Arsenal’s Options for Aaron Ramsey’s Temporary Replacement

Arsenal’s Options for Aaron Ramsey’s Temporary Replacement
Who will Wenger choose to replace the Welsh Wizard while he is injured?

Even if Arsenal’s triumphant 3-1 victory against West Ham boosted them into first place in the Premier League, it definitely didn’t come without sacrifice. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey suffered a serious muscle injury to his thigh with just around 25 minutes left of the game against West Ham.

Ramsey has undoubtedly been one of Arsenal’s best players this season. With 13 goals in all competitions, the Welsh Wizard is the Gunners top scorer as well. reports that the Welshman turned out for Arsenal 47 times last season, making him a consistent performer for the team and one which would prove a safe bet for any sports fans prior to his injury. In addition to Ramsey’s efforts, Arsenal has managed to score the first goal in the league this season more than any of the other football clubs, with 13 openers in 16 matches. It’s a shame that Ramsey will be taking a leave of absence from the pitch as his odds for scoring the first goal were very much in the favour of the betting man. In a recent interview Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger confirmed the seriousness of the Welshman’s muscle injury and reiterated that he wouldn’t be in contention for a while.

“It looks (serious),” Arsene Wenger disclosed on “It looks like a thigh strain. I don’t know how serious the thigh strain is…I don’t know how long he will be out for.”

However, in a recent update on Ramsey’s injury, it would seem that the midfielder would be absent for 3 weeks to rest his injured leg. Currently, the betting industry predicts that with the Welsh Wizard’s absence, the Gunners odds to win the premier league was at 4/1.


During Ramsey’s absence, one of the players that Arsenal can replace him with is German veteran Podolski, just like what the team did in the previous match, thus moving Santi Cazorla into an attacking central midfield role.

After winning against West Ham, Wenger expressed a few opinions on
“On the pitch we had Podolski and Walcott and Giroud and Ozil and Cazorla you know when you lose the ball you can be a bit vulnerable but we had to go for it.”
From a defensive point, Wenger may have some reservations replacing Ramsey with Podolski with Wenger likely concerned with balancing the team defensively. Perhaps the Gunners’ relief will come in the form of Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere, or perhaps Laurent Koscielny. Centre back Koscielny has just returned from an injury in the latest match with West Ham and seemed to be near to his best, once more. Koscielny has been a consistent player for Arsenal and his collaboration with Mertesacker on the field has been really great, again this season.


Will Arsene make key signings part of his New Year resolution?

So Arsenal start the New Year in 1st place, a hard fought victory over a stubborn Cardiff team ensured they stayed there. The proud record of being the best performing team of 2013 can be seen as the perfect springboard to continue the improvement into 2014 and hopefully reap the benefits come the end of the football season.

The fans are happy (well most of them) and will no doubt be settling back into their normal routines following all the festive fun. As the majority of us tend to do in the New Year goals are set, a chance to put right the wrongs of the previous year with new gym routines or money saving tactics. We all enter into these with the best of intentions unfortunately the motivation dies before March is with us.

It would be nice to think that Arsene has incorporated some resolutions to help Arsenal for the second half of the season. The ideal resolution would be to make some key January signings.
As we all know Arsene isn’t a big fan of January buys, the Frenchman has a lot of faith in his squads and doesn’t tend to put his hand in his pocket at this time of year unless his hand is forced or a super bargain is available. One of the main requirements this season is a top quality striker to share the burden with Olivier Giroud. Will Arsene buy or will he see the recent change in Bendtner worth waiting for him to recover from his recent injury rather than purchase a player? Although whilst still an Arsenal player I’d back Bendtner 100% every time he goes out on the pitch I don’t see Bendtner part of any long term plans and for that reason it may suit both parties that he finds new employers during the transfer window.


Arsene is also a big fan of adaptability in his players and he has said it in the past that Walcott and Podolski are very much able deputies to the central striking role. The recent return of Podolski has already prefilled the possible quotation of “like a new signing” though the German hasn’t quite grasped the opportunity in that role with both hands. His goal in the West Ham game reminded us of his valuable contribution to the team though his starting role in the Cardiff game in the central striking position was slightly underwhelming.

Podolski is one of the best finishers at the club and certainly offers a goal threat but at the times he has played in the central striking role it hasn’t quite clicked. This is taking into account times he played there before his injury also. One game does not condemn a player and you never know he could well grow into the role; he also didn’t have the luxury of the creative talents of Ozil and Ramsey at his disposal. Flamini has been a great acquisition to the Arsenal team this season but his performance in an advanced role on New Year’s Day was rather limited in the attacking third whilst Arteta covered.

Walcott also offers a goal threat though question marks will always remain over his effectiveness with his back to goal as opposed to the outlet of pace he offers on the wing. What we gain in Walcott playing central we lose from him not playing wide.

