Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey relishing central role

Wales international has impressed in recent weeks

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is glad to have won over the Arsenal boo-boys as he looks to help drive the Gunners into the Champions League again next season.

The Wales international, 22, has impressed in recent weeks as he thrives in his preferred central role at the heartbeat of Arsene Wenger's side, with England's Jack Wilshere coming back from an ankle injury.

It is a welcome run of consistency for Ramsey, who was often deployed as a utility man by Wenger in the last campaign, which saw him split opinion among supporters.

Ramsey's progress following a £5million move from Cardiff in 2008 was halted by a sickening double leg break after a challenge by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in a Barclays Premier League game at the Britannia Stadium three years ago, which left him ruled out for nine months.

Now, though, the combative midfielder believes he is making up for lost time.

"Last season was frustrating for me. I had a bit of stick, but I was not playing in my main position and had obviously been through a lot," Ramsey said in the May edition of the official Arsenal magazine.

"I think people are starting to realise now that I am coming back, looking sharp again - and there is no better feeling than winning people over, proving you are capable of doing a good job and you are a good player.

"I am confident in myself and think I can push on to the next level now."

Ramsey's drive helped secure a battling 1-1 draw against Premier League champions Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, which extended Arsenal's unbeaten league run to seven matches.

There can be no let-up in performance levels when they head to relegated QPR if they are to stay in the top four, after they dropped behind Chelsea. Arsenal are, however, still two points ahead of Tottenham, although they have played one game more.

The Gunners head to Loftus Road for Saturday's late afternoon kick-off without 17-goal striker Olivier Giroud, who serves the second game of a three-match ban..

Despite another season without winning any silverware, midfielder Santi Cazorla feels there is no reason Arsenal cannot challenge for honours again if they can deliver performances like they did against United on a more regular basis next season.

He said on Arsenal Player: "What I have taken from this year is that as a team we were not very consistent for half of the season, which cost us in terms of reaching the higher positions in the league.

"Now we are a lot more consistent and that is the form we were lacking before - being consistent and getting the three points whenever we could.

"We are a long way off the top because of this lack of form, even though it was only for half the season.

"I hope next year will be another story. We want to be fighting for the Premier League and all the tournaments we enter."

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has played down reports in the French press that Wenger is set to leave for Paris St Germain in the summer as "complete nonsense", insisting the Gunners boss is as "happy as Larry" at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger is set to dip into the club's bumper £100million cash reserves in a bid to strengthen the squad for next season.

However, some tension remains from second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who does not yet have a seat on the board.

The Usbek tycoon, who moved to the top of the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £13.3billion, remains frustrated that the Gunners are not challenging for top honours.

Usmanov, whose Red & White Holdings group own just shy of a 30% stake in Arsenal's parent company, feels owner Stan Kroenke would be content should the team go on to secure fourth place, and with it another crack at the Champions League next season.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss