Aaron Ramsey told the Sun in an exclusive that he doesn’t think that Chelsea have better players than Arsenal.
Speaking at the Playstation School’s Cup Festival, the Arsenal man was quite frank as he discussed playing out wide, a position he openly (and repeatedly) admits he doesn’t like.
“I’m not hiding from the fact I want to be playing in the middle. I’ve had chats with the manager about it and I showed this week what I’m capable of doing when I go into the middle,” Ramsey said.
“The manager has said he wants me to do a job out wide for the moment and obviously I’ll do that for him. But we have wingers on the bench and he’s still been picking me out wide.
“Santi Cazorla is playing in my position at the moment. He is the one who plays alongside Francis Coquelin and tries to get forward.
“I’m trying to get that position back because I like to get the ball and drive the team forward.
“I’m not a No 10 like Mesut Ozil, even though I’ll try to play between the lines now and again if the game demands it and we’re pressing high.
“I like to start from a defensive position and drive the team forward with little one-two passes around the opposition. That’s what I prefer.
“It’s harder to get involved when you’re on the wing and that’s why I don’t really enjoy playing out there.
“I’m used to getting the ball a lot more in the middle of the park. I like to be involved in everything and at the moment I’m relying on other players to get me into the game.
“It’s a bit frustrating but the manager wants me to play there and I’m doing it for him. As I say, we’ve already had conversations about it.
“His door is always open, which is a good thing. He will always respect your opinion but he has his reasons and I’m still contributing to the team.
“I’ve been doing well recently and I’ve scored a few goals and had a few assists.
“So I am having an impact on the game. It’s just that I prefer to be much more involved.”
Rambo also spoke about Chelsea and his belief that it was their consistency, not their players, that made the difference this season and he could well have a point.
It is infinitely easier to be consistent when you have a settled team and Chelsea suffered fewer injuries than any other side in the division this season. Arsenal, on the other hand, spent the first half of the season with half of their squad in the treatment room, an injury crisis that got so bad they had to recall a midfielder from loan – not that you ever hear that mentioned.
Sure, people talk about Coquelin’s recall, but they omit the reason he was called back in the first place.
Anyway, Ramsey said
“I don’t believe Chelsea have better players than us but they have been more consistent.
“They just seem to grind out results even when things are not going quite their way. We’ve managed to do something similar in the second half of the season but Chelsea have done it from day one and that’s something we still have to do.
“The last couple of seasons we’ve either started off really well or finished really well but we couldn’t quite put the two together. Hopefully, next time it will be different.
“We’ve taken a lot of confidence from our results against our top-four rivals this year and I think the other teams are taking us a bit more seriously now.
“Even Chelsea were set up not to lose the game against us at the Emirates last month.
“Avoiding the Champions League qualifiers will help because it will take a lot of stress away and allow us to concentrate fully on the Premier League right from the start of the campaign. If we can get off to a good start I think we’ll be in a good place to go on and challenge for the title next season.
“That will be our main focus, trying to win the league.
“We want to finish the Premier League season with three points against West Brom and then win the FA Cup final again.
“Lifting the FA Cup twice in a row would be a successful couple of years for us after such a long period without winning any trophies.”