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Everton v Arsenal: Gunners will be boosted by the return of 'big miss' Aaron Ramsey

Alan Smith - Alan Smith Posted 4th April 2014 view comments

Arsenal have been shorn of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere but Aaron Ramsey has been the biggest miss considering how on-fire he was earlier in the season.

He was scoring regularly and Arsenal have lacked the ability to get in behind and find the back of the net since he picked up his injury, especially with Olivier Giroud tiring under the weight of being the club's sole frontline striker.

Arsenal have lacked potency without Aaron Ramsey, says Alan

Arsenal have lacked potency without Aaron Ramsey, says Alan

Therefore, it is great news that Ramsey is back in training and could play some part in the match with Everton on Super Sunday, though I hope he gets played centrally when he does make his return.

Ramsey has thrived in the middle this campaign and has got immense confidence from getting on the ball more and being looked at as a key player, whereas when he played out wide last term he struggled to impose himself.

Martinez has a steely resolve and is very clued-up and I'm sure the world's biggest clubs have eyes on him.

Alan Smith
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I don't think Ramsey will start at Goodison Park as Everton is such a difficult and important game, but that will give Tomas Rosicky another chance to impress, something he has been doing a lot in recent weeks during a tough time for Arsenal.

The Czech is probably having one of his best spells in a Gunners shirt and, despite being 33, he offers the team plenty of energy, pace and defensive work, as well as crisp and accomplished passing.

Arsenal, though, will not be beaming with confidence after recent results, as although they battled back to take a point against Man City, they have been thumped by Chelsea and lost at Stoke, leading you to question their defending and the way they have approached games.

Balance

So I'm sure Ross Barkley will be looking to test Arsenal if he overcomes a calf injury.

His partnership with Romelu Lukaku could be big factor on Sunday as it has been a pretty lethal combination at times this season, ever since Barkley has flourished in that No. 10 position.

That is exactly where you want him because he has a great shot off both feet, has exceptional balance and is a strong boy with a turn of pace, which makes it easy to see why he has had comparisons with Paul Gascoigne.

I would definitely take him to the World Cup and you could argue that he will be one of the fresher bodies if he got there as Roberto Martinez has taken him out of the firing line during certain periods this year.

Martinez has looked after him really shrewdly, knowing that as a young boy he was probably going to have a dip in form, and I think that shows you that he is destined for big, big things as a manager.

He has put his own stamp on the club since taking over from David Moyes, promoting youth with Barkley and John Stones and playing a very attractive style of football, so he will be sought after in the next few years.

Martinez comes across as very amiable but there is a steely resolve about him and he is very clued-up and I'm sure the world's biggest clubs have eyes on him, so if Everton could get in the Champions League that would help their chances of keeping him in the long term.

With that in mind, I think you could probably describe Sunday's game as a must-win for Everton and a must-not-lose for Arsenal, considering the visitors are four points above the hosts in fourth having played a game more.

If Everton are serious about Champions League football they have to take three points here because I think Arsenal are very capable of winning their final five games of the season, against West Ham, Hull, Newcastle, West Brom and Norwich.

Everton's matches look tougher on paper, with home games against both Manchester clubs and a trip to Southampton, so if they want to be mixing it with Barcelona, Real Madrid etc next season, three points is a must.

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