Aaron Ramsey prepares to face the man who broke his leg

Aaron Ramsey will come up against the man who broke his leg this weekend, Stoke's Ryan Shawcross.

Everyone remembers those images of Aaron Ramsey motionless on the floor away to Stoke City in February 2010 with Cesc Fabregas holding his head in his hands at the sight of the Welshman’s broken leg.

The player who caused it, is Stoke City’s captain Ryan Shawcross and it will be fascinating to watch the battle between the pair this weekend, made more intense because of that incident.

Ramsey is in arguably the best form of his Arsenal career, breaking from midfield regularly playing the Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard role in Arsenal’s team, popping up out of nowhere to slam the ball home.

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey is 'Rambo' - Exclusive pic

That makes him a threat to Stoke and that makes him someone that they will target in order to keep the Gunners quiet.

The incident clearly left a mental scar on Ramsey, something that he himself has admitted it’s taken a long time to deal with.

“It was a really tough thing to go through and I don't wish it upon anybody. The determination and the professionalism that you need, all the hours you have to spend in the gym, it's quite tough. But I've got through that. It's taken me a bit longer than I would've liked, but I'm happy now where I am,” said the Welshman last February.

The memories of the incident itself plus all of the rehab he had to go through is a lot to bear mentally for someone who is still only 22-years-old.

He’s human and no one could be surprised if he went into this weekend’s match against Stoke a little bit nervous, tentative and cagey at the prospect of being targeted physically by a side that has built their current reputation around doing just that.

“Confidence is a massive thing and if you're struggling with that it does reflect in your performances. But I've got that back now. I'm hungry to keep that shirt and I've proved that with the way I've been playing of late,” he added in the same interview.

It’s not the first time since he broke his leg that he’s come up against Stoke City, but he’s never been in better goalscoring form as he hunts his seventh goal of the season for the Gunners.

He will be targeted because he’s one of Arsenal’s best current players but if, for whatever reason, he is a bit nervous about playing Stoke there are two things he needs to remember.

Firstly, Arsenal’s team spirit is sky high and his teammates will protect him and secondly, he knows he can trust Arsene Wenger to switch his position, also protecting him if Stoke look to target him physically.

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What do you think? How would you keep Ramsey quiet?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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