The Hypocrisy of the British Press about Shawcross is Mind-Boggling

In a well-known game in England, one footballer slid into another late.  The challenge was poor, two-footed, and probably deserved a card, but there was no malice associated with it.  Unfortunately, the defender missed the ball and caught the other player’s foot, breaking his metatarsal bone.  The injury was hardly career threatening, but it did put the victimized player in danger of missing the rest of the season and some important games that followed.

This was an unfortunate event, but the British treated it as if one player had pulled out a knife and stabbed the other.  You see, the victimized player was David Beckham and the injury put him at risk of missing the 2002 World Cup.  The perpetrator was Deportivo La Coruna’s, Pedro Duscher, an Argentine national.  Despite Alex Ferguson saying that, ‘‘Games of football are about tackles and I think the player maybe had to go for it,” the British Press would have none of it.  Headlines blared about the horror challenge.  The press speculated how Beckham was targeted because Argentina and England were in the same bracket.  Reporters and paparazzi staked out Duscher’s home in Spain so they could quiz him about how he could target and take down the English captain.

After two weeks, and despite numerous statements of regret about the tackle, Duscher felt so harassed he considered quitting the game.  “This is the worst period of my life,” Duscher said. “Everyone is persecuting me – referees, football fans and the public. I don’t know if I can handle it anymore. The spotlight has been on me all the time and I feel I am close to a breakdown.”

And, of course, the prayers and good wishes of all of England were directed towards Beckham and the little bone in his foot.  Everyday there was another story about how gutted Beckham was, how determined he was to get back in time for the World Cup, how Victoria was his rock to support him, etc.  There was an outpouring of emotion and sympathy towards Beckham that had not been seen since the death of Princess Diana.

This past week in England, there was a similar outpouring of support.  Cards, e-mails, a statements came flowing in for another Englishman who was having a hard time following a terrible challenge.  This time, the recipient of all this support was Ryan Shawcross, the poor soul who had felt just terrible after his challenge nearly cut Aaron Ramsey’s leg in two.  Shawcross was gutted and left the field in tears after his red cards, and the press cannot support this bright young player enough.  Commentators like Jamie Redknapp have absolved Shawcross of any blame.  Every word of support for Shawcross from Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney captures the headlines.  Stories about the Stoke fans sending Shawcross letters and telegrams fill the fishwrap.  Don’t be surprised to see the press soon call for a suspension to Ramsey for taking a dive while a children’s chorus shows up at the Shawcross home to sing a moving version of “We Shall Overcome.”

It is not worth saying that if Ramsey had been English and Shawcross not, this all would have played out in the press much differently.  Few in the press have bothered to mention that Shawcross has emerged as one the true thugs of the English game.  Don’t believe me?  See how Shawcross slid out of bounds to nail Emmanuel Adebayor  here. The year earlier, Shawcross broke Francis Jeffers’ leg in a red card challenge from behind.  And this video from when Shawcross was on loan at Royal Antwerp is a beauty.  No matter what the British press says, Shawcross is exactly “that” type of player.

If the English press had an ounce of integrity, they would be treating Shawcross like the danger that he is.  They would be looking seriously about why this type of leg-breaking play is so much more prevalent in England than in the rest of the world.  Rather than celebrate Shawcross’ call-up to the national team, they would be speculating about whether he is too dangerous a player to be put in a tough, pressure-packed situation like the World Cup.  And they would be directing all the sympathy wishes and heartfelt gestures towards the real victim in this case – Aaron Ramsey.

Unfortunately, the press struggles to say a bad word about this future England center half.  Perhaps one day, when he is well established in the back line, Shawcross can send some porno text to the wife of a teammate.  Then, he will finally give the press something about which to be negative.

72 thoughts on “The Hypocrisy of the British Press about Shawcross is Mind-Boggling”

    1. if you mean the “out of bounds” part I agree. If you mean the part about Shawcross’ being English getting him a “pass” then you’re blind. If/when Wayne Rooney gets similarly chopped down by a Johnny Foreigner who’s “not THAT type of player” I’m sure you’ll be singing a different tune. Especially if Johnny Foreigner’s manager is Wenger.

      in fact, only if someone like a Wayne Rooney goes down will we see the victim being treated as a victim and not the perp being treated as a victim. And I for one cannot wait to see it.

