Time for Arsenal Supporters to Stop Crucifying Stoke's Ryan Shawcross

 Time for Arsenal Supporters to Stop Crucifying Stoke's Ryan Shawcross

In the world of soccer, teams are like George Orwell’s Animal Farm. They’re all created equal, but some are more equal than others. At least in the eyes of football supporters. Many of these fans, whether they try to or not, find themselves believing in their team, their players and their manager so much so that it’s often difficult to remain objective. They drink their club’s Kool Aid.

This leads me to Arsenal supporters. I’m not a supporter of any Premier League. I have a lot of admiration for Arsenal, who play the prettiest football in the Premier League bar none and run a club better than any team in the league. But I’m getting sick and tired of a small faction of Arsenal supporters who seem to be on a mission to “crucify” Ryan Shawcross, the Stoke City defender who was involved in the tackle that broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg in a match between the two clubs on February 27, 2010.

There’s no point trying to change Arsenal supporters’ minds who still believe the tackle by Shawcross was deliberate. I don’t believe it was, and I’ve watched the video replay of the incident tens of times. Then, you have Arsenal supporters who say that Shawcross has a history of horrible tackles including ones against Francis Jeffers and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Yes, the tackle against Aaron Ramsey was sickening. But I still don’t believe that Shawcross deliberately injured Ramsey. It was a 50-50 ball and the injury to Ramsey was very unfortunate.

With Shawcross, the fact is that he’s only received one red card in his history of playing professional football. That is not a record of a malicious defender who commits deliberate fouls. While Arsenal have been renowned for playing pretty football, they also have a disciplinary history. Between 1996 and 2008, they collected 73 red cards and were one of the dirtiest teams in the country with players such as Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams in the side. That’s not the same Arsenal team of today, by any means, but they were managed by the same manager, Arsene Wenger.

I’m no Stoke City supporter, but I have a lot of respect for the Potters as I do for Arsenal. They’ve been stereotyped as the team that only has a Rory Delap long throw as it’s offensive weapon, which is a ridiculous statement to make. The club seems to be trying to have different attacking options with Tuncay Sanli. Plus they recently picked up Eidur Gudjohnsen as well as midfielders Marc Wilson, Salif Diao and Jermaine Pennant. They’re trying to change their style and they’re moving forward in a positive direction.

As a Welshman, I was deeply saddened by Ramsey’s injury as it meant that he would miss important games for Wales, as well as Arsenal. Thankfully the player should return for Arsenal and Wales in November. And I, as well as many other football supporters, will be glad to see him back on the pitch.

We football supporters need to realize that football is a contact sport. Yes, there are players out there who sometimes commit deliberate fouls. But there is no football club out there that is angelic and who never fouls. All club teams foul. Some more than others. But no club is holier than thou, even Arsenal. So, it may be surprising for some to read Wenger saying “I encourage my players to play and be committed,” he said. “I have a go at them when they don’t put their foot in sometimes.”

Arsene Wenger’s recent decision to stir up the Shawcross controversy again is unfortunate. By singling out Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth as using “rugby” tactics on Tottenham goalkeeper Gomes, Wenger opened a sore wound. Shawcross retaliated in the press by saying that Wenger has a personal vendetta against him. That may or may not be true, but the fact is that more than six months after the Shawcross-Ramsey tackle, the story hasn’t gone away and has not been forgotten.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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126 Responses to Time for Arsenal Supporters to Stop Crucifying Stoke's Ryan Shawcross

  1. J says:

    Most Arsenal fans don’t think Shawcross broke Ramsey’s on purpose. We think he recklessly went for ball and man. Ramsey even said this himself.

    The guy has past form in injuring our players, Jeffers, Walcott and Adebayor as well as players from other teams. A vendetta probably not just following Pulis’s orders

    He IS a dirty player who injures other professionals.

    You maybe sick of Arsenal fans “vendetta” against Shawcross, but I am sick of Arsenal players having their legs broken.

    • Adam says:

      Shawcross has NEVER injured Walcott – where is your source?

      Walcott got injured playing Stoke but by Rory Delap!! Do you even go to games or just go on forums making up s**t?

    • Peter says:

      Why don’t you shut the hell up. Where are your sources. Jeffers has never played in the same league as Shawcross & Walcott has never had his leg broken from Shawcross. Stop spouting rubbish like Wenger. All style and no substance won’t win you trophies. Wenger should realise this.

    • MysticalDescent says:

      Oh dear, where to start.

      For a start, Jeffers didn’t even play for Arsenal at the time, he played for Sheffield Wednesday. He was back playing again just two months later, which is pretty remarkable seeing as Arsenal supporters such as yourself keep on claiming that he broke his leg. Shawcross never went anywhere near Walcott, indeed the only time that he has been injured when playing against Stoke was when he was carried off at the Britannia Stadium in 2008. In that particular incident, Walcott got what he deserved for cheating, as in performing an outrageous dive to get Delap booked, he landed awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder. Cheats never prosper and get what they deserve in the end. As for Adebayor, it was a petulant response to a violent tackle BY Adebayor ON Shawcross moments previously. You’ll also note that he touches the ball before it goes out of play.

      As for the Aaron Ramsey thing, watch the video again. Shawcross is in possession, the only way in which he can have lost possession is if he is fouled by Bendtner who obstructs him. If you’re being harsh, it’s Ramsey who sticks his foot in to tackle. At best, it’s a 50-50 ball. So, whose fault is it, Bendtner or Ramsey?

      Ah, you’re sick of Arsenal players having their legs broken, because Arsenal are the only team in the history of football to have a player suffer a broken leg. In the 1970s, Stoke never had Hudson, Richie, Robertson and Smith each break a leg over the course of a single season. Apparently Arsenal’s management team and supporters are no longer satisfied with polluting the world with vicious lies, they’re also changing history.

  2. Anon&on&on says:

    Do you think Ramsey, after 6 months, has forgotten about it? If the cleat had been on the other foot, would the English media have forgotten about it? No sir, I don’t think so.

    • Dave C says:

      Wha? I don’t understand this comment. So you’re saying if Ramsey had broken Shawcross’ leg, the media would have somehow treated it differently? Why?

  3. dlink09 says:

    he is a thug.. Premiere League should not allow it.

  4. mjc says:

    “Time for Arsenal Supporters to Stop Crucifying Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross”

    In the wise words of M. Python: “Crucifixion’s too good for him….”

  5. EireGooner says:

    Well written and clear, but some flaws are evident too -
    I am an Arsenal supporter, and have not yet met a single fellow Gunner who thinks Shawcross deliberately injured Ramsey. The complaint we have is with the ethos of the Stoke team, i.e. if RS had not gone in so hard (and there was no way it was nescessary to) that Aaron would be playing now. Defending is just as skilful as attacking, and part of that is being clever with your physicality.
    Wengers recent comments about Shawcross have been slammed as untrue (rugby comment etc.) but if they are, I think AW would be willing to admit that. He did, after all, withdraw his comments about Taylor after Eduardos leg break.
    The media in England need to take a good look at themselves. They are constantly pieceing stories together, stirring comments, twisting facts and all in the name of selling papers/generating hits. Eduardo goes down easily in a CL qualifier, and is labelled a diver, a ban is cried out for…yet when an English player dives, even in the most important of games, he is deemed “clever”.
    As an Arsenal fan, I see no problem with how Stoke play. They are playing to their strengths. This type of play clearly has a negative effect on your national team, but that has nothing to do with me.
    Im just sick of players being seriously injured in the name of “British grit”.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Eire, there are some Arsenal supporters who thought Shawcross deliberately injured Ramsey. You just have to read through the comments on this site from the past few days as an example.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Matt says:

        Gaffer,
        What Shawcross (and indeed Stoke City) were/are actually upset about is not the ‘more like rugby’ comment, but rather the Arsene Wenger comment (and I quote); “When you see the way Shawcross kicked Gomes, how Robert Huth push Gomes in the goal, you cannot say that is football anymore”

        The biggest problem with Mr Wenger’s statement is, of course, the fact that Ryan Shawcross never kicked Gomes, a fact which has been overlooked (apparently) by Arsenal fans, the media, and the Football Association. Pure fabrication by ‘The Professor’, which. If you could maybe draw this to attention in an article, you’d be the first ‘neutral’ media source to do so, and would really help to put Shawcross’s ‘vendetta’ comment into context. (Of course Ryan doesn’t expect a Christmas card from Arsene, but he shouldn’t have to put up with blatant lies either)

        As for Huth…
        For the goal that never was, it is debatable whether Huth actually pushed Gomes. As someone who attended the match, I would like to point out that for the first Stoke goal, he actually ran straight into the back of Huth, ending up ‘on his arse’ and appealing for a foul, a position which he occupied after most corner kicks and Rory Delap specials.

