Well, it appears as though Olivier Giroud is not the only Arsenal player who finds an extra gear while playing for his country. Aaron Ramsey was once again fabulous for Wales during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Serbia, scoring an exquisite panenka penalty. With Gareth Bale suspended, the Gunners’ star thrived in an advanced attacking midfield role and seems to have hinted to Wenger that that is where he would like to play.
Speaking after the game, Ramsey said: “I have the freedom to do whatever I want (with Wales). Chris Coleman has been fantastic for me. He lets me roam the pitch. That is how I like to play.
“The system at Arsenal suited us in the end, with the way we finished the season and winning the FA Cup. It allowed me to get into some dangerous positions and thankfully, I put them away. It frees my game up.”
Well, it is worth noting that this is not the first time the much-criticised Arsenal midfielder has delivered for his country. In fact, he was arguably their best player when Wales defied all expectations and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, losing to eventual winners Portugal with Ramsey being suspended after picking up too many yellow cards.
For me, I do believe that Ramsey is one of those players who thrives on freedon. When deployed in a deeper midfield role or even worse, on the right-flank, his influence on the game gets affected due to other positional responsibilities. Looking at the successful midfield pairing between the Welshman and Xhaka last season, it is easy to see why it worked so well.
Granit took up the deeper role of sitting back and supplying long balls, while Aaron became the engine of the team, contributing to attack and defence with his endless running. While he is certainly a versatile player, I believe his versatility sometimes holds him back from doing what he does best. Here’s hoping Wenger gives him the creative freedom he wants so we can see Rambo once again shine at the Emirates.