  1. boring Arsenall fan who cant stand the whole incident was an accident.Truth hurts go get life.
    Wont be long before the other bunch of practicly perfect in every way shawcross bashing Arsenal angels start as well.

  2. Poor, poor article – this lifelong thug got his one and only red card on Saturday contesting a ball 99% of people have said was 50/50 – even Theo Walcott said it was an accident.

    Wenger’s only success was with a similar brand and in Vieira has a record holder with 9 reds, still a record today and since he left Arsenal have won what? Nothing..

    300 letters of support for Ryan – all from ARSENAL fans, think you need to get a grip and understand every result has to be earned.

    I see there is no comment on Galls’ challenge which was studs up and over the ball – ten times worse – let’s pick on him shall we?

  3. Great! Someone telling it like it is. The english press along with ex players and some managers are hypocrites. It’s too easy for those of you criticizing
    this article to rubbish the writer as lacking knowledge of football. He clearly knows more than some of you that claim to be fans of the game.

    Bottom line is that had it been a prominent english player on the end of that tackle, it would have been a very different story from the english press, ex players and the like. The english press have a history of doing this kind of thing and are very aggressive about it.

    And for the person bringing up the Gallas challenge. Last time I checked, the Bolton players leg was snapped in two. So it’s unfair to compare the two incidents.

  4. Correction. My last sentence should have read as follows.

    Last time I checked, the Bolton players leg was NOT snapped in two. So it’s unfair to compare the two incidents.

  5. so mark…you mean to say that as long as a players leg is not snapped into two…no matter how bad the tackle is…its all fine….grow up…a bad tackle is all the same…u shudn’t b putting out one player to dry and absolve the rest of any guilt…in my opinion…shawcross is the scapegoat

    1. Kishore,

      How is Shawcross a scapegoat? My point is that everyone is saying how nice he is and how he’s not that kind of player. Meaning he doesn’t go around tackling dirty. However, if you take the time to do some research, you’ll find that he’s actually broken the legs of two players in the past.

      In 2007, he broke the leg of Francis Jeffers, who was playing for Sheffield Wednesday at the time. The other time was when Shawcross went on loan to Belgium club, Royal Antwerp. He broke an opponents leg during the match. I’m not saying that he has deliberately set out to break opponents legs. What it does tell you though, is just how reckless and careless he can be. Keep in mind, Shawcross is only 22 years old. To have broken the legs of three players at that age is something to think about.

      1. He didn’t break Jeffers leg nor did he break anybody’s leg in the Antwerp game. I know this is doing the rounds on various websites but check your facts.

    2. i couldn’t agree more with you kishore some people on here dont understand the game the word we look for is intent. me personally i dont think shawcross meant it,

  6. Was it two-footed, was Shawcross’ studs up? Or was he trying to kick the ball? Yes, the tackle had a terrible result, but it’s really sad that Shawcross is being vilified on this blog as a hooligan. I’m not defending the press, but I’m really tired of a bunch of nancy boys whinging about a tackle that happens every week without incident. Ramsey was on the wrong end and I hate that it may cost him his career, but football is a contact sport. Arsenal act has if everyone else is supposed to let them play their game, rubbish. If you don’t like it then stick with Croquet.

    1. It was reckless, how can you NOT see that. He came flying in and kicked him mid shin! The ball is on the ground… That is a terrible tackle! Who goes into a tackle that recklessly? Yes hard tackles apart of the game, but reckless ones are not.
      Shawcross is either ‘not that kind of player’ and is just complete shite at tackle as witnessed by his history, or he is going into tackles with the intent to hit something, the ball and/or the player.
      It isn’t as though this is a one off incident for the guy.

  7. so if it was Senderos doing Rooney that way you’d have no problem with the pride of England with a cracked stick from a clumsy tackle? Esp if Senderos had a bad-tackle rap sheet? Would you also approve of a mountain of support sent Senderos’ way?

