As Aaron Ramsey said his goodbye to his teammates and fans, he has declared his gratitude to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger for giving him the platform to succeed playing regular first-team football as a teenager. His first step at Arsenal had a steep learning curve but he kept one target in his head to become the best player that he could possibly be. “I realised I would have to work harder than I had ever done before but I knew that I would be given the opportunity at Arsenal to reach that level one day.”
Ramsey said his first few sessions at Arsenal were a huge step up, “I had so much to learn. I’d been used to the pace and the level of training at Cardiff and at Arsenal I felt a long way off the level required for the Premier League. The quality, accuracy and crispness of passing was way above what I was used to, so I really had to focus and test myself.”
“I had been at Cardiff my whole life and had only started playing regularly for their first team that season, but here I was at a Premier League training ground about to meet all these international players. I was only 17 years old at the time and the one thing that kept going through my mind was, ‘Are they even going to know who I am?’
In other to gain respect in the team as a newbie, Ramsey kept his head down for the first few weeks and trained very well.
At 19, Ramsey suffered a broken leg injury that involved him getting a metal rod stuck through the middle of his bone and attached it with two screws, so the new bone could grow. Ramsey received a lot of support and love from Arsenal at that point and returned to training eight months after the injury.
But the quality of his game suffered a bit and was sent out on loan to Nottingham Forest and Cardiff to get some minutes under my belt, but in all this time, Ramsey said Wenger stood by him, constantly offering advice; ‘The boss had loads of chats with me after my injury and always said: Never let it get to you, because I know what you can do’.
Winning the FA cup and the scoring the winning goal is one of Ramsey’s biggest achievement, “since I was a young boy, I wanted to score an FA Cup winner, and to do so was an amazing feeling and something which will always be with me. That goal means everything to me and it’s right up there in terms of my biggest achievements.
To be able to lift the trophy twice more since – and score in another final against Chelsea – is unbelievable.” Ramsey said.
In a farewell ceremony at the Emirate, Arsenal recognised his impact at Arsenal as tributes continue to pour in on their twitter account “For 11 years of service, for 369 appearances, for 64 goals, for 62 assists, for those Wembley winners, for coming back from that injury to achieve what you have with us, for EVERYTHING you’ve given to this club, we just want to say…
THANK YOU, @aaronramsey! ️”