Arsenal midfielder’s goal glut is no great surprise, says Gibbs
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It’s generally accepted that one of the hallmarks of a successful team is for everyone to chip in with their fair share of goals.
And a quick glance at Arsenal’s current scoring charts suggests that the Emirates faithful need have few concerns on that front.
Central striker Olivier Giroud has found the net five times in the Gunners’ first eight games, the kind of ratio that would certainly stack up well over the course of a season.
But the Frenchman’s return has been overshadowed by Aaron Ramsey’s extraordinary purple patch in front of goal – a thriving tally of seven from his last seven appearances.
Few could have predicted that kind of run, given that Ramsey averaged roughly one goal for every 14 appearances in an Arsenal shirt prior to the start of this season.
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In between club commitments, the 22-year-old midfielder even added another goal for the struggling Welsh national team in their World Cup qualifier against Macedonia.
But Ramsey’s clinical streak comes as no surprise to his Gunners team-mate Kieran Gibbs, who said: “He’s always been that kind of player and you knew he had the quality.
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“It’s strange because when you look at his play over the last couple of seasons he’s always been just that little bit off from scoring and now his luck’s just changed.
“Now he’s become a world-class player. We always knew he had it in him and he’s shown that this year – he’s become a vital member of the squad. I think he’s got his eye on the Golden Boot at the minute!”
Given Ramsey’s recent form, there was a sense of inevitability when he opened the scoring with an early goal against Stoke on Sunday, but that was certainly not the case when it came to the identity of the other two scorers in the Gunners’ 3-1 win.
Central defender Per Mertesacker is not renowned for scoring goals all that regularly – and even less so Bacary Sagna, who headed in Arsenal’s third.
Left-back Gibbs also got his name on the scoresheet last month when he fired the Gunners’ opener in their Champions League qualifying round victory over Fenerbahce.
That leaves Laurent Koscielny as the only regular member of the back four yet to find the net this season, and he can probably be forgiven as his most recent competitive goal – at Newcastle in May – secured Arsenal’s place in that qualifying tie.
“We showed great character to score from set-pieces,” added Gibbs. “It gives us a positive in that we can score from other sources. We don’t just have to rely on attacking players to get goals.
“We do work a lot on those in training and when you’ve got players like [Mesut] Ozil delivering them for you, it does make it easier. He’s come in and he’s going to take us to that next level.”
Ozil’s arrival from Real Madrid has helped to galvanise a Gunners side that had already begun the process of recovery from their opening day loss to Aston Villa.
That 3-1 defeat now seems a distant memory and, as Arsenal perch on top of the Premier League table, Gibbs is confident that they are sufficiently strong to challenge on all fronts.
“I felt like it [Villa] was just an early season blip for us and we have responded well in all competitions,” said the 23-year-old. “We’ve built up momentum now and we want to keep that going.
“Personally, it’s the best I’ve felt physically – I feel stronger and I can cope with the amount of games, which is so demanding. I need to keep going, stay fit and play consistently, that’s my main target.
“I’m excited by the quality of the squad and with the players that are out at the moment, I feel the team will be getting even stronger when they come back in.”