Begin the McGinn

Arsenal can replace Aaron Ramsey if they look to Villa Park

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There’ll never be another Aaron Ramsey, but we’ll still need to replace his impact come the end of this season. Loanee Dani Ceballos is impressing many, with his stylish approach and direct attitude, but he’s only with us for this campaign. Dani’s already talked of using this season to build his future back at Real Madrid. Arsenal will have to look beyond Ceballos in the long term and the club will surely have started their search. It needs to include Aston Villa’s John McGinn.

Aaron Ramsey scored 64 Arsenal goals in 11 campaigns, with 63 from open play. He was a marvel at finding space, creating chances for others and ghosting in from deep to plunder vital strikes, perfectly illustrated by his winning goals in two FA Cup Finals. You can’t find a perfect direct replacement for Ramsey as no such thing exists. Teams evolve with the distinct skills of their individual members. No two players can be the same, but you can replace Ramsey’s effect. John McGinn is fast proving that he’s an ideal successor. His impact and goal record over the last 15 months at Villa, plus his previous success in Scotland, tells a compelling story. 

While Jack Grealish is Aston Vila’s captain and poster boy, McGinn was widely regarded as the driving force behind Villa’s climb up the Championship last season and eventual promotion back to the Premier League. Grealish continues to impress with flashes this season, but McGinn remains Villa’s conductor. Grealish might be the face of Villa’s clock, but McGinn is both hands. 

McGinn had already proven his impact and ambition in Scotland, winning the Scottish League Cup with St Mirren in 2013, the Scottish Cup with Hibernian in 2016 and the Scottish Championship with Hibs in 2017. He joined Villa in August 2018, despite long-term determined interest from Celtic. McGinn quickly became a fans’ favourite at Villa Park - much like Ceballos at Arsenal - in his one full season so far at Villa, winning both the Supporters' Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards. He also scored Villa’s winning goal in the Play-Off Final.

McGinn’s has scored a credible 10 Villa goals in 49 appearances to date, heading into the current international break with Scotland. He’s ghosted in to score at Tottenham and Arsenal already this season and he’s just taken full advantage of Scotland’s home clash with San Marino by plundering a hat-trick. McGinn will be impressing many in football with his hard work, creativity and goal threat each passing week and that interest needs to include Arsenal. You can barely perform a better audition to prove your potential as an Arsenal player than to score against us in our own stadium. 

McGinn is already reportedly being whispered on Man United’s radar and Arsenal need to make sure that he’s on theirs too. Scott McTominay at United is McGinn’s international teammate and midfield partner, so is well placed to influence McGinn towards Old Trafford. But our own Kieran Tierney is also McGinn’s international colleague and could have a few complimentary words on our behalf. 

McTominay’s industry could be a compelling draw for McGinn, as could United’s historic Scottish influence from Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson, but United are very ordinary on the pitch now and might not even make the top 6 this season. Tierney has much more dynamic impact and it won’t escape McGinn’s attention, as Arsenal vie for the top 4, just how much he could benefit from ghosting onto Tierney’s crosses and pull-backs. 

McGinn will have had a full Premier League season behind himself by next summer, fitness allowing, so keep an eye on him throughout this campaign. Villa will struggle at times but he won’t. Ignore them, watch him. It’s what Arsenal should be doing. There’s no doubt in my mind that John McGinn could provide a very impactful solution to Arsenal’s Ramsey-less midfield balance.

Twitter@thatsimonrose

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18
comments

  1. markymark

    Oct 18, 2019, 19:10 #115141

    I think Jimmy Rimmer got “save of the season” against Kevin Keegan . I think they used to do a save of the season like goal of the season. I just about remember him , I was very young. Did we then replace with the not so great George Wood?

