Wilshere & Ramsey: Arsenal’s Core Midfield Wonders


Following the perhaps slightly anti-climatic event that was the Manchester United-Arsenal match on Sunday, a main talking point was the resurgance of the Arsenal side that was otherwise lethargic in the first 70 minutes or so of that match. Interestingly, this change coincided with the substitution of Jack Wilshere for Santi Cazorla, and with Francis Coquelin dropping to right-back, this allowed Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to finally control the midfield as a stand-alone midfield duo for the remainder of the game.

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What was seen was a connection between the two that was vital when chasing the game, leading to the all-important point. As a result, the build-up of our attack significantly improved, which was a welcome sight considering that in recent months, despite all the good that Francis Coquelin can do, he isn’t the most fluid and helping in our attacking build-up. Ramsey’s well known driving runs into the box and his strong passing range, as well as Wilshere’s mazy dribbling runs into the box provides a handful for any defender, and in this case United’s, ultimately providing a much needed change in attacking assault towards the opposition back-line. Altogether, allowing Wilshere and Ramsey to work together alone for the last fifteen minutes or so meant that Arsenal received a new edge to their attack that became sorely needed when requiring an equaliser, and as a result, provided, to an extent, that very equaliser.

However, it is clear to see that the problems and doubts still remain to a certain degree. One of the main problems facing their future as a duo is their fitness – will they be ever be able to stay fit at the same time, and that too for a large chunk of a season? Whilst Shad Forsythe has appeared to “work his magic” on the club, the notorious ankles of Wilshere and the infamous muscles of Ramsey mean that it is unlikely that such an event will occur. And despite the short amount of time that the two were both on the pitch together, it is clear that the defensive frailties do remain. Neither of the two have the defensive capability to help the back four in the way Mikel Arteta or Coquelin would – both are far too enthusiastic and energetic to even think of either of them taking on such a defensive role.

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In conclusion – yes, there is a future between the two, but only if certain criteria can be met. Firstly, we must see the two stay fit for a long duration of time – in order to see a more consistent display of the ilk of Sunday’s fairly short performance. And secondly, it is clear that a defensive midfielder must be positioned behind them, a la Coquelin, in order to give them the defensive stability in order to contribute to the attack to their full capacity. There is not doubt that such wishes can come true in the near future, and if so, we could be seeing a Wilshere-Ramsey partnership finally taking a hold of the Premier League for years to come.

Thank you for reading my piece on Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.

– Kiran, Twitter – @WelshRegista