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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Victim Of Archaic Tactics? Or Just Unlucky?

As Aaron Ramsey crumpled under the challenge from Ryan Shawcross today, he became the 3rd victim in four years in an Arsenal shirt to be on the receiving end of an horrendous leg-breaking challenge that will see his career put on hold for a very long time.

Previous players to suffer these career threatening injuries were Abou Diaby, who's leg was broken whilst playing away at Sunderland by Dan Smith and Eduardo, his limb snapped by a tackle from Martin Taylor in a 2-2 at St Andrews vs Birmingham.

It's all to easy to over-react when incidents like this occur, calls for players to be kicked out of football for thuggery, claims that some players do these things intentionally are often heard. But the reality is (that with the exception of Roy Keane) very few players set out to intentionally injure a fellow professional, indeed, Shawcross' tears as he left the pitch were genuine and I saw that there was no intention.

Of course over the next few days we'll be hearing statements from people like Tony Pullis and Shawcross's teammates about how he's a fair player, and he would never do anything like that on purpose, and they'll probably be right, but that still doesn't detract from the fact that a 19-year-old boy lays in a hospital bed this evening with his legs in pieces hoping that his career won't follow suit.

So, is there blame to be apportioned? Or are Arsenal just very unlucky to have suffered a succession of violent looking injuries in quick succession?

I feel there is blame, but not a single person, more towards a collection of philosophies that believe it's ok to supplement a lack of talent with over-zealous physicality.

Over the past 10 or so years, Arsene Wenger has created a style of play that teams of lesser technical ability have struggled to come to terms with, and football has become such big business that people will do everything in their power to get the desired results to ensure they remain in their highly paid jobs.

It goes back to matches witnessed at places like the Reebok stadium where we sit an watch Arsenal players kicked into submission, and with the tactics getting the desired results, many teams followed suit.

Is it any coincidence that all 3 horrific injuries occurred in away games against teams that are, with the greatest respect, technically inferior to Arsenal?

The media also jumped on the bandwagon, all to often using phrases like 'Arsenal don't like it up 'em' or 'to beat Arsenal you have to get in their faces' (Seriously, if I hear David Platt say that one more time I'll get in his spoon shaped face) as if to promote this tactic to ensure the viewers would be back to view Arsenal getting beaten by the underdogs.

The macho and ego driven world of football is all to willing to turn a blind eye to managers employing the 'go out there and kick them' tactics, scared that the game is turning into something akin to basketball.

'Back in the day' hard tackles and tough football were the order of play, but this was a footballing philosophy taught religiously, and the players were good at what they did. These days the ego will not allow for a game to be lost by technically superior team, instead of accepting defeat and trying harder to overcome the difference in talent, it's easier to kick and punch your way to victory.

A loaded gun in the hands of a trained professional is a weapon that can be used for its purpose, in the hands of an incompetent it's a lethal device that can ruin lives with innocent victims bearing the brunt of its destructive force, even if the shot wasn't intended.

Maybe it's time to give up the gun?