Taking all this into account a striking addition to the squad would be the best option, a loan or permanent transfer? If a top quality player can be brought in on loan I don’t see why not. A permanent arrangement can be readdressed in the summer. If it’s the difference between playing over the odds fees for a player and assessing a potential signing up close in the short term for peanuts then we all know which option our manager would rather take.

In addition to that a central defensive signing would be reassuring, beyond the excellence of the Koscielny/Mertesacker and the cover from Vermaelen there aren’t much options at all. Given Arsenal’s injury history it would be foolish to rely on the current partnership not receiving another injury for the rest of the season. Vermaelen is an able deputy but in recent times the Belgian has hardly been injury free himself.

per and kos

Arsene has never been one to recall players from on loan during injury crisis’s and so if the worst was to happen the next step would be to rejig the whole defence by slotting Sagna into the middle or calling upon the services of Isaac Hayden. Not ideal given the massive chance the club has of winning the title this year, the last thing Arsenal fans would want to do is feel regret at the missed opportunity of strengthening to enhance the clubs chances for silverware.

Well, Arsenal has a month to hopefully make the right signings and give the rest of the season a good go. Signings for the future are not required at present, focus really needs to be on the now, it’s the clubs best chance in years to bring in a trophy.

Enjoy your day people.

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The Latest (Boring) Transfer Rumours

What a delight to read in the newspapers this weekend of Arsenal’s supposed interest in Torino winger, Alessio Cerci, and Pato of Corinthians.
Alessio Cerci
According to most of the red tops, Arsene Wenger is ready to swoop in and beat Manchester United to Cerci’s signature (how often have we heard that line before?). Meanwhile, the boss has already agreed a £10m deal for Pato (we’ve definitely head that before!).
It all makes very good reading – if only it were remotely true.
The fans’ desperation for football news and the media’s obsession with filling their columns with eye-grabbing stories means we’re subjected to rumours on a daily basis. Last year, Arsenal were dead certs in the football betting odds to land Marouane Fellaini; the year before that it was Klaas-Jan Huntelaar; while Wenger is still waiting for Yann M’Vila to turn up at the Emirates.
And, after all these rumours, who did Wenger actually sign this summer? A £40m world-class midfielder no one had linked to the club, plus free agents, Mathieu Flamini and Yaya Sanogo.
Mesut Özil’s arrival proves transfer rumours are completely irrelevant, unreliable, and based on false, or at least misleading, ‘intel’. The buzz that surrounds social media when Wenger is ‘in for a top European striker’ is quite ridiculous. Fans who bet on football know the manager rarely parts with his cash  but, if the papers were to be believed, Wenger would have a squad pushing 80 in numbers.
wenger ball
The international break makes it worse because there really is nothing to talk about over the weekend. Fingers crossed when Arsenal return to action against Southampton this Saturday, the focus will revert back to the pitch and back to the title race.
Guest post brought to you courtesy of Joe Short.

Enjoy your day people.

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Ozil unveiled at Arsenal while Pearce’s words are questioned.

The international inter-lull has finally moved along after overstaying its welcome and the real football we all appreciate returns this weekend. The highs of the North London derby victory over Tottenham and the ground breaking, record signing of German Mesut Ozil have tailed off in the midst of the World Cup qualifying campaign. In fairness the name of Mesut Ozil has not been far from the lips of Arsenal fans on a daily basis since September the 2nd and if anything the excitement factor has steadily grown as his impending debut for the Gunners draws ever closer.

The players returned to training yesterday following the international break and the opportunity was taken by the club to promote Ozil’s first training session with his teammates. His welcome to the club may not be of Real Madrid proportions with the filled stadiums and go-go dancers but it is quite clear his acquisition is appreciated by all associated with the club. Ozil was able to provide his first proper Arsenal interview from within the club and he did not disappoint, he took the opportunity to state his desire to play for Arsenal. He stated his admiration for the way the club has improved the careers of players to become some of the best players in the world, the names of Henry and Fabregas were mentioned as he exhibited his ambition to be even better than the world class level he is already at.

ozil 11

It is exciting to think of how good he is and the potential he has to be even better. His age is one of the major plus points when acknowledging what a coup his signing is. He has so many years ahead of him and to think he was pinched from Real Madrid at such a stage in his career is still something that cannot be overlooked.

Arsene was full of praise for his latest acquisition and also reiterated the potential Ozil has to become even better. He said:

“He’s at a good age. He is 25 in October and he’s already a great player. There’s room now between 25 and 30 for him to become a dominant player and to make a step up from that”

which is so true and a clear indication that the Arsenal team will be built around the German, the exciting thing about this is if teams decide to focus on nullifying the attacking threat of the German it will only free up space for the other attacking talent in the team. Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Podolski to name a few are all dangerous in and around the box, to focus on just Ozil will just be the opposing team’s funeral.

