Football FanCast guest columnist Rhys Meadows feels that in Aaron Ramsey Arsenal have finally found the long overdue replacement for Dennis Bergkamp.
As Aaron Ramsey struck his 30yarder past the hapless Joe Hart, I was welling up with pride. This wasn't simply down to a great love of my country or taking great pleasure in sticking one over England, but the realisation that Wales' finest export since John Charles will finally get the recognition he deserves.
I don't know what the Arsenal first thought when they signed Ramsey, but I'm guessing it was a mixed view. You couldn't blame the cynics, hey they have heard it all before as the media continually praises youngsters and hails them as the next footballing great only to be subsequently disappointed at their failure to step up to the required level. I am the biggest cynic in the world, but I tell you Gunners fans you need to believe in this kid as he is the full package and I hope last night did enough to convince you all of the star quality amidst your ranks.
The beauty of Ramsey is the versatility he possesses and the very fact there are question marks over his best position. I have seen the kid play at full back, centre half and all across the midfield at Cardiff and still looked the best player on the park. Having read some Arsenal blogs this morning, just to gauge an initial reaction, it seems that they feel they have another Cesc Fabregas on their hands. Some expressed joy at the fact they may have finally unearthed a midfielder that actually has the ability to shoot from distance (however felt assured that Wenger will eventually train that out of him in time), but the general hope was that Wenger would take off the cotton gloves and give Ramsey a run of games in the first team – I personally feel he is wasted in the reserves because the Premier League would hold no fear for this kid.
I honestly believe that Ramsey's best position is the fabled No.10 position where he is free to express his undoubted abilities and take full control of the attacking third. My one criticism of Arsenal (which fans obviously seem to share) is they tend to be too patient in and around the box. Many see it as they are continually seeking to score the perfect goal every time, but I feel a lot of it is due to the fact they haven't got that Dennis Bergkamp type figure within the team who can provide those deft touches or unlock a stubborn defence. Ramsey has that ability and I really feel he could provide that avenue for Arsenal if he was to be given the chance.
Anyway I hope last night was enough to convince you of Wenger's sanity in bringing Ramsey to the Emirates. Cardiff's lost is very much Arsenal's gain and don't be dismissive of last night game as a one off. You have one gem of a footballer on your hands who has the potential to be the best of his generation if given a chance and while I know Wenger can be patient with young players, I just wonder how long he can keep the kid Ramsey tied down.