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 27 2010

Time: 9:02PM

Your Comments

i thought the same regarding leg breaks away to lesser teams,but what can we do about it?like fabregas said 3 times is way too many
fran merida
No it's not time to give up the gun. But we should only allow the trained professionals to hold the gun. Or punish those who misuse/abuse the gun enough to discourage that behaviour. Yes accidents do happen. But has any other team had 3 broken legs in 4 years, all from away games? I think we all know the answer.
chainmail leggings lou?
The sentiment in this article is spot on. It's all too easy to see the excessively physical play of teams like Stoke as a fair leveller but Shawcross had no need to make that type of challenge in that area of the pitch. It's purpose wasn't to win the ball because he could have absolutely no control over where the ball would end up. The tackle was for the major part intended to intimidate the player and make him wary of any future challenge. I don't see any need for sympathy towards any player willing to risk injuring another player anymore than a driver jumping the lights deserves sympathy.
There is a huge difference between "getting in someone's faces" the way teams like Everton do it (hard yet fair) and the outright thuggery of teams like Stoke (just hard). As recent victims of their rugby league tactics I can safely say that I knew it was only a matter of time before they seriously injured someone. Whoever rated the Premier League as the best in the world must have reckoned without the likes of the neanderthals from Stoke.
From what I saw of the tackle, it was a poor first touch and then Shawcross overreached to redeem the situation. In a split second, sometimes the mind will let a player think 'he can get there' even when in hindsight he should realise the ball was already lost. Unfortunately on the field of play hindsight doesn't occur. It has been unfortunate that 3 players have suffered broken legs, but in each case it cannot be said the tackles were pre-mediated to cause injury. Seeing the ridiculous tackle on Robbie Savage last week by Pintado last week, which fortunately didn't result in a serious injury, how do we measure what constitutes crossing the line? The outcome of the incident, or the malice of the intent beforehand? In the Pintado case he went straight through the player with no chance of even hoping to get the ball, whilst I recall with the 3 broken leg injuries, none have matched the viciousness or the intent but sadly have resulted in more grevious outcomes. There can be so many variables that it is unfortunately impossible to rule out the well intended but poorly executed tackle which has a dreadful outcome. However, the authorities should now look at the disciplinary system and adopted a situation where yellows can be made reds after the game, and that a sensible look can be given to the issue of tackling. If players realise that the disciplinary action against them may not end at the end of the game, even if the ref has taken action during the game, then fewer reckless tackles might occur.
here here. Absoloutely right, there is a massive difference between hassling and harrying and getting up close and personal, and just being so ***** you can't even ******** tackle properly. Pulis and Stoke can't ***** off back to the championship soon enough.
@kernoboy, retrospective punishment can't come soon enough. I've been banging on about it for years. As well as video tech. Of course Shawcross didn't mean it and he is probably distraught - that doesn't stop him being ***** at tacking.
@Gunnerman, Shawcross's tackling this season has not been a cause for concern. Spurs lost Modric earlier this season due to a more reckless tackle from Bowyer. And of course whilst a broken leg is appalling, is it any worse than a tackle which causes significant ligament damage which may not receive the same press but could be even more devastating for a players career?
I think in the Dan Smith case the tackle on Diaby was meant to injure him though probably not to break his ankle. All the tackles were at the very least intended to intimidate the player to inflict pain and thereby make them wary of the next challenge in order to concede possession. None of the tackles were perpetrated in areas of the pitch in which the team was at any immediate risk. Unless and until reckless challenges are seen for just that the risk of serious injury will be disproportionate to the advantage gained.
No, it's no worse. Shawcross has previous in poor tackling, but regardless it's Stoke's tackling in general that has been cause for concern IMO, probably the opinion of many other premier league fans I'd imagine. This is irrelevant though, I'm agreeing with your point about retrospective action.
is this the same shawcross who broke francis jeffers' legs 2 years ago and kicked adebayor out of the game last season with the ball already out of play? certainly just an accident.
even before the injury I was thinking what, if anything, can be done about Stoke's approach. This whole Rory Delap gimmick is a joke - a bad joke at that - and epitomizes anti-football. I spent the majority of the first half watching him wipe down a football only to lump high into a crowded area and i thought to myself "this is like a rugby line-out throw. I'm watching a rugby match, surely this cannot be the product envisioned by the Premier League". When physicality gets emphasized so clearly and footballing skills totally neglected it's not surprising that players lunge recklessly in 50/50 challenges like Shawcross did. There may have been no malice but when u're drunk (on adrenaline in Shawcross's case) and u run down a pedestrian you're still guilty of vehicular manslaughter…… I wonder what Wenger is thinking. must be hard building a club one young player at a time when half the league is intent on chopping u down and setting back the development of said youngsters by a couple of years each time…. would be nice if the gunners won it but aaron but at this stage I don't even care about football, it all seems so trivial. i just hope aaron gets well…
