|Passes (% accurate)||81/88 (92%)|
|Shots (on target)||3 (2)|
|Tackles (won)||8 (7)|
Our Carlsberg EPL player of the week for week four is the two goal Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey. While all eyes were on his teammate, the £42.5 million pound signing Mesut Özil, it was the young Welshman who continued his fine start to the season with the type of all-round performance which seemed unthinkable just a year ago.
Indeed it was Ramsey who continually came in for criticism at the hands of fans and pundits alike last season as he was played out of position on the right of midfield by manager Arsene Wenger. But since the tail end of last season, where he returned to his favoured central midfield position, he has been one of the most impressive performers in the whole of the EPL.
Many may point to his two goals as the reason for him being selected as the player of the week this week, but his game offered far more than just goal scoring. Playing as part of the deep midfield two, both he and Mathieu Flamini complemented each other perfectly as they orchestrated play. Together they completed an unbelievable 158 passes between them, with Ramsey responsible for 81 accurate passes, a completion rate of 92%, leading to Arsenal having 69% of possession in the match itself.
However you would be mistaken if you think that Ramsey’s game is all flair and no steel. He is also deceptively good at breaking up play, as demonstrated in his seven successful tackles. For Arsenal’s first goal, it was Özil who got the plaudits for his fine control and assist, but it would not have come about if not for Ramsey winning the ball off Jozy Altidore deep inside his own half. On 16 minutes he again showed his defensive qualities with a sliding tackle on David Vaughan, which led to another chance which the wasteful Theo Walcott failed to take. Aaron Ramsey has now made 20 tackles this season in the EPL, not bad for a so called soft attacking midfielder.
His two goals meant that after four games he has already scored more league goals in this season than in any other. His first strike was an exhibition in correct technique as he clinically volleyed home a difficult ball from the edge of the area, while his second demonstrated the value of not standing still once you’ve passed the ball, but continuing your run and getting into advanced positions.
If I had one word to sum up Ramsey’s display on Saturday, it would be tireless, he never stopped working and at this stage surely deserves to be one of the first names on the Arsenal team sheet, even ahead of names such as Wilshere, Cazorla and Rosický. His performance at Sunderland, and indeed so far this season, is vindication for the methods of Arsene Wenger, who believes in nurturing players from young and helping them realise their potential. Mesut Özil cost £42.5m (RM219m), while Ramsey cost £4.8m (RM24.8m), I’ll leave it to you to decide which one provides the better value.