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

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