2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HOTELS, CARDIFF June 3RD & KIEV 2018 - CLICK HERE to BOOK HOTELS PACKAGES Ramires & Mikel Key to Arsenal win

Ramires & Mikel Key to Arsenal win

Ramires & Mikel key to Arsenal win

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”); !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”); Yesterday in Chelsea’s emphatic 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates we saw Roberto Di Matteo drop Frank Lampard from the deep positioned he’s been deployed in recently, in favour of Ramires, who has looked out of place whenever he’s been asked to play on the right wing. The duo of Mikel & Ramires was one that hasn’t been tried very often this season, with RDM choosing to stick with Lampard, even though it’s clear to see the role is hard for Frank to adjust to. But finally RDM gave the Chelsea fans what they wanted, and the result was very encouraging for every Chelsea fan to see.

The combination of Mikel’s ability to make key interceptions before distributing the ball forward, and Ramires’ engine and will to run all day long for the team, simply overran Arsenal’s midfield, and meant that Chelsea came away with the three points. Once Arsenal lost About Diaby, their equivalent of Ramires, it did make their midfield more lightweight, but it was still one filled with attacking potential. The duo of Arteta and Cazorla who have been praised heavily for their link up play over the last few weeks, had their influence nullified by Mikel, who had another outstanding game for the blues yesterday. Whenever Cazorla got the ball, with the exception of a few occasions, there was either Mikel or Ramires in his face ready to break up the Arsenal attack, before distributing the ball forward to one of the front 4. 
Over the last few weeks, Ramires has played on the right of midfield, but it’s clear that this is a position he simply cannot play effectively. Now that we have Moses and Marin coming back from injury, it would really surprise me to see him back in that position. When Ramires came to Chelsea 2 seasons ago, Chelsea fans weren’t overly convinced by him, including myself. But he’s developed into one of our key players, and at times last year he was our best player with his sheer energy and drive proving so hard to deal with by any team, including Barcelona, as we’ll all remember with that famous chip over Valdes. It does seem that one of those two deep lying positions is made for Ramires now, with his energy and closing down being key to breaking up attacks and keeping the defence safe. 
But Chelsea fans must now ask the question, where does this leave Frank Lampard? A player who has been such a loyal servant for us, and is only 15 goals away from becoming our all time top scorer. Frank started to be deployed in a deeper position in the latter stages of the Champions League run, and has continued to be positioned there this season, having become almost surplus to requirements in an attacking sense after the influx of youth and creativity we have bought over the last year. AVB saw last season that Lampard couldn’t play the deep position, which is why he was dropped. But when he was brought back after the sacking, he provided a great service for the team and was a big contributor to us finally winning the Champions League, captaining the side in the final. But now you’d have to say, and I say this with a heavy heart, that Lampard’s days may be numbered at Chelsea. 
Frank says he wants to play the big games, and yesterday was our biggest game of the season, where he was deemed surplus to requirements by RDM. When Chelsea play the big sides this year, we need to have two players who are willing to run for the team all day long, and have the legs to pressure the opposition before moving the ball forward. Lampard did that job last year due to the lack of alternatives, and because of the suspensions we had in the final. But now the players are there, and you’d say that Lampard is most likely now to simply play games against the ‘lesser’ teams, providing a break for Ramires or Mikel before a big game the next week. The job that those two players have to do is one that simply isn’t Frank’s game. Frank’s game is all about running into the box late and getting a shot on goal, while also distributing the ball across the pitch. Frank was never the best at tackling, and has never been the quickest either, which means that this deep role isn’t one which he is suited to. With his contract coming to an end next season, I could see Frank moving on to the MLS, where he could team up with Beckham, earn a nice big pay check, and see out his days in the sun. I wouldn’t begrudge Lampard that at all if it did happen, as he’s given so much for this club, and will go down as a club legend. All I can say is that I hope he manages to score the 15 goals required to become our all time leading goalscorer, which would be amazing for a midfielder. 
It will be sad when Lampard eventually does leave the club after being such a mainstay at the club over the last 10+ years. But, I’m sure he realises by now that this is a team that is all about counter-attacking football, with pacey players which unfortunately doesn’t suit Lampard’s game. Ramires & Mikel look to now be the first choice players for those two deep positions, with Lampard having to settle for games when either one of those needs to be rested. It’s not an ideal end to the great number 8’s potential last season, but I’m sure he’ll still provide us with a few golden moments over the season, which would ideally lead to another Championship for this great midfielder. Come on you blues! 
KTBFFH

Will Talbut @WSTalbs

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