The summer transfer window may be just a distant memory, but with the season well underway managers have already started their preparations for January…
Arsenal face a tough test on New Year’s Day at the St. Mary’s and Wenger will have to pass it without injured midfield star, Aaron Ramsey according to Telegraph.
It had been expected that the Welsh man, who only recently turned 24, would hand us a boost going into the vital clash with the Saints by making a return to the team following a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined since that smashing left volley at Istanbul early in November.
Ramsey’s last League game saw him rediscover his touch in front of goal in the defeat at Stoke and it had been hoped that the first game of 2015 will be the time to welcome him back.
However, Wenger would have to choose his midfielders for Thursday from a meager quartet of Flamini, Coquelin, Rosicky and Oxlade-Chamberlain, further limiting the variety of options and systems which will be available to us should we hit a brick wall in the bid to surmount the challenge of Ronald Koeman’s side.
Wenger opted to go for a double pivot of Flamini and Coquelin at West Ham, with Cazorla just ahead of them, the main aim being to withstand the physical force of the Hammers well-built forward players.
Coquelin was even available only because he had been recalled from his recently extended loan deal at Charlton, and has now been involved in the last four League games, stretching to the win against Newcastle.
A Ramsey return would probably have meant a drop to the bench for the 23-year old homegrown star but it could well happen that the player, who was dusting his boots in the Championship only a few weeks ago, will now be a major force to rely on as we bid to sustain a top four challenge in the second half of the season.
Ramsey’s impact this season has been like a roller coaster, with injuries disrupting any momentum he would have gathered after some decent performances along.
Two goals in the first two games against Crystal Palace and Everton had given belief to the fact that last season wouldn’t be proved as a one-off but there had been some noticeable inconsistencies at times.
The game at the Britannia saw him back amongst the goals, and the excellent double in the final game of our Champions League group was a real signal that Rambo was back.
It could now be that he returns to face the team against whom he had his finest moment of his career – and certainly the best Arsenal moment over the past 9 years.
Hull will visit the Emirates in a rematch of the FA Cup Final and it is inevitable that Ramsey’s extra-time winner will be mentioned more than a few times in the build-up. It would be important to have him back for the game, but more so, to help the team maintain the solidity that has now been built over the past five to six games.
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