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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Wenger: I was urged to drop Ramsey

Arsene Wenger has revealed he was encouraged to drop Aaron Ramsey to the bench for Arsenal's home games last season as the midfielder struggled for form.

Aaron Ramsey's Arsenal career has been transformed in 2013.
Ramsey has been voted Arsenal's best player for the last four months.

Ramsey, now a revered figure at the Emirates, was often the ire of Gunners fans throughout the last campaign, with many criticising the position he was played in.

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Cross: Sending a message

Wenger has attributed Ramsey's consistency this season to the faith he placed in the Welshman when critics suggested he should be rested.

"Let’s not forget that one year ago people were saying to me, 'it’s difficult to play him at the Emirates'," Wenger said. "You could see there was an impatience with him at the Emirates. You always are, as a manager, in a period where you think: ‘Do I push him through and he can go more down, or do I give him a breather to regenerate, to get him a fresh start?’

"That's always difficult for us to assess because it is linked to their mental state. When their own confidence is down, of course they are in trouble. But he is a confident boy.

"You have to give him credit for that transformation because he could deal with that. He could come back, never give up, convince everybody that he has the needed quality."

When asked if Ramsey has emerged into a world class player, Wenger added: "He can become. Of course, when you play at Arsenal you need already to be a world class player because you go through so many selections to finish here.

"What is for me the most important is, 'Has a player gone as far as he could?' He's 22 years old. I'm 64 and I still think I can improve so why should a guy who is 22, who can play until he is 35, think he is the top of his game?"

Wenger also heaped praise on summer recruit Mesut Ozil, but insists the German is under no added pressure to boost his side's title chances.

"I like what I see from him," he said. "He is 25 years old so there is a lot of room for improvement for him. We just want the game to be played like we see it and do not put any special responsibility on him. He'll get better."

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