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HomeNewsRamsdale Interview: Playing with a smile, interacting with fans, Arteta's motivation

Ramsdale Interview: Playing with a smile, interacting with fans, Arteta’s motivation


The mix of youthful exuberance, freedom of expression and unexpected quality that has propelled Arsenal into the Premier League title race is arguably best epitomized by the goalkeeper. Aaron Ramsdale.

When the 24-year-old collected his Goalkeeper of the Year award at the London Football Awards last week, it was easy to forget that he faced significant opposition within the Gunners’ fanbase after his £24m arrival from Sheffield United. in the summer of 2021 Those supporters, skeptical of his quality after being twice relegated from English football’s top flight in a fledgling career, now see him as a cult hero, mainly because of the consistency of his performances, but also for exhibiting a strong personality that Arsenal have lacked. in recent years.

Ramsdale is often a blur of activity on the field, rushing out of his line to remove danger or looking to start attacks with quick, gritty distribution, all while interacting with fans mid-game, much to the delight of Ramsdale fans. Arsenal and disgust of the rest.

– Broadcast on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (USA)

However, there was a time in January when this curse turned sour. After the Gunners beat north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0, Ramsdale kissed his club crest and stuck out his tongue at opposing supporters before reaching for his water bottle. It’s just the kind of interaction that endears him to Arsenal fans, but one Spurs supporter was agitated enough to run down from the stands, scale a billboard and kick Ramsdale in the back, prompting an uproar. melee involving several players from both sides.

The Tottenham fan in question, 35-year-old Joseph Watts, later admitted to being beaten at Uxbridge Magistrates Court and banned from attending football matches for four years, served a 12-month community order and was made to pay £100 in compensation to Ramsdale. Although Ramsdale was uninjured, that incident challenged the assumption that the court is always a safe space.

The Association of Professional Footballers later said in a statement that “absolutely nothing that happens on the pitch justifies a spectator entering the pitch or attacking a player.” Although cleared of any responsibility, it might have been enough to make Ramsdale question his own effervescence.

Reflecting on what happened for the first time since that day, he told ESPN: “It probably made me think a lot more off the field if anything, which probably worried me more, that if something can happen on the football field and It should be the safest place as a footballer, I’m a bit worried about what it would be like to walk down the street outside the field or with my fiancee and go for a walk and stuff like that.

“But no, on the football side, he’s a person who made a mistake and apologized. Out of the 150, 180 games I’ve had before, it never happened and I hope it doesn’t happen again. (Up to) 98% of stadium takes it as good will and jokes: sometimes they get over me, sometimes I get over them. It’s just that one time it got out of hand but, like I said, he apologized and we moved on.”

Lost in the maelstrom of the moment was the fact that despite Arsenal dominating Tottenham to a resounding victory, Ramsdale was named man of the match for a series of vital saves. And the other side of the coin, of course, is the strengthening of a bond with those who support Arsenal in what they hope will be their first Premier League title since 2004.

“You’re leaving home like we did (last) Sunday against Fulham,” Ramsdale said. “Obviously we’re shooting away from our fans in the first half, we scored three goals and I can experience the fans celebrating like I’m the one who scores because I’m the closest to them. We just scored, I’ll celebrate and then even if I don’t Whatever the crowd, you’ll hear murmurs of ‘England’s No. 1’ or ‘Aaron Ramsdale etc etc.’

“So it gives us a big boost and obviously to have the presence of (former Arsenal goalkeepers) David Seaman and Bob Wilson on and around the football pitch and being close to me… puts a smile on David’s face. when they sing.” about a goalkeeper who plays for England. So yeah, he definitely fills you with a lot of confidence.”

That confidence was put to the test in the early days of his Arsenal career. There was widespread dismay over the club’s decision to go after Ramsdale when they had Bernd Leno as No. 1 and had allowed emiliano martinezwho would go on to win a World Cup with Argentina, to join Aston Villa for £20 million the previous summer.

Ramsdale would later reveal that he received “a lot of negativity online; idiots telling me not to sign, threats trying to scare me by saying ‘we know where you live'”, while dismissing a football education that spanned the youth and first team at Sheffield United, Bournemouth and Loans at Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon.

