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Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey admits frustration over wide position

Ramsey

Following a peculiar 1-0 defeat at home to Swansea City, a match in which Arsenal dominated possession, Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey voiced his displeasure with his new wide role with the team.

The Wales international said, “It (playing out on the right) is not my preferred position.  I am a central midfielder and that’s where I like to be.  I like to be involved a lot more in the game.  But the manager’s asked me to do a job out there, and I do have the license to drift in and get involved.”

“When we are defending, I have to stay in position but when we get the ball I can drift.  I am not a winger, I can’t knock the ball beyond my man like Theo (Walcott) does.  I prefer to get in the little pockets of space, get involved and play the combinations but it is important to do a job for the team.”

Ramsey also added that nagging injuries during the season have impeded him from fully settling in.  The 24-year-old stated, “The season has been a bit stop-start for me and that’s been frustrating.  It takes you a few games to get into a routine each time you come back.  But other than that I’ve been quite happy.  I’ve got into double figures again for goals this season and added a few assists, too.  We’ve still got some games to go so I want to score a few more yet.”

Although Ramsey has missed eight Premier League matches due to injuries, he has still put in a solid campaign for the Gunners.  However, Ramsey’s issue of not playing in his normal central midfield role ultimately comes down to a domino effect with other Arsenal players in the starting lineup.  Santi Cazorla, who can play in a plethora of positions due to his ambidexterity and versatility, has taken over at Ramsey’s accustomed role in the team, playing alongside defensive midfield boss Francis Coquelin.

Cazorla’s preferred position is certainly in the number 10 role.  The Spain international has thrived in the attacking midfield position this season (five goals and six assists in 10 starts); however, Mesut Özil has seized the number 10 role since his own return from injury at the beginning of the calendar year.

While Özil is a world-class caliber player, he is not as versatile as Cazorla and his best position by far is also as an attacking midfielder.  The Germany international has featured out on the flank at times, but not nearly with the same success as in the number 10 role.  With Özil having to play in the advanced midfield position, Cazorla has been forced to play another spot on the field.

Despite the fact that manager Arsene Wenger has utilized Cazorla out on the flank in years past, Wenger has made the decision to put the 30-year-old Spaniard in the central midfield and use Ramsey out wide since the beginning of April.

For the record, Ramsey is correct in saying that he is much better used as a central midfielder than on the outside, and his lack of blistering pace is a major reason why.  Nevertheless, Wenger has a bit a problem, but not necessarily a terrible problem to have, as he has three outstanding midfielders that he needs to make room for in the Arsenal starting XI.  Cazorla and Özil have both been shortlisted for the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, and Ramsey is certainly one of the top Premier League midfielders under the age of 25.

 

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