Thursday 04 October 2012
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey feels he is getting back to his old self after a testing spell on and off the field.
The 21-year-old came off the bench to score in the 3-1 win over Olympiacos at Emirates Stadium last night after fighting back from an horrific leg injury which ruled him out for almost a year and then, in November 2011, dealing with the death of Wales manager Gary Speed.
Ramsey, though, is now fully focused on producing consistent displays for Arsene Wenger's side, who will look to get their Barclays Premier League campaign back on track at West Ham United this weekend.
"I am feeling good and confident again, getting back to my old self which got me here in the first place," he said. “Hopefully now this will kick me on again and I will keep on improving throughout the season. It is always difficult to overcome things like that in life.
"A lot happened last year for me, there were loads of things going on off the pitch as well. However, now I am feeling happy and hopefully that's showing in my performances."
Ramsey had short loan spells at both Nottingham Forest and former club Cardiff after recovering from a double leg fracture. "It makes you stronger and it is getting over the mental side of it," Ramsey said. "As soon as you get through that, the confidence comes back and it's a thing of the past.
"You are not sharp in your mind and you take a bit longer to think things through on the pitch which normally come naturally. Little things like that make such a big difference.
"I was patient. I didn't want to rush back, I wanted to make sure everything was correct."
Patrice Evra is determined to avoid another inquest at the Sports Direct Arena after Manchester United’s trip to Newcastle United on Sunday and is calling for his team-mates to ready from the off.
Manchester United suffered a 3-0 defeat in the corresponding fixture last season in January that prompted clear-the-air talks with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, which reignited the club's challenge for the Barclays Premier League.
After losing to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, Evra believes such discussions are best avoided.
"We had a meeting after that game at Newcastle last season," he said. "We had to talk with each other because it was not the way we respect the shirt of Manchester United.
"We don't want another wake-up call. We know what happened last year. We know the experience up there and we have to be ready from the first minute of the game."
Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has been named in the England squad for the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Winger, Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs and Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster are also in the squad for the matches on 12th & 16th October.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney returns to the squad after recovering from a gashed leg.
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City)
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Sunderland), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Forwards: Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)
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