        For the disallowed goal, Huth jumps, Gomes jumps next to him and falls backwards into the net (through my red and white tinted glasses). Harry Redknapp’s claim that this is a foul by Huth, and therefore adequately cancels out the injustice of Jon Walters’ goal being (wrongly) disallowed. However, look back just seconds before the ‘foul’. Robert Huth’s shirt is being pulled, and resembles a circus tent. So, does that foul cancel out the ‘push’ from Huth? After all, isn’t shirt pulling in the box a penalty? (And stopping a goal with your arm, Peter Crouch?)

        Arsene Wenger’s fabrication can be put into context when you discover that Chris Foy, refereeing the Stoke/Spurs game, was to referee the Blackburn/Arsenal game the next week. How convenient then, that Mr Wenger could point out the failure of “referees” (Mr Foy) to protect goalkeepers adequately in the Premier League, when Arsenal’s next game was against a team that Wenger accused (incorrectly) of fouling the goalkeeper last season, in a game that Arsenal lost.

        Some other clarification for Arsenal fans

        Emanuel Adebayor, ‘maimed by an awful tackle’ off the pitch by Ryan Shawcross, played his next game two weeks later. Shawcross tackled him hard, in retaliation for an earlier tackle from Adebayor, which caught Shawcross in the stomach. What Shawcross did was unquestionably wrong, but many people forget that Adebayor wasn’t completely innocent in the affair.

        Francis ‘Glass Knees’ Jeffers. The most prolific crock in football of the the last decade or so. Injured Ligaments (not a broken leg) after a tackle from Ryan Shawcross. Back playing about a month later (if I remember correctly).

        Theo Walcott. Shawcross has never injured him, that honour falls to Rory Delap. Well, actually, Walcott was injured when he landed after a tackle, and his shoulder popped out, which is apprently exacerbated by a hereditary medical condition, so not exactly a direct result of big bad Stoke City.

      • Yank Nick says:

        Gaffe,
        to see a still frame of Shawcross clearly kicking Ramsey above the ball go to:
        Youtube
        then enter:
        495 1882
        then click Search.
        then tell me what you saw.

        • Matt says:

          Nick, that frame (on the match of the day video?) shows Shawcross and Ramsey before the tackle. Shawcross didn’t actually tackle, rather try to clear the ball, whcih is what that frame shows. Ramsey’s foot was planted (and it looks like his ankle was turned over too)

          • Nick says:

            Matt,
            Yes that is the frame. Before the tackle? How about the moment of impact. Where was he trying to clear the ball? Through Aaron’s shin? Listen to Pulis’ post-game interview, in it he describes the way to hurt a player by kicking above the ball. That’s what the frame shows, tragedy all around. We all make mistakes in anger, just don’t act like you don’t know why Wenger is working the refs by using your name.

          • Matt says:

            Nick,

            Look again, unless Ryan Shawcross’s boot is massively bigger than Aaron Ramsey’s leg, the perspective shows that is before the tackle.

            Where was he trying to clear the ball? Away from Aaron Ramey, who looked set to nick the ball away from Shawcross, after it got away from him when he was dribbling it out of the Stoke half, due to Nicolas Bendtner pulling his shirt back.

            As for Wenger working the refs by besmirching the good name of Stoke City, it shows a distinct lack of class, as well as being poor sportsmanship (sorry, cheating. Gaining an unfair advantage over other teams by intimidating referees is cheating, plain and simple)

            As for the tradgedy; it’s unfortunate that Aaron Ramsey, a bright footballing talent has been injured. It’s unfortunate that Arsenal have had three players suffering leg breaks in the past three seasons. However, it’s not mutually exclusive to Arsenal Football club. In the 1974/1975 season, Stoke City had 4 (yes, FOUR) players suffer leg breaks, and missed out on being Champions of England by just four points.

  6. Simmo says:

    I hate when people bring up that 73 red cards nonsense. Most of those were because of retaliation to the provocation of the “jumped up foreigners at Arsenal.” Ref bias can’t be used to support an argument claiming one is dirty and the other isn’t because he hasn’t accumulated the red cards worthy of his crimes. The fact that he only has one red card in his pro career shows this line of argument to be utter crap. He should have at least 3 that we know of: scything down Jeffers from behind and breaking his ankle, deliberately trying to hurt Adebaywhore while he was out of bounds and Aaron Ramsey. The refs tried to chase Vieira out of the country more over with their constant picking on him. They didn’t accumulate those red cards by trying to break other players’ legs.

    Oh and regardless of what anyone stupid ex pro says, you don’t want a Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey style injury instead of being spit on. You would take the spit every day of the week.

    • Dave C says:

      “Most of those were because of retaliation to the provocation of the “jumped up foreigners at Arsenal.” ”

      Ha…nice paranoia! Sure, the refs were all biased against the foreigners, and it had nothing to do with the fact that Petit and Vieira in particular were persistently dirty.

  7. Jon G says:

    A good piece. Arsenal folk are always going to take a dimmer view of the Ramsey tackle than others, that is inevitable. It was hard, it was mistimed and had horrendous and largely unexpected and accidental consequences. It was not the sort of challenge that should lead to the constant victimisation that has emanated from the Emirates.

    Wenger’s latest outburst however is indefensible. It is an outright lie designed to influence a referee and further stain a very promising young English defender’s career. If anyone can provide any evidence that Shawcross “kicked Gomez” I will donate 500GBP to their favoured charity.

    Wenger would be better placed actually buying a goalkeeper who is any good and teaching his defence how to defend corners rather than besmirching his fellow professionals in such a despicable way.

  8. dave says:

    injured jeffers??????

    jeffers played for us 7 years ago buddy!

  9. Jon G says:

    J said

    “The guy has past form in injuring our players, Jeffers, Walcott and Adebayor as well as players from other teams. A vendetta probably not just following Pulis’s orders”

    More spin and delusion from the brainwashed Arsenal sheep.

    Jeffers was playing for Sheffield Wednesday and was back from the ‘broken leg’ within three weeks. Miraculous huh? More Webger lies.

    Adebeyor first assaulted Shawcross and left him with stud marks in his chest. Again the player was back very quickly from this supposed horror challenge.

    Walcott fell awkwardly from a tired trip late in the game.

    And remind who were the only team to have a player sent off in that game? That’s right, Arsenal. For Van Persie’s unprovoked assault on Sorenson.

    Please stop the endless spin and lies. It’s making your whole club and in particular your increasingly risible manager look extremely hypocritical and foolish

    • dan says:

      “It’s making your whole club and in particular your increasingly risible manager look extremely hypocritical and foolish”-
      Says the club who’s manager headbutts his on players whilst naked.

    • dvsg says:

      Says the donkey who has a naked headbutter, baseball cap wearing card carrying member of the BNP as a manager!

      Tony Pukis is by far a more vile wretched little man that Shawcross, after all i would imagine its the manager that instructs his players to go in hard and take the ball and the man. It was the tool of a managers comments after the game and the fact that Shawcross refused to apoligise that riled Arsenal fans so much. Maybe you should look at yourselves before throwing stones in glass houses.

