Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey claims that the memories of the horrific leg break that threatened to debilitate his career have worn away.
The 22-year-old was subject to a reckless tackle from Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross in February 2010 which broke his leg in half and kept him out of the game for more than a year. The midfielder returned in 2011 but was not the same player that had held such promise before the injury and was castigated by the fans for his lack of industry and profligacy in front of goal.
Arsene Wenger refused to succumb to pressure from media and fans and gave Ramsey a position on the wings where he struggled to excel which flummoxed the fans. However, with Jack Wilshere injured last season, Ramsey was given an opportunity to start alongside Mikel Arteta, something which resulted in a major turning point in his career. The Welshman was still not at his best but there were glimpses of the player who had snubbed Manchester United to make the trip to the Emirates as a 17-year-old.
This season, he has finally brushed off ghosts of his horrid past and realised his potential as an Arsenal player. Ramsey revealed that the same was possible because he has beaten the block that had hindered his progress and he is finally the man he promised to be when he arrived at Arsenal.
"It takes a long time to mentally overcome it. It was from last Christmas, that's when I was getting back to my best. That is when I felt confident, and when I was getting stuck in. To get over that kind of injury takes a year. Probably a bit longer. You must keep believing and working hard, and it just feels, all of a sudden, that it clicks into that bubble and you are full of confidence," Ramsey said.
The Wales international has scored six goals this season, including a brace against Sunderland to secure the game for the Gunners last weekend. His industry and engine as he has shown this season has been heralded to be among the best in the business and his goal-scoring prowess has left Wenger surprised by his transformation. Should he manage to keep his form through the length of the season, with Arsenal already blessed with talent by the likes of Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, they can have a real go at claiming the Premier League title which they last won in 2003/04.