Ramsey, Ozil & Mertesacker fit for Leicester


Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are in contention to play Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Leicester City tomorrow night.

The midfield duo missed Sunday’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea after picking up minor knocks in training but returned to first team training today.

Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi, who ably deputised at Wembley, could now make way as the Gunners look to get early points on the board.

Per Mertesacker, who suffered a nasty gash above his right eye, also trained today meaning Wenger may not have to rush the return of Shkodran Mustafi.

Laurent Koscielny, Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere definitely won’t feature.

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86 Comments on "Ramsey, Ozil & Mertesacker fit for Leicester"

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Coquelin was also in full training today

Mesut Ozzle

Would be disappointed if Elneny had to make way. Looked sharp against Chelsea and formed a good partnership with Xhaka.

Uba Ngenegbo

Elneny matches Ramsey for stamina and trumps the Welshman for technique. Ramsey is not arsenal quality; will never be!


Ramsey scored 2 FA cup-winning goals… will never not be a legend

Original Paul

Adams, Wright, Viera, Bergkamp, Henry….and Ramsey??? Are you sure?

Ben Rivers

Ramseys arsenal career isnt over yet, so we will see in a few seasons. Ramsey joined as a youngster, he is now in prime territory and we will see, but i wouldnt bet against ramsey being an arsenal legend by the time he is done.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

He already helped instrumentally in breaking our 9-year trophy-less streak, helped instrumentally in getting Wenger a record number of FA cups, I think he’s pretty much halfway there at the very freaking least.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Not to mention his 2013-14 heroics that tantalized us with a taste for the league trophy. Still worth a good honorable mention–a lot of amazing football was enabled by his performances that season, including Wilshere’s Norwich goal.

Sylent Syd

Right. Not Arsenal quality. All those FA Cup final game winning goals, such a smokescreen, eh?


Just on the contrary…
Ramsey is much better technically. He is more creative and has similar stamina, but unfortunately his performance is less consistant (“thanks” mainly to his constant injuries).


More Elneny nonsense.

Granted he put in a good shift in the Charity shield and it was encouraging.

BUT he does not add anything extra to the midfield (maybe long range shooting)

Ramsey adds a true threat going forward if he can manage balance covering with Granit which he has with the 3-4-3 system.

People are too easily folled by Elneny putting in good performances against teams in the league cup or charity shield matches. The league matches will be very different.

Elneny’s chief asset is his ability to sit on the bench and come off when need be. In that he is a very good pair of lungs.

BUT we will need a substantial upgrade in deep midfield if we were too prosper this season.

Particularly we still have not replicated the ball retention and dribbling ability of Santi. Granit provides for his range of passing but is not as complete a player.

None of Elneny, Granit or Ramsey are terribly good tacklers. In that Coquelin is the closest we have to and out and out DM/tackler but he needs a player with acute positional sense to help cover.

Thereby the player we will need is someone who has attributes of Santi’s retentive skills and ability to push up the middle by feet.

If we have that, we also have the flexibility of switching back and forth between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3. Tactical flexibility is key.

At the moment, midfield still looks lacking and much like last season could be our undoing.

Hereford gooner

Elneny holds his position when it would be tempting to burst forward, Ramsey will always push on. Fine if the break results in a goal scoring chance, but if the ball is lost then we, as often the case, get left exposed when the ball is turned over. For me elneny is preferable against teams who break quickly (like Leicester), and Ramsey in games where we can afford an extra man going forward

Hereford gooner

My point being that it is not so much about who is the better player, more who is the better option for the forthcoming fixture (supposedly the whole point of a squad, but sometimes at Arsenal this does not seem to be the case.) For me that is Elneny against Leicester, and bring on Ramsey if we either need or can afford to take risks


I love Ramsey. He just takes so long on the ball for me when he is not at his best. I don’t feel there’s middle ground. I know they are different positions, but a guy like Ozil seems to constantly be thinking, “If the ball comes to me right now, where am I going with it.” Ramsey has a tendency to get the ball, turn around, and start looking for his next pass. I don’t think he’s awesome, I don’t think he’s amazing (though he has provided amazing moments that I would never turn my back on). But I believe he is an interchangeable piece.


obviously meant something like “don’t think he’s awesome, don’t think he’s terrible”

Hereford gooner

I kind of see a Gerrard/Lampard axis for England when I think of the Ozil/Ramsey axis. Inexplicably I’m not sure that it works, and that is an issue when they are both first team players


Interesting comparison. I’m going to mull on this one. Love both but can they play together….not sure?

