Aaron Ramsdale believes Arsenal’s poor finish last season has lit a fire among players for the current season – and reveals they now have an ‘eff it’ approach when things go wrong.
A 3-1 win over north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday ensured Arsenal stayed at the top of the Premier League as goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka settled for the 10-man Spurs proved too much.
Harry Kane had equalized from the penalty spot – his 14th goal in 18 north London derbies – but when Emerson Royal was sent off for a nasty foul on Gabriel Martinelli, the game moved away from the visitors.
Both the performance and the result were in stark contrast to the second leg in May, in which Tottenham won 3-0 to eventually see the Gunners bottom in the Champions League.
Following that defeat, Ramsdale had said emotions had gotten the better of Arsenal, which the England goalkeeper believes has changed this season.
“The experiences at the end of last season add to our team spirit and mentality,” he said.
“It’s not just the guys who came in who brought that winning mentality with them. We all have that fire in us because of what happened at the end of last season.
“We talked about it before the game, to play the game and not the occasion, and that’s what we did.
“The day I returned to pre-season two weeks late from internationals, I came back and the level of training had improved.
“Since the start of the season we’ve played really well in games and we’re winning, that helps.
“It’s a never-say-die attitude, as I would put it, it’s an eff-it mentality, ‘who cares we bucked? We have 10 minutes, 70 minutes, we play our way. We never run out of time.”
“That’s the big thing for us and the manager, we don’t stop working.”
One of the players who joined the team from last season is William Saliba – the France centre-back played at Marseille last year but is now a fixture in Mikel Arteta’s team.
“He’s fitted in really well,” Ramsdale said of the 21-year-old.
“It’s to his credit that he was put straight into the team, he’s a bit of a Rolls-Royce with the way he moves and he never seemed phased.
“He’s just a little boy so he still makes mistakes so right now it’s either Ben (White), me, Gabriel or Thomas Partey digging him up and he’s digging other people up too.
“That’s the most important thing at the moment, our mistakes don’t lead too much and that’s a sign of a team with good characters in and around the five-man chain.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-aaron-ramsdale-premier-league-london-one-b2191195.html Aaron Ramsdale says Arsenal have a ‘fire inside’ after last season.