Aaron Ramsey reflects on a difficult start to the season and looks ahead to the clash against Man City
Aaron Ramsey believes Arsenal have recovered from a “weird” end to the transfer window as they prepare to take on Premier League leaders Manchester City this Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Arsenal were lost to Stoke and were then humiliated 4-0 at Liverpool towards the end of August while uncertainty surrounded the futures of both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then went on to make a £35m deadline day move to Liverpool, as Arsenal finished the month with back-to-back league defeats.
Man City vs Arsenal
November 5, 2017, 1:00pm
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However, the club have since risen up the table, losing just once in all competitions since the start of September, and Ramsey says the club have learned their lessons from the drubbing at Anfield – highlighting the 0-0 draw at Chelsea as a case in point.
“The Liverpool game was a difficult one for us,” Ramsey told Sky Sports. “We had players who then moved to Liverpool in the next game, and players who were still unsure what was going on.
“It was a weird time for us. As a team, we were not quite at it 100 per cent. I don’t know if those things affected it, but they couldn’t have helped.
“We have learned from that. We went to Chelsea and put in a great performance, and we were perhaps unlucky not to nick the game.
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“We have done really well recently and are full of confidence, creating many opportunities. We are delighted with the way we have been playing of late.”
Ramsey went on to dismiss the notion that talk of Ozil and Sanchez’s ongoing contract disputes affected them against Liverpool, insisting the duo remain fully committed to the club.
“That’s part of football,” Ramsey added. “There are always situations like that, in terms of contracts. At the end of the day, they’re committed, they’re putting in a shift for the team and they’re still hungry to do well for this team and for themselves.
“As long as they are fully committed to every game, there is nothing to be worried about.”
Arsenal now face a City side who are unbeaten in their opening 10 league games, and their five-point lead at the top makes them odds-on favourites to pick up a third Premier League title.
However, Ramsey points out that Pep Guardiola’s side started just as strongly last season (W7 D2 L1 at this stage in 2016/17) before tailing off to finish third.
“City won every game up until this point last season,” said Ramsey. “No game is easy in the Premier League. Every team will have a few weeks where they are under pressure and may drop a few points.
“It’s up to the other teams to capitalise on that. There is still a long way to go. We’re relatively happy with our start and hopefully we can just continue this winning run that we’re on.
“They have obviously started off this season very well. They have players all over the park who can produce a moment of magic, and they seem to be playing really well.
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“We’re under no illusion about how difficult it’s going to be, but also we are confident in our own ability that we can go there and get a result.
“We will be working on our own game plan to try and achieve what we want to do there.
“They have some top quality players who like to get the ball down and play. It’s very similar to the way we play. It has the ingredients for a good game.”