Aaron Ramsey spoke with the relaxed air of a man who had rediscovered his scoring touch.
After two goals in the 4-1 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday night, following another strike against Stoke on Saturday, Arsenal’s most prolific midfielder seems to have recaptured the form that brought him 16 goals last season.
If so, there is a realistic chance that Ramsey can help Arsenal out of their relative Premier League malaise and back into the top four.
Ramsey was thrilled with his 35-yard, left-foot half-volley in Istanbul, and understandably so. “I have seen the goal back, and it is definitely the best I have scored,” he said.
“As soon as I hit it, I thought it had a chance of going in and thankfully it went into the top corner.” He rated it as even better than his brilliant volley at Norwich City on the last day of last season.
Even more significant than the execution, though, was the confidence Ramsey had to take the shot on. It showed the self-assurance of a player who had put Arsenal 2-0 up minutes earlier and looked to have rediscovered his composure in front of goal, having emerged from a three-month scoring drought.
“I have always got into goalscoring positions, since I can remember,” Ramsey said. “But now I am a bit more composed. Maybe now I have found my composure more.”
Ramsey dated his upturn in fortune to the 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United almost three weeks ago. He has struggled for form and fitness this season after suffering a hamstring injury in September, but feels stronger now.
“I felt good at the Man U game,” Ramsey said. “I am getting sharper in every game. I am feeling good and hopefully now I can play my part as the team go on a run.”
With Jack Wilshere out for three months, Ramsey is set to stay in the team, providing the tightness that he felt in his hamstring in Istanbul does not stop him from facing Newcastle United on Saturday.
Defeat at Stoke was a bad afternoon for Arsenal, even if Ramsey did score, and led to new criticism of Arsène Wenger from fans. The midfielder, though, was quick to defend his manager and dedicated the defeat of Galatasaray – in which he played a huge part – to Wenger.
“Every player here wants to work hard for him – we have proven that again on Tuesday night,” he said. “He has been under some unfair criticism, but we are all in it together. We wanted to get the result for us – and for him.
“It was obviously a disappointing first half [at Stoke]. We did well in the second half and almost got back into it. It was important to bounce back from the defeat and we did that.”