Cesc’s Absence Right Up Ramsey’s Street
It’s been a long fourteen months for Aaron Ramsey, certainly one the young Welshman will never forget. The 20 year-old, who Arsenal paid £4.8m for from home-town side Cardiff back in 2008, will have felt like a very long journey had finally ended.
Instead of just arriving though, Ramsey arrived in style. His winner against leaders Manchester United has blown the title race wide open again. Maybe not for his side, but certainly for Chelsea.
Yet it was the display and the hunger of Ramsey that will have caused many a Gooner to look ahead with optimism. This was an Arsenal side bereft of their heartbeat, Cesc Fabregas, the skipper taking a knock to the thigh in training and therefore limited to a seat in the stands.
With Ramsey drafted in as his replacement, you could see there was a sense of a young player looking to take his chance whilst it was there. As next season, Arsenal not having Fabregas could be more of a permanent situation, with the rumour mill doing overtime regarding the possible return to his spiritual home in Catalonia.
Whether Barcelona make him the biggest talking point this summer remains to be seen, but on Sunday Fabregas wasn’t going to have any influence. It was instead up to an extremely youthful trio of midfielders to inspire them, Alex Song, Jack Wilshere and Ramsey.
Yet, a combined age of just over 60 was nothing to worry about. Song has been around for seemingly ages and the Cameroonian is only 23. Wilshere is now established in Fabio Capello’s English revolution at the tender age of 19, whilst Ramsey was recently named the captain of Wales.
The youngest in the country’s history in-fact, after waiting patiently as he worked tirelessly to recover from a horrific injury it seemed his return in November last year was quickly being recognised.
February 27th 2010 is a day Ramsey will always remember for all the wrong reasons. As Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross went for the ball, missed and tore through the leg of the youngster, few could have envisaged he could ever reach the potential he was just starting to fulfill.
After finding his feet in the first team, over eight months on the sidelines followed, something that in hindsight, paved the way for Wilshere’s remarkable rise to fame.
Ramsey’s injury was the catalyst for Arsenal’s motivation. They went on to beat Stoke 3-1; a late penalty from a certain Senor Fabregas was met with emotional and wild celebrations in honour of their wounded starlet.
Fast forward more than a year and Ramsey’s long-awaited return for Arsene Wenger’s side came in March against West Brom, the Welshman welcomed by the travelling Gunners support with rapturous applause. It’s easy to forget though, this a young man who needs to play regular football to progress, so loan spells at Nottingham Forest and a homecoming at Cardiff were crucial to Ramsey’s fitness levels and confidence.
Now in the same way Fabregas’ penalty last year was a tribute to the then paused development of his team-mate, the Spaniard’s injury and future possible departure could help complete the full transformation of a boy into a man.
With this goal against United, perhaps it’s a sign that Ramsey is ready to gather the flaming beacon from his current captain and help the Gunners sneak back into the reckoning for the title.
Next up in their quest for a very unlikely championship, is a certain team from Staffordshire, Stoke. For Ramsey, it’ll be a case of putting the past behind him and making up for a lot of lost time.
Submitted by Football Friends
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