Dec 26, 2013, 7:02 PM EST
A couple of points to make as we consider Aaron Ramsey’s injury and how it might impact the Premier League leaders and the race going forward. The vital Arsenal midfielder (team’s leading scorer, driving midfield force and all) is out for the time being with a thigh strain suffered in Thursday’s 3-1 victory achieved in what they call East, East, East London.
First, Ramsey’s season in total has been absolutely sensational. The word “breakthrough” or perhaps “breakout” fits quite well. But if we examine the Welsh international’s outings over the last three weeks or so … “meh.”
No coincidence, in fact, that Ramsey’s dip in form and production has coincided with Arsenal’s rickety spell. Thursday’s Boxing Day win at Upton Park was Arsenal’s first in five matches (across all competitions).
So, perhaps a little “rest,” such that it is during an injury recovery, will serve as a control-alt-delete kind of moment, a reboot that will clear the mind and body and get the man pointed north again.
Second, Lukas Podolski’s return will help mitigate the blow.
It may mean Jack Wilshere or Mathieu Flamini taking Ramsey’s spot alongside Mikel Arteta. Or manager Arsene Wenger could rearrange the formation, going back to a truer 4-3-3, perhaps, with Podolski generating greater left-sided width. That’s what they pay Wenger for, after all, to adapt and adjust and such.
Finally there’s this: personnel-wise, the timing is OK (due to Podolski’s return). But schedule-wise, the timing stinks. Arsenal has three matches over the next nine days, including a biggie against North London rival Tottenham on Jan. 4, an FA Cup third-round contest.
Jan 31, 2015, 4:57 PM EST
Arsenal and Southampton hope to keep their assaults on the Top Four in order, while Aston Villa and Swansea City hope to snap skids.
Jan 31, 2015, 4:19 PM EST
And to think, we’ve still a pair of Sunday matches on the slate. Let’s go through what’s done and dusted.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:40 PM EST
There were eight games in the PL on a busy Saturday. Here’s how it all went down with recaps, analysis and much more.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:20 PM EST
Manchester City’s boss thought his charges were very good, but is disappointed to snare a solitary point against Chelsea.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:12 PM EST
Lampard was the last player on the pitch, saluting both groups of supporters.
Jan 31, 2015, 3:06 PM EST
What did we learn from the tense draw at Stamford Bridge? Here’s three things.
Jan 31, 2015, 2:47 PM EST
Giving Chelsea and City’s players a mark out of 10.
Jan 31, 2015, 2:21 PM EST
All the goal scoring came within the 41st and 45th minutes at Stamford Bridge, as City failed to cut into Chelsea’s first-place advantage.
Jan 31, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Want to see Benzema’s brilliant bender? Of course you do.
Jan 31, 2015, 1:40 PM EST
Blind believes United are getting close to what LVG expects.
Jan 31, 2015, 1:21 PM EST
It started off slow and tentative, but the big match between Chelsea and Manchester City is opening up
Jan 31, 2015, 1:04 PM EST
Moyesy is learning Spanish from a Manchester United fan…
Jan 31, 2015, 12:50 PM EST
For the Toffees, defense is the way forward for the rest of the season.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:33 PM EST
“It’s always difficult to be honest when you’ve had a long break,” Defoe said. “But I’ve had a mini-pre-season and I’m getting sharper and sharper.”
Jan 31, 2015, 12:16 PM EST
Sunderland now has four points breathing room from the drop zone, and three points space from Burnley.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:10 PM EST
Walters grabs first career hat trick as R’s still searching for first road point.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:09 PM EST
Losses from QPR, Hull and Leicester keep West Brom three points shy of the drop zone.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:04 PM EST
Toffees put in resolute display to climb clear of danger.
Jan 31, 2015, 11:55 AM EST
The Red Devils ease past Leicester.
Jan 31, 2015, 11:53 AM EST
Liverpool leapfrogs its opponents on the table, moving into 7th with 38 points.
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