  2. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Oct 18, 2019, 07:41 #115136

    Ron, JR made a save against West Ham, home game (circa 75), a cross came in from the right and I think it was Billy Jennings headed it down on to the goal line at Jimmy's feet, we were in the North Bank and all around we let out a collective "f*ck it" next thing Jimmy gets up with the ball in his hands as if he had just bent down to pick up the post on his doormat. My father talked about that save for weeks afterwards, we were 1 - 0 up (I think) at the time and then Brady scored a beautiful goal with the outside of his left foot and we won a very nervy game 3-0. Later that season I think West Ham came back and won 2-0 in the cup. JR had to be a brilliant keeper with the dross he had in front of him, like you say Ron, without him I think we would have gone down.

  3. itsRonagain2

    Oct 17, 2019, 21:41 #115135

    Marky - 1981 that was. SKG - I think a lot ufswould say that JR more or less kept us up largely on his own around 75 or 76 time, would you say?

  4. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Oct 17, 2019, 20:12 #115134

    Ron - Jimmy Rimmer, one of the best shot stoppers I have seen.

  5. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Oct 17, 2019, 20:07 #115133

    Markey- yes we did beat them 2 - 0 and then Ipswich lost to give them the title, I think. Ron good summing up of Villa, my mate has watched AV in the old third division! For me after Highbury, Villa Park is how a football ground should be, not the pretentious nonsense that has been built in North London, the Holt End is very atmospheric. The FA obviously think so as they have held enough semi finals at this famous ground - should do so again and scrap semis at Wembley.

  6. markymark

    Oct 17, 2019, 19:30 #115132

    Got* - > for

  7. markymark

    Oct 17, 2019, 19:28 #115131

    Ron and SKG was it 80 or 81 they won the title at Highbury but we beat them 2-0. I’d been in one or two big crowds against Liverpool but that was far and away the biggest . I suspect over capacity. We queued for ages and then my dad (RIP) said I think you’d better try the youth enclosure so in I went. My god my wife would kill me if I told my son to go find a different entrance to get in and meet back at the car. But that was 70’s laissez faire they’ll survive parenting and here I still am so it worked. Being young I absolutely hated Ipswich got beating us in 78 but then felt so sorry for them not winning the title . I guess even at that age I’d guessed it would be their best shot. Think Mike Gattings brother Steve got one of the goals ?

  8. itsRonagain2

    Oct 17, 2019, 18:58 #115130

    SKG. - agree with that. The Season AV won the European Cup was the yr I left the south east and go to Warwick to live with my brother so in Their last title yr I went to a lot of Villas games at Villa Park with him who s a Villa fan. Their battle with Ipswich was enthralling wasn’t it. Ipswich as I recall - don’t quote me but I think they beat Villa home and away. They were very good too. Villa were very much a team that GG would later on have rated. Iron discipline. Steel mentality and a combo of high skill grit and toughness. Shaw was quality as was Morley. Dennis Mortimer was a teak tough but refined captain and mid fielder. Evans and McNaught at the back. Rimmer in goal. Had all the right ingredients. Villa Park used to rock back then. Liverpool must have been in the mix but I can’t recall. really. Saunders was top class. My Bro is still a regular when he get to VP. He d say for yrs that when they’ve got it good, they never invest properly and lack ambition so they go into chronic decline every few yrs. they looked good back in 2006 time but wdt back O Neill so he left. They’re only just getting over that he reckons. Villa are a club who the post 1992 fan don’t really get as they’ve only known the familiar top 4 as top clubs but AV are massive. Great big supporter base haven’t they. Give any of the West Midlands support ers a team and they really get behind them. Wolves are showing that now. Agree re McGinn too. He wd need an older school coach as you say a Mourinho. A Rafa or latterly a Rodgers perhaps. I hope AV can get back and rub shoulders at the top. I love the old traditional clubs though.

