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Interpreting Aaron Ramsey Movement to Create Goal Scoring Threat

Aaron Ramsey enjoyed a superb campaign during 2013/2014 season. Everyone would not easily forget how he became the Arsenal hero by scoring the match winning goal in 2014 FA Cup Final which ended Arsenal trophy drought. The 2013/2014 Arsenal Fans Player of the Year is known for his clever movement during the campaign.

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He often became the answer when his team seemed difficult to find the way through. He ended the 2013/2014 season with a memorable goal at Wembley which summed up his outstanding display during the campaign. He started 2014/2015 season brightly. His match winning goal against Crystal Palace on the opening day and his “close-range finish” at Goodison Park which started the Arsenal comeback before Oliver Giroud close-range header restored the parity shows that he deserves to be the Arsenal Player of the season. It does not raise an eyebrow when everyone marked him as the right player at the right place due to his ability to score some vital goals for Arsenal.

As the season 2015/2016 started, people start questioning his contribution for the team so far this season. It looks like something has been missing from him, something that is expected from a player who once became a real goal scoring threat.


As an Arsenal fan, you must be familiar with this match. Yes, this is 2014 FA Cup Final. This is the build-up play from Arsenal when Ramsey scored the match winning goal. Look at the position of Ramsey. The attacking move started from the right flank. He had a choice to dribble the ball past opponent before releasing a cross to either Yaya Sanogo or Olivier Giroud, the arsenal players with the most aerial threats. However, he decided to hold the ball and waited for a support, in this case Mikel Arteta, before making a late run darting into the penalty box. He knows that crossing is not his strong point.


Look at the picture when Ramsey was ready to make a late run. One Hull City player, the player in black ellipse, was marking him. He needed to dart away from his marker.


Look at the Hull city player (marked with number 1). He tried to track Ramsey’s movement as Jack Wilshere directed the ball to Sanogo who is inside Hull City’s left half space.

build-up4 (1)

Sanogo controlled the ball and passed it to Giroud. Look at the red ellipse! Ramsey had not already been there. He needed to buy his time before darting into the penalty box. Then look at the black ellipse. That is the player who tracked Ramsey’s movement.


There he is. The player in the red ellipse is Ramsey and the player in blue ellipse is the player who was tracking him. Ramsey timed his run excellently waiting Giroud’s backhell pass.


Look at how Ramsey timed his run. Two Hull City players were surrounding him, but they were unable to cope with Ramsey’s movement. Ramsey was more than ready to receive the ball, and the result was brilliant. It was a truly memorable goal.

another perspective
Act 1
another perspective2
Act 2
another perspective3
Act 3

Here is the build-up play from a different angle. Once again these pictures show how brilliant Aaron Ramsey was. He waited his time to dart into the penalty box. He had to ensure that the opposition defender did not break-up the attacking move before making his run. He stayed outside the penalty area in case the opposition defender broke-up the attacking move and launched a counter attack. When he knew that Giroud managed to reach the ball, he darted into the penalty box and slotted the ball past McGregor.


This picture shows how Arsenal covers the area to accommodate Ramsey’s movement. They had to maintain their compactness in case the opposition player managed to break-up the move. This is how Ramsey ended the 2013/2014 season. His brilliant movement was the key to his outstanding display.

late run vs everton

At the start of 2014/2015 season, Ramsey still played this kind of movement. Again, his goal against Everton at the Goodison Park showed how dangerous his off-the-ball movement was. You can see from the picture above that there is only one Arsenal player, Mesut Ozil, inside Everton penalty area. Santi Cazorla delivered a wonderful through ball toward the far post, and it was a brilliant movement by Ramsey who went forward unnoticed to connect the through ball.

ramsey late run vs wes ham
Act 1: Late run against West Ham
arah late run vs west ham
Act 2: Late run against West Ham
build-up vs west ham
Act 3: Late run against West Ham
run vs west ham
Act 4: Late run against West Ham > coming in the box

During the match against West Ham, Ramsey once again showed his brilliant movement to help Giroud to score the opening goal. His run inside West Ham half space had caused havoc in West Ham Defense.


Looking back at his best spell in Arsenal shirt makes us wonder what has been missing from him recently. Hopefully, this article will answer your question about the Welshman recent performance and help you to know what to expect from this man in the forthcoming matches. Making a late run or arriving late into penalty area is a big risk for a team. Adequate support to cover such movement and excellent decision making are necessary. The key success of this attacking scheme is patiently waiting for the right time. This is something that we want to see from Aaron Ramsey. However, there are still many factors which might affect his recent performances whether it was part of the game plan, the manager instruction, or the psychological factor. A deeper analysis is needed in order to figure out what actually happens. Should he find his best form again, surely he would become a valuable player for Arsenal.


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