Home SPORTS Aaron Ramsey: Wales captain calls for calm and backs Wales boss Page

Aaron Ramsey: Wales captain calls for calm and backs Wales boss Page

Robert Page (right) reinstated Aaron Ramsey as Wales captain following Gareth Bale’s retirement
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Thursday, 7 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app. Highlights on Match of the Day Wales.

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey has called for calm and pledged his support to under-fire manager Robert Page.

Page has faced criticism after a run of poor form – including losses to Armenia and Turkey in June – has dented Wales’ hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024.

But with an important qualifier in Latvia on Monday, Ramsey believes Wales can still reach next year’s tournament in Germany under their current boss.

“I think we are all behind the gaffer,” Ramsey said.

“What he has done has been quite remarkable, coming in the circumstances that he did, getting to a European Championship and getting to the World Cup.

“Now we are going through a transitional period, we have lost some big players and it was always going to be difficult. We have lost some staff as well, that has been a bit of a change.

“We’ve been in this position before. We had to take it to the Hungary game in the last one to qualify [for Euro 2020] so hopefully this can be a similar case.”

Page is under pressure with Wales having won only one of their past 12 games, leaving them floundering in fourth place in Group D.

The former Wales centre-back had already been criticised after a dismal World Cup campaign saw his side knocked out in the first round.

Wales have won only once since beating Ukraine in the 2022 World Cup play-off final, a 1-0 home victory over Latvia in March.

After a friendly against South Korea in Cardiff on Thursday, Wales face Latvia again four days later as they resume their bid to qualify for a third successive European Championship.

“We all know there’s a good group, there’s a lot of potential in this team, a lot of players playing at the highest level, exciting young talented players as well,” Ramsey added.

“We’ll take it one game at a time now and hopefully we can get everybody right behind us and give us that extra bit so we can get back into that position we were in before where we’ve got a couple of games with a chance of qualifying.”

‘A weight off my shoulder’

Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey has scored two goals since rejoining Cardiff City on a free transfer in July

As for Ramsey himself, the 32-year-old has been rejuvenated by his summer return to boyhood club Cardiff City.

The former Arsenal midfielder had endured a difficult three years at Juventus and Nice, where injuries limited his opportunities to play regularly.

Having been away from his family for long periods during his time in Italy and France, Ramsey says being back at home is helping him rediscover his best form on the pitch.

“I just feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder,” he said.

“I’m feeling a lot more free. That definitely helps then with going on the pitch.

“It has been difficult being away from the family but you need that balance right to be able to enjoy every aspect, and I feel like I’m enjoying every moment now.

“I’m looking forward to doing the school run, having three boys screaming in the car in the morning. I’m glad they’re going back to school!

“I’m absolutely buzzing to be back and getting stuck into the family things as well.”

New Spurs signing Johnson has ‘scary’ potential

Ramsey enjoyed 11 years at Arsenal, winning three FA Cups and scoring in two finals at Wembley.

His Wales team-mate Brennan Johnson joined their arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day last week, moving from Nottingham Forest for a fee of more than £45m.

“I wish it wasn’t to Tottenham,” Ramsey joked. “For him it’s a brilliant move.

“The potential he has is quite scary and hopefully he can take those next steps and go to the next level.

“He’s going to be important for Wales as well. He’s going to be huge for us over the years to come and we’re all excited that he has another platform to go on and improve himself again.”

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