      I bet you were one of the scum who were giving Ramsey abuse as he was being carried off on a stretcher. No class. There is no place for rugby playing neanderthals in the premier league. Get relegated and give it up for a team that might actually try and play football.

      As for Arsenals disciplinary record – It is summed up in the difference between the teams – Arsenal are a team who play football and occasionally foul. Stoke are a team who foul and occasionally play football.

      Shawcross and Pulis deserve every bit of the flack they are getting, and then some.

      • Stokey says:

        you are just a biased t*t dvsg. I think that all this animosity might come from the fact that since the mighty potters have been promoted the GUNNERS havent had it there own way against stoke, and as for all this crying about your players always been victimised when they play stoke lets take a look at the facts.
        Adebayoure made no effort to win the ball when he stuck his studs into ryan shawcross’s chest but non of you prawn sandwich munchers ever comment on that all you do is cry about the retaliation which i dont condemn where shawcross gave him a piece of his own medicine. The ramsey tackle was awful but still a 50/50 and maybe if ramsey had shown the commitment that ryan showed he wouldnt have got injured. And as for walcott he fell badley and hurt his shoulder, can happen to anyone.
        Arsenal are a joke of a team with unpassionate fans and no where near a top 4 team and your all a bit sour about that.
        look forward to seeing you down the brit we should get an easy 3 points against you ladyboys at least your fans will get a taste of how a real passionate english premier league team should support there team and make an atmosphere instead of the boredom which is the emirates and the arsenal fans alike.

        • dvsg says:

          Haha i stopped reading your reply when i say ‘mighty potters’. Earth calling stokey…and as for nowhere near a top 4 team..err….where did we finish last year? the year before that? the year before that? the year before that? the year before that? the year before that?

          I still dont think you get it though. Tool.

        • looneygooner says:

          we have a 45,000 waiting list at the Emirates for ST, I don’t recall ever seeing prawn sandwiches on the menu if they were they would cost a fortune, how narrow minded to suggest such a thing, there is no boredom at Arsenal, we play some of the best football in the world and you would have wet dreams if Stoke could even achieve a fifth of the style we play, you know your football is one dimensional, we will enjoy sending you down when we play you at the cave of a ground you call home. Remember Wenger is the manager that has won three doubles,a season unbeaten, you will never achieve any success in this life or an after life. Accept the fact we are miles ahead in history,success,world wide fan base, financially we are fifty times better of than you, we have a stadium you could only dream of filling. it is this that sticks in your claws and I love it, I have followed Arsenal since 1973, your atmosphere is tame, all the Northerns feel they have the best home support, that is a joke. I now leave you to dwell over this, but you will be relegated. the writer of this article is a joke and should stay clear away from writing as it is not his vocation in life, I reckon that would be in an alley way in Soho on his knees

  10. Kofi says:

    I just hope the next victim would be Wayne Rooney.

    • Does this mean you do not have a problem with the tackle, just the fact that it Arsenal player?
      Why else would you want someone else to suffer the same fate?
      Maybe your comment sums Arsenal fans up.
      Anyway, give me bone crunching tackles over diving any day of the week. This isn’t La Liga and if you don’t like it, find another league.

      • dvsg says:

        Another bnp member of the ‘they dont like it up ‘em brigade’.

        Go and support a rugby team. Oh, you already do.

        • Ok, and this is your argument, pathetic.

          • dvsg says:

            Theres no point in elucidating my argument with you. You probably only understand single syllable words. Let me break it down for you – Shawcross broke Ramsey’s leg in a nasty tackle. He has done that before. To at least two other people. While Ramsey was being carried off, people like you were being abusive. Thats disgusting. Then your tool of a manager opened his mouth and made things worse. Instead of apologising he went bleating to the press about how shawcross was the victim of a vendetta from these nasty foreign people.

            We will never agree on this so theres no point going backwards and forwards. Heres my final word. Pulis is a cnut. Shawcross is a clogger. Your team play rugby more than football. I hope you get relegated. Cheerio.

          • ‘My tool of a manager’

            Where does it say I am a Stoke city fan? I live in and support Preston.
            Get your facts right you tool.

          • kofi says:

            You guys dont get it. This attitude of playing hard against skillful players is harming english soccer. Joe Cole was made to play hard and has lost all essence of becoming the next george best. You want blokes like Shawcross to go around kicking. If we dont stop that Wayne Rooney would be the next and Fergie would go on an call Ryan. Shame

          • No, I think you’re missing the point. I love watching Arsenal play, along with Man Utd and Chelsea, they play the best football in the league. That doesn’t mean that i don’t like see tough tackling, players being aggresive and fighting for the ball. Do I want to see injuries like the one Ramsey got? No I don’t but it is a physical game and badly timed tackles happen.
            For me, taking the physical side away from the game would be as bad as taking the skill and passing out of the game.
            Every aspect of the game is what makes it so great.

  11. dan says:

    Adebayor tackle: Yes, he’s off the pitch.

    http://www.twitvid.com/3BCE0
    http://i.imagehost.org/0709/ShawcrossXAdebayor.jpg

    Jeffers tackle: Broken ankle.

    http://i48.tinypic.com/2hno10x.jpg

    Ramsey: don’t need any evidence of that.

    In any other profession, if you’re negligent or incomptetent you get fired so you don’t get the opportunity to continuously make mistakes, as long as this guy is allowed to play football (and get paid handsomely), he deserves the abuse.

  12. Jon G says:

    Dan. Jeffers did not break his leg. This is a fact and a lie pumped around by Wenger.

    This is an incident maybe you want to look at from that Stoke V Arsenal match and let people make their own minds up who is and who isn’t a thug

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQLEUj7LRU&feature=related

    • dvsg says:

      Make up your mind. Are we soft or are we hard? Are you trying to say stoke are physically intimidated by Arsenal on the back of one silly tackle? What exactly are you trying to say? Van Persie may have acted stupidly in that clip, but he hasnt got form for breaking three players legs.

      Wow you found a youtube clip of an arsnel player fouling someone. Big deal. What was the lasting damage done? Also see if you can find three videos of RVP doing the same thing. You wont. Shawcross on the other hand, has broken legs recklessly on three occasions. He should be banned for life.

  13. Jon G says:

    We can have this debate all day long and never agree. The fact remains though that wenger lied about Shawcross and his actions in the Spurs game. Completely made them up. Lied like the dirty weasel he is, in order to gain some advantage off a referee in the Blackburn game.

    A man willing to lie about another professional in order to gain some potential advantage in a future game is beneath contempt.

    In fact he is no man at all

    • dvsg says:

      And running to complain to the FA makes that pillock pulis a man? I can just imagine it ‘ please sir, he said we play rugby boo hoo’. Aww you little softies…diddums, did the nasty frenchman hurt your feelings did he? there there…I thought you were supposed to be bunch of hard men, you know of the rugby playing type. Obviously not.

  14. nlrice2 says:

    The reason it won’t go away is because of one simple fact. Due to Shawcross’ recklessness Aaron Ramsey has still not played soccer, and is lucky to walk again. Look at what another reckless Englishman did to the career of Eduardo. I don’t believe that Shawcross set out to break Ramsey’s leg that day, but I do know that his manager would have told him just before kick-off and at half time that, “Arsenal don’t like it up them” and this is what results when an overzealous kid tries to get up ‘em. Nothing will change until English culture stops awarding these acts of thuggery. More people came to the defense of Shawcross when he broke a young man’s leg than came to the aid of Eduardo when the media went on an all-out witch hunt for a dive when the game was well over. The one difference: Shawcross is English.

  15. jm says:

    The number of Arsenal fans who think it was deliberate is small indeed. I re-read through all 79 (at present) comments on the previous Shawcross post, and most of the posts were explicitly taking the position that it was not deliberate, but was reckless. The three bad tackles we are pointing to evidence for that conclusion. I do think, though, that Stoke take a deliberately aggressive approach to the game, one which increases the probability of injury for opposing players. I don’t see any reason to conclude that they have the intent to injure though (of course, that’s just me being charitable. I don’t know these people.)

