Aaron Ramsey’s form in the beginning of the season was nothing short of greatness. It seemed as though he single-handedly won matches for Arsenal through his goal scoring or assisting efforts. However, his form seemed to have dipped once the club entered the daunting month of December. While this isn’t surprising because it would be nothing short of miraculous for a player to maintain that form for an entire season, it has reflected in the Gunners’ current form.
Scoring 12 goals and adding five assists in the first 22 matches of the season, the Welshman hasn’t found the net since November while only adding two assists. It doesn’t help that his form has plummeted right when Arsenal needed him most as the Gunners had a difficult December.
Enter Theo Walcott. Making his first true return to the starting XI against Manchester City two weeks ago, the Englishman has done more than the club could’ve asked from him so soon after retuning from injury. Although the Gunners lost to the Citizens 6-3, Walcott scored twice and gave the club brief glimmers of hope when they needed it in the match. In the 0-0 draw against Chelsea earlier this week, Walcott was the only Gunner giving 100 percent the entire match.
In the Boxing Day clash with West Ham United, it seemed as though Arsenal would continue their poor run of form once the Hammers went up 1-0 just after halftime. In the 65th minute, Ramsey limped off the pitch with what appeared to be a thigh injury and on came Lukas Podolski in his return to the squad after a long spell on the sidelines due to an injury. Coincidentally, once the Welshman left the pitch, Walcott scored the equalizer and go-ahead goal within six minutes while Podolski added the third insurance goal.
While it seems Ramsey may be sidelined for an extended period of time with a possible thigh strain or worse, it’s important the Gunners have someone step up in his absence and fill the goal contributing void he leaves. With four of the Gunners’ last six goals, Walcott seems to be that man. And if Podolski can replicate his super sub abilities he’s been known for, the Gunners could easily bounce back from their disappointing December.