That should really be the headline of the day. The Welsh midfielder will be named for the first time in almost 1 year (11 months to be correct) in an Arsenal official competitive match day squad. He had just returned from a loan stint with Nottingham Forest in the Championship. Arsene Wenger sent him out with the idea of getting at least a couple of games under his belt. Yet, the weather made things worse and eventually Ramsey ended up with only a couple of substitution appearances and 1 full 90 minutes game.
To expect him to slot back straight into the team would be a big overestimation on our part. We must be a little patience with him. Wenger says we need to give him at least up till March to see the old Ramsey. Caution on the manager’s part but history taught him to think that way. Abou Diaby and Eduardo never fully recovered from the respective leg breaks. Both still suffers from niggly injuries that seem to occur from the most innocuous of challenges.
Ramsey would not be the only returnee as Kieran Gibbs also return to first team action. The English midfielder turned left back has had an unlucky season thus far. It has been a stop start season for him. A game here, an injury there. The way things are going, it is hard to see him pick up any real momentum to challenge Gael Clichy’s place. We can only hope for the best for him as he really deserves a break.
The Leeds game will see Bacary Sagna sit out of the first of his 3 match ban for violent conduct. His actions belies the normally cool façade that he seems to exude. If a couple of stamps from Lee Bowyer was not enough to raise his temperature, I really would like to know what Pablo Zabaleta did to incense Sagna so much. Still, the suspension would do him a world of good as he has been playing full 90 in almost every game that Arsenal have been involve in this season. It is almost like his own winter break and hopefully when he comes back, the anger would be gone but the batteries all recharged.
In other things, I really believe that Jack Wilshere is taking some sort of psychology course. Well, in this case he is probably trying to use the goading trick. By claiming that the opposition are scared to have a go at Arsenal at the Grove, he is hoping it will fire the opposition to change their tactics when visiting Arsenal. Not sure if many teams or managers will fall for it though.
This should be something that we’ve come to expect from the opposition. If parking the bus is a tactic that they think might work, you can bet your house that they will use that. It is really up to Arsenal to try and break the defensive barrier down. Maybe 1 of those 4 or 5 defenders have certainly weaknesses and this are the little things which we must exploit. If the path through the middle is blocked, maybe we can use the flanks or dragged the defenders more to the centre of the field and put balls over their head for runners coming through. That is really something that the coaches at Arsenal must figure out pre-game for them to be able to use it, should plan A not succeed.
Match preview tomorrow.