Speaking ahead of the game at the Stadium of Light later today, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey said that scoring in this same fixture last year gave him the confidence to become a goal threat and was responsible for the successes he enjoyed in the first half of the previous season. He had scored a double the last time the Gunners visited Sunderland.
He claimed that a few goals that he got in the early stages of the season gave him the confidence to go forward on a regular basis, and this resulted in him becoming a first team regular for the Gunners. After Ramsey was injured, Arsenal suffered a dip in form, thus proving how important he had become to their setup.
The Welsh international moved to North London from Cardiff City as a teenager for a reported £5 million fee in 2008. Despite initial promise, a broken leg sustained in a game against Stoke City in 2010 stalled his career and ruled him out for the rest of the campaign. In the following two seasons the 23-year-old scored just three goals in 70 Premier League appearances, prompting many observers to question his place in the side. But last seasons’ performances, for which he was voted Player of the Year, silenced his critics.
I’ve always been in the positions but those two goals, and the couple that I scored in the Champions League early [in the season], just set me up and I felt really comfortable in front of goal.
[The volley for my first goal] was a nice, sweet shot where I hit the ball really cleanly and thankfully it went in. It could have been the start of my good form.
The injury suffered in the second half of last season has slowed him down and like several other members of the team, he is still struggling to reach the form of the previous season. But he believes that this visit to Sunderland will help both him and the team get back on track.