Aaron Ramsey Enjoys Encouraging Appearance for Great Britain Against Senegal

Matthew Snyder@schnides14Analyst IIIJuly 27, 2012

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Aaron Ramsey of GB in action during the international friendly match between Team GB and Brazil at Riverside Stadium on July 20, 2012 in Middlesbrough, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Coming on in the 62nd minute in a match Great Britain were leading 1-0 over Senegal, it took Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey little time to get his first touch on the ball.

Ramsey had hailed the side assembled by Stuart Pearce, who enjoyed a brief spell at the helm of the English senior national team this past spring, as "a good team, who like to get the ball down, pass it and create lots of chances...with lots of movement" (via The Guardian's Louise Taylor).

Wearing the No. 15, Ramsey joined fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs in the center of midfield, shifting about from right to left as he is so apt to do.

When he's at his best, Ramsey resembles a roamer, able to launch forward in attack as well as hold his lines defensively.

His ability to beat defenders with pace (he'll never be a masterful dribbler, but he is purposeful enough with his touches to push past defenders) was only seen on a handful of occasions.

In the 81st minute, he enjoyed perhaps his best contribution, taking advantage of an advanced position on the right flank to twist and turn his way past a bundle of Senegalese defenders before firing a low, hard cross that was turned away for a corner.

It was an encouraging burst from the Welshman, who certainly looks fresh more than two months removed from the end of Arsenal's season.

Though Senegal would eventually earn a 1-1 draw through a late equalizer—ratcheting up the importance of Great Britain's next match against United Arab Emirates—Ramsey could feel good about his contribution on the night.

For an Arsenal fan, it was the latest indicator that Ramsey is continuing his long climb back from the gruesome fractures of his tibia and fibula in February 2010 which so nearly derailed his career. 

Ramsey has rarely spoken about the incident's psychological toll, but he revealed to Louise Taylor that "(the injury) stalled my career. Lying on the medical table is the worst position for a footballer. I was out for 10 months and, after that, it still took a bit of getting over."

His club manager, Arsene Wenger, will be thanking his stars that Ramsey wasn't subjected to the rash of crunching challenges from a number of Senegalese players. Instead, he was allowed the opportunity to showcase his still-evident talent.

NBC announcer Kyle Martino hailed Ramsey's footballing brain, and Ramsey put it to good use when his run drew defenders away from teammate Marvin Sordell, whose fierce curling drive bounded off the woodwork just minutes from time.