Even with a fully healthy Aaron Ramsey, it’s doubtful Arsenal would have stayed much longer in the title race. And yet this season once again begins with gushing hope, which relies on the injury-free status of the 23-year old Welshman, elevating himself to the status of the team’s most important player.
The Community shield is 90 minutes of a friendly match with some better wrapping and promotion, not to mention a trophy that comes along with it. Arsenal didn’t have some key players in Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott. Manchester City looked like a team playing in first gear, not the top one, although losing 3-0 might be slightly alarming. However, the bottom line is that there’s nothing indicative about the Community Shield title when it comes to what happens during the season.
Arsene Wenger has spent money this offseason. Bringing in Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and David Ospina. Yet there was quite a solid foundation to build on to begin with, and Ramsey is at the heart of it. No other midfielder on this Arsenal team has the ability to come in from behind and provide such a scoring threat. He isn’t the passer Mesut Ozil is, but his presence requires more caution from defenses, and by that creates more openings.
With the Manchester United resurgence, Chelsea under Jose Mourinho and Manchester City being the champions, the favorite label isn’t at the Emirates stadium but elsewhere. After a season with so many humiliating results, which didn’t stop Arsenal from winning their first trophy in nine years and once again finishing among the top four, it’s impossible to take them completely seriously.
But in terms of talent – in the midfield and their defense, probably, they have enough. Ramsey is obviously not the only name worth noticing, but he is on top of the list of players that can carry this team to success that fans have almost forgotten about, daring only to dream about it. Injuries will be there, as always, although Wenger has a deeper squad than ever before. Still, he needs to hope and maybe do more, that Aaron Ramsey doesn’t join that list once again.