Why Aaron Ramsey's red card v Besiktas isn't all bad for Arsenal

The Gunners may actually benefit from the Welshman's suspension for the second leg of their Champions League play-off.

At first sight, Aaron Ramsey's red card against Besiktas may provide an extremely worrying thought for Arsenal fans.

Ramsey, Arsene Wenger's main man, is out of the do-or-die clash that will determine the club's European status this season. The powerhouse midfielder that makes the Gunners tick will be out of a game Arsenal have to win - or be absent from the Champions League for the first time in years.

Beneath the surface, however, the Welshman's sending off may prove a blessing in disguise.

Here's why...

  TeamPosWon TackleAccurate PassTouchesSuccessful Final Third PassesAppsMins
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 4 92 134 31 1 90
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 4 100 120 23 1 90
Calum Chambers Arsenal DF 4 86 111 12 1 90
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 1 69 107 32 1 90
Alexis Sánchez Arsenal FW 2 47 102 23 1 90
Mathieu Debuchy Arsenal DF 2 44 92 13 1 90

As Opta stats show, Ramsey was a huge influence for Arsenal against Crystal Palace at the weekend, despite not looking at his typical best.

The 23-year-old won four tackles, made 92 accurate passes and took more touches than any other Gunner. He also completed 31 final-third passes, only bettered by Santi Cazorla - who struggled in other key areas in Arsenal's Premier League opener.

That proves Ramsey's influence in domestic games; the midfielder was Wenger's best player in the league when at the top of his game last season by a stretch.

But Ramsey is being used increasingly frequently by his manager. He played throughout Arsenal's pre-season and in the Community Shield, as well as playing 90 minutes against Palace and then (almost) 90 against Besiktas.

Now suspended for the second leg, the rest will do Ramsey good, allowing him to focus on facing Everton this weekend - a tough clash for the Gunners at Goodison Park.

There, of course, the 23-year-old will need to be at his best, as the returning Mesut Ozil will not be fully fit on his first match back. Instead, Ozil can take over the mantle against Besiktas, where his creativity should immensely benefit Arsenal at the Emirates.

Ramsey, though, will be much better suited against Everton, before he can then lead his side - fresh from a week's rest from games - against Leicester City the following weekend.

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