Arsenal have for far too long been relying on players that seem unable to drag the side out of a situation in which they need to be gritty and grind out a result. A player like Alexis Sanchez has added both immense skill along with tenacity, but there are still players that don’t pull their weight in other respects.
Many fans have claimed that Aaron Ramsey is one such player. The Welshman is undoubtedly a talented player, but he has been largely criticised by supporters and pundits alike.
Ramsey was an integral part of the Welsh side that stormed to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, putting in a number of inspiring performances in a team that are not as technically gifted as Arsenal. Along with Gareth Bale and Joe Allen, Ramsey led from the front and the levels he was playing at had many Gunners’ fans hugely excited about his potential.
However, his performances have been inconsistent, to say the least. Ramsey was abject in Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool as he and Granit Xhaka disappeared when Arsenal needed them most. Neither player is particularly good defensively, with both preferring to show off their ability further forward.
Of the two, Ramsey is the more talented, with Xhaka a rash figure that can often make the wrong decision at the wrong time. The Welshman, on the other hand, is better at choosing the right pass at the right time, but he is all too often bypassed in midfield.
Ramsey doesn’t really feature in the forward grouping that Wenger utilises, which means he is most likely used in deeper midfield. The problem with Ramsey is that he is neither a defensive-midfielder nor an attacking midfielder, he is a classic centre-midfielder. Ramsey is able to drop in and help defensively, while he is also able to get forward, but he seems to struggle to commit to one or the other.
Therefore, Arsenal will not be able to rely on the Welshman until either he can learn to play in one of the two roles more effectively, or Wenger decides to utilise classic centre-midfielders.