Aaron Ramsdale says Arsenal desperate to go to World Cup on top in title boost

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    Aaron Ramsdale has revealed Arsenal are desperate to be Premier League top dogs during the World Cup.

    The lift that would give the already-soaring morale inside the Gunners camp cannot be underestimated, according to their England keeper.

    A maximum return from their final two games before the domestic season pauses – at Chelsea today and Wolves next Saturday – will guarantee Mikel Arteta ’s men being two points clear, at least, of the chasing pack led by Manchester City.

    READ MORE: Arsenal told they've achieved nothing yet and Chelsea on a 'different level'

    And Ramsdale can think of no better way to jet off to Qatar with Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions than leaving Arsenal sitting pretty at the summit. What a festive gift that would be for the surprise Premier League pacesetters -before the race for club glory resumes on Boxing Day.

    On the eve of Arsenal’s high noon derby at Stamford Bridge, Ramsdale, who has three England caps, declared: “It would be massive. That goes without saying. If we go in like that, then, obviously, we have had a great first period of the league.

    How long do you think Arsenal can keep up their title charge? Let us know in the comments section.

    “And throughout the World Cup, the management staff can re-evaluate things, players who have stayed behind can train really hard, and when we come back in we can put all that work on paper. It’s going to be a massive psychological boost, if we can do that.”

    Easier said than done, of course, as manager Arteta hinted while contemplating Arsenal’s chances of ending an 18-year wait to be crowned England champions again.

    Asked if it that is not already well overdue in N5, the Spaniard, approaching three years in the Emirates hot-seat, agreed. To a degree.

    Arteta said: “It is about time because it’s been so long. We have to earn the time to be there. We have done that so far…but there is still a long, long season ahead of us.”

    Improving their dismal Big Six away record would certainly be a positive, especially after a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United in September abruptly halted Arsenal’s perfect five-game winning blast out of the blocks.

    Yet, although a nasty reminder of old travel-related frailties, Ramsdale claims the bump to earth was a blessing in disguise.

    The ex-Sheffield United and Bournemouth stopper said: “It was a good reset for us. It showed that we’re not untouchable, we still have a lot to work on – no matter where we are in the league.

    “It’s good every now and then to be reminded of things. Of course, we didn’t want to lose and it’s definitely a crinkle in the sheets. But it came at a good time and is one we really bounced back from well.”

    As underlined by taking 16 points from a possible 18 in the league since Old Trafford, and securing a relatively trouble-free passage into the Europa League last 16 as group winners.

    Ramsdale, 24, who kept his fifth clean sheet this season in Thursday’s 1-0 home win over FC Zurich, went on: “We’re ahead of what we thought we’d be in both leagues.

    “We can now put Europe to the side and focus on the last few games before the World Cup.”

    That includes Ramsdale stopping former Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng, now at Chelsea, taking revenge on Arteta for showing him the door last season amid a bitter feud.

    “It won’t be too weird. I’ve played against former team-mates before, it’s quite natural- and I wasn’t with Auba for too long at Arsenal,” Ramsdale added before comparing his leadership to that of new Gunners captain Martin Odegaard.

    “Both aren’t the loudest speakers. They do it on the pitch. They’re not dissimilar but Martin is flying at the minute.”

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