Arsenal themselves had initially planned a move to Brentford david stripe and has been linked with Ajax André Onana (who later joined Inter Milan), but Ramsdale had also been under consideration for some time and a series of personal phone calls with head coach Mikel Arteta convinced him that something special was beginning to take shape.



Ramsdale faces penalty challenge blindfolded

Arsenal and England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale takes on ESPN FC’s Ralph Karumazondo in a blindfolded penalty save challenge.

Arsenal spent £142m to bring in six new players that summer, including Ramsdale (£24m), ben white (£50 million) and martin odegaard (£40m) as a new side emerged with an emphasis on youth, supplemented by academy graduates including Bukayo Saka, Emilio Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah.

Arteta’s desire for his team to play from behind, plus Ramsdale’s transfer fee, put pressure on Leno’s spot. The German international started the first three games of the 2021-22 season before being replaced by Ramsdale against Norwich on September 11. Leno then started one Premier League game for the remainder of the season.

However, Ramsdale was not a natural goalkeeper, a fact that partly explains how his father, Nick, became an unexpected star of the Amazon documentary “All or Nothing” about Arsenal, during which he was exasperated that his son was trying to evade Norwich. striker Teemu Pukki playing to build an attack.

“He still hates it, absolutely hates it,” Ramsdale said. “He still threatens to text Mikel. The only problem is if I push him too hard and say ‘go ahead then you won’t’ he really will because he has his number! I have to play that very carefully.” . .

“It wasn’t something that came naturally to me. I was dropped from Bolton because of my height and not being able to kick the ball. So it’s not something I’ve always had and a huge credit to Sheffield United and the managers at his youth.” with England when I first entered the system. They only mentioned training with the outfielders or getting a little better than you would at club soccer. I used to go and help train the younger goalies on Tuesday and Thursday nights. for a little more money when I was a youth team player and also joined the U16s in possession stuff and played outfielder. That made me feel a little more comfortable with the ball and being able to play with both feet. It’s something that’s always been developing.”

It’s a testament to Arteta’s coaching that each player can provide specific examples of how they’ve improved under his tutelage, though Ramsdale is drawn to the Spaniard’s idiosyncratic motivational techniques. Having previously played Liverpool’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in training to prepare his players for the intensity at Anfield (although that fell through in a 4-0 defeat) and used a lightbulb to illustrate team spirit during a talk As a team player, Arteta instructed Arsenal to bring a replica of the clock from the end of the clock at Highbury (and now at the Emirates Stadium) to his dressing room at Fulham to make trips away feel more like home.

“He comes up with these things to try to get us going,” Ramsdale said. “We play at the hotel. Sometimes it can be dodgeball, sometimes it can be spot the difference on TV to get our brains going. It’s just his way of trying to get us fired up before the game, before the heat.” -up, making sure we’re living and breathing football when we’re resting. The clock was another great idea. Not all things work, but what you’re trying to get out of that, I can definitely see the benefits of that. .

“I found the ‘You’ll never walk alone’ a bit funny. Obviously the goalkeepers are there long before the players, so we’re just training and the next thing you hear is a big noise.” , you turn around and they are leaving with the music. It’s become the norm now, so the guys will warm up to some music, which can be any kind of music. There are certain things that have worked and certain things maybe not, but it’s just trying to find that balance.”

Arsenal hold an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table going into the international break and are 10 games away from exceeding all expectations to win the title.

Ramsdale, like many of his teammates, is determined to live in the moment, to embrace the excitement of the opportunity they’ve created. He has previously talked about playing every game with a mentality as if Arsenal were 10th or 11th in the table; But can that really endure as the pressure of the showdown intensifies?

“Maybe as a team it’s a little different, but for me, that’s how I see it,” he added. “Some people like the pressure of being number 1 and being chased around. For me, I’m going to go out with a group of friends with a smile on my face, just going through the motions and playing on autopilot.

“It’s like when you were playing with your teammates again. You have the feeling that you are going to win but you don’t take it for granted. Suddenly you can be 2-0 up, 3-0 up and you’re on cruise control. It’s a great sensation to be near”.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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