Aaron Ramsey has always been an internet hero, but these days the rejuvenated Arsenal midfielder is attracting headlines for his performances on the pitch rather than his celebrity goal curse.
For years, Ramsey was a message board punchline, since every time he scored a celebrity's life would be over.
His goal count was matched only by his victims list, as the Welsh midfielder was charged with taking out the likes Osama Bin Laden, Steve Jobs, Muammar Gaddafi and Whitney Houston.
For those that still believe in Ramsey's superpowers, it looks like it's about time to gather your loved ones, stock up on canned goods, and locate your nearest bomb shelter, as the midfielder has uncorked a plethora of goals to start the 2013/14 campaign.
Despite playing only seven games in the admittedly young season, Ramsey has found the back of the net six times, already surpassing his total of five from his previous two campaigns in Gooner colors.
I didn’t expect him to score so many goals but he has improved in his passing, his technical quality. He was always in good positions in the box. But scoring is a bit cyclic. You have periods when it goes in and others when it doesn't. For me the most important thing is the quality of his game. Aaron is playing well and that is most important, that he continues to improve.
Ramsey has tallied three times in Premier League play, as his brace against Sunderland helped lead the way to a 3-1 Arsenal victory. Ramsey's contributions have also come from his passing ability, and the Welshman was a cog in the buildup to Arsenal goals against both Tottenham and Sunderland.
However, Ramsey's most impressive performances have been in Europe. Three goals from the midfielder led the way in Arsenal's 5-0 aggregate thrashing of Fenerbahçe in the Champions League playoff round, giving the Gooners a shot at European glory.
Despite being drawn in this year's edition of the group of death, Arsenal started their campaign on the right foot behind the play of, who else, Ramsey.
After a Theo Walcott opener in the 64th minute opened things up for Arsenal, Ramsey scored the deciding goal, as his strike seven minutes from time all but wrapped things up in Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Marseille.
After the game, Wenger heaped praise upon his in-form star:
"‘I don’t know if there is a better midfielder in Europe right now," said the Arsenal boss according to The Daily Mail. "But what’s important is that he continues to improve."
All of this begs the question: Is Aaron Ramsey for real?
When assessing Ramsey, one must start by reliving his February 2010 leg break at the hands of Stoke's Ryan Shawcross. Horrific injuries like that are debilitating, and Ramsey's poor form in the aftermath is understandable from even his biggest critics.
However, that was more than three years ago. Last year Ramsey was one of Arsenal's most criticized players and Arsenal's boo birds expected more of the young midfielder.
As evidenced by his goal totals, Ramsey has found his niche, and the injury to Mikel Arteta has given him the chance to roam his favored position, which is set a little deeper in the midfield.
Is it a coincidence that Arsenal's 2012/13 Premier League push began when Ramsey started featuring later in the season? Is it a coincidence that Arsenal have seemingly clicked with the attacking force of Ramsey and Olivier Giroud providing goals from all over the pitch?
Ramsey looks like he has finally found his place in the Arsenal squad, and a midfield featuring a combination of Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Arteta and Jack Wilshere is amongst the best in the world.
Look for Ramsey to continue his fine form, and that his latest victims are merely the scalps of Europe's top teams.
Is Aaron Ramsey an elite midfielder? How far can Arsenal go with Ramsey leading the way? Does Arteta still have a place in Arsenal's starting XI? Comment below or tweet @R_Tolmich with your opinion.
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