I'm still not clear on my opinion on this topic. On one hand, I do think that we face greater chance of injuries due to the tactics some teams take against us. On the other, it is entirely possible for one of our players to accidentally injure an opponent with a complete lack of intent next game out. Perhaps its fair, as you say, to not blame the player per se, but rather the circumstances of it all.
Kernoboy, are you serious? Are you really asking if Ramsey's injury is any worse than a ligaments injury? Did you see what happened??? His leg snapped, the whole thing is damaged, that is two broken bones and shattered ligaments just like Eduardo. The radio is already discussing whether it was a malicious challenge, that misses the point. It was utterly reckless. Shawcross may not have meant to break Aaron's leg, but he went absolutely not caring what damage he did, in professional sport that is just as bad. I recognize he was genuinely shocked and dismayed by what happened, but that does not excuse his actions. Managers, press and pundits have been encouraging this sort of reckless thuggery against Arsenal for year. Tacitly approving it by repeating that the way to beat Arsenal is to kick them off the park. This and Eduardo is a direct result of that attitude. Diaby's was different. Although it was the least serious injury, it was the worst most vicious challenge of the lot
hugh Jerror
I think you can blame the tactic if not the player. There is a risk in any tackle but the risk is increased immeasurably if the tackle is made recklessly. Shawcross might make a similar tackle without serious injury 90% plus of the time. Just as a driver running a red light might get across most of the time before others react to a green light.
Interestingly having shown the incident on MoTD, it was not a studs up challenge which normally causes these sort of horror injuries. The actually frame before they connect shows Aaron shaping to 'dink' the ball over Shawcross, who was already sliding so could not stop his challenge. It appears incredibly unfortunate that they connect when they did. I think if it had been a second either side of the incident, there would likely not have been a serious injury.
I thought Pulis' comments on MOTD were out of order. Having watched Sky & MOTD, Wenger never questioned Shawcross' integrity as a player or a man once, Pulis got all defensive about something that, as far as I can see, was never said. (although maybe I'm just another victim of clever editing!!) p.s - Aaron, get well soon fella, army of gooners all wishing ya well!!
There is definetly an attitude from our opponents that you can go in harder on our players than anyone elses, If Shawcross went into that challenge with Rooney I dont think he commits to it. Obviously nothing will happen and no lessons will be learnt in regards protection for our players and the "go in ard" tactics but the most important thing is we seem to be learning how to cope with it better, was very proud of the reaction of our players tonight.
I wish him well and hope he gets back ok. no one likes to see any player endure this kind of injury. I thought the challenge was mistimed to be honest, a bad tackle yes but the tackle that put Eduardo out was worse. You've been unlucky with leg breaks, I cant believe players go out to break legs.
I think we've learned to cope admirably in recent times to those sort of 'tactics' but, as Cesc said, there's a line, and it's been crossed many times. Yeah, close down the space, have a niggle at people on the ball etc, but...
i just saw the tackle on MOTD and they showed a slow-mo version and you can see it is a horrible injury and te way it just hung when he held his leg up in the air was truely sickening. as a football fan you never want to see this to happen to anyone, even if its one of ur biggest rivals. i wish ramsey the best and a quick recovery and hope he manages to fullfill his potential as he looks like he's going to be a great player both for you lot and wales. im sue all my fello spurs fans would say the same.
Hi all, this is my first post in this site, rather unfortunate if you ask me. Been lingering around for so long, but this incident have forced my hand. A lot have been said about the tackle, and being an Arsenal, no a football fan, i believe, the only just punishment for this sort of assault, is for the perpetrator to be banned from playing football, the same amount of time that the victim is out injured. Regardless of whether it IS an accident or not. Get well soon Rambo.
Excellent quote from Arsene after the game: "When you see a player of that quality getting injured in the way he did, it's not acceptable. That is not what I like in the game. I refuse to live with that. Spare me the articles about how nice Shawcross is, please." He knows the media will be out to make Shawcross the victim here ! And I fast forward 18 months when Ramsey jumps out of the way of the first thug who hurls himself toward him "Ramsey the shameful diver!" headlines await!
imagine if this happened 4 years from now to Walcott, and imagine Walcott was starting regularly for England and living up to his potential before having his leg snapped off...I wonder how different the headlines would look tomorrow
