Daily Archives: October 25, 2013
The dust following the narrow loss to Borussia Dortmund has finally settled and all focus is firmly fixed on getting back to winning ways against Crystal Palace in the Saturday lunch fixture. Arsenal comes up against a side devoid of its manager and word on the street is that the dreadful Tony Pulis has been touted as the media favorite to get the job.
With the Gunners still without some of its key personnel, there’s a concern for Jack Wilshere as he’s suffering from an ankle injury and he may be rested for the game against Crystal Palace. Theo Walcott is still a couple of weeks away, Abou Diaby is out for all eternity, Yaya Sanogo is still suffering from a back strain, Lukas Podolski is recuperating slowly from his hamstring injury and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still recovering slowly from the nasty knee injury he suffered on the opening fixture of the season.
In this ever-increasing injury list, the only player that would be assured of a first-team berth will certainly be Theo Walcott but as Arsenal Arsenal asked, how will the Ox get back into this side?
In the absence of Walcott and his natural replacement, the Ox, Arsene Wenger has fielded Serge Gnabry on the right wing and you’d expect the youngster to get a run-out in the upcoming Capital One Cup fourth round fixture against Chelsea. In other games when experience was needed, Wenger has fielded Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey in the position.
Speaking of Ramsey, the Welsh dragon has been on the spotlight not for his charming looks, amazing work rate or scintillating goal haul, but due to the fact that he has received praise from his former teammate, Francesc Fabregas.
The team was built around Fabregas when Ramsey joined the club in 2008, but the Spanish midfield maestro stated in an interview with the Guardian that he feels he dented Ramsey’s progress while they played together at Arsenal,
“I watch the way Ramsey is playing now, how he looks so liberated, and I think maybe I blocked his way. Maybe I was an obstacle. Sometimes you need someone to leave for you to step forward and say: ‘I’m here.’”
“Ramsey is one of those that you look at and think: ‘He doesn’t stand out in any specific quality, but he does everything, everything, well.’ His touch is good, his movement’s good, now he’s scoring goals too, providing assists.”
After Fabregas departed to join Barcelona, Wenger tasked Ramsey with the enormous job of being Arsenal’s creative hub but he struggled for form, making him a lightning rod for vitriol and abuse. The transition wasn’t easy as Rosicky, another creative outlet, spent a lot of time injured and with $amir Na$ri enjoying the petro-greens of Manchester City, Robin van Persie had to fashion some goals all by himself in what proved to be his last season with the club.
Ramsey’s progress has been steep and it can only get better for the Welsh Dragon and with nine goals already to his name this campaign, more will be expected of the midfielder and as he has shown this season, he’s ready to step up for the good of the team.
Fabregas also professed his hopes of returning to the club in the future (as he always does) but he also took some time out to laud Arsenal’s new creator-in-chief, Mesut Ozil, stating that the German schemer will bring the best out of Ramsey, Wilshere and Arsenal at large. Since Fabregas left, the Gunners lacked that cutting edge from midfield and it came back in the form of Santi Cazorla. Having Ozil alongside the diminutive Spanish magician is one hell of a mouthwatering prospect.
Finally, there’s some ongoing speculation (via Gooner Head) that Arsenal’s shot stopper, Wojciech Szczesny, has refused to sign a new deal with the club. After a rib injury to Lukasz Fabianski paved the way for the Pole to return to the side, he has been on good form and he carried it into the new campaign keeping six clean sheets thus far this season.
But unlike Bacary Sagna whose contract expires this summer, Szczesny would have a year left in his contract this summer and it seems as if the Arsenal hierarchy has learned from the transfer shenanigans caused by Robin van Persie, Gael Clichy and $amir Na$ri when they had one year left on their respective contract and the Gunners are keen to avoid another summer of turmoil by swooping early to make Szczesny sign a new deal.
Apparantly, it is believed that Szczesny wants pay parity with the top dogs in the club but his agent has denied these claims. Szczesny has been at the club since 2006 and he’s just 23 so his best years are well ahead of him.
For everyone’s sake, I hope he remains at Arsenal.
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