Frank Lampard tells Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey to start defending

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Football News

In the aftermath of Arsenal's 3-0 victory over Olympiakos, Steven Gerrard told BT Sport viewers that he believed Aaron Ramsey was the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League.

The Welshman heard, later tweeting his thanks to the former Liverpool captain, but another Premier League legend, Frank Lampard, brought him back down to earth on Monday night with some much-needed criticism.

Ramsey has played much of the past 12 months on Arsenal's right-wing as Arsene Wenger opted for a midfield two of Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin. Although he has politely reminded his manager that it is not his preferred position, Ramsey has gone about his business with the utmost professionalism.


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With both Cazorla and Coquelin out for the long-term, the 24-year-old now has a chance to reestablish himself in the central position and, after grabbing a terrific box-to-box goal against Aston Villa at the weekend, has already reminded Wenger of his effectiveness in that position. 

But Lampard, who scored 177 Premier League goals in an illustrious career, found plenty of faults in his performance during an expert analysis with Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football. Every one of them involved his reluctance to defend.

Indeed, the Chelsea legend insisted that Ramsey is still lacking the 'ability' to play in a midfield two. However, it must be made clear that Lampard was also very complimentary of other aspects of the Arsenal man's game.

Watch the full analysis here:

Reluctant defending

"Ramsey has to change his game and think about the defensive side of his game," Lampard said on Sky Sports.

"With Ozil playing so well he knows he's not going to get that No.10 role, so he'll have to drop deeper. At the moment he doesn’t yet have the ability to play in the midfield two.

"I love him as a player, very bright and very clever but you can see by the way he's running back he doesn’t really want to do it."

Wenger agrees

Lampard's views are probably very similar to what Wenger is telling him on the Arsenal training ground every day. The Gunners boss recently admitted that he believed playing Ramsey in the middle 'unbalanced' his team.

Injuries have left Wenger with no choice but to play Ramsey in the central position, but he must take full advantage and prove to his manager that he can defend as well as he can attack. Wenger is fully aware Ramsey can score goals, but, if he can't learn to track back, the Frenchman will shove him back out to the right wing at the earliest opportunity.

Frank Lampard
Premier League
Aaron Ramsey

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