Monday, January 3, 2011

Arsenal's Future Midfield: Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, the Leading Lights for the Gunners

Arsenal will welcome back youngster Aaron Ramsey from his short loan spell with Nottingham Forest which would have helped him improve his fitness. He is surely short of match fitness and the postponed games because of the snow would have helped his cause. However, he still had some valuable playing time with the club and will build his fitness at Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger has been known for his quality development of young players and he has given lot of playing time to many youngsters. The Frenchman has played an integral role in developing several young players including the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Gael Clichy.

He was distraught when Ramsey was injured by the reckless challenge by Ryan Shawcross but the good thing is that the Welshman has completely recovered from the injury and looks set to make his return in Arsenal colours to provide the Gunners a boost in the second half of the season. However, it is unlikely that he will play enough matches as he would have liked to play because Wenger will ease him into the hardships of the Premier league.

Arsenal and Manchester United were both interested in signing Aaron Ramsey when he was playing for Cardiff City but the Gunners were able to clinch the £5 million deal in the end. Arsene Wenger rates the player very highly and has given him chances to prove his mettle in the Premiership. Though Ramsey was at first used mainly in the Cup ties, he slowly showed his quality which made Wenger play him in the Premier League as well.

If not for his injury, Wenger would have been certainly played Ramsey in a number of games because he knows that the Welsh midfielder is a quality player who can make things happen for the team. As Ramsey made tremendous progress last season at the Emirates, young midfielder Jack Wilshere did not get sufficient playing time in the first half of the previous season at Arsenal.

The versatile English midfielder went to Bolton managed by Owen Coyle on loan in order to prove his credentials in the Premiership. His talent was always undeniable but it was questionable on whether or not he was ready for first team football in the EPL. Coyle was impressed by Wilshere’s quality and the youngster established himself as a part of the first team with Bolton where he impressed.

He had progressed superbly at Bolton which is why Wenger was still in a dilemma on deciding on extending his loan spell with Bolton or sending him on loan to any other club. However Wilshere was outstanding in the pre-season friendlies and the Emirates Cup which made the French tacticians retain his services at Arsenal.

Even Wilshere had not expected himself to make such rapid progress at Arsenal but he established himself as a part of the first team and has regularly played in the deep midfield role for the Gunners. Though Wilshere can play in the attacking midfield role, it is clear that Wenger views his long term future as a deep-lying playmaker who can also make crucial interceptions and tackles defensively. He is a combative midfielder who is ready to stand up to physical challenges and does not get bogged down when things are not going according to plan.

Wilshere playing in deep midfield role augurs well for the future of Arsenal and he can form a devastating partnership with the attacking midfielder as well as Alex Song who is the holding midfielder. The captain Cesc Fabregas is currently the automatic first choice for the attacking midfield role and he has a good understanding with Song and Wilshere which is why Arsenal look strong in the midfield.

However it is expected that Aaron Ramsey will take up the mantle in central midfield in the future and he is expected to play in attacking midfield in the future. Though it is not known how he will play when he returns to the EPL, he is naturally a determined player who can win his fair share of battles in the midfield. He is a decent tackler but his strength lies in his passing range and vision.

Jack Wilshere is good at exchanging quick short passes and rarely does he play long passes and he is not the best at providing killer passes though he will improve a lot in the near future as he plays more games. Aaron Ramsey on the other hand is excellent at providing good through balls and his passing range is excellent.

Their combination along with that of Alex Song could be a dream midfield in the near future. Alex Song seems to have played for a long time but he is only 23 and has a long and bright future at Arsenal in front of him. The Cameroon International has admitted immense love for the club and would surely want to be at Arsenal for many years.

Wilshere likes to drive from deep midfield and can get into dangerous positions and though he has not scored much in his professional career, he will improve on that tally in the future. Cesc Fabregas was also not a prolific scorer in his early career with the Gunners but with time, has developed a superb eye for goal. It is difficult to stop Wilshere’s runs because he interchanges quick passes and possesses a lot of creativity.

Aaron Ramsey is a different sort of player to Wilshere and though he has excellent pace and skill, he is a more direct midfielder who can control the game with his passing range. In the Champions League game where Wenger decided to rest all his first team players, Ramsey was hugely influential and created number of chances for the wasteful Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela.

Also, Ramsey is one of the few midfielders in the team who loves to shoot even if he is outside the box. He has already scored some superb goals in his short Arsenal career and the best thing is that he is comfortable shooting on both feet which is excellent for a midfielder. Song, Wilshere and Ramsey could form a very fluid midfield and even in the absence of Cesc Fabregas, the trio have the quality to form an excellent midfield.

Samir Nasri has been in excellent form this season and he is realising his true potential at Arsenal. He can also be effective in central attacking midfield role and he is a very different proposition to Ramsey and Wilshere. Nasri is an excellent dribbler who can weave past defenders to get into excellent positions. However despite his desire to play in that role, Ramsey seems to be the long term successor to Fabregas who has done a fantastic job for the Gunners. The Frenchman seems to be comfortable on either wing and could continue to play there in the future.

Barcelona have been one of the most successful teams in recent years and though every single player has contributed immensely to that, the partnership of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in midfield is why they are able to dominate their opponents in most matches.

Arsenal have two young midfielders Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey who have the capability to form an exciting partnership who could help the Gunners to dominate like Barcelona in midfield. Alex Song is undoubtedly a regular in the team and will have a superb back-up in Emmanuel Frimpong in the future. Alex Song has also developed good attacking skills and has added goals to his arsenal which makes him one of the most vital players for the club.

Ramsey’s recovery from injury both physically and mentally could be crucial for the Gunners in the future and he must be eased into action. He is one of the most talented youngsters on the planet and should he be free from his past injury, he will develop into a very fine player. The Wales International signed a new long term deal with the Gunners in the summer which means the club has high hopes for the lad and along with Jack Wilshere, he could be the player who could lead Arsenal’s dominance in the future.

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