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April 2021

The Season’s Impressions: midfield wizards 2. RAMSEY!!!!

By Walter Broeckx

After having spoken about Santi Cazorla and Özil I now will try to say anything that hasn’t been said already about Ramsey. I mean where do you stop saying how great he was for us last season. And from when on it gets boring?

Well his Arsenal career surely hasn’t been boring up to now. Even though one year of it surely will have been very boring to Ramsey. The year after he went off when he was kicked to pieces by not that kind Shawcross. Much doubt has been expressed since then about him. And it wasn’t hard to start doubting that he would come back. Others like Eduardo and Diaby didn’t really make it back. I think it is fair to say that Aaron did it. This just shows how difficult it really is to come back from such a career threatening injury.

I think it was the most fitting way to end the season. Aaron Ramsey scoring the winner in the FA cup final in extra time.  If there was any player deserving such a moment it was him. Even now when writing this and reliving the goal in my mind I still get goosebumps and can only imagine what it must have been for him.

We as supporters know what the joy was when we finally got that decisive goal and we won the FA cup after you know how many years. The longer the wait the deeper and the bigger the joy. So I admit I never felt such a joy after a goal like this one. Fairytale stuff for us as supporters.

Are there any words left to describe how it must have felt for Ramsey? One detail about the celebration he did after the goal. Look at it again and then look at his final pose when he stopped running and went to the ground. And then remember Charlie George after scoring his winner in extra time against Liverpool back in the seventies.  I thought there were some similarities there.

There is no more doubt about it. The real Aaron Ramsey is back. The one that was hidden inside and that some would fear that was kicked out of him. Well the boy showed not only his football class but also he showed that he has an unbelievable character by coming back and winning over not only the injury itself. But he also did the most difficult thing: win over the supporters.  And the hate and the vitriol that was aimed at him in the season before this one.

But let us show some incredible stats about him.

First of all Ramsey only played half of the games for Arsenal in the league. He started in 20 matches and came on as a sub in 3 more.  But the incredible thing is that he scored 10 goals in the PL. That is 1 goal every two matches!  From a midfielder. Not a striker.

Impressive? Wait till I go to the European matches. Ramsey started in 7 matches and came on as a sub in one other match. He scored 5 goals! That is almost 1 goal in each match! Remember this is a midfielder. Not a striker.

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In the FA cup Ramsey only was on the field in 2 matches. Both at Wembley. In the semi final he made his first start after his muscle injury that kept him out for more than 3 long months. And he played in the final of course. 2 matches and 1 goal. And no need to tell you how important that goal was. Again an amazing high number for a midfielder.

Ramsey had stats that would make any striker happy. But he is a midfielder and this makes the numbers even more amazing.  In the previous 5 seasons when he was an Arsenal player he had scored 11 goals in all competitions in all seasons. This season he scores 16 goals in total in one season. And he missed almost  half of the season!

I think the biggest regret we and surely he will have is that he was out for such a long time. A long time that probably has cost us the title and a domestic double.

What is also something that we need to remember is that from the words of Wenger we have learned that Ramsey is a learner. A player that is keen on improving himself. And as when then think of the fact that he is only 23 years young and maybe in career terms only 21 years with the 2 lost injury years we look at the prospect that this is not the limit of what he can do.  In a way this only feels like the beginning of his career. The real start of a career that should have started earlier but then was almost killed.

At 23 years young he looks as composed as a 28 years old midfielder, he covers the whole field, tackles (one of the best tacklers in the league!), he gives assists and he scores. And he will improve. And a big deal of this improvement came along because of Wenger playing him all over the field. Much to the annoyance of the short sighted. Who thought it was a waste of time and space to play Ramsey on the wing and even at right back in one match? Again Wenger knew what he was doing. Building up his confidence all over the pitch.

Giving him confidence to become himself again. We didn’t understand it at the time. Even I didn’t always understood what Wenger was doing when he put Ramsey out on the right flank. It was to improve him. His decision making. And as a result when he played on the right flank it was a learning lesson to find out the difficulties to give a good cross. But most importantly to know where to run in the centre when a forward has the ball on the flanks. To learn to go in to positions where he is free and use that space.

In those days Ramsey got abuse that was terrible to see. I have nothing against people who thought that he never would come good. The chances of that happening were small. I do have a problem and will never forget the vile abuse that was aimed at Ramsey by our own supporters. Most players would have walked out after that. I even wouldn’t blame him if he had done so. No player deserves death threats from his own fans. No players deserves to be wished terrible injuries by his own fans.

He won over his injury, the abuse the threats from his own fans. And I hope those who did all that will hide in shame and never do such a thing again with an Arsenal player. I somehow think this hope is in vain…

Last season we could summarize the season of Ramsey like this: He won us the FA cup and he cost us (inadvertently)  the league. Not that I blame him for that as it was his injury that kept him out for more than 3 months that cost us dear. Who would have predicted that 18 months ago? Not even I could.

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5 comments to The Season’s Impressions: midfield wizards 2. RAMSEY!!!!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    And, he has had the summer to recuperate and relax (honeymoon and all) and should be fit as a fiddle in July for the pre-season.

  • ARSENAL 13

    What a goal that was……

    Also the celbration, and when he goes down, the first 2 players to join the celebration Jack and Gibbs. No wonder we call them the core of the team.

  • Pat

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the very player who got so much abuse was the one who won us the FA Cup and gave everyone so much joy.

    I’d like to think the people who abused Ramsey might draw some conclusions. But will they?

    Just as well our manager makes up his own mind.

  • Pete

    My prediction is that Ramsey will be commonly regarded as one of the 5 best players in the world within 2 years. And richly deserved. He basically leads almost ALL the relevant stats for a midfielder already and is just 23 (and has lost as good as 3 years to injury). He may become the best Arsenal player of my lifetime (Vieira currently holds that distinction as far as I am concerned).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice tribute to one who was thought not good enough for Arsenal . Just shows that may be the so called ‘experts’ not quit their daily jobs and leave the team selection in the safe hands of our manager .
    If not for the injuries this season , maybe , just maybe……(sighs).
    Well there is always next season ! Go Ramsey !