Aaron Ramsey believes he has added pressure on him when deployed as the most advanced midfielder in Arsene Wenger’s side but stressed that both he and his young teammates will continue to improve as the season goes on.
Having watched both Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas leave the Emirates and Jack Wilshere suffer an ankle injury which has kept the Englishman sidelined since pre-season, the Welsh international has been a major player in the centre of the park since August; a stunning turnaround following his recovery from an horrific leg break and two loan spells last term.
Taking time out ahead of tonight’s match with Marseille, the former Cardiff City man reflected on the Gunners difficult start to the season, his growing stature in the squad and how he feels he can increase his influence.
“I think I can definitely improve as a player. I’m still improving.” Ramsey told Arsenal Player. “It has been a tough start for us; in certain games we’ve done really well and then in others we’ve not had the greatest of performances.”
Often playing just behind striker Robin van Persie, Ramsey spoke openly about the added pressure associated with such an advanced and sophisticated position.
“I think if you’re in that sort of position you need to be sliding little balls through, playing the ball wide for an early cross and getting on the end of things that come into the box.
“In that respect there is a bit of pressure on creating opportunities and scoring goals, but I think I’ve had a few assists this season and I’ve got my first goal this season so hopefully that will be the start of many to come.”
At only 20-years-old Ramsey is still a youthful presence in the dressing-room, however, with even less experienced midfielders Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong also pushing for regular starting berths the captain of Wales admits competition is fierce.
“They’ve done well and they’re very eager to play and are always training very hard. There has been a bit of competition in there and when everyone is working hard it helps people stay on their toes I think. It’s nice to have that kind of competition.
“We’re a very young midfield and we’re only going to get better with more games and more experience. I think this midfield will be around for a while and hopefully we’ll continue to get better and better and dominate games.”
Analysing the obviously drastic change in personnel since last season, Ramsey concluded that there is still room for positivity and a great deal of quality for his coach to call upon.
“Obviously there have been a few players who have left the club and a few that have come in. Overall I still think we have great quality in there and are very dangerous going forward. What the team needs now is a few wins on the bounce and then you’ll see our true qualities and we’ll be much more of a threat.”