Thursday, 12 January 2012

With Jack Wilshere due to make his long awaited return to first team action towards the end of January, Arsene Wenger now faces the difficult task of deciding who will lose their starting spot in a team that has been so consistent of late. Arsenal currently plays with a three man midfield, though it should be noted that Jack does not play as a defensive midfielder, a role that Alex Song currently holds, resultantly Arsene must decide if he is to replace Mikel Arteta or Aaron Ramsey.

Wilshere is usually played as a Central Midfielder (CM) the role that Arteta is currently occupying, though as demonstrated last season, Jack is more than capable of going forward and scoring a goal or providing a killer through pass which has been so desperately lacking since the departure of both Fabregas and Nasri.

Aaron Ramsey, not a first team regular prior to the 2011-12 season has benefitted from the exits of Fabregas and Nasri as well as the long term injury of Jack Wilshere and has just about been guaranteed a first team place for the first half of the season. So far Ramsey has featured 26 times in all competitions for Arsenal this season scoring twice and creating a total of 8 assists (0.38 goals created per game). Not a bad return from a midfielder, but for an attacking midfielder in a team with top 4 premier league ambitions as well as champions league credentials he is a long way short. The attacking midfielder role was previously occupied by Fabregas who when fit for the season of 2009-10 contributed 19 goals and 19 assists in a season playing 36 games(1.06 goals created per game)- taking much pressure off the attackers and also creating them limitless opportunities.

Mikel Arteta, a last minute purchase in the summer transfer window was bought for roughly £10 million to bring experience to a young and unproven midfield has fared relatively well in the central midfield role usually held by Wilshire. This season Arteta has made 21 appearances scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists at 0.24 goals created per game. However it should be noted that while this ratio plays in favour of Ramsey, Arteta plays a deeper role pulling the strings in midfield while also protecting the attack. It is often said amongst fans that he was bought in as “Fabregas’s replacement”, a comment based on that they are both midfielders who are of Catalan origin, this is quite an unfair comparison on Arteta as his play is more suited to the deeper role of central midfield.

While Aaron Ramsey is a younger player who has the ability to play a killer pass and score a goal every so often while Arteta is an experienced premier league midfielder who plays a deeper role and rarely wastes a ball though he often lacks the assisting ability of other top midfielders. Both players definitely have their own merits, as to who Jack Wilshere will replace in the starting XI that is ultimately the decision of Arsene Wenger, though in your own view we’d love you to take the managers seat for just a minute and let us know your opinion.