Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey feels he is finally returning to his former self prior to his horrific injury that kept him out for a year.
The 21-year-old came off the bench on Wednesday night to seal Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Olympiacos at the Emirates, and has looked a different player this season after being thrown into the deep end last year.
Ramsey suffered a double leg fracture caused by a tackle from Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross in 2010, and it has taken intensive rehabilitation, short loan spells at both Nottingham Forest and former club Cardiff City as well as a successful personal campaign in the Team GB Olympic squad to regain his form that brought him to the Emirates.
The Welshman also mentioned last season was difficult with a number of off-field issues affecting his mentality – one of which was the death of his national sides coach Gary Speed whom he was close with.
I am feeling good and confident again, getting back to my old self which got me here in the first place. Hopefully now this will kick me on again and I will keep on improving throughout the season.
It is always difficult to overcome things like that in life.
A lot happened last year for me, there were loads of things going on and off the pitch as well.
However, now I am feeling happy and hopefully that’s showing in my performances.
It makes you stronger and it is getting over the mental side of it.
As soon as you get through that, the confidence comes back and it’s a thing of the past.
You are not sharp in your mind and you take a bit longer to think things through on the pitch which normally come naturally. Little things like that make such a big difference
I was patient. I didn’t want to rush back, I wanted to make sure everything was correct.
[on Wilshere & Frimpong's return] We haven’t had a full squad for a long time, so it will be good to have competition.
Jack’s been out for such a long time and so has Frimpong – I know what they have been through.
I have experienced it myself and it is not a good thing. You get down and it seems like it is a long way away, but they are close now.
They are good players to keep others on their toes.
Ramsey has started to win back the Arsenal faithful recently with some solid performances including a brilliant display out wide against Manchester City in an unfamiliar position.
He will be needed over the next few weeks with Diaby out injured and will fight with Coquelin for a starting spot. His composure and distribution will be helpful to break down the likes of West Ham and Norwich in the weeks to come , and hopefully he can add some more goals to his game.
In terms of last season, Ramsey had so much pressure on him after the departures of Nasri and Fabregas, not to mention the Gary Speed tragedy that would have played on his mind constantly. He came under a lot of scrutiny from the Gunners faithful which I feel was completely unwarranted. Yes he was not amazing, but he worked hard and has always had the potential to be a world class midfielder which he will show in the years to come.
This season is a big one for the Welshman and hopefully he prove his ability throughout the campaign. The Arsenal squad is looking strong, and depth has often been our problem but this seems to have changed with the crop of youngsters pushing for first team starting berths – don’t forget Ramsey is still only 21!