Thanks for dropping by. It’s a little quiet in terms of Arsenal news out there, what with our next fixture not until Monday night and the transfer market being as inert as Wayne Rooney’s influence on the Man United attack these days.
Luckily however, Aaron Ramsey has been speaking with the official site about giving 100 percent in training and in games, and also how a sense of responsibility on the pitch boosts his confidence. He said:
It’s pretty much like flicking a switch in my head. I give everything when I’m on the pitch or on the training pitch. When I’m at the training ground and working in the gym or whatever, I always give everything that I’ve got. As soon as you feel as though you have a responsibility in the team, you’re confident, you want to be out there expressing yourself and I’m in that place. In this team I feel comfortable enough to feel as though I can play my best football. I’m really happy on the pitch at the moment.
Which is great to hear from the Welshman, especially considering he’s not likely to be playing in his favoured central midfield position anytime soon, with Santi Cazorla in such fine form.
And despite enjoying a superb breakthrough campaign with Arsenal a couple of seasons ago in a more central position, I actually really like what he offers playing from the right hand side, particularly away from home.
Despite having the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck even, when he returns from injury, vying for a place in the team, Ramsey would probably be my preferred pick on the right – certainly for the biggest games at least.
Mainly because I like the defensive cover he provides our fullback through his outstanding stamina levels, as well as his goal threat and ever-improving understanding with Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez from an attacking point of view.
Anyway, Ramsey also revealed he’s not one who eats, sleeps and breathes football 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and instead uses his down time, especially after a defeat, to clear his head by spending time with family and indulging his love of golf:
You’re disappointed with the result but there’s nothing you can do with that now so it’s important to put that to the back of your mind, learn from what went wrong there and focus on the next game. You have to prove what you can do and that you can get back to winning ways. I’m not one of those people who goes home and has to put football on the TV straight away or has to watch Sky Sports News. It’s important to take your mind off football otherwise you become too obsessed and you look into things too much. You could have problems when you do that, when you then go onto the pitch and play, so it’s important to take your mind off it. When you’re there and playing it’s important to focus 100 per cent on what you’re doing. I play golf to take my mind off [football]. I have a family who are very important in my life as well and they help me to take my mind away from it. When you are playing football you have to give everything and focus 100 per cent on trying to do your best but it’s important to have the right balance.
Elsewhere, captain Mikel Arteta, speaking to the Arsenal Weekly Podcast, says he feels the current Arsenal squad is the best in terms of strength and depth for quite a while and has been galvanised by sharing ‘difficult moments’. He said:
This is the best group of players in terms of numbers and quality that we have had for many, many years. The unity we have is really good as a group. The cohesion we have around the club and with the fans is probably the closest it has been because we had periods when we had difficult times and things weren’t breaking down between anyone. When you go through difficult moments together, that really helps to get where you want to get to afterwards. We haven’t broken in difficult moments and that is very important. I am really confident in this group – if we maintain it and start adding little things in the next few years then we have a very strong team and club.
I have to say I’m not too sure about the ‘in the next few years’ bit. I mean, I think we’re almost there now in terms of really challenging for the top honours, providing we address the need, ironically, of a better option than Mikel as cover for Francis Coquelin, and also do our best to sign any ‘world class’ forward we have even the slightest chance of securing this summer.
Back on Thursday.