    The entire point is that Shawcross’ style is more aggressive than simply getting a foot in and challenging for the ball. As such, it is not clear how relevant Wenger’s comments are. If the thesis most Arsenal fans want to defend is that Shawcross’ style is overly reckless, then the very point is that he goes above and beyond the appropriate amount of physical contact. The two other tackles are the evidence that it was more than just a fluke bad tackle, or an unlucky moment.

    Additionally, the point about Arsenals’ history of red cards is tu quoque. It would not bear on your thesis in that section, that Shawcross is not deliberatively trying to break players’ legs.

    • Nick says:

      jm,
      You’re right jm, Shawcross wasn’t trying to break Ramsey’s leg. Shawcross merely meant to kick him in the shin, very hard. It’s not his fault that sometimes when you kick a player’s shin very hard when the foot is planted that the leg breaks. And how could Shawcross have ever known that both bones would break, since a double fracture is a very rare occurrence. Besides, Shawcross cried after it happened, that proves that he didn’t want to break anybody’s leg! Do you really think his mother would pick him up after the game if she thought her son had tried to break somebody’s leg?

      • Nick says:

        I was being sarcastic! Yet 5 of 5 liked the post, with no replies. I was kidding, but one man’s sarcasm can be another man’s sound reasoning I suppose.

  16. dan says:

    No it’s not,he ruined ramsey’s career,i wonder who the next player is going to be..

  17. sach says:

    Yes agree shawcross didnt break ramseys leg on purpose, But what can you say for the tackle made on adebyor when he was at the touchline. BTW the comments made by wenger was towards the ref stating that ref’s should not allow rougby tacktics….Did he mentioned how shawcross or stoke players should or should not play…..And as so nice he is not that kind of player says wenger has something against him, Well tell me the players he injured Jeffers (Ex arsenal),Adebuyor & Ramsey were from arsenal when the tackle made on them………So practically its shawcross who has something against arsenal or ex-arsensal players…..
    When you tell arsenal fans to move on — Can you tell me if eduardo been the same player once he was, how can you tell one of the best premier league talent will be again the same…..due to the tackle made from the thug called shawcross(And you say you are a wales supporter – i dont think so)
    Its plain & simple EPL will not take harsh decisions if the tackles made from english players (Tayler , Shawcross) on the foreigners (Eduardo,Jeffers,Ramsey,Modric)………
    But in this war between Skilled & unskilled players English football & Premier League is going to suffer big time……..Just hope EPL dont turn into Seria A

  18. Terence McGovern says:

    It is irrelevant.
    Shawcross and Stoke will be in the championship next season and they are never EVER coming back.
    Nobody will niss them and everybody as it stands now knows how to play them

    The are 0 for 3 and after Villa finish with them they will be 0 for 4.

    as a team they have little skill to offer so they attempt to injure.
    That wont save them for relegation any more than group hugs in the showers with that toad Pulis.

    Does ANYBODY here think that they will be missed next year?

    Didn’t think so.

    Come on VILLA!

  19. Jon G says:

    So why did Wenger lie about Shawcross in the Spurs game.

    Was it;

    A. He has a vendtta against the club and player

    B: Because at heart he is a cheating weasel who would not only try and ruing the career of a decent young English player, he would sell his own mother to a serial killer in order to gain an advantage from a referee. The big fat dirty cheat.

    C: Both A nd B

    I’ll go for C

    • dvsg says:

      There you have it people, the anti Arsene, xenophobic agenda is clear for all to see. You dont like Wenger because he is foreign, he is intelligent and he speaks the truth. Thats the long and short of it.

    • Paul N says:

      So you have an issue with someone telling a lie but you have no issue with a player going around breaking peoples legs, even with a smug attitude at times (see adebayor foul) , who doesnt apologize and with a manager who defends that players actions?

      extremely hypocritical and I would say quite immature.

  20. Don says:

    It isn’t enough for you to be wrong on this subject, you had to be hypocritical too. This was you who kicked up a stink about Nasri clipping a Hull player last season. Did you ever see that Shawcross tackle on Adebayor? That was the kind of brutality stamped out of the game in the ’70s. Shawcross kicked Adebayor while the ball had long gone and Adebayor was off the football pitch. That’s thuggery. But it’s cowardly because I don’t think Shawcross would beat Adebayor in a fair fight, or even a fight of any kind. Dregs of his sort would only try this kind of stuff on the pitch.

    What rankles Arsenal fans about the Shawcrosses of this world is that there is no shortage of misguided and twisted people (like the blogger) to offer them protection from their actions.

    Malice is irrelevant in the presence of recklessness. The force he brought into that challenge on Ramsey was unnecessary. You don’t have to fly in at 100 mph to win a 40-60 ball 60 yards from your goal. He’s the product of the wrong-headed mentality that tells players they have to do that.

    And it’s really infuriating to be lectured about not labelling the likes of Shawcross. Why on earth not? This all comes because for years, all the pundits have said you have to ‘stop Arsenal playing’, ‘Arsenal don’t like it up them’ etc. It is a fact that Arsenal suffer more fouls against certain teams than other top sides for example. When the likes of Alan Hansen spread the Arsenal dont like it up them meme for years, is it any surprise that 4 Arsenal players suffered leg breaks or serious bone damage in matches last season? That’s not talking about the 3 serious career-threatening leg breaks.

    F*ck off and don’t lecture us. Stop the thuggery in the game that’s directed at Arsenal more than other teams.

  21. Andy Beale says:

    As a Welshman also, and a very big football fan I’m absolutely disgusted at this article. Its up there with one of the worst I’ve ever read. Ramsey not only was the future of Welsh football and Arsenal – he was the present, well he would’ve been the present with Arsenal had the tackle not happened because without a doubt I think Fabregas would’ve been sold, with that said Arsenal fans and Wales fans have the right to have a go at Ryan Shawcross he has completely destroyed the potential of what in my opinion could’ve been a future best footballer in the world.

    I’d imagine an article like this to be written by a Stoke fan or whatever but a Welshman! Go move to Stoke or something.

  22. Don says:

    In the twisted world of football Wenger is crucified for whatever number of red cards, and also for now being against overphysical teams.

    You morons need to make up your mind. Is dirtiness in football desirable or not. When Arsenal was crucified for all those red cards under Wenger, it surely must have been because we want the game to be clean and professional. If the current ethos of Arsenal sees Arsenal always atop the fair play table (no Arsenal player getting a straight red in 2 seasons), then it’s ridiculous to criticise that and slam Wenger for it. If anything you lot should be praising Wenger for turning around the situation you all crucified him for in the past.

  23. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Can somebody clear up who broke Samir Nasri’s leg for me , how it happened an where it happened?

    Thanks

    http://playfootballthearsenalway.wordpress.com/

  24. Jon G says:

    “Nasri’s leg was in the way as Diaby tried to shoot and score.”

    And that Ladies and Gentleman is the degree of brainwashing and downright idiocy you are faced with when trying to dicuss anything to do with Arsenal FC and their grubby manager with their resident lemmings

  25. Jackson says:

    Gaffer, what is your problem?

    I’m a proud Gooner, we can never ever prove if Shawcross meant to break Ramsey’s leg in 2 places, but what we can prove is that the team was sent out with a brief to rough Arsenal up, make them know they are there, and hence it was simply a matter of time before someone was destroyed, accidental or not. You only need to break someone leg once to then become that sort of player, a leg breaker.

    You say it was a 50-50? That is so laughable.

    You are in a very privileged position to encourage good things in the game, you had so many columns on diving, but on excessive tackling, not much, seriously, what is up with you? Do you think if Messi read this he’d tink of playing in the Prem? A place where a leg breaker is defended more than simulators? A place where holding a British/Irsih passport makes you immune from criticism(except Barton), especially when you hack a foreign player?

