Arsene Wenger believes that Wales had no chance without Aaron Ramsey during the Euros and this is why they lost to Portugal in the semi-final.
Rambo picked up his second yellow in five games during Wales’ 3-1 win over Belgium in the quarter-final. This meant he was banned for one game, a game which just so happened to be against Portugal in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.
The performance against Portugal was painful to watch. There was a gaping hole in the middle of the park where Rambo should have been and a complete disconnect between the defence and attack. Wales were crying out for the midfielder and the display showed exactly why he had been so crucial to their successful tournament.
Speaking ahead of our final pre-season clash against Manchester City, Arsene Wenger hailed Ramsey’s box-to-box play and admitted that Wales didn’t have a chance without him, unless Gareth Bale pulled something miraculous out the bag, which he didn’t.
“I felt he was the link between the deep midfield and Gareth Bale,” the boss said.
“You could see that in the final game, the semi-final. When he wasn’t there they just missed that link. Unless Bale does something exceptional, they have no chance. You could see in the semi-final that Aaron had given them that final ball, the penetration with his runs and his work rate as well.”
Although we play him differently at Arsenal, it’ll be interesting to see if he can carry his form for Wales over to his club.
“It’s true [Arsenal have many midfielders],” Wenger continued.
“I have played him wide sometimes because I feel like he can balance the team well. Of course he wants to play centrally, he wants to play behind the striker. What is the most important thing when you put players in positions is that you have to consider their psychological and physical profiles. Aaron’s psychological profile means that he always wants the ball and always wants to be available, so that’s in the heart of the game.
If you consider his physiological profile, he can absorb all the positions. He is certainly most suited to central midfield because he’s a box-to-box player. I think he likes to come from deep and make runs going forward, so I would think that at the start he would like to play from a deeper position in midfield. That’s more suited to him and therefore that gives him a tactical responsibility for us that he may not have for Wales.”
Ramsey is likely to start against Manchester City on Sunday, we’ll see how he gets on.