There may have been a slight chuckle from the press when Ozil was asked if Arsenal could challenge for the league title, but Ozil was totally valid with his response. He didn’t guarantee it could happen but he did not rule out the possibility either. He is accepting of the football philosophy at the club and will do all he can to help the club achieve success. He said:

“We want to play attractive football to improve but of course also successful football. I can’t promise to win trophies but I can promise as a team we can give our all to in trophies.”

I’m pretty sure the club will do all it can and the boost the German has brought to the club is like having a twelfth man on the pitch. The fans will sing louder, the players will raise their game and the opposing teams will feel that little bit of fear going into games.

In other news Phil Jones has spoken out against Stuart Pearce who was overly critical of Jones and our very own Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when discussing the England U-21 team. Pearce’s comments were ones of bitterness and he was quite disrespectful in naming Oxlade-Chamberlain as a player that refused to represent England at the European U-21 championships.


That Phil Jones spoke out and clarified that Roy Hodgson actually had the final say on who from the seniors could play in the tournament only helped showcase Pearce’s pathetic excuse making for the poor showing in the summer. It would be nice if Oxlade-Chamberlain would also come out and back up Phil Jones words just to put Pearce firmly in his place. Additionally the F.A made a statement regarding Pearce’s rant expressing their disappointment in his need to criticize individuals. I for one would like this non-story to filter away and not be a topic that reoccurs and fulfills the former England manager’s intention of destabilizing and affecting the players he mentioned.

Stuart Pearce’s time has come and gone, the club’s focus is now firmly on Sunderland away and obtaining three points. Away to Sunderland is not an easy game and has been quite an eventful fixture over the past few seasons for Arsenal which would make it a tricky betting accumulator.

All in all with the injury picked up by Tomas Rosicky in midweek, the opportunity to see Mesut Ozil grace the pitch in Arsenal colours is heightened. Nonetheless exciting times ahead, roll on Saturday; we have waited too long for the real football to return.

Enjoy your day people.

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One week to go, will Arsenal sign players?

Charity shield, Community shield or whatever it is called is complete meaning there is one week to go before the Premiership season starts. A fairly successful run of pre-season games for Arsenal despite not doing the business in front of their home fans the players can look back on their performances as steady and productive. Fitness and confidence was gained and the only dampener so far has been the lack of any signings to keep the first team players on their toes and heighten the chances for silverware.

With all due respect to Yaya Sanogo his signing is one of promise and potential rather than one to give Olivier Giroud sleepless nights. The young Frenchman has every chance to stake a claim this season but at present there have been no Marquee names walking through the Emirates stadium doors to give the squad and the fans that little lift going into the opening game.

There’s still time for players to be signed before the season starts but there is no time to bed any new players in with a pre-season game to get to know their new team mates. It’s a case of hitting the ground running and maybe Wenger has bided his time because the players he eventually brings in are of quality enough to improve the team without the need to acclimatize or require a run of games.

I’m not sure if any other player has been talked about moving to Arsenal so much as Higuain has this summer only for the player to move on elsewhere. The irony of him making his debut against Arsenal for his new club was the icing on the cake. Whether the change in pursuing the player was down to Real Madrid hiking the price or whether Luis Suarez was deemed a far better option only the Manager and his backroom team will know but as it stands the Suarez situation looks just as doomed given Liverpool FC’s stance on the matter.

The latest name linked is Luiz Gustavo, it has been alleged that the club are in talks with the player over a £14m move to the Emirates. Great news if true however Arsenal’s summer of the boy who cried wolf is sure to have the fans half lift an eyebrow to such news.

gustavo bm

With Gervinho gone and now Chamakh’s move to Crystal Palace 99% confirmed it really seems weird to see so many outgoing this summer and no replacements signed as yet. Gustavo could be the defensive midfield cover we have been screaming out for to at least replace the void left by Alex Song however we are still very light at the back and require an attacking alternative to Olivier Giroud.

Arsene Wenger does seem to have a vision of a squad that multi-task and fits into other positions when needed, an admirable attribute for a player to have but if a player is covering for another players position then we lose that players contribution in their strongest position. I’m a strong believer in players playing in their strongest position, covering every once in a blue moon but not relying on it constantly throughout a season. There should always be quality cover for every position much like we have at the full back positions each of the four Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs and Monreal are as good as 1st choice full-backs in their own right. We need similar strength throughout the squad.

One week until season kicks off and another few weeks before the transfer window closes, the timing isn’t ideal but Arsene still has time to turn things around and make his summer business a success.

Enjoy your day people.

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