    I’m being honest, take some time out, think of what you and James Beckett have written. Arsenal fans aren’t dumb or hold vendetta’s, I’m sure you will not see anyone of us celebrate if even Adebayor had his leg broken, no one deserves that, however since we are the only ones who play a quick mobile passing game, we are targeted for physical treatment.

    Hypothetically, I’d like to see your reaction once Rooney gets his leg broken in 2 places, lets see what your reaction will be.

    Disgusted reader.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Jackson, I’m not saying that Arsenal fans are dumb or hold vendettas. I’m saying that I’m sick and tired of a small faction of Arsenal supporters claiming that Shawcross deliberately fouled Ramsey, which most of us know was not the case. If Rooney was injured in the same way as Ramsey was, my reaction would be the same. I would sympathize with Ramsey and be sickened by the foul, but if it was a 50-50 tackle I would not be on a witchhunt against the person who tackled Rooney, like some Arsenal supporters are against Shawcross.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Jackson says:

        Thing is, it was not a 50-50, and look at the excessive force he used, directives from their coach. How do you know he never aimed to hurt him? I don’t know if he did or didn’t, but with the nature of the fouling and excessive force employed by Stoke, it was asking for a leg breaking or injury, so maybe Pulis needs to be added to the list for telling his boys to be overly physical.

        You need to understand, Shawcross has done it to many players, Jeffers, Adebayor, to some Dutch guy as well, he has previous of it. If someone like Giggs/Berbatov did it, you wouldn’t hear anything, but because it is from a player with previous, why shouldn’t we hound him?

        Yeah right you’d react the same, we all saw the reaction that the guy he broke Beckhams foot got, not that you guys were around then, but I’m sure 90% of england fans reacted the same, Duscher was labelled a devil.

        Even worse, shawcross only got 3 games, in france and belgium, even if the players ‘never meant it’, they got hefty bans, but of course, take brutal tackling out of the epl and you lose the soul of it as they say.

      • Phenoum says:

        Well, I’m saying that I’m sick and tired of a small faction of Bloggers claiming that Shawcross is “not that type of player”, which most of us know was not the case.

      • Paul N says:

        If the intention is to get stuck in and make them know you are there, then the intent is to hurt.

        I doubt Shawcross was thinking “let me breaks this kids leg”, but when you come into a match with the intent of getting a point across your intent is on harming players to an extent.

        Subsequently people will get hurt beyond intent for you are intent on “gettin stuck in”.

        Its something that needs to be stamped (no pun intended) out of the British game and if you or anyone else try to make these guys victims how the hell will it stop?

        I do agree with many of the posters, when the likes of Rooney and Gerrard, get a leg broken by such malicious tackling lets see what the british say.

        Its a damn shame!

  26. Jackson says:

    yes, as an arsenal fan., Diaby also needs to patch his work up, he’s done Terry, Nasri and Sneijder. He is a dirty player, no shame in admitting that.

    • Simmo says:

      Using the Terry and Nasri situations as examples of dirty play is plain wrong. He had every right to clear that ball in the CC final. Terry had his head low. No one even blamed Diaby for that, this is the first time I’ve seen anyone even try. I’ve seen people using it mockingly (kicking racism out of football and other nonsense), but never in a how could Diaby kick him like that. And I already posted the video of of the Nasri injury, he caused his own injury.

      Sneijder got rolled up on in the tackle. Studs weren’t up or anything, but Diaby shouldn’t have been tackling like that in a pre-season game.

      • Simmo says:

        oh and speaking of Diaby, he got a red card against Bolton 2 seasons ago for going over the ball and catching Greta Steinsson on the ankle. The correct decision was made. I bring it up because that’s a situation where if a player wants to go in with ultimate force he could cause serious damage. That shows it is possible for a player to ease up and have control of his body. It happened to Gilberto in an FA Cup game at Burnley as well, their player was red carded, but he eased up.

    • bill says:

      Diaby?

      Don’t forget Steinsson. How this didn’t snap a leg I’ll never know.

      http://www.northwestrock.co.uk/vital/diaby_steinsson_ed.jpg

  27. Brian says:

    “I have a lot of admiration for Arsenal, who play the prettiest football in the Premier League bar none and run a club better than any team in the league.”

    Do they? And where has it gotten them?

    Maybe you should stop worrying about Shawcross and start worrying about how you will blow your title hopes come April again.

    • Phenoum says:

      Well it’s garnered a top 4 finish for as long as i can remember. And as far as running the club – what is the debt of the likes of Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Ect? I hope you enjoy whatever big club you’re supporting right now, because when the debt collectors come calling, we’ll be enjoying top flight football while you sell players to Serie A. As for the style of play, it is something that is nearly unmatched in this day (Barca) in terms of the fluency, precision, and speed. No matter what you say you can’t convince anyone otherwise. All of the above is why I am, and always will be, a Gooner for life.

  28. Brian says:

    The above not directed at tha Gaffa!

  29. dexter97 says:

    I feel like I’m about to start flogging a long-since deceased horse; as the old adage goes, “There are none so blind as those that refuse to see”. However, Mr Wenger and a good proportion of the Arsenal fans have constructed a case against Shawcross that is based on misinformation. Or if you prefer, downright lies. The latest is that in the recent Stoke- Spurs game, he kicked Gomes. No he didn’t! Unfortunately, it seems that if you repeat something often enough and at sufficient volume, it has a tendency to become fact, particularly when there are sections of the media willing to lap-up the most nonsensical of utterances from this man.

    So (in a “Mad Rafa” style) let’s look at the “facts”:

    “The tackle on Ramsey was late and reckless”

    Yes, technically it was late, but by such a fraction of a second (barely a tenth) that this is hardly discernable without the benefit of super slo-mo. The ref was ready to let play continue without so much as a free-kick until he realised that there had been a serious injury. It was not until after some vigorous petitioning by Ramsey’s colleagues (and more about that later) that he decided that he’d seen something worthy of a sending-off.
    The fact is that they were both going for the ball and Shawcross had every reason to believe that he was going to get it. Ramsey got there quicker, but in doing so planted his leg very firmly on the spot where Shawcross would attempt to sweep the ball away, studs-down and one-footed. It’s worth noting that a fraction of a second earlier, Ramsey was off the ground with both feet going into the challenge. I’m not criticising him for that, but he wasn’t exactly pussy-footing around in his attempt to win the ball; they were both going in “at 100 mph”.

    We see plently of ugly, reckless challenges committed week-in, week-out, often by the most celebrated of the Premier League’s players, but which (fortunately) rarely result in injury. Shawcross’s tackle did not even come close to being as bad as these, and if Ramsey’s leg had not have been broken, it wouldn’t even have got a mention in the post-match report. Virtually all of the independent and open-minded commentators (including several who’re quite partial to a bit of Stoke-bashing) concluded that this was an accident.

    A similar accident occurred at the Britannia Stadium about 3½ years earlier, when a certain Rory Delap had his tib & fib snapped in two, ten minutes into his home debut. Mr Wenger might wish to read-up on this and make a few notes on the most appropriate way for a manager to respond to such an incident.

    “Shawcross has history”

    The one that always comes up first is the Jeffers “ankle-breaking tackle”. Well actually, Jeffers’ ankle was not broken in that challenge. He did suffer some ligament damage, but that doesn’t paint Shawcross in a bad enough light, does it? A broken ankle fits the stereotype much better! One can damage ligaments tripping over a dodgy paving stone, and given that this is the balsa-wood Franny Jeffers we’re talking about, it hardly needed to be a vicious assault to do any damage, did it?

    Then there’s the Adebayor incident. Now I’m going to break ranks here and agree with the Arsenal fraternity that this was a nasty and unnecessary foul. It was also uncharacteristic, and this is where a little perspective is required. Not five minutes earlier, Arsenal’s poor, innocent, pure-footballing forward had just drop-kicked Shawcross in the midriff. The defender was out for some “afters” – I won’t condone it, but I’d like to bet that the response of more than half the people lambasting him would have been at least as robust.

