Aaron Ramsdale: Haunted Arsenal using Tottenham scars of last season to drive title push

Aaron Ramsdale: Haunted Arsenal using Tottenham scars of last season to drive title push

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale says the pain of their Champions League collapse last season is fuelling their title bid.

The Gunners brushed aside Everton 4-0 here at Emirates Stadium last night to move five points clear at the top of the Premier League with 13 games to go.

Belief is growing as Arsenal chase their first title since 2004, and Ramsdale says the scars of their late-season meltdown a year ago are driving them on to finish above Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta's side were on course to qualify for the Champions League with three games left but imploded as they were pipped to fourth place by Tottenham on the final day.


"What's driving us on is the scars of last year — no one has forgotten about what happened," said Ramsdale. "That's obviously a big driving force in this team. [It hurt] a lot — especially as it was to the other lot down the road, which made it even worse for our fans and for us.

"It is just knowing our mistakes at the end of the season, the teams we dropped points against and knowing we have to trust our process, our basics, knowing that if we do nine out of 10, 10 out of 10, then we should get results.

"And if we don't, at least we can say we have done everything we can. There were times last year we dipped under our levels, didn't do what we had practised or what we had done all season, so it was a big lesson for us and we are just taking it into each game at the minute.

"But we have experienced players who have been there and done it at multiple different Premier Leagues, Carabao Cups, FA Cups, European Championships.

"So we've been there and done it — some of the players — and others are 20, 21, 22 playing the best football of their career and carrying this football team forward."

The finishing line is now in sight for Arsenal and the pressure is suddenly back on second-placed Manchester City after the Gunners produced one of their best performances of the season. City are at home against Newcastle in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday, before Arsenal host Bournemouth.

The Gunners look transformed from the side that fell away at the end of last season and are in formidable form.

Everton frustrated them for 40 minutes before Bukayo Saka opened the scoring — and then the Gunners never looked back. Gabriel Martinelli added two goals either side of half-time before Martin Odegaard completed the rout to ensure the leaders took full advantage of their game in hand.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Ramsdale insists Arsenal can hold their nerve during the run-in.

"It's an enjoyment and because not a lot of us have been here before, we don't really know how to handle it," he said. "So we're just going in and playing the games as if we were 10th, 12th, whatever.

"We're just going out to play with our group of team-mates and try and win as many games as possible. And when you play here at this stadium, or even away, the fans… honestly it's so much easier to play when things are going well, and we're relishing it."