MANCHESTER // Ivan Gazidis, the Arsenal chief executive, said a "little bit of the heart was ripped out of the club" when Aaron Ramsey suffered a broken leg at Stoke. The Welsh midfielder has undergone a successful operation on a fractured tibia and fibia following a challenge by Ryan Shawcross in Saturday's 3-1 win at the Britannia Stadium. As Ramsey faces a long battle to come back, Gazidis said the horrific incident had galvanised the players in their quest to claim success this season.
Speaking at yesterday's Soccerex European Forum in Manchester, he said: "One of the things, we, as a club, can take is the way we came together. "To see the players come together and, in those difficult circumstances, to get an important win, may bode well for the rest of the season. "The best thing we could do for Aaron is to win a trophy for him this year. I don't think we needed an extra motivation. It was difficult to feel good about the victory and we were thinking about him.
"We are focused on getting the on-field results to make him a little bit happier." Gazidis added: "The operation went well and we are now monitoring his progress. But we hope he will get back out there as soon as possible. "It was devastating for the club, what happened. I still feel a little bit of the heart was ripped out of the club. "We are all thinking about him and get him back as quickly as we can."
Arsenal are third in the Premier League - just three points behind Chelsea - and face Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League. Gazidis admitted the domestic league remained a major target for Arsene Wenger's men this season. "I hope we can still win the league," he added. firstname.lastname@example.org