    1. Of course I would like it, but it happens. This was not a studs up WWE tackle. Shawcross was in possession had a heavy touch and was chasing after the ball. Ramsey got there just a hair before Ryan. It happens……

      1. It happens when one is reckless. It happens when one is encouraged to be reckless. And it’ll happen again when 80% of the country is telling this dude “don’t worry – it happens” instead of looking at his hit-list and suggesting he make adjustments to his style.

        I think that’s the gist of this article. It’s one thing to say he’ll learn from his mistakes, but it’s another to essentially endorse what he did as “good hard football” and defend him by insisting “he didn’t mean to break his legs” or “arsenal need to change their playing style and stop whining” or in some cases even blaming Ramsey for breaking his leg on Shawcross’ foot.

        It’s clear this Shawcross stuff is really a proxy war against non-English players or Wenger or both.

        1. Yeah, if you swing your leg hard enough, in that part of the pitch… break someone’s leg, when you’re not in control….there’s a problem. That’s just plain reckless. And if he does hit that ball, it goes to Row Z. I don’t get why he went in so hard in the first place. I also understand it was an accident, but this guy’s only 23 years old and in the past few years broken 2 legs and took a guy out for a month……and that guy (Adebayor) was out of bounds at the time…. I get that they were all accidents, but at what point do you say “This has happened multiple times, something is wrong”. I think we’re past that point….

          1. It’s a type of challenge you make knowing full well that you need to win it. A man’s running at you with a ball rolling in front .You either:
            a) step out of the way
            b) go in soft and risk a guy plowing into you at full speed
            c) slide in to get your foot as close to the ball as possible to potentially stump your opponent (usually turns into a foul anyway cause cleats get exposed and 90% of players will dive at the slightest contact)
            d) try and get to the ball first and blast it either against your opponent or into Row Z.

            In challenges where legs are broken, it’s usually a poorly timed choice D.

    2. can we stop this crap that just because aaron ramsey isnt an english starlet that everyone is taking it differently and letting shawcross off because its ridiculous this was an ACCIDENT. and if it had happened to rooney or gerrard by a foreign player people would still see that this tackle was unlucky more than anything due to the problems in ramseys boots, shawcrosses misjudgement and ramseys speed !!!

        1. Look mate. All your credibility is shot because you haven’t corrected your ‘facts’ about the Antwerp and Jeffers incidents. You could correct that but have chosen not to. You have an agenda and it’s not based on the truth.

          The fact is that Ryan Shawcross has been reponsible for as many broken Arsenal legs as Abou Diaby. When you’ve campigned for Diaby to be banned for [insert x amount of months here], you’d have a point. Until then, you just look like a hypocrite and – based on all the rubbish you’ve posted about Shawcross – somebody who is too quick to believe the made up nonsense of people on the internet.

  8. Please please please STOP whining about this!

    Its done, nothing can change the situation and I’m sure Aaron Ramsey would want to put this behind him as well.

    Journalism of the pooerst quality…………

  9. “English press hypocritical Shock!”. Amazing insight.

    This article is nothing more than a poor excuse at rehashing this incident/accident. Pathetic. Perhaps we could have the badge of the club that the writers support shown so we can see if there are any possible signs of hypocrisy on EPLTalk (surely not)…

  10. The point about Davies is that Gallas intended harm, but no Arsneal supperter would ever admit to that. It was much more vicious but fortunate. Just like Arsenal ***s want to bring up 3 broken legs including Diaby, when they ignore that Diaby broke a guys leg the year before he got his.

  11. What a crap piece of writing, if you can even call it that.

    Let me get this straight. You are suggesting that the British tabloid press were nasty about an Argentinian but not about an Englishmen?

    Bloody hell, hold the front page eh?

