The reasons behind Aaron Ramsey's rise to the top

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Much has been written about the astonishing upturn in form of Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, leading pundits, fans, and just about anyone associated with the game to ask why and how this has happened.

Ramsey's rise to prominence is well documented, starting off as a young prospect breaking into the first team following his arrival from Cardiff.

His promising career was violently halted as Ryan Shawcross slid in on the Welshman on a fateful afternoon in Stoke, breaking his leg.

Returning many months later, Ramsey was a shadow of his former self, leading many to believe that he would join the long list of hopeful talents terminally hindered by injury. 

A fact which is often downplayed in the midst of Ramsey's stunning current form is just how poor his performances were. To the Arsenal fan, watching Ramsey struggle in red and white resembled deliberate sabotage - his passing and ball retention were absolutely shocking.

Arsene Wenger's rock-solid persistence with Ramsey in the starting line up was as much a cause for supporter displeasure as the player's own form, he was painfully ineffective. 

Since then, Ramsey received a new long-term deal from the club, which seemed a cause for him to kick on in the latter part of last season, with the full confidence of his club behind him.

He has hit new heights since the beginning of the current campaign, adding goals to his game, perplexing and enthralling Gunners' fans in equal measure. 

At the time of writing, Ramsey is Arsenal's top goalscorer, winner of the club's player of the month award for four successive months, and early front runner for both of the Premier League's individual accolades.

The obvious reason for his recent success is a renewed self-belief, something he has stated himself whenever interviewed. Confidence in his ability drives him further up the pitch and into goalscoring opportunities, but another factor in his resurgence seems to have been overlooked.

Aaron Ramsey's greatest asset as a footballer, while possibly not apparent to those who don't follow Arsenal regularly, is his incredible stamina. Cesc Fabregas stated in a recent interview that, alongside teammate Mathieu Flamini, Ramsey is the fittest player he's trained alongside.

Fabregas implies that Ramsey is fitter than any of Barcelona's star-studded squad - an interesting snippet in itself. 

Ramsey's fitness has direct influence on his goal scoring, without it he would be a less potent weapon. This is because to be able to drive forward into the box with the regularity he does, and then return to his deeper-lying midfield position takes incredible stamina.

A player without Ramsey's endurance wouldn't be able to afford pushing forward so often, as he would leave his teammates exposed on the counter-attack.

This is a problem Ramsey simply doesn't have, he demonstrates time and time again that he is more than capable of getting into the box for virtually every attack, and then sprint down the pitch to win the ball back in his own half.

In his combination of attributes, Ramsey typifies the ideal 'box-to-box' midfielder; his monster endurance, coupled with a new-found positive attitude, presents Arsenal with the proposition of a once-in-a-generation athlete, who could light up the league for years to come.

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Aaron Ramsey

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