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By Fab4.

Firstly i would like to send my best wishes to Aaron Ramsey and hope he recovers well from his injury.

Yesterday was another horrific day for Arsenal football club. A great day in terms of results has once again been over-shadowed by a serious injury to one of our players. Aaron Ramsey suffered a double leg fracture, breaking both Fibula and Tibia following a tackle from Ryan Shawcross.

I have read many debates on whether the foul was ‘malicious’ or if there was ‘intent’. Both are irrelevant. You have to be held accountable for your actions. If i lose control of my car driving down the street, run somebody over and they break their leg i would have to pay the consequences. I didn’t intend to break their leg, but that’s irrelevant isn’t it. I did, so i would have to pay despite my good nature and not having a malicious bone in my body.

I doubt there are any players who ‘intentionally’ break another players leg. The tackle was not a terrible tackle, but maybe that shows just how many terrible tackles are committed week-in week-out in the premier league. We have become used to seeing those types of challenges so defend them.

Showcross has been described as an ‘old-fashioned’ centre-back who goes in hard and is ‘commited’ in the tackle. What a cop-out. That’s just another way of saying he can’t really play football well enough to compete with proper players so he makes up for it by using his size and strength to prevent real players from playing football. And please don’t tell me he’s not that type of player, i have photo evidence below to prove he has previous against Arsenal.

It’s an English problem brought about by English media who hail the good-old-fashioned English brave heart who wears his heart on his sleeve. We celebrate a hard tackle more than a sublime piece of skill. It’s ridiculous. We’re supposed to have the best league in the world, but it’s run by the most biased, corrupt bunch of wan*kers on the planet. They don’t have a set of balls between them. In Belgium a Standard Liege player called Axel Witsel made a late, mis-timed challenge that broke the leg of his opponent and was rightly sent-off. Did the Belgium FA give him a standard 3-match suspension? No, they slapped him with an 11-game ban. If the FA had the stones to do a similar thing in the Premier League we would soon see a reduction in the amount of stupid, thoughtless, rough-and-tough tackles and tactics that many clubs now choose to adopt. Simply because they can’t compete on a footballing level.

Instead of concentrating on stopping footballing sides playing entertaining football, why not get on the training pitch and improve yourselves as players and as a team? Stoke must spend 75% of their training sessions on practising set-pieces. Who wants to watch that? If your honest, who wants to pay hard-earned money watching a group of men boot a ball about, kick lumps out of talented players, boot or throw the ball into a crowded box at every opportunity in the hope of scoring a scrappy goal? It’s boring ‘anti-football’ that should have been driven out of this country a long time ago. I wouldn’t dream of spending my spare time watching a Stoke vs Hull game, not a chance. I don’t enjoy the Arsenal games against those types of teams never mind the boredom of watching them play each other.

It’s common knowledge that teams approach Arsenal differently to other sides. We have a reputation of being a weak side who are a soft-touch. This reputation has been rubber-stamped in the minds of every manager and player by media bias so much that teams now feel the only way to beat us is by bully-boy tactics.

We have one of the smallest squads in the premier league, but the fact that 90% of our players are under 6ft and under 12 stone doesn’t give other teams the right to throw themselves about, tear into us and turn around and say they are honest and committed players when things go wrong.

The fact that teams go into a game against Arsenal with the intention of stopping us playing our free-flowing football with an ‘in-your-face’ high tempo style means things are bound to go wrong at some point. Arsenal play possession football, popping the ball about in a quick one-touch style. So if the opposition look to stop us by going in hard and roughing us up, the amount of tackles needed to stop us means its just a numbers game before a serious injury occurs. It’s simple maths really.

More time chasing the ball, more tackles flying in, increased aggression to ‘rough-up’ the perceived soft Arsenal players = more chance of injury.

Who can argue that it’s no coincidence that Arsenal suffer more serious impact injuries than other teams? The facts speak for themselves. Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey are a drop in the ocean. We have suffered countless other serious injuries that were lucky not to result in broken bones from thoughtless, reckless tackles from poorly prepared players who have been given the challenge by their managers of stopping Arsenal by any means necessary within the laws of the game. The problem is when the timing is a fraction out, disaster can strike and players careers are put in jeopardy.

But when all goes to plan, like last season when Stoke beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium with both goals coming from Rory Delap throw-ins, they are praised in the papers the next day while Arsenal are ridiculed as being ‘bullied’ out of the game. With the papers failing to highlight the fact that three Arsenal players left the field injured that day following reckless tackles more dangerous than Shawcrosses on Saturday. The worst was coincidentally from Ryan ‘not a bad bone in his body’ Shawcross, who went straight through the back of Adebayor, ruling him out for three weeks with a twisted ankle.

If that tackle was 1 inch higher he could very easily have broken Adebayor’s ankle. This is what i mean, it’s simply luck and a matter of time before these ‘tackles’ result in something serious. But why do we have to wait until the worst happens before they are highlighted?

How are the media, and particularly the ‘experts’ and pundits on shows like MOTD, allowed to continually ignore what is really going on in the world of football? The constant protection given to English players is beyond a joke. It’s not just reserved for Rooney and Gerrard (diving anyone?), they dull-down every controversial situation involving an Englishman to simply follow there own agenda. Let’s blame the foreigners for ruining our beautiful game with play acting whilst ignoring the worst culprits, our very own Stevie G and Wazza. It’s pathetic. They also protect the brave-heart centre-backs like Taylor and Shawcross by claiming they don’t go out their way to injure others. But fail to pick up on the reasons why these things are happening.

However, i do accept that Shawcross was distraught after seeing what had happened to Ramsey and i feel sorry for him in a way. He is just fulfilling his managers orders after all. We all know that Tony Pulis would have been encouraging his players to go out and stick it to Arsenal, so the management should be blamed as much as they players in my opinion. But do you see good-old Tony apologising to Arsene and Arsenal? No, of course not. He has to apologise to Ramsey and his family, and wish him well, that goes without saying. But in his post-match interview he was an absolute disgrace. To have a digg at Wenger like he did in such a situation is unforgivable. But no surprise that there was not a word in the papers condemning Pulis.

I wanted him to apologise to Arsene Wenger personally. He attacked Arsene following last years fixture after Wenger complained about Stoke’s tactics (rightly so as well!) Pulis released an absurd statement saying how Arsene had been two-faced by complimenting Stoke while he was at the stadium then complaining about their tactics the next day in London. As well as constantly digging at Arsenal and Wenger in particular. He is a weasel of a man and should have the balls to come out and apologise to Arsene Wenger. After all, the fact is Arsene told us all last year that if teams like Stoke were allowed to continue with their bully-boy tactics a serious injury would happen. Pulis hammered him for saying that, now Wenger has been proved right. So why no apology?

I can only hope managers like Pulis grow a conscience and decide to discard their old-fashioned, dull and dangerous style of ‘football’ and drag themselves into the 21st century where football has evolved into a fast paced, exciting game filled with talented athletes who pass the ball on the GROUND and whose first priority is to entertain the paying fans. Combine this with an FA intervention to clamp down on their rough-and-tough tactics and an agenda free un-biased media, only then will we hope to see a reduction in the number of dangerous career ending tackles flying about every week.



  1. thfc4life

    March 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    fucking legendary what shawcross did. ramsey well deserved it

    • Football Talk

      March 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      another example of just how classy spurs fans can be. keep chasing 4th mate

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