Aaron Ramsey’s performances this season have been billed as the story of the boy done good but if Ramsey is as talented as his flair and the current media hype suggests then surely this is a premature conclusion to his narrative?
There is no doubt that the Welsh youngster is having the best season he has ever had in an Arsenal shirt, which many find remarkable given the horrific near career ending injury he suffered.
However, I do not find it remarkable at all. At least not for the same reason. I find it astonishing that it has taken a player of his calibre this long to bounce back and put in the kind of performances which his trophy-less club have been crying out for.
Now I realise that at first thoughts my assertion is harsh but let us consider the fact that Aaron Ramsey is a professional athlete who has been trained from a very early age and at large expense to deal with the possibility of suffering the kind of injury that he had.
In addition there have been other players in his situation who have come back from a worse or similar injury. For evidence of this look no further than the form of his former team mate Eduardo who had his leg broken the season before in a match away to Birmingham.
Eduardo returned nine months later and not only beat his goal tally of the previous season but ended as one of the top five goal scorers in the Premier League. In contrast Ramsey returned a year later and scored four goals, which were borne from some 20+ lacklustre performances.
It has now been three seasons since his return and he has scored a career high of 12 goals in 20 games but this form does not make him one of the best mid-fielders in Europe. Although you could argue that his current form makes him one of the best in the Premier League, if he is truly “to make a lot of people look silly” (Ramsey’s comment in a recent interview with The Telegraph) then he needs to at least surpass the last two seasons that Gareth Bale had for Spurs and emulate the season that the great legend Henrik Larsson had after returning from a leg break which nearly ended his career when he played for Celtic.
What does surpassing Bale’s last two seasons at Spurs look like?
- Scoring as many goals as Bale did and especially in the matches they came in I.e. the big games. He has already missed two of these against Manchester United at Old Trafford and most notably against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup which would have been a good opportunity to deliver some much needed silverware for Arsenal’s barren trophy cabinet.
He may also want to consider bettering Frank Lampard’s goal scoring tallies in the seasons of 2005-06 and 2009-10 if he wants to stand out as a goalscoring midfielder.
What does emulating Larsson’s return season look like?
- Scoring enough goals to help his team win the Premier League and FA Cup and if he moves quick enough steal the Golden Boot from Cristiano Ronaldo- who at this stage would be understandably bemused to be compared to Ramsey.
But then again last season another Welsh player was prematurely and inappropriately compared to him and now they are team mates! So there’s hope yet for Ramsey, but he should heed it with caution because Bale has shamelessly under performed since his overpriced move to Real Madrid.
To end, here's where Ramsey needs to be in goalscoring terms to rank amongst the best of the last few years.
Frank Lampard 22 (2009-10)
Steven Gerrard 16 (2008-09)
Frank Lampard 16 (2005-06)
Frank Lampard 15 (2012-13)
Cesc Fabregas 15 (2009-10)
Paul Scholes 14 (2002-03)
Aaron Ramsey 8 (2013-14)
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