By 1970’s Gooner
We all know that Arsenal’s midfield will be significantly poorer for Arteta’s absence.
His role both as a calm and experienced midfielder who among other roles is sitting back and shoring up our line of protection in that vital area is immense. This is especially true when Song ventures forward, as he often does.
One wonders therefore how his absence will be filled in so that the imbalance is mitigated to a satisfactorily effective level. For imbalances in team selection are often a very significant reason for tasting defeats and heavy ones at that.
Add to the mix the forced absence of Benayoun who has been in form lately and you have real selection problems.
The two candidates are The Ox and Ramsey (Diaby and Coquelin are not yet match fit). Ramsey would be an obvious choice as central midfield has been his position in so many starts this season.
But I am sorry, he has not impressed. If anything he has failed to make an impact worthy of Wenger’s faith in him.
I have written not so long ago on this subject with regard to Wenger’s insistence in starting him for successive games, day in day out, and hoping that with more games he will improve (just as he did with Fabregas who took the chance by the horns and Denilson who miserably failed).
Ramsey at the moment cannot be an effective midfielder as he neither creates chances for the forwards nor does he defend anywhere as efficiently as Arteta, Rosicky or Song can. He also fluffs his chances in front of goal as we have seen time and time again.
Picking Ramsey in a trio of midfielders with Song and Rosicky would in my opinion result in Chelsea overrunning us in that vital area with dire consequences.
The Ox on the other hand is a different proposition. He has shown that he is very tenacious in his marking and tackling of opponents.
He has played in that position against Milan and was quite effective. He was actually brilliant in that game. And he has shown that he is not phazed at all by the big occasions.
At the moment he is a far more effective player than Ramsey and if you are good enough then you are old enough.