What Will Arsene Do with Ramsey: Nr10, B2B, Right Wing, Sell?

What is Wenger going to do to with all those quality midfielders?


During the first half of yesterday’s game against Viking FK I was salivating over the midfield brilliance of both Santi and Elneny. The Spaniard was the master of creation and the Egyptian the master of efficiency, and together they bossed the midfield and gave total direction to our game. I know the opposition was not great, but they were keen on stopping us in midfield in the first half and Elneny and Santi, supported by Le Coq, made sure we were boss.

I reckon our riches in midfield will give us a great chance to win the title this year.

I love Elneny and like Santi very much; I also rate Le Coq very highly. I would be more than happy for these three to start against Pool or the Foxes. But…. we also have Xhaka, Wilshere, Rambo and Mesut and they are at least as good as the trio that started against Viking FK.

What an embarrassment of riches for Arsene; or is this actually causing him a big problem as he surely cannot keep everybody happy?

The cheapest of them all, Elneny, is an absolute must for me. He brings that defensive discipline and precision in passing we have missed for so long. He also brings that bit of extra physicality and football intelligence, and on top of all of this he has a good goal threat, both in the box and through his shooting from distance.

I cannot see him drop Ozil once he is back fully fit and the same surely goes for Xhaka, who will set the tempo from the back according to Wenger. So Xhaka sits deepest, Elneny links up and controls the area behind the attackers and Ozil is the master creator.

I would imagine that Santi could become our super sub and occasional starter to give either of our midfielders a rest; Wenger can probably keep him happy with such an arrangement, which will help the Spaniard to prolong his career significantly.

A fit Wilshere will give Arsene a real headache, especially if all other midfielders are fit as well. But Jack will be happy to work towards his full fitness this season and not have to feel the full pressure of carrying the midfield for the team, so I reckon Arsene will be able to keep him happy with occasional starts for a while.

The one player Wenger might struggle to keep happy is of course Aaron Ramsey.

Many consider him undroppable and his summer performances for Wales are surely an indication that the Welshman is ready for the big time. But where to play him? You may say in the box to box position, but I reckon his defensive skills and focus are not as good as Elneny’s, and, as so often happened in previous seasons, this is likely to leave our defence regularly exposed in the coming season.

This is what Wenger had to say about Ramsey on Arsenal.com:
“I have played him wide sometimes because I feel like he can balance the team well. Of course he wants to play centrally, he wants to play behind the striker. What is the most important thing when you put players in positions is that you have to consider their psychological and physical profiles. Aaron’s psychological profile means that he always wants the ball and always wants to be available, so that’s in the heart of the game.

If you consider his physiological profile, he can absorb all the positions. He is certainly most suited to central midfield because he’s a box-to-box player. I think he likes to come from deep and make runs going forward, so I would think that at the start he would like to play from a deeper position in midfield. That’s more suited to him and therefore that gives him a tactical responsibility for us that he may not have for Wales.”

Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160806/-ramsey-most-suited-to-central-midfield-#5ueHEWibTQ1AZyRB.99

I reckon Arsene’s last sentence is key: Ramsey has a tactical responsibility at Arsenal he did not have at Wales when played in the B2B position. I am confident Wenger got Elneny to fill the B2B role as he oozes with tactical responsibility and has the complete skill set for this crucial position; and I cannot see him leaving the Egyptian on the bench for Ramsey.

But that is just my opinion and I have been wrong before 😉

What do you think Arsene will do with Rambo:

  1. Play him in the B2B role;
  2. Play him in the hole and move Ozil to one of the ‘midwing’ positions;
  3. Play him on the right midwing position;
  4. Or cash in on him now that he has such a deep squad in midfield?
  5. Other

If it was up to me, I would play him on the right wing with an arrangement with Ozil to interchange as much as possible. We will get those extra goals we need from that position from him and yet give Bellerin sufficient defensive support. I can also see a fantastic partnership develop between Bellerin and Rambo…. but what do you think?

By TotalArsenal

9 thoughts on “What Will Arsene Do with Ramsey: Nr10, B2B, Right Wing, Sell?

  • A vital question for us this season TA! 🙂 Under the “other” category and just for kicks, a couple of (highly unlikely to say the obvious) thoughts – use Ramsey as a false 9 with Alexis and Ox/Theo on the wings. Ozil of course being the main play maker. It would give Ramsey the freedom to run around in the final third and he is not too shabby with his shooting and his runs towards goal but we would have neither a speedy runner nor a holding CF. The other is to change the formation to a 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2 with Ramsey/Elneny/Xhaka being the 3 in front of the defense. Regardless, either option would mean sacrificing a conventional striker.

    For a more sane proposal, I would agree with you that the right wing might be the best position for him. Have to wonder if he might partner with Xhaka and keep Elneny/Coq on the bench for some games. I just cannot see Wenger selling him or displacing Ozil.

  • T ! My favorite theme. I always note how difficult we are to break down when Ramsey plays on right and is allowed to float around .. in attack and defense. In defense he’s above average helping the rb, but also overloads midfield when he can, great tackler, which makes it feel almost like a 12th man.

