Arsenal Player of the Month: August, with Culann Davies video
It’s a common technique in journalism to not put the name of the player focused on in the title in order to pique the curiosity of would-be readers – for example: “German playmaker linked with Arsenal”, but I’m not so sure that technique is going to work in this case. Although Olivier Giroud has had a good month, and Laurent Koscielny remained his reliable self, there was only one candidate for August’s Player of the Month. In fact, Culann and I didn’t even need to discuss the player that we were going to cover. It was always going to be Aaron Ramsey.
Continuing from where he left off last season, the Welsh midfielder has used the confidence that he gained from a strong end to the last campaign to go from strength-to-strength. His all-action performances have been a highlight of Arsenal’s opening four games, and he seems to be adding goals to his game – three goals over two legs against Fenerbahce were welcome additions to his highlights video.
His goals were of course great to see, and his involvement in goals beyond that also – a lucky assist for Olivier Giroud against Fulham and a pre-pre-assist (is that a thing?) for Giroud’s winner against Tottenham followed a magnificent piece of play which resulted in him slipping Theo Walcott in behind Fenerbahce’s defence, who crossed for Kieran Gibbs to convert – but, for me, it was his all-round play that was most heartening.
Obviously it’s a good thing that he’s added goals (and mainly composure) to his game, and is having more of an influence further forward, but what makes Ramsey such a good player is that he’s good at almost everything. He’s an excellent tackler – so far he’s won 92% of his duels, the best in the league – a great passer, both short and long, strong, intelligent, good at dribbling and fantastic control.
I would say that at the moment, Ilkay Gundogan and Cesc Fabregas are the two most complete midfielders in the world – both can be targets for Ramsey, if he continues to improve his all-round game. All of his games this month have demonstrated how complete he is as a player, and it’s impossible to pick one moment which sums him up – his tackling, passing and dribbling, to name just three of his impressive qualities, are all equally important to his game. Ramsey has picked up the season where he left off last, and long may it continue.