Bould\'s Eyeliner

That’s insulting to Ozil, but sadly not really to Ramsey.

A different George

Comparing his anticipation and vision to Ozil’s is not a useful way to judge a player. If Ozil is a world-class player (I think he is) it is precisely because of his incredible ability to know what to do with the ball a full second or two before anyone else on the pitch, or even watching from above, sees it.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

Elneny is good defensively why Ramsey carries a much bigger threat going forward. Jack has both qualities but can’t stay healthy. It’s like they all have what the others are lacking.

Elneny: Defensive & Healthy but limited Offensively.
Ramsey: Offensive & Healthy but limited defensively.
Jack: Offensive and Defensive Qualities but never available.

Hleb\'s dancing feet

Elneny uses the ball better though, by that I mean he is less likely to lose possession trying to make a pass. Ramsey is clearly superior in terms of impact ie goals & assists. On their best days Ramsey is easily the better option.I think Elneny can improve to challenge him though.

Alex habesha

what about the main important ingredient of all DISCIPLINE


Have you watched them play? They play different roles. Elneny is a traditional CM, Ramsey is a box to box player. Elneny retains possession, moves the ball, and breaks up play, while Ramsey gets forward and into the box more often with late runs. Both compliment Xhaka well, but I have a feeling we’ll see Mo get the nod ahead of Ramsey following the display we saw from the Egyptian in the Community Shield.

\'desi\'gner gooner

The problem with Elneny is that he plays it terribly safe when it comes to his passing. If Xhaka does not have a good day then Arsenal don’t have a cutting edge to their midfield. Ramsey on the other hand always provides a threat with his late movement into the box and tries to be far more inventive with his passing (which is also the reason he loses the ball so many times whereas an Elneny will not lose the ball as much because he simply plays it too safe). I like Elneny’s energy and attitude but I would pick Ramsey ahead of him every single time if both were fully fit. And Arsenal’s good form last season was also due to the fact that Xhaka-Ramsey dovetailed beautifully in the 3-4-3 system.


I see your point, but saying we would lack cutting edge maybe does a disservice to Ozil, Sanchez, Ox/Bellerin and Kolasinac/Nacho, the first two in particular.
I like Rambo and the timing of his runs are often so good he adds an extra thing for opposition to worry about, but you can’t argue that Elneny isn’t more positionally disciplined.


Elneny for me is the kind of player who can help you hold on to a lead, but not so much help you take the lead

Original Paul

Apart from Arsene always picks Ramsey if he’s even half fit! Go figure…


Which should not be so my brother


Elneny for this season please tell Mr wenger….is brilliant performance was superb on Sunday i think he’s good to go with xhaka and ozil no ramsey this time around… we need a change in our team for this coming season and we need more signings as well


How many goals has elneny scored for Arsenal? And Ramsey?


Ramsey punched Robin van Persie in the face.

He stays.


Worthy of a statue alone!
Ramsey punching him so hard, the little boy inside Van Persie spills out of his stomach mid way through writing a letter.
I’m not sure how they’d depict it in a statue but his legs would also be made of glass and he’d be lying on a treatment table as Ramsey punches him.


I’m just happy we have the opportunity to ave the debate. Two pretty good players to choose between. Let’s hope we can have that in all 11 positions for most of season.


That is the kind of change we should be talking about in our Arsenal team now …..i think we are moving forward gradually so with help of more signings we can have more great players compare to each other ………….GREAT…..COYG

Laughing Stock

Elxhakeney is the best CM partnership we have end of (assuming santi is injured which unfortunately is always the case these days much as i love the bones off El Wizardo).

