Arsene Wenger has praised Aaron Ramsey for being calmer in his finishing. However, in his praise, he also offered a challenge to the Arsenal midfielder: Score more goals.
The second goal from Arsenal against Swansea City on Saturday was a lovely move.
Granit Xhaka picked the ball up in the middle of the park. Took his time, surveyed the field, and looked up to find Sead Kolasinac in space in the left channel just outside the penalty area. Kolasinac brought the ball down on his chest, drove towards the byline, before taking his time to pick the right option. He chose Aaron Ramsey, pulling the ball back into the path of the Welshman, who then slotted his left-footed finish calmly and confidently.
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It was Ramsey’s 50th goal for Arsenal. That is a significant milestone that is deserving of praise, especially as a midfielder. And after the match, when asked about Ramsey’s reaching the achievement, as well as the fact that he has now scored two goals in his last two games, looking far more comfortable in front of goal than in previous years, Arsene Wenger heralded Ramsey’s goalscoring feats:
“It’s fantastic. When you look at the video of the game again, you see that Aaron Ramsey is always in the box. Many times he could not finish but this season he is calmer with his finishing and what he did today will give him more confidence. I think there are some goals in him.”
Wenger’s praise of Ramsey is deserved. But it also comes with a challenge, something that is alluded to in the final sentence: ‘I think there are some goals in him.’ Goals from midfield have always been a staple of successful teams. While central strikers who can guarantee consistent goals is essential, it is the added element of goalscoring midfielders that can truly change a team.
For Arsenal, that has something that they lacked. Mesut Ozil is more of a creator, Theo Walcott has been inconsistent, with his scoring record inflated by bulldozing lesser sides in lesser competitions, while the likes of Alex Iwobi, Santi Cazorla and Ramsey himself have all failed to contribute goals on a frequent basis.
But with a true goal-poacher in Alexandre Lacazette now leading the line, adding complementary pieces from midfield who can also offer goals could lead to the Gunners boasting one of the more potent attacks in the Premier League.
Ramsey does have a penchant for finding himself in advanced positions and taking advantage. He has a knack for scoring goals. 50 goals for the club proves that much. Now, he must emulate such attacking prowess consistently. That is the challenge that Wenger’s praise poses.