    I’ve recently heard that Shawcross injured Walcott in the same game. I don’t know where to begin with that one, but I’m sure it won’t be too long before we find out that he was also in some way responsible for young Theo’s sprained ankle in last night’s England game.

    If you dig through the records of any centre-half (with the possible exception of Leon Cort), you’ll find more than a couple of incidents that they wouldn’t want on their CV. Fortunately, the vast majority never result in anything more than bruises and expletives, but it’s very much a case of “there, but for the grace of God”. The fact that all anyone has been able to find on Shawcross is a non-existent broken ankle and a bit of retribution against a real nasty piece of work is testament to the fact that he is far from a “dirty” player.

    Which brings me nicely to a couple of challenges in that fateful game by a certain Senor Fabregas, not least a lunge from behind on Pugh, which was probably the nastiest foul seen at the Britannia Stadium all season. Of course it could be argued that the Spaniard was full of venom in the aftermath of a potentially career-threatening injury to a team-mate, and this was obvious immediately after the accident, when he and Campbell wasted no time in tending to their stricken colleague and ensuring that not a vital second was wasted in him getting treatment. Oh, hang on, that was Glenn Whelan, wasn’t it? Cesc and Sol were too busy acting-up and ensuring that Shawcross saw red!

    It’s a shame that we’re raking over these coals again, and sadly, nothing that I or anyone else has to say on this is likely to alter the view of those who choose to see it differently. Unfortunately, I feel bound to jump to the defence of a promising young footballer, who it appears is the victim of an attempt by Mr Wenger to destroy his career. That might seem harsh, even hysterical, but why else would the Wenger name him in the fabricated “kick on Gomes” allegation? Arsene Wenger knows that yet again he’s unlikely to win the Premier League this season, and he’s getting his excuses in early. It’s shameful that at the same time he feels the need to be so vindictive about Shawcross.

    • Phenoum says:

      “Cesc and Sol were too busy acting-up and ensuring that Shawcross saw red!”

      Holy @#$&^@ sh!t – are you serious? how the @#$ would you react if one of your best friends was laying on the ground with his shin snapped in half? I’m sure you would not be bothered by it at all and continue as if you were a trained doctor seeing this all the time no? Props to Whelan for keeping Ramsey from seeing his own leg and giving him assitance, but you’re an utter cnut if you lay blame on Cesc and Sol for being physically sick to their stomachs at the sight of this after having seen Eduardo in the same shoes a few years ago. I was half – nauseated by the sight of it, and I’ve put in a good semester or two cutting up cadavers.

      Go blow your shite somewhere else.

      • dexter97 says:

        Phenoum,

        I have no doubt that I’d be turning a bit green if the same happened to one of my friends. However, my first thought would be help them, not to get in the face of the ref and opposition players. I don’t “lay blame on Cesc and Sol for being physically sick to their stomachs”, but their reactions, IMHO, were not simply those of concerned team-mates. As I mentioned elsewhere in my post, you should try to find some footage of the almost identical injury suffered by Delap, in order to compare and contrast the way that the teams and managers reacted to the incident, during and after the game.

    • jm says:

      Your response re: Jeffers makes no sense. Simply because it is a common enough injury, and one that *can* occur without a hard foul does not tell you *anything* about this particular case. Your analysis of the tackles on Ramsey and Adebayor is based on the nature of the particular tackle, which is the right kind of argument to make. Simply saying that Jeffers injury could have happened even without a hard tackle provides absolutely no evidence that there was not a hard tackle.

      • bill says:

        jm,

        Re: Jeffers. Except, of course, that the challenge took place in front of many thousands of Stoke fans inside the stadium.

        I’d say that it was the job of the prosecution to provide evidence that it was an unnecessarily hard challenge, and not the completely innocuous and accidental tread on the foot that we saw (those of us that remember it, so run-of-the-mill that it was) with our own eyes.

        The ref didn’t give a yellow. There’s independent witness number one.

  30. vnet says:

    shawcross has history of making bad tackles.

    Only 1 red card, i dont care.
    Im not saying he’s a bad evil person , just a bad footballer when it comes down to certain tackles.

    Im not saying there is intent in every single of his bad tackle,
    im just saying he is involved in a lot of bad tackles for us to not berate him.

    He may play his heart out, do charity off the field , be the next maldini.
    If it was an isolated incident , people would’ve probably forgotten about it,
    but as there is history,like it or not, there is going to be discussion about this.

  31. RVPFan says:

    Gaffer says:
    “Yes, the tackle against Aaron Ramsey was sickening. But I still don’t believe that Shawcross deliberately injured Ramsey”.
    I, for one, find it hard to distinguish between a sickening tackle and a deliberate tackle. Deliberate tackles are sickening/unnecessary. Let’s leave Rambo’s incident aside, Joe Cole’s recent tackle against Koscielny was sickening and only shin pad protected him, otherwise who knows we would have had another leg break. I am sure you would believe that tackle was sickening and unnecessary, I believe that was deliberate, he went there to hurt. Shawcross’s tackle can’t be sickening and not be deliberate if it was a 50-50 ball, otherwise, it can’t even be categorized as sickening. Please either its deliberate or its not. It seems, Gaffer, that you are trying to be in the middle saying, alright I can give Arsenal supporters that the tackle was sickening (although you say it was 50-50 ball), and then go on to say it wasn’t deliberate. The question here is whether you believe it was deliberate or not. Rest is window-dressing.

    • The Gaffer says:

      RVPFan, Shawcross didn’t have any intent to injure Ramsey in the tackle. But it was incredibly unfortunate that Ramsey got injured. The part that was sickening was what happened after the injury happened which was the graphic images showing his leg snapped in half.

      It was not a deliberate foul.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Phenoum says:

        Yeah, the injury wasnt sickening, it was them blasted REPLAY images of that exact injury that was sickening.

        So wait – if the injury wasn’t sickening, then why was the replay of the injury sickening? Where the heck is your *logic* meter today Gaffer? that statement makes no sense.

        • The Gaffer says:

          The injury was sickening. Full stop. And it was even more sickening when the replays were shown.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

        • RVPFan says:

          If you mean the video replays and graphic images were the actual sickening part for you then can you please clarify your statement in your original post. This is what you actually said, “Yes, the tackle against Aaron Ramsey was sickening”. Now you are saying the graphic images and video replays was the actual sickening thing for you, not the actual tackle itself. You understand, Gaffer, how your statement can be taken out of context?

          • The Gaffer says:

            The tackle itself wasn’t sickening. It was a 50-50 challenge. The unfortunate injury to Ramsey was sickening, so too were the TV replays that showed the gruesome injury.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

  32. paul says:

    Maybe Arsene Wenger should think about training a girls football team,
    or just go back to where he came from . This is England and its our game played the way we like it.

  33. Peter says:

    Wenger’s players are not exactly role models rather they are like spoilt children. Their parent (Wenger) believes they are absolute angels and whenever anything happens to them we have to hear about how they are “abuse” by othe teams. Wenger uses his reputation as a decent manager to publish dross about other teams and is it anyones suprise that there next game is against Bolton (another supposedly over-physical side). He is trying to unnerve Bolton and the rest of these “violent” teams and put them off the game mentally before them It is not good enough that Wenger wants his teams to beat you he wants every opposition player to give his players 20 yards of space and never make tackles on them for fear of hurting them This is a contact sport and if Wenger doesn’t like that why doesn’t go manage a basketball team? Better yet go to Spain where all the players dive when anyone attempts a decent challenge.

    Referees will soon start to favour Arsenal even more then they already do because of Wenger’s actions. The referee in charge of the Hull game against Arsenal did nothing about Fabregas spitting on Brian Horton & Phil Brown. Thomas Vermaelen himself is known as a dirty player & Koscielney will start to show his true colours soon. I have made these last two facts up just like all you arsenal fans do with your Shawcross nonsense. Saying he broke Jeffers leg and broke Walcott’s when he did no such thing.

