December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Alex Bellotti
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The Ham&High’s Arsenal blogger Alex Bellotti discusses Aaron Ramsey’s rise at the Emirates.
If Arsenal’s derby win against Tottenham was a perfect demonstration of the steel that saw us pip them to fourth last season, it’s fair to say the win against Sunderland was more the vintage of recent years.
Amongst all the understandable excitement surrounding Mesut Ozil’s debut, the news that Cazorla is out for around a month passed relatively unnoticed - thankfully on the pitch as well as well as off it.
What was most pleasing about the weekend’s game was the sight of intricate passing and a general flair that has been missing for a couple of seasons now.
It is hard to complain when we’ve been grinding out results with ruthless efficiency for most of the year, but the sight of Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud flicking the ball over defenders’ shoulders was very welcome on the eye.
And our new German wunderkind looked good! That full-length, stretched control before his assist was, whisper it, Bergkamp-esque and he could have easily had a hat-trick of assists had it not been for the profligacy of a noticeably off-par Theo Walcott.
Unfortunately, as often happens, being at our most creative and dominant also meant we had to make the game more difficult for ourselves.
Hopefully the defensive blunders were just a blip in the absence of Per Mertesacker and even Mikel Arteta, but it does seem worrying that flair and organisation haven’t found a way to coexist in the team for a good many years now.
Thankfully, Wales’ best player bailed us out. I mentioned Aaron Ramsey’s box-to-box runs last week, and as good as his first goal was, the second was just fantastic movement - so typical of the midfielder.
His transformation over the last year has been staggering, surpassing even the form we came to love him for pre-Stoke.
In the latter stages of last season, I compared his game to Scott Parker at his prime, but it is now mirroring colossal performances more similar to Steven Gerrard or Yaya Toure.
It astounds me how one player could finish the game having completed the most successful tackles, passes and scored the most goals on top of that.
What is even more encouraging is that there doesn’t seem to be a limit to his improvement, and with every passing match he is only taking more control of it.
I am sure Ozil will astound us in the coming weeks, but even at this stage, I’d bet a handsome sum that Ramsey will be our player of the season come May.
Follow me on Twitter @AlexBellotti