Daily Archives: October 31, 2016

Thoughts of Ramsey’s Return to Full Fitness


SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal vies with Patrick van Aanholt of Sunderland during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Arsenal at Stadium of Light on October 29, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

For those that watched the European Championships last summer, they must have been astonished with the performance of the Welsh national team. Reaching the semifinals of their maiden Euros was a monumental achievement but there were certain players that played key roles in reaching that feat. Gareth Bale accepted his talismanic role with full responsibility and scored many important goals for his nation as they progressed in the tournament. Another instrumental player was the blonde Aaron Ramsey that was a vital cog in the Welsh midfield engine and his absence in the semis against Portugal was a bitter pill to swallow.

Unlike Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud that were given extended breaks from their Euro exertions, Ramsey started in the curtain raiser against Liverpool and suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury that sidelined him for months. In all honesty, his absence from the team wasn’t felt as Santi Cazorla, Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny took turns to fill up the holding midfield slots. Coquelin suffered an injury against Chelsea that paved the way for Xhaka to get an extended run on the side but the Swiss maverick earned himself a red card against Swansea, thereby suspending him for three games.

Arsenal’s depth was on the spotlight, showing how much things have improved at the club, and people tend to forget that a certain Jack Wilshere is plying his trade at Bournemouth because he couldn’t break into the first team. The Gunners suffered a big blow when Cazorla got a knock against Ludogorets a fortnight ago and for some reason, he hasn’t recovered. With the North London derby and a trip to Old Trafford in the horizon, the club would be hoping their Spanish magician recovers on time but with the depth available, Cazorla doesn’t have to be used against Ludogorets tomorrow.

Which brings us to Ramsey. He’s fit again and he’s raring to go. Endured a brief cameo against Sunderland and even managed an assist for Alexis Sanchez. The Welshman will be itching to make up for lost time and with Cazorla out of action, he would be hoping to get the nod for the trip to Bulgaria. His manager, Arsene Wenger, is quite elated about his return to full fitness,

“He is a player who is box-to-box so overall he pushes the team forward. That is what we want in our side. He can play in holding midfield, he can play if needed on the flanks as well. That’s where he is not happy but he can play there as well.”

“He has a tremendous drive, he’s a bit Lampard-ish you know, where he likes to get in the box, likes to shoot from distance and has similar quality.”

However, the manager is trying to be cautious on throwing Ramsey into action,

“I don’t know. I  will have to analyse all that now, with Xhaka back. We play now in the Champions League and then we play Tottenham.

“So I have to see who I rest and who I play without diminishing the chance of the team to win the game.”

With the depth available in the squad, there would be no need to rush Ramsey into action, so that there would be no risk of aggravating his injury, but it’s really heartwarming to know that he’s available for selection.


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