Can Arsenal star claim back what was taken away from him a year ago?

Will Aaron Ramsey earn back the right to captain his country by putting in a stellar performance for Wales this evening?

Before the tragic and untimely passing of manager Gary Speed at the age of 42, the Welsh national football team looked like one of the rising forces of European international football.

With Joe Allen’s ball retainment, Craig Bellamy’s steeled experience, Ashley Williams’ composed defending and of course the unstoppable Gareth Bale - they were lifting the players around them to elevated levels of confidence and performance - that showed in their results.

Before Speed’s death the team were in great form - winning four in a row and seemingly gelling as a pack - with one man at the centre of it all - Aaron Ramsey.

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Ramsey was the captain of this burgeoning team, and doing well amongst it all. Speed placed great emphasis on Ramsey as the beacon of light among this formerly dishevelled bunch.

But since Chris Coleman took over it has been a different story.

After his first four games as boss the manager decided to replace Ramsey with Ashley Williams as captain - claiming the Arsenal man has felt the pressure of the role as such a young player.

Well tonight, almost exactly a year since he was stripped of the captaincy in the first place, he will captain the side once again.

He captained them in his previous outing for Wales, and you just wonder if he might be ready to claim it back permanently once again.

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He is in the form of his life at the moment, and is obviously inspiring everyone around him.

And if he continues this kind of form, there is little doubt that he would be an exceptional captain, he was before he had the armband removed.

Speed’s death certainly had an effect on the player when representing his nation, but those wounds now seem to be healing, slowly of course.

A year on and he now has a chance to lay down the marker against Macedonia this evening - and claim back what was stripped from him a year ago.

Can Ramsey win back the Wales captaincy?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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