  9. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Oct 17, 2019, 12:41 #115129

    Good point about Aston Villa Ron - they are indeed on the way back, a great football club with real history. Saw a lot of Villa games back in the 80's as my mate is a life long supporter, he would often talk about Ron Saunders training methods and the infamous "sick pit" he drove the players to their limits and they became a real tough outfit. If I mentioned Gary Shaw it would bring a tear to his eye - a brilliant talent kicked into an early retirement. McGinn would be ideal for Arsenal but only under a old school British manager.

  10. Bard

    Oct 16, 2019, 19:16 #115128

    My word there I was thinking we had morphed into a decent footy site and northbankvet emerges from the swamp as the reincarnation of Jameson et al. Its all about opinions mate, post them, engage with the debate and leave it at that. All the tiresome rubbish about who is or isnt an Arsenal fan is for morons. Ron is Arsenal through and through it you had been paying attention over the last few years. Grow up mate.

  11. Exiled in Pt

    Oct 16, 2019, 12:51 #115127

    What a load of old bollox ! All i can say is there are a lot of players on that audition list its not difficult to score against us is it ! Replace Ramsey like that is what the team are missing ....... What next missing Igor Stepanovs height at the back how do we replace it ... This is exactly why international football should be played at end of the season rather than during the season . We end up with crap like this to read .. (Not taking anything away from the fact he bothered to write the post , as it is more than i do but imo should not of bothered )

  12. markymark

    Oct 16, 2019, 12:18 #115126

    Hmmm the knuckle dragger comment, seem to remember 1 or 2 of the oddballs BBA / Jameson / TOOAW using that as their go to keyboard warrior assault word . Obviously they’ve got bored being alone in their bedrooms

  13. TonyEvans

    Oct 16, 2019, 12:13 #115125

    I can't really class Ramsey as a legend, even with his FA Cup winning goals. I suppose in the context of the teams he played in you could argue legend status, but really the very fact that we are even arguing the toss about this says a lot about the paucity of talent during his time at the club.

  14. itsRonagain2

    Oct 16, 2019, 09:35 #115124

    northbankvet - most certainly originating from a back street and proud of it. Not quite sure about unfortunate though. I ll have to give that some thought. However, back street or unfortunate or not, i m entitled to my view that Ramsey was a tryer at best who had his career curtailed by a meat head at Stoke and as such had his career stunted by both that and his Coach. You might know the meaning of meathead judging by yr post? Nevertheless, whether you agree with me or not is irrelevant. i couldn't care less.

  15. Radfordkennedy

    Oct 16, 2019, 09:27 #115123

    Not sure I'd say he was of legend status but he tried hard enough. I think there was an 18 month period in all the time he spent with us where he reached the peak of his abilities in my opinion, but like Jack having chocolate ankles held him back. What again didn't really help his cause was no one really knew what his actual position or purpose was there seemed to be a bit of ' do what you can ' about him, wish him all the luck though.

  16. northbankvet

    Oct 16, 2019, 09:04 #115122

    is ronagain2 an Arsenal man or one of those unfortunates from the mausoleum on the mire (formerly the shack on the swamp). Sounds suspiciously like a knuckle dragger from the poor streets. Having said that the comment about injuries and unfulfilled are not inaccurate but we could have done with some of our other players showing his attitude.

  17. markymark

    Oct 16, 2019, 08:02 #115121

    Unless Arsenal really surprises me he’s got UTD written all over him . What’s this stuff about the legendary Ramsay? He’s injured again at Juve isn’t he?

  18. itsRonagain2

    Oct 15, 2019, 16:00 #115119

    The words marvel and impact in context of Aaron Ramsey are lost on me. The words injured and unfulfilled career come easier though. Hes paltry goal return in 11 years spells out his lack of impact i think. McGinn - good player but Arsenal wont look at him. Not glamorous enough ,too warrior like, too gritty and too much of a street fighter. All characteristics Wengo dispensed with many years ago and his present clone doesn't recognise those facets of a player either. Moreover, hes out of Arsenals league. AV are a big club on the way back up and wouldn't sell him for a packet of sweets and a Mars bar which is what Arsenal would likely offer.