  12. even the stats are against arsenal…they’re clearly not the most fouled team in the league…its only they who think the world is against them…football is a contact sport…these unfortunate incidents are bound to happen…im not encouraging or condoning these kinda things…but accept it…every team suffers injuries…so stop whining

  13. yawn !!!!!!!!! i can tell from reading you’re artical that you have never played football, it is a contact sport and from a young child you are told to be strong in every 50/50 tackle.unfortunately accidents do happen and if you had an ounce of football knowledge you would see this WAS an accident he didnt do a two footed challenge at knee height he challenged from the side. Get a life Fella stop persicuteing Ryan Shawcross. Oh and by the way i am an Arsenal fan who was at the freezing cold Brittannia stadium on saturday !!!! One word sums up this artical IDIOTIC .

  14. First of all, your charactarization of the injury as not career threatening is ridiculous, especially since it happened less than a week ago. There is simply no way to predict that at the moment.

    Second, if there is clear intent to injure, then that is violent conduct and deserves a red card.

    But everyone needs to understand that NOT having intent to injure does not get you off.

    If I go to the bar on Saturday and have 8 pints while watching a match, then get in my car and plow into a minivan on the way home, it doesn’t matter that I’m, “not that kind of person,” or that, “I’ve never done it before.” You don’t need mallace to be criminal – negligence can be just as bad.

    The point is that Shawcross should have known that he was going to be late to the ball. He should have known not to go in over the ball. He should have known not to go in two footed and lunging.

    This is why Nani was correctly sent off last month, and this is why de Jong should have been sent off on Wednesday. You just can’t tackle like that. Period.

  15. I didn’t see Wenger cry and moan about the horendous Gallas tackle. I didn’t see Wenger whinge and moan about poor sportsmanship when Van Persie slapped a goal keeper in the face simply because the goal keeper let the ball set at his feet until challenged like every other quality keeper would do. This is more to do with the fact that Wenger can’t stand losing (who can?) and hates that English footballers won’t play nice and let his nancy boys play like they want. An earlier post said Nani was right to be sent off against Villa for a two-footed studs up challenge and he is correct. This was neither. The only reason were talking about this is the result.

  16. Gallas, horror tackle, Wenger didn’t see. Van Persie slaps a goal keeper in the face during open play for not picking the ball up fast enough for Arsenal liking, Wenger didn’t see. How was Wenger able to see and make a judgment about the Shawcross tackle when he’s obviously blind? Today, he says he won’t apologise, but he did apologise to the player who tackled Eduardo which was a very bad tackle.

    1. This whole “Gallas horror tackle” is a bunch of nonsense. Did Gallas deserve a card, possibly red, for his tackle? Yes. That being said, look at the picture from the tackle here:

      That is not an out-of control challenge. Gallas did not leave his feet. You can see him trying to pull back from the contact. Gallas put himself in a dangerous position that he could not repair, and deserved to be penalized. However, that is a far cry from the Shawcross/Ramsey situation.

      I also do not believe that Arsenal is pure and everyone else is poison. It is a physical game, and teams do pick up red cards for cause, including Arsenal. But this challenge was, by definition, not a 50/50. If it was, they would have both gotten the ball. It was one player plowing head long into a violent clash without regard for the safety of the other player. It was not an intent to harm, but it was reckless and dangerous, and, as it turned out , disastrous.

  17. The Shawcross tackle was a result of playing hard and getting caught up in the pace of the game. It was a bit late, but it happens, it’s a part of the game. When I played I knew there was a possibility of getting my leg broken every game. It isn’t his fault the English media and fans are sending him a ridiculous amount of support.

    With that said I think this article was well done. The British media is ridiculous and I know first hand from experience. I’m a New Yorker and when a New York team or player does wrong or right, the media takes a completely bias approach to defend them. The British seem to be the same way. I remember the Beckham incident, I remember even better the Rooney and Ronaldo incident. The game is going to have unfair outcomes, it doesn’t mean we have to go on witch hunts every time the outcome isn’t in our favor. But at the end of the day, these are the headlines that sell papers. Let’s not forget the biggest factor of all, $$$.

