Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey says past year has been a roller coaster

If Aaron Ramsey finds the net for Arsenal at Wembley again in Saturday's FA Cup semifinal with Reading, he intends to look towards the Heavens rather than end up "knackered" on the turf like he did last year.

It was Ramsey's strike deep into extra-time on a baking May afternoon which sealed a dramatic 3-2 victory over Hull, the Arsenal players swamping the midfielder in a release of emotion as the club ended a near decade wait for silverware in what was a standout campaign for the Wales international.

Roll the clock on almost 12 months, and Ramsey admits it has been something of a roller coaster, both on and off the pitch as he battled against a run of niggling injuries and then a family bereavement.

The 24-year-old dedicated his recent goals for Wales in a World Cup qualifier and in the 1-0 win at Burnley -- which extended Arsenal's impressive eight-match Barclays Premier League winning streak -- to his late maternal grandmother Eileen, who had played such a big part in family life as the young football came through the ranks at Cardiff before a big-money move to the Emirates Stadium in 2008 and recovery from an horrific double leg break five seasons ago.

"I have had a bit of a tough few weeks with my gran passing. She meant an awful lot to me, we had a great relationship and I dedicated my last couple of goals to her, so I have been on an emotional roller coaster of late," said Ramsey. "She was an incredible woman, Nani Leany, who was 84. She lost her husband early in her life and had to raise seven kids on her own -- and in those days it was an incredibly difficult thing to do.

"But she was always happy, making jokes, and I had that sort of outlook on life. She always believed in me and gave me reassurance and it has been a difficult time."

Ramsey continued: "She didn't [go to games], but I got her Sky to watch a few -- she would always complain it was not on 'normal TV!'

"But when I was eight or nine she used to watch and take me down to games, and she would always be asking about how I was doing, things like that."

Having left the Wembley pitch in tears after playing for Cardiff in their 2008 FA Cup final defeat against Portsmouth, Ramsey fulfilled a boyhood dream when winning the trophy with Arsenal, an achievement which took some time to sink in.

"The winner was just an amazing feeling, and with my celebration, I didn't really know what to do, I was knackered," he recalled.

"I was just running about and it all caught up on me then, so I needed a couple of seconds just to get my breath back and realise just what I had just actually done. It was definitely overwhelming."

Just as they did in last season's semi-final against Wigan -- when Arsenal came through on penalties after trailing until the closing minutes -- Arsene Wenger's side head into Saturday's match against the Championship side as overwhelming favourites.

Ramsey said: "It is a different sort of pressure, but it is a pressure we have been up against many times in the competition over the years when we have played lesser teams.

"We have to go into the game switched on and ready for them because anything can happen."

Once the first name on the Arsenal team-sheet, since his return to fitness, Ramsey has found competition in the midfield fiercer than ever.

He said: "It has been a bit of a stop start/season for me, but I am feeling good at the moment.

"Even though with all the injuries I have had I have still got nine goals this season, and a few assists, and hopefully now I can finish the season strongly and have an impact."

Arsenal could yet have a say in the Premier League title race -- especially if leaders Chelsea lose to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, and then can be defeated in next weekend's showdown at the Emirates Stadium.

Ramsey said: "Chelsea have still got a lot of points, so they will have to slip up a few times for us to catch them, so it will be difficult, but its still possible.

"We are on a fantastic winning run at the moment and that is all we want to keep on doing."