After just one point from their last two League games, Arsenal really have to get back on track against Norwich City on Sunday just like they did in the Champions League this midweek. For a change our players will have had five days to prepare and, for a change Arsene Wenger will actually have to make some selection decisions.
Will Sanchez be rested? Will The Ox get thrown back in or be preferred to Campbell, or will Ramsey get picked ahead of both of them? Maybe Campbell or Gibbs will go on the left to rest Alexis? And should Flamini or Chambers play as DM, or even Ramsey?
Wenger tried to give us a few clues this morning: “Ramsey is more an offensive player,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “I will use him sometimes there [centrally] when the game demands, but is he naturally with Cazorla a balanced pair? Defensively, certainly, it’s a very adventurous one!
“I used Ramsey on the right because he gives us a balance, because we have Ozil who is an offensive player, we have Sanchez, we have Giroud or Walcott and Cazorla so to balance a bit defensively, I use Ramsey on the right. That’s where I will certainly continue to use him.
“He is not afraid to tackle but he likes to go in the box and he has a good timing of runs and he wants the ball and he wants to go forward. If you take that out of him, and you say ‘look, you have to sit now, and sit there and wait,’ you kill his strengths.
“He [Ramsey] can do [the deeper role],” added Wenger. “It is not that he cannot do it, but he can do it [more effectively] with Coquelin. Cazorla can [play alongside] Coquelin.
“Cazorla and Ramsey is a bit [attack-minded] and you know in my mind I have seen that the turn of our results last season was when I went for a bit of stability and put Coquelin in there. Now I am a bit cautious on that front and I do not want to unbalance the team.
“Arteta is not a Coquelin-type but he is a tactical player who loves to sit now because he is less [focused on] going forward.
“In my mind I always had Arteta and Flamini and Coquelin. But Arteta was injured so I played always Coquelin. Now with Arteta and Coquelin both injured we are of course a bit short. That’s why I play Chambers for 10 or 12 minutes to see how he positions and we are happy because he can do it.”
Wenger doesn’t usually go into so much depth about his team selections, and that was a very complicated comment from Le Boss. What I gather from that is that Ramsey is definitely on right, and Wenger wants to pitch Chambers in the middle for longer so he can find out if he is truly up to the task, before Wenger decides whether to delve into the transfer market for a Coquelin replacement.
So would you play safe and play Flamini, or play Ramsey alongside Cazorla to have an attacking line-up? Or give Chambers the chance to prove his worth?