  18. No mention of Bowyer cracking Modric’s leg right before England and Croatia squared off?

    I mean…Bowyer doesn’t have a rap sheet at all…

  19. I don’t understand why people are bringing up the Gallas challenge. Now, it allows one to “score points” on the poster by accusing him of bias, but it supports the argument you are criticizing!

    I cannot stress enough how silly it is to attack the author for Arsenal-bias, but at the same time, attack him using examples that support his point. Let us suppose that it was a bad challenge (I’ll be neutral on that for now). The media certainly gave it a lot of focus, and roundly criticized Gallas for it. It fits precisely into the pattern that the author is identifying!

    The bias accusation is a reflex when people post articles that one does not like, but it is hardly helpful in generating substantive thought and criticism of the argument at hand.

  20. I’m surprised at the”he didn’t go over the ball”.comments. His leg was snapped at mid-shin, that’s a bit over the ball.

    I’d like to see the EPL take a page from the NFL and protect their best assets. Big hits are part of the fabric of American Football, but when certain hits become unacceptably dangerous the league cracks down. It used to be commonplace to bash the QB in the head, so many guys got knocked out of games they changed the rule. Fans didn’t like it at first. The same sort of comments were always in the press. The rules make sense and the fans adjusted. More importantly the QBs play more which is good for the game.

    This can be fixed easily, just hand out more red cards for the bad tackles regardless of injury and eventually guys will be more careful.

    Bottomline for me is I want to see the best players on the field. Ramsey is a fantastic young player and I’m more interested in seeing a player of his skill do something amazing than seeing Shawcross make a good clean tackle.

    Don’t call me a know nothing American, I appreciate the physical and defensive side of the game. I’m just saying, that missing out on a few great tackles is a small price to keep the beautiful game beautiful

  21. I’m much with you on this one, Eric.

    Bad challenge. Ramsey, very unfortunate. Shawcross, very unfortunate & certainly not malicious.

    Football is a physical game. Most surprising to me is that the horrific tib-fib leg-break doesn’t happen once a week.

    The media part of the problem is that slow motion makes it seem as if it would be easy to avoid these things, but the brain is not a quick as we might wish it to be. This goes for the Eduardo compound-dislocation-fracture: slow motion video has a way of making it look intentional.

    Us couch-potatoes tend to forget what football at EPL pace is like. And it is easy to disregard what happens with tired legs

  22. this has really been lately. every goddamn post is about how they are so great or mistreated or unifying. there are like 19 other teams last time i checked.

    1. Matt, this week alone we’ve also published stories on Portsmouth, England, Sunderland, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

      Yes, there have been a lot of articles about Arsenal this week, but they’ve been the top story because of obvious reasons.

      In addition to the articles on EPL Talk, we’ve discussed several subjects on the EPL Talk Podcast this week that are not Arsenal related.

      The Gaffer

      1. In 2 weeks time you will have ppl bitching and moaning that its an all liverpool, or Manutd or Chelsea website. People are fickle like that :)

    2. Matt, FYI, Arsenal is an international brand, as is Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, etc. One would would be stupid not to talk about Arsenal once in a while on a site devoted to English Premier League football or club football in general.

      Yes, I just defended the Gaffer. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a shower because I feel dirty.

  23. This injury wouldnt of happened if ramseys leg wasnt planted in the ground. quite simply aaron ramsey was too quick for shawcross and having seen ryan since he joined stoke i grant you he is a physical player but would NEVER go out to hurt an opponent and this is the sam for ALL professional footballers. Ryan is a promisng young centre back that deserves a chance to see how good he would be at international level.
    finally candidate number 1 for biggest idiot in football ARSENE WENGER – speak out about any arsenal player getting a bruise but doesnt see that in fact cesc fabregas should of had 2 yellow cards for challenges from behind and he says things without looking at an incident first !!!!!

      1. I fail to see how cherry picking one incident where an arsenal player was rightfully (and pathetically) shown a red card merits discussion. No one disagrees that shouldn’t happen.

