Twenty-four hours later and our victory over Wigan still feels very good. After a number of recent ‘one-nil to the Arsenal’ scores it was great to score four goals, and have all three attackers involved in either goals or assists. Arsenal needed this game to give us new momentum, and with that the believe and energy that we can finish the job against The Magpies this weekend.
A lot has been said about the need to introduce a more complete defensive midfielder this summer, but it cannot be denied that the combination of Ramsey and Arteta is working for us right now. At times, these two remind me of MU’s Carrick and Fletcher in previous seasons: solid midfielders with little flair but with a great work-rate and positional awareness. These are not the sort of footballers that will keep you awake at night, but they are like the feet of the swan working their socks off, allowing it to move graciously along. Not that we have been gracious a lot in recent months, but I hope you get the gist…
We all know that Arteta brings this to the party, but the current player of the month, Rambo, might now have found his niche within the team, by occupying the spot next to El Zorro. There is little doubt in my mind that Arsene needs to make changes in midfield over the summer, but he will be very glad that the Rambo-Arteta tandem, among other changes, has made such a difference in the final, and most vital, part of the season.
Ramsey could well become our Parlour of this decade, as he has a similar drive and great motor, and does not mind to do the dirty work at all. Any good team can do with a player in the squad – not necessarily in the first-eleven – who brings such energy and commitment in midfield, and Ramsey fits this role really well. We should also take into account that he is effectively only 21, having missed up to 1.5 years as a result of his horrific leg-break. He will get better, possibly much better in coming seasons, and it is essential now to keep him in the squad.
The injury to Arteta is quite a worry right now. We know from the previous season we can struggle if and when Arteta does not play, so hopefully his injury is not too bad.
But let’s have a look at how Arsenal can replace him. Wilshere does not look fully fit and it is questionable whether he can play an entire game, so a combination of Rambo and him does not look like a good option. We could try Coquelin and Rambo, but the Frenchman did not have many games in the first team, and I for one, would feel uncomfortable bringing him into our crucial game against NU.
As a few others have mentioned on the blog in the last twenty-four hours, Vermaelen would be a very good option to play next to Ramsey. He would bring extra steel – tackling and aerial power – and energy, and I am sure he would be really up for it. Key would be for him to stay calm and time his tackles well, and as he could be a bit rusty, there is some risk of this. I am not entirely sure how good he would be at reading the game in midfield, but I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, as his other qualities will be very valuable at least. So Vermaelen-Rambo for me on Sunday.
Finally, I like to say something about Theo. How important has he been for us in the last few games? Scored the only goal against QPR – two points worth – the only goal against MU – one point worth – and scored the all-important second against Wigan last night. Theo with consistency would be as valuable as Ronaldo, but he clearly is not of that calibre; although, he is also still young and will develop further.
His stats this season are fantastic again and what an important (re)signing he has been for us. And when he goes through a difficult patch again, let’s stay behind him and know that sooner or later he will bring home the bacon again.
Written by: TotalArsenal.
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