    I hope that Arsene will try it in big grudge matches like vs Peps talented ballers, Contes stubborn, tight style, and especially The translator (el traductor) at Man U. I would love to frustrate him equally with Xhaka, le coq (or El Neny) and Ramsey .. to suffocate their already boring style, and show Miktarian that he chose the wrong team in England, and that the extra salary wasnt worth it.
    Also I’d put that tough group set up against Spurs, who are a bunch of thugs, loaded with defensive midfielders, who stupidly added Wanyama, foul much more than any other team, and kick the crap out of our guys unpunished every time. Even our toughest defensive lineup can out play them. Overrated in my book.

    Other opponents, we can play around and tinker with personnel and formations , but i hope we take those i mentioned, along with champions league much more seriously.

  • Yes TA, it is going to be a puzzle that is not easily solved.

    My view is well documented that your Number 3 is a complete ‘No! No!’, for the following reasons:
    1, He deserts the wide position, whether or not someone else replaces him, and for the reasons that the AW quote explains.
    2, Even if ‘switching’ positions with Ozil, it is not a like for like swap. Ramsey has played at RB, and can do a defensive job. Ozil is a creative midfielder. Net result, Bellerin gets exposed.
    3, This is probably the most important. We have players who can play on the wide right, Campbell, Iwobi, Walcott, and this season, Ox is looking the strongest candidate. The latter will take the ball to the byline and put crosses in, and interacts well with Bellerin, as both can offer each other space. The problem that he had last season, and I think the others are guilty of most of the time, is their instant desire to want to turn inside and be a part of the action in the middle. The role outside is there for the taking for Ox, if he continues to the playing the ‘team’ game.

    Of all the suggestions, I like St. Henry’s first choice best, but is does create problems when you start to fill in the places in behind. Namely; If Giroud doesn’t play, then you have just two midfield slots beyond Ozil; But if Giroud plays, and Ramsey is the No10, then it is Ozil and one other?
    I think it means from the above, Ramsey will play the B2B role?

    I think you can also draw just one conclusion from all of this. None of the midfield quartet of; Coquelin, Elneny, Ramsey, and Xhaka are going to play every game?
    So a sensible manager will play them according to the form they are showing going into the next game?

  • We hope to play around 60 games in a season. I think both Ramsey and Elneny will have plenty opportunities, though I expect Ramsey to be first choice. Elneny does have a chance to not let Ramsey into the team if he does well in these early games. Though, Wenger did say Ramsey and Alexis could both be available for Liverpool.

    The key part of course, is focus. Playing defense, especially in midfield where you are also expected to contribute going forward, is mostly about your mindset. I’m not one to criticise Ramsey like others do, but sometimes he does go a bit ‘Hollywood’. The fact that he can be a threat going forward is sometimes enough. He doesn’t have to do it every time. Something for him to learn. In this regard, I think Elneny will be good competition for him.

    Arsene just said about his midfielders that his job will be to keep them all happy and their job will be to keep him happy 🙂

    Plus, versatility. In certain games, I think Ramsey will play out wide as an extra midfielder. (Jack can do this too) We’ll play Elneny or Cazorla in the spot next to Xhaka, depending on what we’re looking for and there’s the option of Coquelin for extra roughness or defense. Having this midfield gives us tactical options. Not the hugely dramatic changing formations business that fans seem to idolise about Guardiola, but something more subtle, which is how Wenger does it, and a lot of people refuse to understand. The only worry is getting long term injuries…again…But there’s not a lot you can do about that. Perhaps the use of Jeff in the midfield role (Iwobi also played there before) hints at further options. And what of Zelalem. Is he going on loan again, or staying till at least January to play in the League Cup?

    I think playing Elneny over Ramsey will take away a little something from our attack. Elneny has a good shot on him, but Ramsey is better and gets into the box more. So unless we sign a really creative striker/winger, and/or the Ox comes good, I think goal scoring might prove more difficult without Ramsey.

    At this stage, it is more guesswork because our lineup isn’t complete. Once the window closes, we can re-evaluate where we stand and how we’re going to play.

  • Hi J 🙃

    Fully agreed on playing Rambo on the right against the top teams; it’s a no brainer. Ramsey has the engine to defend AND attack at the same time and it would wipe the smile of the bully’s face. 😀

  • Cheers G 😀

    I reckon Bellerin and Nacho will become less exposed if we play Elneny and Xhaka or Le Coq this season. They will fill in for the attacking mid wingers and give us more balance. Agreed though that Rambo is a better defender than Ozil, but I reckon we we will cope better.

  • Shard 😄

    You summed up the issues re Rambo and Elneny well and I agree to a large extent. For balance I reckon we have to play Elneny next to Xhaka or Le Coq, but Wenger will need to play Rambo somewhere and his goal threat is as much as a bonus as his defensive lapses are a risk. You are probably right that Rambo will start mostly in the b2b position.

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