Gudang Pelor

Mate, you may or may not raise a good point, but your monicker kind of spoils it. :p

the old chap

where is calum ?


The excitement is building!!!!! Please please boys give us an opening win 😀 It’s been a while…

J Dizzle

Yes! good news! COYG lets lay down a marker!

Original Paul

So the injury gods are not match fit yet! ?


Hopefully no more players will suffer from a nasty gash.
Hopefully for Per’s and the teams sake that’ll clear right up.

Hoppalong Gabriel

Or an inflamed pubis


Definitely do not risk Ramsey from the start, too often he comes back and either re-injures that injured muscle or pulls something else. Elneny is in great form right now and is our most fit player. We should do very well with any two of Welbeck, Iwobi and Ozil behind Lacazette.


Tank vs Mahrez..cant wait!


No contest

TR7 > CR7

Welcome back to my fantasy football team then dear Mesut. Ramsey’s probably gonna have a good year too.

Terry Henry

Left field choice there

TR7 > CR7

Mesut’s finally gonna have someone to thread those through balls to on a regular basis this season, plus he usually plays the full 90. Ramsey had the second most shots and second most key passes of any Arsenal after the switch to the new system.

TR7 > CR7

…of any Arsenal player* after the switch to the new system.

J Dizzle

Choosing Arsenal players in my fantasy team never seems to go to plan. I’m thinking Nacho might be the safest bet this year!

TR7 > CR7

Went for Kolasinac myself, but love Nacho. Still remember celebrating like mad after he equalised vs man city in the FA cup.


I was tempted by both, but Xhaka at 5.5 million?! Bargain.


While he’s a good player In the real game, is he the best for fantasy team, the qualities he brings aren’t the things that earn points in fantasy football


Xhaka looked phenomenal pre season and end of last season expect big season from him


I tip him to score a cracker today as he was really close against chealshit

My prediction: Lacazzete x2, xhaka and welbeck for final 4-1 result.


Holding, Per, Monreal
Ox, Ramsey, Xacha, Koalasnatch,
Ozil, Welbz,

Ox in the Box

This is exactly who I would play in Ramsey didn’t have that injury, and that is the reason why I would put it on the bench for this game, especially since Elneny looks the most fit of the rest and had a great game on Sunday. Atleast Ozil didn’t have muscle injury, ankles are usually more straightforward to come back from.


Koala snatch lol


Not sure why you think kidnapping an Australian marsupial will help us win, but hey, might be worth a shot.

jack jack jack

Oh god. Good. Phew. That kind of ‘snatch’.


not sure i want to picture the other kind. Well, not on a Koala, anyway.

Original Paul

What about Hector?

Original Paul

I worry if Hector doesn’t start then he is off to Barca?


That’s a real concern. However (and despite what Blogs and Vlogs think) i think Ox is so much better going forward he gets the nod from me right now. Watch Hector get the ball in the final third – one of two things happen almost every time – 1) he checks back and hit’s non-threatening pass backwards and inside, or 2) he uses his pace, gets past defender but then cannot deliver the killer cross. Ox on the other hand rarely checks in side, but when crossing usually hits a much more dangerous cross. He’s far from perfect too – not a good defensively and will sometimes just overrun the ball out for goal kick. But on the whole, he edges it for me. But i love having both of them on our team and hate the thought of Hector going to Barca or Ox going to Chelski or Liverpoo.

Keep ’em both. Rotate them. Give Ox occassional opportunity in CM. We need the numbers.


I agree with Cagooner on that one – Ox over Hector for me, final ball tends to be a little better… assuming he ‘turns up’. Wasn’t great in the communist shield game but he was on the wrong side. Hector to play when we’re likely to be more under the cosh.


Welcome back guy


Good news with Ramsey back to partner Granit.

BUT we need to still add in midfield this season if we want to prosper.

Currently :

Granit adds critical passing range from deep.

Ramsey is the most instinctual/attacking minded link player in the midfield

Coquelin is the closest to a traditional DM/tackler

Elneny may add long distance strikes but is more a player with a pair of lungs willing to come off the bench/ your utility man.

