As Arsenal prepare for the fourth Champions League group game away to the Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad, we look poised on the brink of all but securing a place in the next round and hopefully winning the group to make that knockout stage earlier.
Arsene Wenger does have one or two problems to cope with though, with the Evening Standard reporting that the England forward Theo Walcott is a doubt for the game, even though he was involved in training today after missing the win at Sunderland with a small hamstring issue.
A bigger problem for the boss, however, is the continued absence of Santi Cazorla, who did not train with the squad. The little Spaniard is a key player for the Gunners, especially in games where we expect to face very defensive opponents. After being hammered 6-0 at the Emirates and being locked with Basel on one point in the fight for third place, I think Ludogorets will certainly be that, so any extra attacking threat that Arsenal can get will be welcome.
That is why the return to fitness of Aaron Ramsey could be so important for European hopes. We do have Granit Xhaka, Elneny and Coquelin but from what the boss said about the Welshman on the Arsenal website yesterday it seems clear that he thinks Ramsey offers more going forward.
Wenger said, “He is a player who is box-to-box so overall he pushes the team forward. That is what we want in our side. He can play in holding midfield, he can play if needed on the flanks as well. That’s where he is not happy but he can play there as well.
“He has a tremendous drive, he’s a bit Lampard-ish you know, where he likes to get in the box, likes to shoot from distance and has similar quality.”
The Frenchman also said he was not sure if Ramsey would start as he has to think about the north London derby with Tottenham on Sunday, but that will be a different kind of test. Do you think Rambo will start in Bulgaria and will his drive be a big factor in getting Arsenal the right result?