By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Aaron Ramsey is not disciplined enough to play in central midfield, according to Frank Lampard.
The Chelsea legend, who is acknowledged as one of the great attacking midfielders of the Premier League era, says the Arsenal man must adapt his game in the best interests of his team.
Lampard stresses he is a big admirer of Ramsey but says the Welshman’s instinct to attack and make forward runs can sometimes be to the detriment of the Gunners.
Ramsey has played in central midfield in Arsenal’s last three matches – victories over Sunderland, Olympiakos and Aston Villa, and scored two goals.
But Lampard explains how the requirements will be different in next Monday’s top-of-the-table showdown against Manchester City at Emirates Stadium and Ramsey’s style of play could cost his team dear.
“I think it will be a problem for Arsenal,” Lampard told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football programme. “It is obviously not his natural game.
“He has said he wants to play in midfield. At the minute, they have one of the best players in the Premier League, [Mesut] Ozil playing in the No10 role, so he is not going to get that role.
“He has to go to Man City next week and change his game, and think about the defensive side of his game.”
Ramsey has been given his chance in the centre alongside anchorman Mathieu Flamini after serious injuries robbed Arsene Wenger of the services of regular pair Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.
“I love him as a player, he is very good on the ball, he is very bright,” said Lampard. “At the moment he has not quite got the discipline to play in a two. He certainly has the capabilities.
“It is more about him. He has to listen to his manager. I remember Arsenal came to Man City last year and shut up shop, they did not go bombing forward so much.
“He has to take that game on Monday and think, ‘I might not get there 10 times in the box, I might get there two or three, but what I will do is protect my back four when I need to’.”