Could Ramsey & Arsenal part ways?

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The injury to Aaron Ramsey has come at a very unfortunate time in the Welshman’s career. This seems to be a bit of a constant problem for the 25 year old, in the fact that he always seems to pick up an injury when he’s on top form. In his absence it seems that Arsenal have now found a consistent formula in the midfield.

His injury and Jack Wilshere’s loan move away to Bournemouth have made the team selection pretty straight forward for Wenger. There is either Coquelin or Xhaka at the base of the midfield with Santi Cazorla as the link man, playing behind Mesut Ozil. The right wing position has now been filled by  Theo Walcott and the impressive Iwobi is now the first choice on the left wing.

There is potentially a change to happen if Giroud was to be fit. This may see Sanchez move back to the left wing in place of Iwobi. All of this means it will be harder for Ramsey to get back into the side.

In terms of talent he probably is one of the best midfielders at the club, being able to play in a number of roles. He can be the link player in midfield or play on the right wing, both positions he does a solid job. His best position however is the number 10 role (playmaker), a role we saw him play very successfully in the summer for Wales.

His biggest talent is getting into the box at the right time and scoring a goal. Ramsey and Wilshere have a problem in the fact that their best position is the number 10 role, a role which is currently occupied by Mesut Ozil. I have no doubt that Ramsey can do a sterling job in that position but if it came to picking out of the two right now I would have say Ozil has to stay there.

For this reason we will see Ramsey yet again be deployed slightly deeper in midfield, it is likely that he will drop back into the role currently occupied by Santi Cazorla. He can play this role well, but it is not his best position. At the age of 25 there may be a knock on Mr Wenger’s door asking to be played in his best position. Eventually it may have to come down to a straight choice of the two.

It will be a very tough conversation to say to a very talented player that he is not going to play in his favoured position at the club. For this reason I feel that one of the Ramsey may eventually decide to look elsewhere in the not se near future. For the record I hope he stays at Arsenal, but would not begrudge him a move away to another big European side that can play to his strenghts.

Please let me know if you think this is an actual problem that Arsenal will face in the near future by leaving your comments below. Please also share if you think this was a good read.

English core’s AFC future in the balance?

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If we cast our minds back to 2012, the sight of five Britain’s finest young stars signing a new contract was very exciting for Arsenal fans. A few weeks later we saw Theo Walcott also put pen to paper. At the time many of us thought that this could be our very own class of 92 and become the longterm back bone of the side. So fast forward 4 years, which of these players has actually progressed and which of the players will be shipped out?

 

Carl Jenkinson:

There was a time three seasons ago where many believed he could be the long term Arsenal right back. He even got a cap for England cap, mainly to stop him playing for Finland. The loan move to West Ham initially worked out pretty well for Jenkinson, putting in many good performances under Big Sam’s stewardship. Last season was a right off for Jenkinson, back at loan to West Ham, he’s performances were not to the standard of the previous season and then a long term injury ruling him out of the last 5 months of the season. It seems injuries are a reoccurring theme in this article.

Future: He looks like he is a good premier league player, but not good enough for Arsenal. Bellerin, Debuchy and Chambers are both ahead of him, he will find it hard to get anywhere near the starting line up. Another loan move or a permanent move away seems likely, with Sunderland being mentioned.

 

Aaron Ramsay:

Another player who has not hit the heights of the previous few seasons. His performances have been good but not anywhere near what we know he can do. Again injuries seem to have played a part, with little injuries keeping Ramsay out every now and then. Out of all Arsenal’s British core he probably did the best.

Future: Ramsay will stay at Arsenal and we hope he stays injury free, so he can get back to what he does best and score goals from midfield.

 

Jack Wilshere:

I hate to say it but Jack Wilshere is very close to be labeled the new Abu Diaby. I really hope i’m wrong and he has an injury free Euro 2016 and next season. If fit he is a star for Arsenal and England. Making 6 appearances for club and country so far this season is pretty poor.

Future: The next two season are make or break for Jack Wilshere at Arsenal. If he stays relativly injury free the next two seasons he probably will go on to be an all time great for Arsenal. If he doesn’t stay injury free I fear for his place in the Arsenal squad, what a shame that would be.

