Aaron Ramsdale reveals how he’s coped with losing his place at Arsenal | Football

Aaron Ramsdale has fallen behind David Raya in the pecking order at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Aaron Ramsdale says he has been more ‘reserved’ than usual in the dressing room this season and is grateful for the ‘special’ support that Arsenal’s fans and backroom staff have shown during a ‘difficult time’.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper joined Arsenal for £30million with weighty expectations on his shoulders back in 2021, but quickly established himself as a fan favourite with his accomplished performances between the sticks.

However, the Gunners completed a loan deal with Brentford for David Raya last summer and the Spaniard has taken over the reins as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice ‘keeper, with Ramsdale limited to just six Premier League appearances this term.

It leaves major question marks over Ramsdale’s future ahead of the summer transfer window and recent reports indicated Arsenal were eyeing a move for Colombus Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte as a possible replacement for the England international.

Speaking earlier this month, Arsenal legend David Seaman said Ramsdale was ‘too good to be a No.2’ and urged the former Sheffield United man to consider his options for the good of his career, however ever painful that may be.

Now, in a lengthy interview with Arsenal’s official website, Ramsdale, who still has two-and-a-half years remaining on his current deal at the Emirates, has opened up on the tough situation he finds himself in this season.

Asked what he was like as a youngster compared to present day, he replied: ‘I was more stupid than I am now!

Arsenal star David Raya

Raya’s arrival last summer raised serious questions over Ramsdale’s future (Picture: Getty)

‘I was more easily influenced then as well, by those wanting me to have a laugh. Especially when I got into first-team dressing rooms, the older pros were always encouraging me to do things.

‘But I’ve never really been quiet. I always seemed to gravitate towards the older professionals and they always wanted me to just be myself.

‘I’d say I’ve calmed down a bit now, because of where I’ve got to and the situation I’m in. You’ve got to be more reserved and pick your times of when to have a laugh and a joke.’

Ramsdale was picked in England’s latest squad despite his lack of game-time (Picture: Getty)

Ramsdale underlined the key role that many unsung members of Arsenal’s staff play in ‘being a shoulder to lean on’ and keeping morale high when times are hard.

‘For me, the physios, masseurs, kitmen, restaurant staff – I’d actually say they are as important as the coaching staff for that side of it. For morale, team spirit and just being a shoulder to lean on, somebody to speak to away from the football world,’ he added.

‘It’s very well known that kitmen are usually the life and soul of a football club, and it’s no different here. But we also have so many people around the training ground in various roles.

Arteta will not stand in Ramsdale’s way should he push to leave (Picture: Getty)

‘Geri and Toni who work in the restaurant have been here for a long, long time, Dave in reception, Sean O’Connor obviously. They have seen everything and it’s good to talk with them about everything and anything.

‘To keep a football club going in a positive way, away from football, I think these people are so, so important.

‘The number of games we play, whether we have got back late from an away game and you are in the next morning, or you’ve not had a day off in 20 days, or you are missing your kid’s birthday – it’s just good to talk that over with people.

The England goalkeeper has made just six league appearances this season (Picture: Getty)

Ramsdale went on: ‘That’s why I love chatting with Geri and Toni for example, they care about the football but they care much more about how you are on the human side.

‘They will ask you about your family every single day, so you find out about their families too. So especially the boys who are injured, or out of form or whatever, it takes you away from that footballing world. It normalises you and your situation.

‘Then after chatting with them you go downstairs and you have Will and DJ the kitmen doing all sorts of jokes.

‘Then you go and have a massage, and we have five or six masseurs and a masseuse so depending on how you are feeling that day and who you want to chat with, they are available. These people are more important than anyone in terms of team bonding.’

Asked whether this has been the case more than ever given his lack of game-time this season, Ramsdale replied: ‘You could say that, but to be honest I tend to spend a lot of time with the kitmen, or Stu the photographer, or Jonny the chef or Toni and Geri.

‘Last year myself, Dan who was our player liaison, Adam who works at the training ground and Jonesy the kitman – we completed our Panini sticker albums. Every morning I would be down in their office with them, spending hours swapping stickers.

‘Of course they have all helped this season too, especially Geri and Toni. Being a new father now as well we can talk about that and it takes your mind off everything else.

‘I’ve always been close to the kitmen at any club I’ve been at, because they are always the most normal, down-to-earth people and they work so hard because the hours are crazy. They live and breathe it, they are usually bonkers as well, so I love having a cup of tea with them.’

Ramsdale is grateful for the support of Arsenal fans (Picture: Getty)

Ramsdale is thankful for the ‘extra special’ support that Arsenal fans have shown which has given him great comfort during his time on the periphery this season.

‘Especially this year with the situation I’ve found myself in, they have been extra special. Even before games when my name is read out, I’ve heard the cheers, and warming up people still want to give me a wave,’ he went on.

‘I think that’s kept me going more than I realised this season. Home and away I’ve always felt the love, heard chants, and that’s not something the second goalkeeper will get at many other places. So for sure, that’s been a massive boost for me.

‘It could have been easy going through the season thinking you are forgotten about, but it’s been special during a difficult time, with how much love they’ve shown.

‘Obviously fans have their favourites, but personally I think they’ve shown huge respect to both goalkeepers.

‘They’ve supported whoever plays, and I think that shows great unity from the fanbase. They want the team to do well, the team comes first and I can’t thank them enough for what they do. What they do for the team in general is outstanding.’

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