Ramsey puts injury troubles behind him
Updated Sunday, 17th February 2013
Aaron Ramsey feels his injury nightmare is now fully behind him and stands ready to help drive Arsenal on towards European success as the Gunners' "engine" in midfield.
The Wales international, 22, spent some nine months in rehabilitation following a sickening double leg break from a challenge by Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in a Barclays Premier League game at the Britannia Stadium almost three years ago to the day.
Ramsey admits it was a testing experience but he has his sights on pushing Arsenal towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League with victory over Bayern Munich. "The determination and the professionalism that you need to go through that, all the hours you have to spend in the gym, it is quite tough, but I have got through that now," Ramsey said.
"It has taken me a bit longer than I would have liked, but I am happy now where I am, and hoping to improve. It did take it out of me that injury and hopefully that will only have been a minor hiccup in the long run when I look back on my career.
"I am hungry to keep that shirt and have proven that with the way I have been playing of late. Hopefully I can keep my place in the team."
Ramsey admits Arsenal must learn the lessons of their past two European failings when poor away performances have halted their run at this stage, last season being thrashed 4-0 in the first leg at AC Milan.
He said: "Of course Bayern will be a tough game, but we are confident that on our day we can give anybody a good match. We will all have to be switched on on the night."
Ramsey recalled: "We put ourselves in a good position against Barcelona (in 2011), but unfortunately did not take it into the second leg. Then, against AC Milan it was a big mountain to climb, which we nearly did at home. Hopefully this time we can get in another strong position in the first leg, and I am sure we will be more experienced what to do in the away leg."
Like Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson, Ramsey penned a new long-term deal at Arsenal in December, with Theo Walcott following soon after. The Wales midfielder is part of Wenger's 'British core', which the manager hopes will become the nucleus of a successful side for the next generation.
Ramsey said: "There is a lot of quality in that group and we are only going to get stronger and get a better understanding of each other's game and get more experience as the season goes on. As long as we can stay together that can only be a good thing for the club."