It's horrendous what has happended to Ramsay, but I can't see that the over physicality against Arsenal is to blame.. To me Shawcross just went into a 50-50 ball.. which I have observed in many premier league games i.e. Fellani - greek lpool guy... that could of been a broken leg in that tackle. You see high footed tackle and you think ... 'ooooohhhh' when impact happens, then a pleyer jumps up limping and is able to carry on. I think it's an unfortunate incident, this one has so happened to end in a broken leg, if Stoke intentionally go out to injure Arsenal, they would bloody do it, not 60 minutes into the 2nd half... Even if they did, what good has it got them? a man sent off and a defeat. If pullis instructed all his players to play hard, a few more sendings off would of happened. All i'm saying is it's counter productive, Stoke are better employed with doing damage on a Delap throw with as many players as possible attacking the ball. Hard tackles are gonna provoke a reaction from a referee, so why run the risk of a sending off? I seen sendings off for petty handbag stuff, X rated tackles will result in an easy decision for the officials. This victimisation that Fabregas and Wenger comes out with riles me. it's an occupational hazard for a footballer to have injuries. Other players from other teams have suffered broken legs, Bouma in an inter toto game, last summer, suffered an horrendous ankle break...50-50 challenge it was just accepted as this, a 50-50 challenge. The game needs to be looked at, if leg breaks are happening all the time.. but they are not.. it's a hard fought, competitive game, which we all enjoy. Arsenal of old have had a huge amount of red cards, 72 red cards as of 2 years ago!! Not all them were handbags, i'm sure a lot of bad tackles.. or is he gonna use the old victim card, pot calling kettle black sometimes Mr Wenger... I hope Ramsay a full recovery... I really do, it's feckin awful a young player has suffered this. Final note, good luck in the league, Chelsea stuttering.. you got a chance!
No it wasn't a 50-50 challenge. There was no way that Shawcross was making a tackle under control he just hurled himself at the player and the ball in the hope that he would make contact. It was a dangerous and reckless challenge that ended up going over the ball and catching Ramsey a foot above his ankle. The longer we go on trying to justify this sort of play as though the game would lose anything if it were stopped the more these injuries will occur. Shawcross didn't need to make a risky challenge in that position and there was no way that he could gain effective control of the ball. At best he was going to stop a player who was in the defensive half of the field anyway.
OK Amos, we have to stop all tackles then, because a tackle has an element of unpredictability about it.. you cannot 100% say that a tackle will be controlled. My point was that both players were going for the ball, which i we all have seen in umpteen games.. .. the law of averages are gona say that one of these challenges will result in a horrific injury, further hightenend by a player who is only 19, with a promising career abruptly coming to an end. A second earlier of later on either player this wouldnt of been as bad as what has happend... horrible injury.
If it was merely a law of averages then Arsenal wouldn't be the only club to average three leg breaks in four years. People can say what they like to make themselves feel better, but the club which has been labeled as "Not liking it up em" or relentless claims such as "They can be bullied off the park" has suffered more serious, career threatening injuries from away game tackles than any other club in the league. That is not coincidence. Does it mean that teams set out to break the legs of Arsenal players? No. It means that there is an accident waiting to happen when top athletes with pace, strength and aggression lack the skills to express those attributes. This accident waiting happen is likely to actually happen when tactics are focused on the aggressive non skillful areas of the game. In other words it's dangerous and irresponsible to deploy such tactics with players who cannot safely express them.
Professor Calculus
Im sure none of you will agree with me but this was just bad luck. On the replay you can see that it is shawcrosses toe that causes the leg to snap. Ramsey is at full stretch, his entire weight is just about to be shifted and his foot lands on the turf at an angle. With all that pressure on his leg, its pure bad luck that the timing and clumsy (not vicious) nature of shawcrosses challenge causes the leg to snap. Without that exact set of circumstances, shawcross wouldnt have been able to break a mans leg with his toe. It doesnt help ramsey, but its just unlucky. At least he's young enough to be able to heal quickly.
Even as a Spur fans, I'm deeply with the Gunners this time. We can't let these kind of *****ty team kill football game like this. They either park their bus in the field or break the other players' leg. Did we see any of the Top 4 teams like Arsenal/Man U defenders break their opponents leg. No!!! Because they don't need to. It's unfair to the big club that because you don't have the abilities to bring on quality players so that you tell your players to play phsyical.
Tuscan - I've said it in the forum and I'll repeat it here. It's the velocity of the tackle that is the problem. Watch it again at normal speed. Players should never be allowed to throw themselves into a tackle at such speeds, it's impossible to control yourself and it will, and did end in serious injury. It was NOT intentional, but that tackle was the sort of thing you see from drunk fat men on pitches round England on a Sunday morning when they're trying to exert their authority on the wiley youngster who's been skinning him all game.
