Aaron Ramsey came on as a second half substitute for Tomas Rosicky in Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory over West Ham at the Emirates.
23-year-old Aaron Ramsey came off the bench against West Ham last night, in his brightest game yet since he came back from injury against Everton.
Ramsey came on in the 72nd minute on Tuesday night with the North Londoners leading the Hammers 2-1 and his impact was immediate as he provided the assist for Arsenal’s third goal of the evening to put the game to bed – a neatly placed header into the path of Lukas Podolski in the 78th minute just six minutes after he arrived on the pitch.
The match also marked the first full debut for January signing Kim Kallstrom who played in a central holding midfield role for the much of the game alongside vice captain Mikel Arteta.
Back at the beginning of the season, Ramsey had been the Gunners’ most influential player, playing as a ‘complete’ central midfielder, scoring, making key passes, driving runs forward, as well as tackles and chasing back.
Coming on for Rosicky late in the game on Tuesday, he appeared to fill in an attacking midfield role.
As he entered the field of play he gestured to Arteta and Kallstrom that he would play in the hole ahead of them, in much the same position Jack Wilshere has operated earlier this season prior to his ankle injury.
I suspect if the likes of the England youngster and Mesut Ozil were fit, Ramsey may well have been deployed in central midfield but I couldn’t help but ponder why he shouldn’t be played as an attacking midfielder in that No.10 role.
He was until his injury the Gunners’ top scorer – he has scored 13 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions this term across just 29 appearances.
He has averaged a goal every 181 minutes, effectively a goal every other game and his assist record is as impressive as Wilshere’s, the actual Arsenal No.10 has five assists to his name in all competitions (and five goals too) and Ramsey tends to pop up in the box at just the right time to be decisive in games almost instinctively.
I suppose, if both Ramsey and Wilshere are fit, Ramsey would return to his central midfield role – predominantly because of the protection he offers in central areas ahead of the back line but it’s not as if Wilshere doesn’t like to make a tackle or two either. Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Kallstrom too could alternate in that holding defensive midfield role in front of the backline but surely Ramsey and Wilshere could rotate too.
When Ozil is fit, you’d have to think he’d get the nod for the playmaker ahead of either of them, as well as Rosicky and Santi Cazorla but I would be interested to see in the future if Ramsey could function as a No.10.
He has surely got the talent, the determination and the creativity for it, as evidence by his bursting run into the penalty area and an arched header to place the ball directly into the path of Podolski for the Gunners’ third of the night.