Not often do you hear teammates rejoice over an injury to a member of the squad, a regular for that matter. There’s definitely not being any rejoicing over Ramsey’s current hamstring injury which will now rule him out for the next month. Considering he has been a constant feature in Arsene’s team since the beginning of the season, it will be one major headache for the manager to put another player in his stead for the crunch games ahead, not least against Galatasaray in the Champions League and Chelsea this coming weekend. Ramsey is very much a horse of a player, possessing an engine which Wenger himself admitted he would have loved to possess in his footballing days as a midfielder. 90 minutes of graft complemented by a reliable goal-scoring ability is difficult to replace, but there must be some players out there who must have watched on, feeling they could do better if given the chance. We sample their qualities.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The Ox has been getting more game time this season after suffering from various injuries in previous seasons. Currently been used in the Walcott role, Chamberlain’s long term future is believed to be in central midfield. His energy and pace is a dangerous asset as he could track players in the middle as well as have an edge over pursuing opposing players. His not very tall, and that may be the only weakness to performing in that role but he possesses good composure on the ball as well as being able to pick a pass. He’s like to add more goals to his game, as he said after rescuing us a point against Tottenham and if he gets a couple more between now and before Ramsey’s return, the Welshman may have to fight it out with another for a place in the team. Chamberlain is probably the best option on this list, if we find another player for his role. Cazorla, Ozil, Podolski are good alternatives.
- Abou Diaby
Ramsey’s role is very much Diaby’s role, except perhaps the ability to make tackles and interceptions. That, though, should not pose an impediment to him being used in this role as Wenger has even considered him to be the solution in defensive midfield. One way or another, Diaby has got a role in this team this season with both roles now available through injuries. Memories of that League game at Anfield two seasons ago shows just how imperious Diaby could be.
- Francis Coquelin
He has waited for the chance to force his way into the Arsenal team but to no avail. Chiefly a defensive midfielder, he could come into the team to give others like Wilshere more license to go forward. He is not exactly a Ramsey type as you don’t see him scoring many goals, but for the hard work and clean up duties, he is a sure option.
- Tomas Rosicky
He is the one player who could be deployed on any side of the midfield, though he is principally most effective in the middle where his quick change of pace is very effective. His own injury records mean he cannot be relied on for the long term.
- Hector Bellerin
Well, we are considering options and some odd one had to be in this list. Bellerin actually comes in by proxy as he will take Chambers place at right back, while Chambers comes into midfield, pushing Wilshere or any other more of the attacking players forward.
Ramsey’s injury is a big blow, but we should have enough to hold on till he comes. Whether it will require a rearrangement in tactics is yet to be seen.
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