    Same old Arsenal always cheating. Arsene is like a mother cradling her only child. He is overly protective of his side and needs to shut his mouth particularly in the heat of the moment.

    • dvsg says:

      Right, and Pulis wasnt trying to protect the scumbag shawcross when he said he’s not that type of player? Wtf are you on mate, stay off the drugs. Enjoy your championship football next year. Cheerio.

      • Peter says:

        If I get Championship football then that would be a promotion for my team, so thanks mate for the kind words :)

        How many manager’s do you know that would say their own players were dirty? And you say I’m on drugs! Ha! Maybe in a parallel universe where up is down and black is white but not on this planet. Wenger will defend his players for murder but Pulis says one thing about his own player and his disgusting. Are you an idiot! See you later mate!

  34. JSeabold says:

    How many of the people’s responses to (all of) the articles about Shawcross start with, “I’m not an Arsenal supporter, but …”? I remember quite a few. Do I think it was deliberate? No. Do I think we should forget about the tackle? No. Wenger is trying to improve the league and refereeing with his comments by bringing attention to these players and *tactics* (not incidents). Something I don’t think anyone should argue with.

    Also, do I think there is sometimes a witch hunt against the Gunners? Yes. See for instance, the media reaction to Eduardo’s “dive” in CL qualification last year vs. Defoe’s handball this year. Quite a difference. Here we have yet another article aimed at stirring up s***. Congratulations.

  35. Jon G says:

    “Wenger is trying to improve the league and refereeing with his comments by bringing attention to these players and *tactics* (not incidents). Something I don’t think anyone should argue with.

    Nonsense. Complete and utter rubbish. He is trying to gain advantage. he is trying to influence referees and he doesn’t care who he destroys while he’s doing it.

    When he had a dirty side, and by God it was a dirty side, he is on record as celebrating tough challenge, saying he admired that part of the English game. Why? because at that time those proclamations gave him an advantage and influenced referees.

    The man is a hypocrite who is 100% behind improving Arsenal’s advantage and 0% behind improving the game.

  36. dexter97 says:

    jm,

    You are quite right to say that I have no idea what caused Jeffers’ injury – It might well have been the foul. However, that wasn’t really the point I was trying to make, which is this:

    It was a fairly routine injury that occurs somewhere every week, and from which Jeffers recovered quickly. It was not a horrific challenge that resulted in a broken ankle. History has been rewritten to suit Wenger’s campaign against Shawcross.

    That was the main point of the post really – People are inventing things to try to support their argument. I love a good debate if people stick to facts, but facts have been a rare commodity here.

  37. Brian says:

    This whole argument is blown way out of proportion.

    After the Ramsey incident, Wenger has a right to call out Shawcross and rough play. Shawcross has the right to defend himself from criticism.

    It would be nice if you can talk about both sides of the issue instead of making false characterizations that Arsenal supporters think Shawcross deliberately injured Ramsey. You are just adding fuel to the fire to an already overblown story.

  38. Jeremy says:

    This article is the definition of a straw man. You are putting your hands over your ears and refusing to recognize that a reckless tackle can be just as dangerous as a deliberate one. Then you try to impugn Wenger’s motives by calling out his former team, and whining about his recent press conference. I have news for you: EVERY manager wants their players to “put their foot in.” This is not the same as committing dangerous, idiotic, leg-breaking tackles.
    Basically, you’re painting Wenger and the rest of the Arsenal fanbase with the same brush as those Gunners that actually characterize the Shawcross tackle as deliberate… which, as you admit, is only “a small faction.” This is sensationalistic drivel, and I agree with Brian – you are only adding fuel to the fire. I’m sure this will get you plenty of hits, but have a think about whether you’re making the debate any more reasonable.

  39. Another day, another column or linked article to stir up the ire of anyone with an opinion regarding Arsenal.

    Wake me up when it’s time for the Ramsey vs. Shawcross cage match.

  40. Colneyblog says:

    http://arsenalaction.com/2010/02/28/shawcross-is-a-thug-has-done-it-before-just-ask-francis-jeffers/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JImCLHKXTOs

    http://www.twitvid.com/3BCE0

    watch and tell me if you think shawcross isn’t a reckless player? It’s funny that you should mention arsenal’s red card record with vieira and co. Unlike shawcross, vieira and co. never put anyone in the hospital and contrary to what you believe collecting red cards or lack thereof doesn’t mean you are dirty player or fair player.

    • Shakira says:

      Oh so because your dirty lot didn’t put anyone in the hospital by shear luck it’s ok they played that way? How hypocritical and typical of Arsenal fans. It’s ok for Arsenal players to play dirty but if anyone plays rough with you they are dirty.

  41. Colneyblog says:

    here is video evidence from the game at exactly 1.20 in the video Ryan Shawcross kicks Gomes.

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/6636355

  42. Shakira says:

    SO let me get this right, If a team doesn’t roll over and let Arsenal play their way they moan. If a team gets physical with Arsenal and bully them around because Arsenal’s players are not big enough to handle any kind of physical play they get called a thug. Anyone who refutes Wenger or criticizes him or Arsenal get called names because they don’t drink the poisoned cool aid. Are you Arsenal fans going to whine about the Swiss beating up Walcott last night. Typical Arsenal fans, if you don’t get your way of football you moan about other teams being mean to you. Grow up, no team is going to let you walk over them if they can help it, and if they happen to play physical then they will. You don’t have a god given right to play your way every match and expect teams to let you. Oh and I am sure none of you saw how dirty your team has played in the past either right? So easily forgotten by you lot, sad sad.

    • RVPFan says:

      Hello Shakira,
      Our players have been in the receiving end of some horrendous tackles in the past years, with three broken legs and it’s just painful. Firstly, Diaby, then Eduardo when he was becoming a rising star in the premier league, and Ramsey, just when he was starting to shine. This is quite hard pill to swallow, so we do moan a lot, because we feel our players are being targeted. But we do play football and are in the top4 of the premier league clubs, so that does make us big enough to handle physical play otherwise we wouldn’t be where we were. We expect to win trophies, although, I am sad we haven’t won in the last 5 years, but we have constantly been in the top flight and playing champions league football, that means we can handle physicality. It’s just those horrendous injuries and reckless tackles have maimed our players, and we don’t want that. That’s all. I hope you enjoy the football we play though.

  43. Don says:

    Ryan Shawcross is a thug. Plain and simple. He’s not 25 yet and he’s already broken 3 different players’ legs. Most defenders go through their careers without breaking anyone’s leg.

    It was reported in the papers, and on radio (I read the articles and heard the coverage) that Shawcross broke Jeffers’ ankle. He broke Ramsey’s tibia and fibula. He broke some Belgian player’s leg (the video is shown above).

    Stoke City fans understandably defend their player. My grouse is with the blogger who must be seriously blighted not to realise that Shawcross has fully earned his bad reputation. It is very sickening that the blogger seeks to defend someone like Shawcross from legitimate condemnation. if we can’t label a coward who kicks other players off the pitch after the ball is long gone, who will we ever condemn?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Is it me or do some of the Arsenal supporters in this thread sound like a broken record repeating the same fallacies? I have nothing against Arsenal and respect the club and its team a lot. But where do Arsenal fans get all of this misinformation from? Shawcross did not break the legs of three different players.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  44. dlink09 says:

    EPL deserves better than manages like tony,sam &&& there thuggish players..
    gaffer, good way to get some traffic..

