t really been a success. He might not be the player that Wenger builds the team around, but he is a good long term bet for the future.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Another player who has had a rather mixed season. Again there have been flashes of genius, and the moments when he takes on defenders raises the temperature at The Emirates. Then there have been the games where he has failed to make any impact at all. It’ll be fascinating to see how pivotal he becomes to the team if Walcott does leave, even more so if Zaha is his replacement.

Carl Jenkinson – What a difference a year makes! The young defender, who looked like a rabbit in the headlights a year or so ago, has matured to the point where some Gunners are imagining a day where he takes over at right back from Bacary Sagna. Apart from some obvious mistakes (coughs Swansea) he has been very reliable this year and his crossing and attack player is constantly improving. I think the England right back berth is his for the taking.

Kieran Gibbs – If only he could shake off those injuries Gibbs would be one of the best left backs in England. With Baines unlikely to venture south and Wenger’s last experiment in finding a left back delivering a slightly bonkers Brazilian Gibbs really ought to be a feature in the Arsenal team for a very long time.

I think most Arsenal fans would answer the question about whether Arsene was right to tie up the players with a stroke of the chin. There is clearly a huge amount of potential there, but then there was with Denillson, Bendtner and Vela too. At the moment it seems as if Wenger has made a fairly safe bet. But only time will tell.




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