Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Ramsdale on Arsenal’s belief, Jesus’ nasty streak, a settled backline & more

Aaron Ramsdale enjoyed his return to former club Bournemouth as Arsenal went top of the table with an impressive 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.

The England international was a spectator for most of the first half but had to stay alert after the break to protect a clean sheet from a more lively Cherries effort.

After the match, Ramsdale chatted to Sky Sports. Here’s what he had to say…

On returning to his former club…

It was really enjoyable. When I left, I never got to say goodbye properly to the fans due to Covid so that was a special feeling having all four sides of the stadium singing my name. Ultimately, three points a great performance, not many teams will come here and have that much control and possibly score more. A great day, three wins from three. 

On personally having a quiet first half…

We talk about it all the time that we want to own the ball, own the pitch and we done that from minute one to 45. We lost a little bit in the second half, they got more set pieces but then for the goal, I don’t know where he [Saliba] has pulled that from. No [I’ve not seen that in training], I’ve seen that clearance before, that’s what I think he was doing. I had a lovely view, it’s crazy how our mentality has changed from what happened at the end of last season to now. 

On how the mentality has changed…

We’re just more ruthless. We saw how close we came last season and what happened at the end of the year. It hurt a lot, it took a few weeks to get over, it hurt more because it was from the others down the road, but then you bring in the likes of Zinchenko and Gabi Jesus, who know what it’s like to win, ruthless every day in training and then Saliba who is 20 I think, who is a French international and has won [young] player of the year. We’ve added great to the squad and long may it continue. 

On having a different belief this season…

We’re fighting in more positions, especially from Christmas onwards, we were a bit light through injuries and now you look, Kieran Tierney was one of our best at full-back and he still is one of our best full-backs and then we’ve brought Alex [Zinchenko] in and they’ve got great competition now. There’s strength in depth all over the field and we’re seeing it on pitch that we’re all fighting for them 11 shirts. 

On being surprised by the quality of Jesus…

Yeah, we’ve got the Gabi from when he was younger in Brazil. He’s fighting for all the balls. Honestly, a fifty-fifty or a seventy-thirty, he’ll turn it to his favour down the channel and doesn’t stop running. I was surprised, we knew he was a great player, you don’t play for Man City for that long and win those trophies, but the type of person he is, he’s so happy but then he’s got that little nasty streak where he has to win, he has to win and that’s feeding into our team now. 

On whether he has room for improvement personally…

Definitely, I’m nowhere near where I want to be. There was a prime example last season, I started really well, had a few dips in form, goals go in that you analyse, you look at last week, I made a mistake for the Maddison goal, so yeah, it’s a constant process on the training ground. We’re working really hard but as you said, I’m 24 and I’ve always been told that as a keeper at 24 you’re like an 18 or 19-year-old outfielder. [Keepers peak] at 26, 27, 28 but the fact that I’ve got so many games under my belt and different experiences from the past three seasons, I can only grow if my mentality is right. 

On feeling more confident as a result of a settled backline…

100 per cent. If you look at the start of when I came into the team last season, Ben White and Gabriel were the two mainstays in that back four. We were worked with them every single day and it took one injury or one of them moving out of position and that’s where, if you don’t work on it every single day, it’s very difficult to get that connection. Throughout pre-season we’ve been working on different partnerships so if anything does happen on the pitch, we can resolve it.

On what it’s like watching his full-backs disappear up the pitch…

It’s great for me, especially with the way we want to play. I know I’ll have Martinelli, Jesus and Saka running long and I’ve also got my passes into midfield which I really enjoy playing. It’s just one of them things, it can hurt us at times, it’s going to if we don’t get it right but when it does work, it comes out with a 3-0 win. 

On the supporters getting excited…

It’s early, it’s early days. It was a great day for the fans and also us, we were wearing black armbands for one of our head groundsmen [Steve Braddock] who passed away so it was perfect, fitting [occasion] for him and I wish the fans a safe journey home.

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C.B.

Easy job so far for Ramsdale, lots of standing around at the back.

Great team and squad though October will be the true test. COYR!

Mike_14

Yeah, White injury hurt us last season it’s great to have more quality and depth this time around!

DefaultGray

England’s #1, for me. I’ve never rated Pickford and this guys mentality and concentration levels, I think he’s just the guy for the World Cup. Bet Soithgate doesn’t agree, sadly!

dominic

To be fair to Pickford, his international form is not really comparable to his form in the domestic league 🤷‍♂️

Qwertymonster

Pickford is the reason Everton avoided relegation.

Tom 007

I like it when he says there is strength in depth all over the field.. another 2 attacking options between now and January then will push the big guns to the wire I believe…

Eazy Deezy

Really interesting to hear the impact of Jesus and Zinchenko on the dressing room – as fans we assume their experience of winning titles would have an impact, but great to hear the players say this too!

Duno

I love these guys. I love this team.

Doctor Perceptron

Love this guy. Thoughtful analysis. COYG

Man Manny

A good start; that is all it is at this point. Last season, after 3 games, we were bottom, with no points, no goal and a difference of -9. Interestingly, United and Spurs both had 9 points.
Fast forward to May; United were facing the ignominy of Conference League while injuries at the worst possible time, a poor Holding display aided by a poor Arteta game plan (we should’ve gone for a draw at spurs), made Spurs finish above us.
One game at a time is the way to go.

C.B.

We were in front of Sp*rs three matches later…

Nainsley Aitland Miles

We’re Arsenal, we do not go for draws at Spurs.

Laurent

I personally think that Ramsdale’s interventions on the night were unsecure. Which I understand as there was a personal involvement in the game and his personal career. What I like is that his team mates did the job for him so that there wa no impact on the result. What comforts me is that he would do the same on another night for one of his team mates if they are not performing and that is what a team is about. You’ 25 or 30 or more as a big club and you all work together. Sometimes one personel is… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

Love this team. So many great talents with the right attitude.

Jesus of Street Soccer

Your mentality is right, son! With all the good things happening to us all over the pitch this season, we just can’t forget that your foray into the first team brought certain stability in that back line which we never had before. Keep up the good work and the humility Rambo !

John

Partey, Tomiyasu, Tierney and White having to miss important games at the end of last season probably cost us about 5 points – the difference between a 4th and 5th place finish. The backup options of Tavares, Cedric and Holding were not good enough. Had we had Saliba and Zinchenko at the club for the last 8 games of the season I have no doubt we would have qualified for the Champions League. And if Gabriel Jesus had been able to sign for us in January to replace Auba we would have easily finished 3rd. This season I think we… Read more »

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