Blogs & Opinion


Arsenal v Newcastle: Aaron Ramsey to inspire big win, says Paul Merson

Paul Merson - Paul Merson Posted 24th April 2014 view comments

Arsenal have turned another corner and if you look back, I think it has all hinged on the fitness of Aaron Ramsey.

If he had been available all of the way through, then I think their season would have been a different story. They look like a completely different team with him in it.

Yes, you want people like Theo Walcott in the team for their pace but it's Ramsey who is so important for them. He is the player who runs forward and gets beyond the other team to open the game up.

Ramsey: Arsenal would have flown higher had Welshman remained available, says Merson

Ramsey: Arsenal would have flown higher had Welshman remained available, says Merson

When you have him making runs, it gives other players, such as Santi Cazorla, more time on the ball. The other players in the midfield don't do the same thing. He's also a finisher and gets big goals as well.

When he got injured around Christmas time, he was probably the best player in the league, scoring big goals in big games - and he has done the same since he has come back. If he hadn't got injured, then it would have been massive for Arsenal.

I think most teams that play Newcastle between now and the end of the season will expect three points with the way they are playing.

I don't think Liverpool need to worry about beating them on the final day unless a major improvement occurs over the next two weeks.

They are completely and utterly gone at the highest level. We saw Sunderland go to Chelsea and end Jose Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten home run and nobody saw it coming, but that was a team fighting for their lives.

That can't be said about Newcastle, who are in the middle of the table and simply can't win a football match for toffee.

Struggled

They sold Yohan Cabaye in January and shortly after that they got safe in the middle of the table and they haven't been able to pick themselves up again.

I watched them a few weeks ago against Hull, in the game when Alan Pardew headbutted David Meyler, and they were outstanding. They ripped apart a Hull team that was on a bit of a run, but they've struggled for wins since then.

They can't win their home games, so what chance have they got at the Emirates? I think Arsenal will win this and cement their position in the top four.

If they can do that and win the FA Cup, then I think that would be a brilliant season - and I think they will do both.

Arsenal ripped Hull apart last week - and Hull won't have Nikica Jelavic or Shane Long in the Cup Final. Psychologically the Hull players will be worried about that.

March was a nightmare for Arsenal. They had hard games and got punished in all of them. We all said they would be a force if they were still in it in April - and while they are no longer in the title race they are winning these games as expected.

This is a fairly easy prediction for me - it has to be an easy home win.

PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Jamie questions Remy move

Jamie Redknapp says Loic Remy will get nowhere near the Chelsea first team with Diego Costa around....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Top four in sight for Spurs

Spurs can make the top four, says Carra, depending on how seriously they take their European duties....

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League round-up

Swansea, then Chelsea, move to the top of the Premier League, Stoke stun poor Manchester City and still no win for Louis van Gaal.

Live transfer updates

Arsenal and Chelsea battle for Loic Remy's signature, West Ham sign Alex Song and Man Utd agree deal for Daley Blind.

Chelsea hit Everton for six

Chelsea hit Everton for six in a goal-filled Premier League extravaganza at Goodison Park which finally ended 6-3.

Arsenal enter race for Remy

​Arsenal have joined Chelsea in triggering Loic Remy's release clause, according to some Sky sources.

United still waiting for win

Louis van Gaal continues to wait for his first win as Manchester United manager following a 0-0 draw away to Burnley.

Features

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.

Christian Eriksen masterclass

Christian Eriksen masterclass

Type ‘Christian Eriksen free-kicks’ into your internet search engine and you will not be disappointed.

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.