An In-Depth Look at the Rise of Aaron Ramsey

On the 27th February 2010, every Arsenal fan in the world watched in horror as Ryan Shawcross ploughed through the bone of Aaron Ramsey’s leg.[quote_right]”But has [Ramsey’s] rise been a typical, gradual one?[/quote_right]

Despite being over three years ago,the trauma of that day lives on. Yet, today I will review how that same player recovered in a way which today sees him as one of Arsenal’s most influential assets. He looks confident, more threatening and has certainly turned a corner in terms of his impact on the game.

But has his rise been a typical, gradual one? Or has he suddenly erupted with talent after months of dormancy? I’d argue that the latter is true – and here’s why.

[title]Recognizing The Rise[/title]

Many Arsenal fans will have you believe that Ramsey isn’t suddenly rising. According to many, he was always brilliant.[quote_left]”Am I saying this to be negative? No. I’m saying this in order to paint Ramsey’s rise in its true, fantastically sudden light.”[/quote_left]

Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. After Aaron’s horrific injury, and up until quite recently, he wasn’t a player who defences looked at in fear, nor was he been a player who attackers looked at with much apprehension.

I, for one, am not afraid to admit this fact.

There were moments during Aaron’s 2012/13 campaign where I truly thought that he was our weakest link. His offensive play was poor, he made unintelligent runs, and his role defensively was mediocre.

To me, and many others, Aaron seemed to be a very average Footballer, with a very respectable rate of passing. The proof, I’m afraid, is in the pudding.

[table id=10 /]

As seen from the stats above, Aaron was a player with minimal impact for much of the 2012/13 season.[quote_right]”[Ramsey] needed to rise. And that’s exactly what he’s doing right now…”[/quote_right]

Am I saying this to be harsh, rude or negative? No. I’m saying this to be honest, and to paint Ramsey’s rise in its true, fantastically sudden light.

So, what we’ve now established is, Aaron Ramsey was in a position where he could rise. You could even argue that, in order to remain in Arsene Wenger’s starting line up for much longer, he needed to rise. And that’s exactly what he’s doing right now.

Towards the end of the 2012/13 season, and throughout Arsenal’s most recent pre-season, Aaron was looking sharper and sharper with every minute of game time. The results of his increasing incisiveness, can be seen below.

[table id=11 /]

Looking at the stats above, despite them only focusing on a nine game period, it’s easy to see how Ramsey has improved. The Welshman has started nine games for club and country, netting six times, whilst grabbing two assists.[quote_left]”Ramsey worked hard to turn his game around, and we should recognize both sides of the coin, or else his hard work will go unnoticed.”[/quote_left]

You only have to do a quick comparison between the two sets of statistics above to realise that, after just nine games, Aaron has beaten his previous season’s goalscoring record by two goals, and has already equalled the amount of assists he got throughout the entire 2012/13 season.

If that’s not enough of an improvement for you, Ramsey has also had 9 shots on target after nine appearances, which is half of what he got last season, over a total of 58 appearances. Quite an improvement.

To say that Aaron hasn’t changed much during this season, and that his new-found success is simple down to go fortune which was not present before, if unfair. It’s unfair on Aaron Ramsey. He worked hard to turn his game around, and we should recognize both sides of the coin, because unless we do, his hard work will go unnoticed.

[title]So, What Changed?[/title]

Now that we have indeed gathered that Ramsey has taken a colossal step forward in a very short space of time, we must now ask, how?

One thing Ramsey always had, was work rate. He was consistently picked by Wenger for his sheer energy on the pitch. He chased and tracked back, yet found the energy to keep up with Arsenal’s fast-paced attacks. Yet, as the statistics show, he never had much of an impact in terms of goals and assists.[quote_right]”[Ramsey] has kept that same work rate, whilst better understanding where he should be in offensive and defensive situations.”[/quote_right]

Today, Aaron’s huge work rate has remained, but he has added something.

Instead of mindlessly chasing and running as he did last season, Ramsey now understands the importance of being positionally astute. What I mean is, Aaron ran a lot last season – usually due to the fact that he was in the wrong position to begin with.

But this season, he has kept that same work rate, whilst better understanding where he should be in offensive and defensive situations.

You may now be asking how I’m coming up with this, but you shouldn’t be. We’ve been over the numbers already. Last season Ramsey had (on average) less shots, less goals and less assists, yet his work rate was equally as good as it is now. The only thing that changed was his Footballing intelligence.

[title]Keeping the Balance[/title]

Currently, Aaron Ramsey is in the form of his life, and I can’t wait to see him flourish this season even more so than he already has.[quote_left]”You can’t help but think that the environment for [Ramsey] is now perfect…[/quote_left]

Perhaps the most exciting part of Ramsey’s current form is, the increased midfield competition. The signings of Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini have bolstered the number of midfielders we have, and have also added some significant quality to the team.

With Aaron Ramsey playing alongside such players, whilst team mates like Arteta and Wilshere battle with him for a place in the starting line up, you can’t help but think that the environment for him is now perfect.

Before, Aaron had the comfort of low-quality competition, paired with a lack of squad depth, but he now has to work as hard as he can to keep his place. That, will almost definitely be the main reason that Ramsey begins to bring consistency into his game, rather than watching his good form pass for months on end.

So, here’s to the rise of Aaron Ramsey, and to the perfect environment for his growth.

Image: Wonker | Stats: ESPN

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