Very true rocky7 it is the velocity and the stupidity but also the so called british mentality of all out and show who is tougher,yes we like these sort of players but one thing need to be made aware to them players out there,is that these players they are playing are human being and not robots or unbreakable. It is really sad to see that teams like stoke can exists or play in the premier league,no one is saying that they should try and play like arsenal but at least put into their heads and thought that you are risking seriously injuring someone out there,when i see this sort of injury you just want to see him banned from football because you know in another tense game,i bet you he will not hesitate in lunging the exact same way he did,these players need to see a shrink that will actually make them realise that they are human being and not some sort of machine with no brains to think properly This is the exact same tactics teams employ in the sunday league,all tough,rough and physical with no care for the opponents well being,they just seem to think it is football and you have to be tough,true but their must be limits to which you should go as we are not made of adamantium or unbreakable stuff,that is why i never play football too hard but maybe i don't earn what they do or could earn in case of victories so maybe this is also the other problem,the things these guys could get could be the reason they are ready to go to such extreme and forget that it is people like them they are putting at risk. And this not the first time shawcross has done these sort of things as he was also guilty of kicking ade of the game last year but the strange thing about him is that he was the one moaning and almost wanting to fight cesc for a fairly good tackle but still went harder than he needed to on aaron and in doing so forgetting and not caring about the consequences of his challenge. To me just think like human beings and i think they might be less bad injuries happening,of course there would always be unlucky ones but i am sure the ones like today would be more avoided if players took the time to actually kinda think through their next moves and not just lunge in,get well soon ramsey as he was just starting to show his true colours,i know this is not going to sound like much but the fact that he is only 19 would give more chances of hopefully getting over this injury than if he was in late 30s. Get well soon, come back and then we could think about you being better and stronger,bless.
Great points Rocky7. There was a great deal of bad luck in what happened to Ramsey, and I don't think there was bad intent from Shawcross at all. It was reckless though, and Rocky's point about velocity is well-made. Shawcross is just one more person who has absorbed a certain culture in English football that sings the praises of "committed" tackles, and belittles the technical and less reckless style of Arsenal as being "soft". It's a real macho attitude. Arsenal are hardly sin-free, but I've never seen players on our current team (aside from perhaps Eboue) tackle like that. Perhaps that's part and parcel of the toughness everyone says we are missing, but such an attitude needs to be balanced by basic concern for one's fellow man. It doesn't take a genius to recognise that throwing oneself around like that can have some dire consequences.
Gutted, gutted, gutted... get well soon Rambo. This is terrible. The Diaby tackle by Dan Smith was clearly malicious and nothing got done. I don't believe Shawcross was malicious but there is a duty of care between fellow professionals. You just can't go around flunging yourself into tackles like that. Accidents do happen but this one was avoidable. Tackling is an art and it is an essential part of the game. Still gutted. Some angry part of me enjoyed the Fabregas 'shush' finger and Rosicky's aggressive play when he came on. This is to show that as skillful as they are, they can swipe from behind too. Anyone can do that but not everyone can play football. Arsenal will not be bullied anymore. Sadly the FA won't do anything until this happens to a key England player and the public furore kicks in. Eduardo was vilified for being the victim.
Diaby was also 19 when he got tackled in 2006 and after a year out recovering he had many niggling injuries and is only showing his potential now almost 4 years after. That year out probably robbed him out of 2 years development. Eduardo was injured 2 years ago and he's struggling to get going and recapture his old assurance. Ramsey looks to be made of strong stuff and i hope the setback doesn't take too much out of him and he comes back to be the great player he was meant to be. These tackles have to stop.
The only way we are going to stamp out this type of challenge is with long bans and retrospective action, 3 games is simply not enough for causing someone's leg to hang off. Go back a week and think about Lorik Cana's disgraceful 2 footed lunge on Eboue, If Cana had been retrospectively banned for 4 games does Ryan Shawcross have this in his mind before the game kicks off? Some will say Cana shouldnt have received a ban for a tackle that caused no lasting damage but bans for this type of challenge will change the mind set of managers and players who use these tactics. On a separate note Tony Pulis showed what type of man he is by using Wengers upset as a reason to have a pop at him.
