Aaron Ramsdale has probed the depths, but the new Arsenal No.1 is in line for his England debut. Don’t judge a player on their worst form.
It’s hard to say whether Aaron Ramsdale’s career could have gone into a spin as he plunged to almost comedic levels around this time last year, given that the young goalkeeper had yet to reach a goal. great peaks. But a year later, his rise from extraordinary bloopers to flourishing superstar should leave anyone who criticized his Arsenal transfer red in the face.
One of the longest and most protracted sagas of the summer, Ramsdale’s move to the Gunners drew much criticism. Opinions ranged from a waste of money on a replacement keeper to the 23-year-old never having the potential capacity Arsenal would need.
Yet with barely a handful of matches in his North London career, Ramsdale has proven all his skeptics wrong. After ousting former first choice Bernd Leno as No.1 in all cases except shirt number, Ramsdale kept three clean sheets in four Premier League games, as well as West Brom on his full Cup debut. Carabao.
Son Heung-min’s consolation in North London derby remains the only strike to beat Stoke’s shooter, but perhaps that should serve as a lesson for most of us: don’t judge a player solely on their worst form.
Anyone with a functional vision and even the most basic level of knowledge of the beautiful game could see that Ramsdale’s career at Sheffield United had the ugliest of starts, but his background should never have been the level at which he has been evaluated in the long term.
Being a key member of successive relegated Premier League teams is never a good place to start, but it all fuels the culture of WhatsApp group jokes and memes that have replaced general sane talk.
It is much easier to participate in the schadenfreude or mockery of a footballer’s career than to admit that these are human beings who have good and bad days, good times and bad times, for whom life is often somewhere in a middle ground, a space between black and white.
Sheffield United’s record poor start to the 2020/21 campaign has opened Ramsdale to constant pressure and abuse. It was a thankless task as many noted how more fragile the Blades defense looked with the new signing of Bournemouth in place of beloved former lender Dean Henderson.
But the loss of Jack O’Connell to the left side of the final three was perhaps the biggest factor in what had been, more often than not, a stellar bottom line set up by Chris Wilder. There are a multitude of factors behind this extreme case of Second Season Syndrome, far too many to deal with here.
That Ramsdale completed a season in which he kept five blank sheets as a young player and player of the season at Bramall Lane, with more applause than criticism, spoke not only of his overall quality, but also of his mentality and his character.
Because while nearly every fan, journalist and critic across the country denigrated his long-awaited move to Arsenal, Ramsdale always thought he was good enough to be in. his current position.
Less than a year ago he was, at worst, the modern day ubiquitous on Danny Baker videos and at best, a key individual behind the worst start ever for a Premier League club. Just two months ago, Ramsdale was playing in the Championship for a losing home side to Birmingham City. Two and a half years ago he was plying his trade on loan at AFC Wimbledon, conceding four home goals at Gillingham.
His rise to the undisputed first-choice rank at Bournemouth, then back at childhood club Sheffield United and now at Arsenal, despite doubts from the start, only underscores the absurd confidence of a man who fits the mantra the most famous offered by Chumbawumba.
The one who has been knocked down countless times only to get up every time has one final frontier to break down. Like his club career, Ramsdale’s international trajectory saw him progress through the youth ranks until the dawn of England’s Euro 2020 final squad, omitted and then brought back following the Henderson’s injury from the second group game.
All this while languishing in the Championship, still living under a false reputation. Ramsdale is now in line to make his senior debut against Andorra on Saturday night.
It’s a one-game inevitability for the Three Lions, but Ramsdale’s career to date has been anything but. This latest recognition of his rise through the ranks is unlikely to be his climax.
Jordan Pickford may be number one for England right now; he should continue as such as long as he continues to impress internationally as he does with such glee. Ramsdale, however, has time and momentum on his side.
Competitors from Pickford came in the guise of Nick Pope of Burnley, Sam Johnstone at Championship West Brom and Henderson, again playing second fiddle behind David de Gea at Old Trafford.
Ramsdale, with these two relegations in as many years, looks to the future. For Arsenal, who conceded nine times in the first three games Leno put on the gloves for, he shone. The future is even brighter than the present, and that has resulted in an unusually calm presence in the Gunners’ goal. For England, he probably won’t be tested in his first appearance if it’s Andorra.
But as always, there is still much of the story to be told by a man who has already taught us so much. You might never get a second chance to make a first impression, but the first impression doesn’t have to be the most lasting. Those who doubted Ramsdale’s transfer this summer – for its quality, price, potential for improvement, or any other reason that caused the sides to part ways on his move from Steel City to the capital – all already look like they are doing it. ‘fools.
There will be more bad days to come, but few are better equipped to go on and leave them in the past. If we all had a meaning, we would have the same perspective