  24. The conversion keeps coming back to “intent” but no one can ever prove/disprove that. Plus, no one will admit to intent by saying “I was frustrated and thought I could gain an advantage by knocking a player out of the game.” Will never happen. Doesn’t a track record of these injuries as a result of this goon mean something? I think we all gauge players and teams by results…not how they achieved the results. Until an English player gets seriously injured from a foreign tackler, all of the Shawcross/hard-tackling football supporters won’t budge on this issue. I remember when Eboue reached for a ball that Terry was playing, stepped on his foot while looking the other way and was vilified…same for the Gallas challenge. Bad challenges no doubt but viewed differently than the Shawcross challenge by many on this board in my humble opinion.

  25. What a pile of horsecrap about two weeks ago EPLTalk is complaining about how the press only seem to address negative issues and do so repeatedly now the complaint is that the press aren’t addressing negative issues enough.

    Fact of the matter is you should be watching the NFL because you don’t know what you are talking about it was an accident and wasn’t intentional motivation to break his leg.

  26. What a pathetic write up. There was nothing wrong with the tackle in question, it was not dirty or in anyway aimed to hurt ramsey, it was one footed and fair, unfotunately it resulted in the horrific injury of Ramsey.

    There’s always the potential for this type of injury in a physical game like Football, if you ever played the game or knew anything about it you’d realise this.

  27. Look mate. All your credibility is shot because you haven’t corrected your ‘facts’ about the Antwerp and Jeffers incidents. You could correct that but have chosen not to. You have an agenda and it’s not based on the truth.

    The fact is that Ryan Shawcross has been reponsible for as many broken Arsenal legs as Abou Diaby. When you’ve campigned for Diaby to be banned for [insert x amount of months here], you’d have a point. Until then, you just look like a hypocrite and – based on all the rubbish you’ve posted about Shawcross – somebody who is too quick to believe the made up nonsense of people on the internet.

  28. It’s the same with any story you want to write, you can twist the facts to suit and if you say it often enough it’ll become true. Here’s the truth behind the Jeffer’s injury;

    “After a lively start against Stoke City, however, Jeffers was on the end of a late tackle from Ryan Shawcross and was stretchered off with damaged ligaments. He was out for roughly three months, a big blow after he had caused Stoke’s defence lots of trouble in his 40 minutes on the pitch, helping Sheffield Wednesday to a 4-2 away win.”

    “Whilst playing for Stoke in 2007 his late tackle from behind was involved in a tackle with Sheffield Wednesday player Francis Jeffers who sustained ligament damage and a 3 month lay-off from the game.”

    Where’s the broken leg in that I ask? If you’re going to try and report and comment on something and you want to be taken seriously you need to be aware of the full facts, otherwise they’ll bite you on the arse and ruin any credibility your story has.

    I wouldn’t have liked to have been Diaby after breaking Nasri’s leg in training. I mean what must Wenger, his players and the fans have subjected him too. Can’t have been an accident, it’ll have been a studs up, over the top challenge. I’m surprised it wasn’t brought up as the fourth broken leg in three seasons! But then again it wouldn’t suit the story that’s being sold.

  29. All this chatting shit, try getting YOUR leg snapped in two; if you’ve at least played the game competitively for your school or semi-pro, you will know the difference between a hard tackle and a horrible tackle. I agree with the others, Shawcross went in TOO recklessly!

    Not that I wish it on anyone, but only when an Englishman tackles another Englishman like that, will we actually see how the press feels. But then again we might not because it depends on who gets tackled.

  30. Sorry for late comment. If I drink and drive or if am a bad driver or a careless driver and I cause an accident, I have to pay a price. I think that many players around the world are careless or not enough qualified-talented or even evil. Surely it is a physical game but that doesnt give anyone the permition to “kill” the opponent, whether deliberately or accidentally. There should be a limit in the physical strength and contact players show in a game. Afterall this is football not karate or kick-box.

  31. For all the Man U fans I hope Valencia gets well soon, he’s a class player and a good guy, Sir Alex and his english cronies, not so much, I hope he enjoys eating crow for his ‘just part of the game’ comment when Ramsey went down. I can just see him whining to UEFA over retribution now that it’s his player. What a joke, hypocrite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *