Why all Arsenal Fans should get behind Aaron Ramsdale
By Jahid Islam
Hello, readers of We Love You Arsenal! I’m Jahid (@MadAboutMari), and this week’s piece is on the second of our Friday signings; Monsieur Aaron Ramsdale. A controversial move that actually united most of the fanbase, myself included, together against the move thanks to the £24million price tag demanded by Sheffield Utd. But after seeing Ramsdale’s interview, unveiling, and genuine happiness to join this club, I’m fully behind him. And you should be too.
For a fee of £24million, rising to £30million with add-ons, Ramsdale hasn’t been done any favours. The pressure on him to perform, challenge, and compete with Leno from the get-go for that #1 spot is immense. And that’s disregarding the torrent of disrespectful messages which caused him to disable social media comments under his posts in the days leading up to the announcement.
I’m truly disappointed in our fanbase for doing so, but the heart-warming pictures and passionate interviews done by Ramsdale make it incredibly hard to not like him. For all the hate that so-called ‘fans’ spewed out against Ramsdale, seeing any player putting on that Arsenal kit means that the ‘Slate of Judgement’ must be wiped clean. Just hold back your opinions until after he plays for us!
I actually got a little emotional hearing the story behind Ramsdale holding his Grandad’s ashes in some of the pictures. You’ve probably heard it before in one of the interviews he’s given, but here’s the story put simply. Ramsdale’s Grandad was called Ron, and would’ve been a goalkeeper had his father not forbade him from becoming a professional footballer.
Everyone loved Ron, ‘Our Ron’ they referred to him as, but he passed away on the very day that Aaron’s mum found out that she was pregnant. To honour Ron, the baby was called ‘Aaron’, a reference to, ‘Our Ron’. Aaron’s Dad held on to some of Ron’s ashes and took them to visit every stadium he travelled to, and that tradition continued here, in the photo above. Pass me a tissue. I’m tearing up just reading that story back. There’s also another interview answer that Ramsdale gave that won me over. He said to the official Arsenal website:
"Every time I’ve played here [at the Emirates Stadium], I think I’ve walked out and said ‘Imagine this being your home each week".
What comes across to me is a genuine awe and excitement at joining this club. Ramsdale seems to understand the significance of joining Arsenal, and that’s the type of player we need. The only player with noticeable passion we’ve had in the past season is Kieran Tierney, and that’s not being disrespectful to the other members of the squad.
In his first interview, Ramsdale left an impression of a player that always gives his all for the badge, and a humility that keeps him grounded. He recognises the hard work of both himself and his parents in getting him to this position, and that’s a hell of a motivating factor for someone to play well or at the very least try their hardest. That’s probably why he won Player of the Year for both Bournemouth and Sheffield United. There’s definitely some talent there then! Furthermore, in every picture posted of him signing the contract, there’s a big old smile on his mug. He’s absolutely chuffed to have joined Arsenal, even though he’s not an Arsenal fan. In fact he supports West Brom, but the feeling of ‘Holy shit! I’ve made it, I’m playing for a massive club!’ is beaming off his face, and I haven’t seen that kind of joy from a new signing in a while. Ramsdale genuinely seems to be a lovely chap with a tight knit family circle around him, and his signing represents a culture shift in our recruitment policy that I wholeheartedly welcome. At 23 years old, he’s still a young lad. With Leno approaching his thirties and with only 2 years left on his contract, it’s blatantly obvious that he’s being groomed to be a fixture between the sticks for the mighty Arsenal. David Seaman, himself an English goalkeeper we signed despite fan uproar, identified that even though Ramsdale’s still learning, he’s got bucket loads of potential and might be able to become a great player for us one day. And I trust David Seaman way more than some random Arsenal fan account on Twitter. In fact, you could say that I absolutely love Seaman. Wait a minute, that sounds odd. Clearly, a younger profile of player has been targeted this summer with Lokonga, Tavares, White, Odegaard, and Ramsdale all being 23 or under. This window signifies the commencement of a long-term process. A meticulously planned project that won’t necessarily merit results immediately, but promises a bright future for Arsenal with a core of young leaders with the potential to carry us up the table, and consequently back into the chambers of European football. Oh, let me dream! I’ve been Jahid (@MadAboutMari) for We Love You Arsenal! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week for more interesting takes and bad puns. Catch you later!