was blog hopping reading articles regardign this incident and stumble upon this gif. the resemblance is uncanny awesome.
Exactly, a lot of people seem to be forgetting that it's possible to have sympathy AND want him punished. I'm sure Shawcross regrets what happened, and I DO feel sorry for him, because I've always thought he seemed like a good guy, but that shouldn't detract from his punishment. As someone else pointed out, someone with a meticulous driving record is correctly punished just as severely as someone with a poor one if he runs someone over.
For all those fans sticking up for Shawcross, he made an awful challenge on Adebayor last season at their stadium when the ball was already off the pitch. I think without question that we are suffering these injuries because of the general philosophy on how to play Arsenal, absolutely without question. I'm so saddened for Aaron, he seems like such a great kid who had it all in front of him. Now we've also lost Song for the next 2 games, no Ramsey and probably no Diaby. I just can't believe our luck.
Very sad for the young man. It is solely up to the officials and FA to investigete and punish accordingly. Calls for protection from fans and players is beyond me. There are laws protecting players that are in place and need to be officiated properly, thats it. Whats funny is the double standards i see here, Eduardo is a cheat and a diver but now u lot call shawcross and stoke cheats etc. Ive seen many poor tackles from Arsenal players so please lets stop the political campaign...
I think the other thing I noticed from the slow-mo and free frame, that not only was Shawcross going for the ball not studs up but with the laces of his boots, but also at the moment of impact, Aaron's right foot was angled inwards almost as if he was shaping to hit the ball with the outside of his boots. Clearly the leg in that split second was at an angle that made Aaron's entire leg weaker. I am not sure how we could slow the velocity of the tackle down as Rocky7 suggests however. I think Pulis in the interview was a little bit foolish as was Wenger for suggesting some sort of conspiracy, but I think both can be forgiven as clearly everyone was still in shock.
"Eduardo is a cheat and a diver" - Firstly, whether that is true is debatable, and second, although diving is of course aweful, it doesn't break legs or cause any physical damage. They're both forms of foul play, but apart from that diving and making reckless challenges are two completely different issues.
Gooner_Vin, I think we'll have Diaby back for Burnley. We're a bit thin in midfield but Den, Diaby and Cesc should get the job done there. Hull away will be a bit more tricky though.
Arsenal Rob. Shawcross tackle is being labled delibarate by some on here. Is it not also debatable? Hence double standards as usual. U lot sit here and moan yet like ive said ive seen many of your players maliciously tackle opponents so please spare me the drama. What happened to Ramsey was very unfortunate but to suggest conspiracy theorys etc is childish to be honest.
Of course Shawcross was going for the ball and didn't intend to break Ramseys leg. But he went for the ball with a frontal assault which is always going to increase the force of impact, in an uncontrolled manner, with his 'wrong' foot knowing that even if he got the ball there was a strong chance that he would hurt the player. Where Ramseys foot was placed at the time is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Shawcross knew there was a strong chance of injury even if not ultimately as serious as it was. Until football gets it clear in its mind that there responsibility has to be exercised in these situations, especially, in an area of the pitch where there was no real danger to the defending team, and that reckless play has its consequence just as recklessness has in any other part of life, then these injuries are always going to occur. Treat Shawcross and players like him for the irresponsible, unthinking, recklessly dangerous fools that they are and the risks will be minimised.
Even though I thought it was just a clumsy challenge - I'd like to wish Ramsey a full and speedy recovery - even though I'm a Rover, I think he is a great young player and hopefully he'll get back playing soon.
Cesc is spot on. There is a line. Shawcross stepped over it. I feel that whether or not there was malice is irrelevant, it was a poor, clumsy challenge that has ultimately cost one of the brightest talents in Europe I'd imagine at least 6 months of football. I'm not saying he should necessarily be banned for 10 games but the injustice is there to see - that Shawcross misses 3 for putting Ramsey in a hospital bed with his leg shattered and Song misses 2 for picking up a few yellow cards, several of which, including the one he collected last night, are extremely debatable. My view on this is that it appears Wenger's claim, that other teams feel that "to stop Arsenal, you have to kick Arsenal" is correct. That they compensate for a lack of quality by intimidating our far superior players. But there are two ways of doing this. You can lunge in with horrific tackles as the so-called lesser teams have done, evident from the broken legs suffered by Ramsey, Eduardo and Diaby, or you can take the 'professional' approach. Now I don't like this tactic and I hate praising our rivals, but I think Chelsea and Manchester United have got it spot on. You could argue they have some 'dirty' players but you rarely, if ever, see them flying in two-footed. Instead, they deploy players like Mikel and Fletcher in front of the back four, who snap at the heels of the likes of Fabregas and concede little fouls by tripping them up or simply getting their body in the way. It's clever because the fouls are small and 'bitty' and therefore they escape a yellow card, but they stop any momentum we may have gained. The combination of this tactic and obviously having quality players is key to their success. I think Wenger has tried to copy the blueprint with Song this season but he has often been punished with bookings. Whether this is down to sloppiness and inexperience in the challenge from Song, or whether the referees really do just hate us, I don't know, but either way that is why their are superior. At the moment. But the title is definitely still within reach. If anything, this horrible incident could inspire the team. So let's go and win it for Rambo!
