Arsenal entered Saturday’s clash against Manchester United as firm favourites yet they churned out arguably their worst performance of the season.
While solid defensively, Arsene Wenger’s men created very little going forward and, if anything, were very fortunate to scrape a draw.
One shot on target – which was Olivier Giroud’s late goal, by the way – spoke volumes about how awful Arsenal were in the final third.
Alexis Sanchez was unusually quiet; Mesut Ozil struggled to dictate; Theo Walcott made very little impact; and Aaron Ramsey was downright terrible.
However, according to the Telegraph, one of Arsenal’s players played with a broken toe at the Theatre of Dreams, perhaps explaining why he was so poor.
They claim Ramsey took a painkilling injection before Saturday’s game so he could play through the pain barrier, and was forced to miss training yesterday as a result.
The Welshman is now a doubt for Tuesday’s game against Paris Saint-Germain.
Ramsey nursing a broken toe really explains a lot. On so many occasions against Jose Mourinho’s side did the midfielder lose possession and make sloppy mistakes.
Wenger, though, insisted yesterday that he will be fit to face PSG at the Emirates Stadium.
“Everybody recovered from Saturday,” he said. “We left [Theo] Walcott and Ramsey in but they should be OK for tomorrow.”
Many believe getting the best out of Ramsey is the key to Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes, but playing him out on the wing isn’t going to achieve that.
While a gifted player, the 25-year-old hasn’t got the pace or skill to play out wide and must be deployed through the centre.
That’s the opinion of former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, who tweeted on Saturday: “If you want the best from Ramsey play him in central areas or don’t play him.”
Wenger has been using Ramsey on the flank for the best part of a year now and clearly has no intention of using him centrally while the likes of Granit Xhaka, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are available.
“I use Ramsey on the right. That’s where I will certainly continue to use him, unless the game demands to attack,” he said last November.
“He is more an offensive player. He is not a tactical, defensive player. I will use him sometimes there [centrally], when the game demands.
“I used him 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 we need to balance a bit defensively.”