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Will Forest Help Ramsey Grow?
Patrick Norwood, Upper90magazine.
As an Arsenal fan living in Nottingham the story that has caught my eye the past few weeks has definitely been, Aaron Ramsey’s loan move to Nottingham Forest.
Since moving to Arsenal at just 17, for £5 million, from boyhood club Cardiff City, the most interesting aspect of Aaron Ramsey’s career has always been, what will Arsène Wenger’s next step be?
Wenger slowly introduced the youngster in to the first team during his first season with the Gunners, playing 22 games in the 2008-2009 season, most of which being in cup competitions however it was during the 2009-2010 campaign that Ramsey got his real chance.
Making 18 appearances in the first half of the season, Ramsey’s technique and vision enabled him to thrive in the centre of Arsenal’s midfield next to the ever influential Cesc Fabregas. But then there was that tackle!
An away game at Stoke is never a fixture you look forward to as a player, but the events that occurred on 27th February 2010 will haunt Aaron Ramsey for the rest of his career. Ryan Shawcross’ over exuberant challenge nearly disembodied Ramsey’s leg leaving him with a broken tibia and fibula.
So when Ramsey returned to play for Arsenal reserves two weeks back marking his first game in just under nine months, the question was always going to be, what will Wenger’s next step be?
Well Nottingham Forest and competitive Championship football was the answer…
Ramsey was always going to find it hard breaking straight back in to the Arsenal first team, not only is he lacking match fitness but Arsenal are hardly missing a talented playmaker in the midfield. With Nasri and Fabregas both firing on all cylinders and the likes of Wilshere, Rosicky and Diaby all knocking on the door, a fully fit Ramsey would struggle to cement a constant first team place. So a loan move away from the gunners was always going to be the best option.
But why Forest?
I have been saying for some time on my own blogs, the Championship is now the perfect place for young British talent to showcase and develop their ability. Young premier league players such as Walcott, Bale, Adam Johnson and Andy Carroll have all played in the Championship and have gone on to shine not only in the Premier league, but in Bale and Walcott’s case, on the world stage.
Forest and their manager Billy Davies are known for their ethos of developing and nurturing their top young players and this is exactly what Ramsey needs right now. The likes of Jermaine Jenas, Andy Reid and Michael Dawson have all worked their way through the Forest first team to the premiership and Billy Davies has helped players such as Tom Huddleston and Giles Barnes whilst managing Derby County. The first team football and protection the management team will offer can only help Ramsey recuperate.
At Forest, Ramsey will get the chance to play in a team that play good football in the Championship. Billy Davies’ side attempt to play an Arsenal type game, using talented centre midfield players (not always the case in the championship) and attacking wingers. I am adamant that Ramsey’s style of play will take to the Forest’s starting line up like a German takes to a penalty shoot out. His technique and vision fit nicely next to, defensive midfielder Guy Moussi and current hot shot Lewis McGugan (22) in the middle of the Forest midfield.
McGugan has shone this season scoring wonder goal after wonder goal. And it is with McGugan that Ramsey could form a young attacking midfield partnership preeminent to that of other championship team. If the two manage to form a partnership Forest will undoubtedly go that one step further than last years play off final defeat and achieve promotion to the Premier league for the first time in 13 years.
Despite Ramsey’s superior ability, the Championship will certainly not be an easy ride. As a far more physical league than the Premiership, it will be interesting to see how his fitness and more importantly his leg respond to the physical demands of the Championship. Despite being Welsh, can you see hard tackling players such as Robbie Savage, in a Derby County-Nottingham Forest derby going easy on Ramsey? I certainly can’t, so again his move will certainly act as a good test to see if he can still compete on a competitive platform
With Fabregas more often than not, stating his desire to move to the Nou Camp, it will inevitably be the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere who will step up to take the Spaniards place at the helm. This is exactly why the Gunners need Ramsey to be back to full fitness and running on all cylinders. His experience at Forest will definitely be a stepping stone in his career, whether it will be an influential move, time will only tell. I’m sure Wenger will look tentatively at the television every evening after a Forest game but if Ramsey comes through his Championship test and shines, what will Wenger’s next step be?
Patrick Norwood, Upper90magazine.
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