Aaron Ramsey has spoken for the first time about the horrific broken leg he suffered at Stoke last weekend.
As shock and recriminations have swirled around this week following Ryan Shawcross's tackle on the Arsenal midfielder, the 19-year-old Welshman stayed quiet until yesterday. But after undergoing surgery and receiving words of support from all corners of the football world, Ramsey last night sought to draw a line under the incident and urge Arsenal to go and win a trophy for him.
"I remember what happened clearly and after the tackle went in I saw that my leg was broken and hanging at an angle," he said. "I have seen images of the aftermath of the collision again but I don't want to dwell too much on the challenge as I can't change what has happened. It is difficult for me to take everything in at the moment. I thought I had been progressing well this season, so of course this is a real setback. It is very hard to take but I am young and have time on my side. I had an operation last weekend and while it will take time for my leg to heal, I am determined and focused on overcoming this injury and hope to be back fitter and stronger than before.
"I have been overwhelmed by the terrific support I have received from so many people including fans from many different football clubs. Finally, I want to wish my team-mates all the best for the remainder of the season. I know that we are capable of winning a trophy and I will be backing them all the way."
His manager, Arsène Wenger, believes the league title is there to be won. He has this week drawn comfort from the way his side rallied round after Ramsey's injury and produced the win at the Britannia Stadium, a ground where in the past they have come away with nothing. A look at the Premier League table, which shows Arsenal just three points behind leaders Chelsea, and a glance at their remaining fixtures, which, on paper, are by far the easiest of the three title hopefuls, have only added to that sense of anticipation.
Arsenal entertain Burnley this afternoon, a game which they are expected to win easily, and that is followed by matches against Hull, West Ham, Birmingham and Wolves. Wenger's side are enjoying a run of three successive victories in the Premier League, a sequence they will anticipate extending over the coming weeks. "I am delighted because we are in a position where I have always wanted to be," Wenger said. "I am sure the team has gained belief and determination. But of course it's very open now. It is down to us how well we can prepare and how much we can produce consistency."
Two years ago, Arsenal's title challenge imploded after a terrible injury to striker Eduardo following a tackle by Martin Taylor in a 2-2 draw at Birmingham. Wenger said the situation would not be repeated this season, as the resolve within his squad is far greater than it was in 2008. Instead he hopes it will galvanise his team, and inspire them to push harder for the title, which they last won in 2004.
"I believe we are in the opposite position to when Eduardo was injured," he said. "The team are much more united and their resolve is stronger. Also, this time we chase the leaders and we are not chased. We responded to the situation in a very positive way on Saturday. It looks similar but it is completely different. That's what the team did, they responded to the incident and won the game.
"This kind of incident can improve solidarity in the team. I believe it did that on the day. I find it remarkable that the players have dealt fantastically with these situations and responded very well. They kept fighting and sticking together and that's why we are where we are."Reuse content