The Transformation of Aaron Ramsey Into Arsenal’s Not-So-Secret Weapon

In recent seasons, Aaron Ramsey has been too aggressive, too arrogant, and too full of self-confidence. Lacking in pitch awareness, focus and control, he has helped win some games, but also either directly helped to lose or didn’t contribute enough to help win. He’s been cocky, only briefly showing signs of the talent that led Arsenal to sign him and Arsene to believe in him.

Fans and members of the media have speculated about his future, whether or not he would remain in an Arsenal shirt or for how long. Rumors swirled in Internet chat rooms that he might be a bust, another one of Wenger’s projects that would end up in disaster. The bottom line is that the Wales national team captain wasn’t looking like he was ready for the big-time.

This year, he has been off to a drastically different start than years previous. The question is, what’s changed? Well, let’s take a look.

For starters he has always been blessed with natural, God-given ability. No one has questioned his raw talent. The questions were more cerebral. The end of last year he contributed some worthwhile performances, so he did have a modicum of momentum heading into this year’s campaign. Also since his recovery from his horrific leg break in February 2010, he has stayed healthy. Injury free, he has been able to gain more playing time with the Gunners since his loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City finished up almost a year to the day since his broken tibia and fibula. The former rugby winger turned football midfielder has been building momentum slowly.

Or perhaps he hasn’t needed to build on anything, rather just unleash those talents, focus those gifts and instinctively know how and, more importantly, when to influence a match. The timing of a pass or challenge is just as important as the quality of either.

So far this year the biggest difference with Ramsey seems to be his overall demeanor. His maturity level may finally equal his talent. He is seemingly more zeroed in on the pitch. It would appear he has internalized his overzealous self-confidence into a laser-like focus that pinpoints exactly when and where a pass is needed and with how much or how little pace. He is reading the game much better. He isn’t running so far forward without support and then not tracking back when required. He is playing his position and doing it in a way that belies his years.

While he may not have quite the imagination or resume of a Xavi, or even a Fabregas, he is off to an excellent start so far this year. What the future may hold for the two-time Welsh Young Player of the Year, only the football gods know. If he maintains the mental aspect of the game, however, and continues to grow and learn, he may very well gain the favor of those who once spurned him. He may even contribute in what every Arsenal supporter wants: a trophy.

16 thoughts on “The Transformation of Aaron Ramsey Into Arsenal’s Not-So-Secret Weapon”

  1. What evidence do we have of Ramsey’s cockiness? If anything his previous troubles were a result of the opposite, a lack of self-confidence.

  2. Some analysis this is. Arrogance? Cockiness?? It has been well documented that his resurgence has been a result his new found self belief. If anything there was a noticeable lack of confidence in his game following the leg break that had prevented him from getting stuck in, asserting himself in 50/50s and ultimately hitting top gear again. Ramsey has always been a pretty level headed character.

  3. I think the difference now is maturity…ramsey is more composed now & has sharpen the technical aspect of his game,he will be class no doubt if he continues learn & give his all.

      1. I do watch Arsenal play, every match available to me. And he appeared cocky to me. Like he was trying to prove too much. The point is now he is becoming the player people had hoped for.

  4. What a strange post. I don’t think I’ve ever heard this criticism of Ramsey. He’s always been a tireless worker whose biggest problems were his overzealous pursuit of the play and tendency to launch shots into the upper deck. Arrogance? Huh? He just needed to get healthy and confident. No big mystery.

    1. Nos everyone wash hand’s over ramsey’s critics.
      He do was trying to prove too much, thats why he was out of confidence. He know now that he is ver y good player, but not the best.

  5. What are you on about man? This kid had no confidence. That was the problem. Maybe less time writng bout arsenal and more time watching them mate

    1. Most articles involving Arsenal are trolling attempts unfortunately.

      Ramsey is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever watched. It seems the writer is correlating “cockiness” with couple back heels that don’t come off.

    2. This article is not intended to be a troll, it seemed to me that Aaron was trying too hard at the wrong times & overestimating his abilities last year. If you read the entire article you see how much I actually praise the man. Not everyone shares the same opinions & please read through to the end!

  6. Why are Arsenal articles on here so sh*t? I may be imagining it, but why am I getting the strong sense that WCT is seriously anti-Arsenal. It’s odd and unfortunate.

  7. He’s not arrogant.

    He came into the team and did well from the off at a very young age, better than Ramsey in fact then he had a horror injury and it’s taken a while to get back to where he was before. Maybe it’s a physical thing, maybe mental, probably a bit of both but you have to be patient with a player that age after an injury of that nature.

    We’re seeing it with Ramsey too, he hasn’t quite got back to where he was pre-injuries, now he does appear a little more cocky, but hopefully with time he’ll hit the upward curve of progression again.

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