 

Kieron Gibbs:

Back in 2012 Gibbs was the most injury prone of the lot, surprisingly he probably has been the fittest of all the British players at Arsenal last season. He has not been bad when called upon but needs to do a lot more to challenge Nacho Monreal who overtook him. Arsenal have been heavily linked with Swiss LB Rodriguiz, which suggests Gibbs days could be numbered.

Future: I would like Gibbs to stay and fight for his place in the side. He clearly is a good left back, but sometimes switches off. I think he may be inline for a loan move away. Liverpool have previously been linked.

 

Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain:

He is one of the most exciting English youngsters in the country, but for some reason seems to not have progressed over the last few seasons. I was one who really thought this would be his year to kick on. He faces a task to get back ahead of Iwobi in the pecking order.

Future: Many top premier league clubs have been linked with The Ox and it seems that if Arsenal get the right price they might consider his sale. I would like to see him given at least one more season and really would be disappointed if we were to sell him to any rival club.

 

Theo Walcott:

Theo started the season on fire, looking sharp. This all went to pot after January. His confidence was shot, not being able to control the ball or run with the ball. Im sure the fan pressure and re-introduction of Danny Welbeck in the side from injury probably didn’t help for game time. His injury in January did seem to take away his form.

Future: It seems that the majority of fans want Walcott out now, i’m not one of them. But I feel that he will be sold for good money. West Ham have been mentioned as well as Leicester which both would be good moves for Theo.

Other British Players In since 2012:

Danny Welbeck – Like many of the other British players at Arsenal injuries played a major part of his season. Back in Dec/Jan of next season.

Callum Chambers – Didn’t feature hardly, had a few good games in centre midfield but is still far away from claiming a regular spot in Arsenal’s starting XI.

Jaime Vardy – Lets not jump the gun yet. He may not sign just yet.

Combined Man Utd & Arsenal XI (Fifa Rankings)

We had a great debate at work today over who had the better team Man Utd or Arsenal. A colleague of mine stated that Man Utd have better players than Arsenal and would have more in a combined XI. I decided to put this theory to the test and make the XI based on Fifa 15 player ratings.

The up to date ratings were taking from SoFifia.com who provide uptodate player ratings as well up to date player potential rankings. (Its a good site to compare players according to ratings). Players who have more than 1 position were taken with their best position only (so both Ozil and Di Maria can only be counted as attacking midfielders not wingers etc). It made for pretty interesting reading.

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GK: There is no doubting this one. David De Gea wins this hands down. Even I will admit he is the best keeper in the league. His rating of 85 is only 1 being Courtois

CB: The two Arsenal centre backs win this hands down. Both have a rating of 82, there closest competitor at Man Utd is Marcus Rojo who only has a rating of 79. Not surprising that both Arsenal centre backs are in as they have a great defensive record together. They were both part of a defence that won Szsesney the golden glove award.

RB: Debuchy wins this position with a score of 80. This is better than Man Utd’s best right back rankings (Rafael 77).

LB: Gibbs was again part of a tight defence last season and wins this close battle over Luke Shaw: 77 rating v 75. Credit where it is due, Shaw is young and has the potential to be one the worlds best. But we are looking at currently who is better.

DMC: This is a tie between Blind and Arteta. Both players have 79 points. Arteta has had very little football this season due to injury, yet he has still an equal rating with Man Utd best defensive midfielder who plays every week.

CM: The centre midfield position had many candidates to play here but all the top ratings in this position were Arsenal players. Ramsay was the best of the lot with 82 points, closely followed by Wilshere and Rosicky. The closest Man Utd player in this position was Herrera but even with 2 injuries he would not make the side.

AMC: For some reason Di Maria is listed as an attacking midfielder in this list. That is where he scores the highest points. He is equal with Ozil as an attacking midfielder. It is worth noting this season that this season Di Maria is slightly ahead of Ozil in terms of goals and assists. He has started 23 games scoring 6 and assisting 9, while Ozil has started 16 games scoring 3 and assisting 3. Also note that Ozil had a so called bad season last season, yet he he reached double figures in goals (11) from midfield and 20 assists in his first season in the premier league.