    • The Gaffer says:

      Nothing to do with traffic. I was pretty upset last night at some of the comments made on Twitter and in the comments for James’s article, so it spurred me on to write the editorial this morning. Traffic was the last thing on my mind.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  45. TheSoccerSage says:

    It’s amazing that people believe they KNOW the “intention” of a tackle in a fast-paced match. Sure, Ryan Shawcross has dished out plenty of bad tackles since joining Stoke City, but so have numerous Premier League defenders. The relentless speed of play leaves no time for hesitation. Some might say that Shawcross was trying to “send a message” with the challenge, but we’ll never know. His tears as he exited the pitch cause me to believe that he immediately recognized the brutality of his tackle. Personally, I hope referees continue to clamp down on high-studs challenges that lead to severe injuries.

  46. UpTheBlues says:

    Arsenal play the prettiest football in the league after Chelsea ;)

    That’s all I’m going to contribute :D

  47. B-Rad says:

    First, I am an Arsenal fan. Second, I think my opinion differs a little bit.

    Was Showcross’ tackle reckless and unnecessary? In my honest opinion, yes. As a defensive midfielder in my younger days I was always taught not to dive into a tackle that far up the pitch. Why you might ask? The counter-attack is why. I felt he tactically was in the wrong, and at best had a 35-40 percent chance of winning the ball due to Ramsey’s ability and his proximity to the ball. It is a shame he broke Ramsey’s leg, and I feel for both of them. These things happen though and if you go in at the speed Showcross did, the force will cause a leg to break if the foot is planted. That is simple physics.

    Now is Showcross and Stoke’s tactics bad for the game? In my honest opinion, no. They play to their strengths. Again I was never the fastest player on the pitch but I remember being taught hustle, aggressiveness and being an annoyance by occasionally grabbing a shirt, or a light elbow to the ribs was a good thing. Every player does the little things, just watch Chamakh holding the Blackburn player in the box, and the Robin Van Persie red card against Stoke from a few years ago. Stoke are not the better technical team, but even hustle and aggressiveness when applied correctly can sometimes cause a better result.

    Wenger just wanted the ref in the Blackburn game to notice the fouls that are committed like obstructing the keeper, holding of the jerseys, holding of the players, and all he is doing is playing mind games with the ref. Was he wrong to mention Showcross? Probably, but he did and his bias is quite understandable considering the incidents that have occurred involving that player.

    Not every Arsenal fan agrees with what Wenger says. I understand where he is coming from and what he is saying, but some of it is not necessary and actually I think hurts himself more than what he is trying to accomplish. He is a great manager, and has been fantastic for the club I love, but sometimes shutting his mouth would be best.

    Is Showcross a dirty player? He might be a bit worse than other players, but he’s was not out to intentionally injure Ramsey or any other player for that matter. He just happened to make a reckless tackle that resulted in a very unfortunate incident.

    What can be done to correct this problem? Very little, and it’ll be a long while before anything changes, unless you start carding people for tackling in the midfield and then you just lose the essence of the game.

  48. David says:

    It is amusing how both sides claim to know Shawcross did or did not INTEND. You can look at it and see what happened but it is obviously not CLEAR what he intended to do. Perhaps it was a 50-50 and Shawcross has no liability for being late and challenging so hard? Perhaps it was wreckless and he was not trying to get the ball as much as going in no matter what. I think most that have played know the difference but it isn’t easy to reasonably conclude from video. Gaffer, with all due respect, you must be open to the idea that you are wrong. Us Arsenal supporters should take a moment too, as we might just as well be wrong.

    Regardless, I think most reasonable people agree that Shawcross did not intend to break Aaron Ramsey’s leg. Hard and wreckless challenges break legs occasionally as do fairly considered ones.

    I think he is a bit wreckless and should be more careful. Commitment is fantastic, wreckless is not. These are my opinions though and I don’t think the circumstantial evidence of Stoke wanting to get stuck in or the history of his behavior is irrelevant.

  49. jleau says:

    Gaffer, how can you write an article about a topic that you wish would go away? Why is this retread story worthy of further debate? Simultaneously inciting Arsenal fans to moan on about this and then asking them to stop is really ridiculous. Congratulations on the 100 comments because that had to be the only reason to waste the time on this topic.

    God I’m glad the games return this weekend.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Jleau, good question. I wish the story would go away, but I was so upset about it that I thought writing about it would help get the topic off my mind. Obviously it didn’t exactly work out that way. But at least I feel better that I got to say how I felt regarding the situation.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  50. chongy says:

    fact is stoke go into games acting all tough cause they know teams like arsenal cant play their game! and then when this happens they come out and say i didn’t mean it i didn’t mean it!! well u did go out there to play rough although u didn’t mean to break his leg but something like this was going to happen! stoke has no respect for anybody! arsene wenger said one comment on shawcross after the game which was “we don’t like so see injuries like this” and then the coach of stoke comes out and says ” he can keep his opinions to himself” that is a complete lack of respect! they should go back to the championship …its where they belong

  51. Seth says:

    I don’t think you need to be an Arsenal supported to wish that brutal tactics and intentional fouling would leave the game. Opinions (obviously) differ about the degree to which the Shawcross incident exemplifies this tactic. Focusing on this one incident – watching youtube videos for conclusive evidence that he really meant it – is a distraction from the larger issue. The so-called rugby tactics clearly are in use in the league (also at the world cup), and I share Wenger condemnation.

  52. looneygooner says:

    This is the reason England haven’t won anything since 66 you moron, Wenger brought in changes that most PL sides adopt, but with idiots like you with ‘This is England’ what an ignorant racist you really are can you count to ten

  53. whaleboy7 says:

    Shawcross hardly helped himself today playing against West Ham. In an off the ball incident he has elbowed Carlton Cole in the head.
    No, he’s definitely not that type of player.
    Its all very well being impulsive but if you are not in control you are a liability to others. Step forward Mr . Shawcross. I don’t believe Shawcross intended to damage any of the players whose bones he has broken, and we are not just talking about Ramsey here, there are others. However I don’t believe he is in control the whole time, something equivalent to the red mist where the win at all costs no matter the danger instinct comes out. When it does people get hurt.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Again, I think this is a case of Shawcross being singled out. I never said he was a saint, but Arsenal committed more fouls than Sunderland Saturday. And Arsenal players are no saints either. Better saints, perhaps. But no team is immaculate. Every team fouls.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  54. whaleboy7 says:

    I don’t think that I said that any team were perfect. If you were looking at the Arsenal game yesterday you could argue that the team with ten men is always going to commit more fouls, but I think the stats were already leaning that way before Song got sent off. His first card was for his reaction to the foul given against him, which didn’t look to be a foul at all.
    In any event 12:13 on the foul count is hardly a very dirty game, probably about average. If you look at the games yesterday the highest foul count Everton Newcastle 15:21 and the lowest Spurs Wolves 7:11.

    On the singled out comment. Does he not single himself out throught his actions, which is the crux of the matter? We both knows there are fouls and there are fouls. Elbowing someone on the head is a foul with the intent of hurting someone. It should be rightly singled out, there should be no forgiveness. The original subject, the Shawcross -Ramsey tackle on its own would not ordinarily merit singling out for the extended period of time as it has. When you add the Jeffers’ ankle (it does count even though it happened in the first division), and Adebayor, twice 2008-9 and 2009-0, and the players history starts to write the story.

    The story isn’t that he’s the worlds dirtiest player or an evil b’stard, but that he is a player who with the best of intentions has poor judgement and is a danger to his fellow pros.

    How many legs/ankles have Ferdinand, Vidic and Terry broken between them? I don’t know the answer but would hazard a guess they add up to zero. A great deal more games between them and less serious injurues caused to fellow professionals that Shawcross on his own. Why? Because they are in control, and exercised better judgement.

  55. Daniyal Mufti says:

    Didn’t another stoke player go in with a horror tackle on a fulham player. team full of untalented thugs. A disgrace to football. I have tons of respect for teams like blackpool and westbrom. The play football the right way. Their supporters must feel so proud of their team. Stoke fans probably spend their free time justifying hire thugs and breaking legs of promising players. Shawcross is a thug and belongs in prison. stupid ogre scum.

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