Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay has revealed he jokingly requested Arsenal superstar Aaron Ramsey to go easy on his team when the league leaders come to town on Saturday.
Ramsey has been a revelation for the Gunners this season, scoring 11 goals and providing five assists, and now has his sights firmly set on putting Cardiff City to the sword with three massive points at stake.
Malky Mackay, perhaps fearing for the worst, cheekily asked Ramsey to give his boyhood club some respite.
“He is a fine young man; I met him a couple of weeks ago when the Welsh squad was here… I said to him to make sure that in a couple of weeks’ time he goes easy with us.”
The Cardiff City boss also heaped praise on Ramsey, saying that the midfielder has surprised many by the manner in which he has come to terms with the demands of the Premier League.
He also affirmed that Ramsey is a “top young talent”, and has managed to become one of the most important players in a star-studded midfield that includes the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil.
“It’s good to see a young British player grasping the nettle at Premier League level and actually being one of the main men at Arsenal," Mackay said.
"Sometimes maturity and experience comes at different parts of your career, but the biggest factor as far as he is concerned is the number of games he is getting on a consistent basis and he is beginning to show what a top young talent he is.”
And while Mackay may have wished Ramsey a warm welcome when he returns to his old stomping ground, the niceties will definitely be forgotten as soon as the players get on the field, and the Cardiff manager admitted he will have to find a plan to stifle Ramsey and co. on Saturday.
“We will deal with him as we deal with most teams and players; we have just got to concentrate on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition.”
Cardiff City will be looking to follow last weekend’s incredible 2-2 against the league’s defending champions Manchester United when they take on the league leaders Arsenal at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.
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