We need someone who can replicate Santi’s dribbling and ball retention ability.


Jack? Not as a regular starter, but coming off the bench or for Europa League and Carling Cup maybe?


As for Ozil, that is indeed good news.

Unlike Alexis, he looks settled into our new season and ready to commit.

He can be a very influential player, just not the sort that will pull the team by the scruff of the neck when the chips are down (like Sagna)

I think the issue with Ozil is he plays brilliantly when the team is ticking but he goes missing when the team is lost.

We cannot rely on him to pull us out of a rut but we can rely on him to take us to a different level if we can rely on ourselves to stay out of the rut.


100% agree. Great to see him available. But i think the reason he’s settled and ready to commit is because there’s no real outside interest in him. And the reason there’s no real outside interest in him is because, as you say “he plays brilliantly when the team is ticking but he goes missing when the team is lost”.

I’d like to see him really step up and consistently make a difference this season. C’mon Mes.


Andy Mack

I think teams would be queueing at the door if they thought they’d stand a chance of getting Ozil.

Aloha Gooner

I would love it if Xhaka played with Elneny. Then have Ramsey and Ozil behind the center forward


I suspect our defense will chiefly depend on Koscielny and Mustafi.

With Gabriel injured, Per will also have a role.

To me, the back 3 –

Holding and chambers should rotate through the right position but if any should falter, Mustafi can be pushed right.

The left side can be covered by Gabriel (when fit) but Koscielny can also be employed. More likely one of the wingbacks in Monreal and Kolasinac will feature.

The middle is held down by either of Koscielny or Mustafi with Per as a further option.

Therefore the strongest line up IMO is :

Kolasinac/Monreal – Koscielny/Per – Mustafi/(Holding or Chambers)


Kolasinac versus Mahrez anyone? If Mahrez wanted out of England before, just wait until he gets hit with a tractor.


Did you hear the Arsecast Extra discussion? Who would you most love to see the tank hit? Andrew was straight out with Deli Ali. James came back with tank hits Maureen on sideline chasing ball heading out. I love the visual of both. But also look forward to your point about him crunching Mahrez tomorrow.

Andy Mack

Will Mike ‘Blindman’ Dean have a bigger affect on the result than the players we use?


Tank to ‘completely accidentaly’ flatten Mike Dean?

Andy Mack

Dean would make sure his last action would be to show Tank a Red Card… But if it was really his last action on earth then it would be worth it…. 😀


Can we play with elneny xhaka ramsey at midfield & lacazette ozil alexis(welbeck)? I dont mind not making welbz as regular to play with 3 CMs.


Ramsey is a Ljunberg-esque player: late surges into the box and boundless energy. What he lacks is Ljungberg’s scoring boots. Elneny keeps it tidy and does not turn over possession

Brendan from NY

Has Elneny improved? I cant tell from preseason. I think our midfield needs something better than 16-17 Elneny. Maybe he is ready to make tge adjustment. Still only been in epl a season and a half

Viraj @ gooner4life....
Viraj @ gooner4life....

I’d like to see Ox in the front three…Arsenal to win the fixture 4-0 with Lacazette scoring a brace in his premier league debut.


Enemy is a very good counter balance for any of our flashy midfielders. His passing may not be incisive or clinical enough but he is very good at the simple aspects of recycling the ball and retaining possession. His positional sense defensively and offensively is very good. He tracks player runs/the ball in a way that he is always in a good place to receive a pass or intercept an opposition one.


*Elneny, he certainly isn’t my enemy.


So many of us rate Ramsey so highly for a couple of important goals; a totally nothing player who wouldn’t get into the first 11 of any top side in England


If Ramsey can put in a shift to his peformance and remain consistent this time round we might have a shot of winning the title. I feel that this xhaka-ramsey combo could become a force to reckon with and could be the main cog that will enable the smooth running this machine. With Ramsey assuming the box to box role injecting energy into that mid n xhaka controlling play and spreading the ball, providing those beautiful vertical crosses not forgeting his occasional thunderbolts. We will be amazing to watch but lets wait n see