Ramsey: It's taken me three years to get over THAT tackle by Shawcross
21:38 GMT, 16 February 2013
03:41 GMT, 17 February 2013
It will soon be three years since Aaron Ramsey was on the receiving end of that tackle from Stoke's Ryan Shawcross, a challenge that broke his leg in a manner which caused onlookers to wince and look away in disgust.
Three long years as far as Ramsey is concerned.
Breaking point: Ramsey tumbles in agony after Shawcross's challenge
The unwanted anniversary comes at the
end of this month and although Ramsey was back playing by November
2010, it would be fair to say the injury and the vehemence of the tackle
had a greater effect on the 23-year-old than a mere nine-month absence.
He was on course to be a worldclass
player, his trajectory well ahead of compatriot Gareth Bale, and he
looked to be a potential replacement for Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal.
His comeback season was largely
spent on loan at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff. Last term he recovered
his identity as an Arsenal player.
Only this season has he shown the form that saw him lauded so early in his career.
'It was a really tough thing to go through and I don't wish it upon anybody,' said Ramsey.
'The determination and the
professionalism that you need, all the hours you have to spend in the
gym, it's quite tough. But I've got through that. It's taken me a bit
longer than I would've liked, but I'm happy now where I am, and hoping
to improve and carry on this good form that I'm in.'
His confidence was fractured as well as his leg.
Confidence soaring: Aaron Ramsey's (left) back in form for Arsenal
'Yes, that's a natural thing,' he
said. 'Confidence is a massive thing and if you're struggling with that
it does reflect in your performances. But I've got that back now. I'm
hungry to keep that shirt and I've proved that with the way I've been
playing of late.
'There has been a good progression
and hopefully I can get back to where I was. That injury did take it out
of me and hopefully that will only have been a minor hiccup when I look
back on my career.'
Bayern Munich in the Champions League will this week provide an acid test, particular after yesterday's exit from the FA Cup.
Ramsey has to establish himself as a guaranteed pick, though 16 starts this season represents progress.
'I'm getting stuck in a lot more,' he
said. 'I'm winning a lot more balls back and reading the game better
and moving the ball quicker, which suit's the way we play. I've had
positive feedback from the boss.'
But he is aware of Arsenal's
eightyear trophy drought – the Champions League represents their last
chance of silverware this season – and of lost opportunities in Europe's
A 4-0 defeat by AC Milan cost them last year despite winning the home leg 3-0.
Before that they could not hold a 2-1 home-leg lead over Barcelona.
He said: 'Hopefully, we can get into a strong position against Bayern in the home leg and we'll be more experienced.'