Wingers: Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanches score the highest in these positions. Valencia the highest challenger from Man Utd. Bot Cazorla and Sanchez are in the top 5 wingers in the league. Note that Theo Walcott has a higher rating than Valencia.

Strikers: Manchester United definitely have the better goal scorers. That is reflected in the fact that RVP and Falcao both score highly in the Fifa 15 ratings list. Rooney is also only one point behind. Again like De Gea there is no argument that Arsenal are better up front.

Arsenal = 7

Man Utd = 2

Tied = 2

Shawcross to Arsenal? Worst rumour ever

The award for the most outlandish rumour has to go the Express. Yes silly season is here, we have been linked to the signing of Ryan Shawcross. I would like to think that a source provided them with the rumour but it seems that they have put two and two together and pulled out Shawcross’s name.

The quotes from Wenger do not once mention that we had to buy a no nonsense English centre back. The paper took some quotes from Wenger praising John Terry and spun this into us looking at Shawcross.

Whats more odd is that the paper then go onto say that Wenger stated he could compromise on footballing ability to get in a hardman. There is no direct quote for this anywhere in the article. It also goes against all of Wenger’s principles to do this.

If we look at Shawcross’s ability then he is no where near the standard of John Terry. He is dirtier (if thats even possible) and does not have the nous of Terry. When I hear stories like this it makes me wonder why we did not put more interest in Cahill before he went to Chelsea.

The final reason to suggest that we will not be signing the Stoke captain is that he is hated throughout the club. The fans absolutely despise him as does Aaron Ramsey (and I am sure many other players). He also is the first Stoke player to put Arsenal down when he gets a chance.

Thanks to the Express, this made me laugh.

Cazorla, Ramsey & Gibbs – Players of 2014

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When looking back over 2014 there has to be mixed feelings for Arsenal fans. We started the year top of the league and were the best side in the tail end of 2013. We also ended the year badly in the Premier League, currently sitting way off the title contending pace (Even if injuries are effecting our position). The good thing about 2014 was that we broke the trophy drought and won two trophies (You got me, I count the Community Shield) as well as securing our usual Champions League place.

Another positive is the fight shown by the players over the year. After being humiliated by all our rivals we still ended the season with more to show than Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Tottenham combined.

When thinking of our best player of 2014, my vote would have to go to Santi Cazorla. This may not be most peoples choice of players but I will explain why I feel he slightly edges out Aaron Ramsey and Kieron Gibbs (Yes you heard right).

1. Santi Cazorla: He was the catalyst for the FA cup win. Scoring the first goal against Spurs in one of his best displays of the year and the all important first goal in the final. He also played his part in the Liverpool game. If he had not scored the free kick in the final I believe Wenger would now be sitting in Paris. He has also finished the year on a high with lots of goals of late and assists. This is when Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshire are all out injured. We have also seen him drop back a bit deeper where he put in lots of shifts. Still bugs me that he doesn’t take all our set pieces. #Worldclass

2. Aaron Ramsey: This year Ramsey became a man. For a while in the 2013/2014 season he was looking like the best player in the league. A lot of his good work came pre January although he did carry his form over. Injuries robbed him of being the man of 2014. The FA cup final winner and scoring again at Wembley in the community shield marked his transformation. With Ozil and Sanchez he is now a go to man.

3. Kieran Gibbs: It is hard to judge Gibbs when he plays with a make shift back four. When Koscielny plays he is a much better defender. He saw a better year in terms of injuries and was part of the 3rd best defence in the premier league last season. At times he has made errors but he has also made big saves. One that springs to mind is the clearance in the FA Cup final. That would have killed us. I also remember his late goal in the Champions League this season. He has also been recognised by England. #BestEnglishLB  

Others who were close:

Ozil – Had a bigger impact than people think this year

Sanchez – Love him but he has only been with us since Septemebr

Koscielny – One of the standout CB’s in the league, injuries have cost him

Have your vote as to who is Arsenal’s man of 2014 and don’t forget to comment: