Ever since Ramires has come to the English game, I’ve been a big fan. Although slight in frame, he is someone who has energy in abundance and can change a game, Barcelona away sticks in the memory. However, with new signings coming in, his place in the team is in question, not only is his place in question, his role in the side is in doubt.
Last season, AvB started the season with a 4-3-3 formation and Ramires was in the central 3, as RDM took over, he put in place a 4-2-3-1 and Ramires became the right-sided winger, which was effective against the likes of Barcelona and Benfica. However, this season, his role is in doubt, especially considering the dearth in central midfielders after the sale of Raul Meireles and loaning out of Josh McEachran, Michael Essien and Yossi Benayoun.
Ramires Last Season
From the statistics last season, it is clear to see that although Ramires provides good pace and energy, with 43 successful dribbles, he is not a good crosser of the ball. With 41 total crosses, his success rate was a mere 5%, only 2 of his crosses were accurate. With Eden Hazard and Juan Mata occupying the central role in the 3, the only other option is for Ramires to operate within the 2. However, he has competition from Oriol Romeu and Frank Lampard, with John Obi Mikel looking like a firm starter. In the 2, a midfielder has to be both confident in passing as well as being able to cut up play well.
As we can see from the stats below, Lampard has a better tackle success percentage as well as pass completion, both overall and in open play and Romeu has better stats than both, albeit in fewer games. Ramires does play in the 2 for Brazil, and has experience, however, based on stats, it’s clear to see that Lampard and Romeu would be better suited for the role. In fact, you could argue that Oscar would be a better fit than Ramires aswell, although not a naturally defensive minded player, he can be the playmaker alongside Mikel who can split up defences, which Ramires can’t necessarily do as his passing is limited.
So, with both of those roles having better options, what are the options for Ramires? The most conceivable way for him to be in the side is if RDM reverts back to 4-3-3. This takes advantage of his energy, and this is where Ramires thrives the most in an attacking sense. Although useful on the right against attacking minded sides for his effort as well as pace, this isn’t where he is best utilised. In a central three, Ramires has Mikel beside him to protect him whilst being able to be central and make runs in to the box. All this being said, with the players at RDM’s disposal, it is most likely that he will stick to his 4-2-3-1, in this system considering his poor crossing ability, he is better suited centrally when looking at the stats, however stats don’t take in to account his pace and energy. Ramires is a fantastic player on his day and can still make the difference when needed, even if in a position which may not necessarily take advantage of his strengths.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Statistical Comparison area in our Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.