Aaron Ramsey Assuming Captain-Like Roles Ahead of Arsenal’s Clash with Monaco


Few could have expected the quick return to form we just witnessed from Aaron Ramsey. While he still displayed some rust no doubt accumulated from his injury layoff, Ramsey looked absolutely controlling in the middle of the field.

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While the player ratings have varied based on the sources (7.8 from Pain in the Arsenal, 9.1 from WhoScored, and 5/5 from Squawka), few can deny that Ramsey was an absolute force to be reckoned with. He led the team with five key passes, more than Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez combined. He had the most interceptions of any non-defender (3). He also had more passes and more touches than any other player on the team (76 passes, 95 touches).

He stole the show from Mesut Ozil, he was more prevalent on the pitch than Alexis Sanchez and he put as good defensive numbers as Francis Coquelin, if not better. Essentially, he repossessed all the main roles on Arsenal and made them his own, reassuring us that no matter what role he plays, he can be effective.

Aside from his one goal and one assist, he also had several great set-ups to Theo Walcott, hence his five key passes. Ramsey may well have become an indispensable part of Arsenal after just one performance and he’ll be looking to repeat his excellent performance against Monaco on Tuesday.

As if to reassert his claim to a starting role, Ramsey issued a bit of a rallying cry to Arsenal. While he was out injured for the embarrassing first leg, Aaron Ramsey is going to do all he can to ensure that Arsenal don’t go down in a fizzle. He spoke about the second leg after the game, saying: “We are more than capable of scoring three goals. We scored three today and we believe in ourselves. We’ll go into the game believing we can achieve that.”

Prior to the game, I predicted starting XI, noting that this was the perfect opportunity for Arsenal to practice their ability to score three goals, seeing as how Arsenal would need three goals to stay alive in the Champions League. Arsenal scored those three goals, two of which were directly Ramsey’s responsibility, and he will have to do similar to down a cloistered Monaco that will seek to protect their lead at all costs. 

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Arsenal is going to need all hands on deck to put up those three goals. We’re going to need the 2013/14 version of Aaron Ramsey, which we were kindly reminded of in the match against West Ham.

Aaron Ramsey has world-class abilities, he can be one of the best in the world, and he can be an absolute game changer. Lucky for us, he’s re-assuming all of those roles at a time when we need him most.

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Next: Did Theo Walcott do Enough?