Arsenal have endured some pretty embarrassing results of late, the nadir of which was surely the Capital One Cup loss to Bradford on penalties. While almost all the Arsenal starting line-up were appalling in that game (Wilshere aside), it was Gervinho, Chamakh and Aaron Ramsey who stood out as being particularly disappointing.
Chamakh has already been farmed out on loan to West Ham, Gervinho’s value has plummeted down with his career needing serious rejuvenation at the African Cup of Nations while Aaron Ramsey has signed a new five year deal for the Gunners.
Ramsey‘s data suggests he doesn’t deserve his new deal as much as Mssrs Jenkinson, Wilshere, Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Passing isn’t everything
Aaron Ramsey has had his worst performances in the Champions League and League Cup but a closer look at some of his statistics in the Premier League suggest that he hasn’t been pulling his weight in the league either.
His pass accuracy is 88% which is the same as Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere so far this season. The key comparison to make is that only 57% of Ramsey’s passes go forward, whereas Wilshere has 67% going forward and Cazorla has 62%. It’s noticeable that Ramsey often depends on his defence to find an outlet instead of searching for the forward pass.
Furthermore, his rival in the deep midfield position is the impeccable Mikel Arteta who completes 93% of his passes with 65% going forward.
Good, but not good enough
Ramsey has been used often as a relief wide man this season and is generally regarded as a squad player but given the huge demands Wenger makes of his midfield, rotation is a must and the Welshman has started eight games so far this season. He has scored no goals and has just the one assist to his name from 15 chances created.
In Ramsey‘s defence (boom boom), he is good in the tackle; registering an extremely impressive tackle success rate of 97%. But a lot of these are recovery tackles stemming from poor first touches which lose him possession, Ramsey has been guilty of this 36 times this season.
When he doesn’t make the successful recovery tackle he is guilty of fouling the opposition and letting this lead directly to a goal-scoring opportunity, something which has happened 3 times this season. He is also unconvincing in the air, winning only 24% of his headed duels.
Of course Ramsey is a very talented footballer, Wenger has shown huge faith in the former Welsh captain who has battled incredibly well to return from a horrific leg injury almost three years ago for a reason and the patience sends out a positive message to young British players at the top clubs. This being said, Ramsey seems to be a step below his fellow midfielders in North London.
Wenger has options in Coquelin and Diaby to play the holding role, while Ramsey never worked as an alternative winger. The Frenchman could do much worse than offer him to clubs such as Aston Villa who are crying out for a ball recycling expert and might be willing to pay a premium given his youth and brand spanking new contract. In fact, a possible replacement might be James McCarthy according to this article.
By Nic English