Aaron Ramsey is confident Arsenal will meet the physical challenge presented by Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.
Champions City and title favourites Chelsea began their campaigns with victories at Newcastle and Burnley respectively but Ramsey, who scored the winner in the Gunners’ 2-1 opening day win over Crystal Palace, has dismissed suggestions Arsenal will be bullied out of the title race.
Ramsey told Sky Sports: “Manchester City are a big team and Chelsea are a big team. It’s all about opinions. We’re quite a small team by comparison and we like to get the ball down. Maybe they won’t be as agile and we can play around them.
“It helps those teams with power and drive but I’m sure we’ll be playing the other way.
“These teams are always capable of getting results off each other. The Premier League was really tight last season and I think it’s only going to get tighter and tighter.
“It’s going to be more difficult to win it because I think there are six teams now. The so-called bigger teams are going to drop points throughout the season. The key when that time comes is to go to the next game and get back to winning ways.
“It’s a long season and I’m sure there are going to be many twists and turns. There’s going to be a few teams fighting for it.”
Last term, Arsene Wenger’s side were in sparkling form early on before falling away during the second half of the season – and Ramsey sees Saturday’s trip to face Everton as an ideal opportunity to demonstrate Arsenal’s improvement and maturity.
The Wales midfielder said: “The biggest thing we need to do is to pick up points against the bigger teams away from home. If we’d have nicked a win or a couple draws in those games last season we would have been up there on 84 or 85 points.
“That’s the one thing we have to improve on. We lost to Everton away last year so we go there on Saturday and we’ll be looking to put things right and hopefully come away with a good result.”
Ramsey was sent off in the Champions League playoff round clash with Besiktas in Turkey in midweek and he insists he has learned a lesson from his first red card for the club, while he also expects the Gunners to progress to the group stages next week.
He added: “I think it was a difficult game where a lot of players were going over easily and I think the European refs tend to give those fouls a lot more than they do over here, so that’s something I am going to have to learn.
“That’s my first red card for Arsenal and hopefully my last as well. I’ll be a bit more streetwise and not give away free-kicks so cheaply.
“We couldn’t get going moving the ball quickly. The pitch was bobbly so you were a bit hesitant when the ball was coming towards you but it was important not to concede. We did that and we are confident we can progress.”
Source: Sky Sports');