Mix26, I'm not arguing about what other people think. I don't think Shawcross set out to injure Ramsey, but it was still a very, very reckless challenge. You say you've seen such challenges from our players, but I can't remember one as bad as that, and very few anywhere close. And I don't think anyone's suggesting any 'conspiracy theories'. Everyone knows that the most popular tactic against Arsenal is the old 'getting at 'em' one, it's not a hidden secret - in fact, both managers and pundits alike encourage it. But, as said earlier, such a tactic can be deployed in different ways. There's the cleaner, classier method that we've come up against vs the likes of Chelsea, Man U and Everton this season, where players are quick to close us down and possibly catch us with a cheeky, deliberate, but not malicious foul, and then there's the method used by those with less skill, such as Stoke, Bolton and Blackburn, in which players just run to their opponents and either barge them, hack them down, or just furiously lash out. Of course Shawcross didn't mean to seriously injure Ramsey, but I bet he was asked to put enough force into his tackles to leave the opposition shaken - so that we know in our minds to rush our passes for fear of recieving a leg-breaking tackle. This isn't how football should be played. If you're going to make us rush our passes, make it because we're afraid of loosing the ball, not our legs. With enough skill, it can be, and has been done.
Actually Mix, I'm not sure if anyone has said Shawcross tried to break Ramseys leg. It's deffinately not the common view here. Infact few people mention his tackle on Ade, or that he broke Jeffers(correct me if I'm wrong?) There were many examples of great commited chalenges (Gael C in a few) with both players staying on their feet. But this wasn't commitment is was recless. If it was a 50-50 chanenge then surely both players should either be sliding or both standing seeing as 50-50 means 'all things being equal'. On the point of strong challeges to intimidate, remember the takle from behind on Walcott at Brum City only minutes into his return from injury? Ther was no need to go in hard(certainly not to win the ball) but that seems to be the 'way to stop skillful players'
No 10
On Cesc tackle from behind I think he was lucky not to get sent off. Not that it. Was dangerous just that he did it to make a point and refs don't like that. All the best Arron
No 10
Kernowboy - He doesn't slow down the tackle, he just dones't make the tackle at all. He was moving far too fast towards Ramsey to responsibily make a considered challenge. Ramsey was in his own half and going nowhere. He went in far too hard and fast from feet away ... he had no chance of making the tackle properly. That's my point, inexperienced or poor players being told to get stuck in and rough players up is going to end in disaster. They don't have the experience or talent to judge a situation and quickly assess if the tackle can be made hard but far and ***** like this happens. When you get people like Pulis and Fuller making comments BEFORE a game that claim they are going to rough us up, the first player who commits a cynical foul should be sent from the field as it's clearly pre-meditated, by a long long margin.
Firstly, I am a Villa fan, and I want to wish Aaron Ramsey a speedy recovery. I watched the video on Match of the Day last night, and while I agree that the Shawcross tackle was poorly timed, if you look at it again, (1) he clearly didn't go in with his studs up, (2) Aaron Ramsey's leg was planted in the ground and horribly bent even before the impact. I don't believe in an over physical approach and love to see good players, like your team produces, in full flight, but I have to say that Ryan Shawcross, a product of the Man Utd academy, may not be the thug that he is being portrayed as in some sections of the media today, and that Aaron Ramsey is just an unfortunate victim of a poorly timed challenge. Good luck for the rest of the season to all Gunners.
From another article - The same cannot be said of a portion of the Stoke support. While many generously applauded Ramsey off, probably feeling for him as a human being, not a rival footballer, there were some who thought it appropriate to sing ‘You’ve only got one leg’ as the poor kid was whisked away towards an ambulance. Others abused him with hand signals and jeers. Frankly, the actions of that minority were utterly disgusting, and I hope there were instances where right-minded Stoke supporters took it on themselves to let their idiotic colleagues know exactly how out of line they were. Absolutely horrendous.
this was a year ago;
No more **** excuses for Shawcross. He broke Franny jeffers leg 2 years ago and nearly decaptiated Adebayor last season, remember gooners? A drink driver doesn't mean to kill anyone, but does that mean he should be let off or painted as the victim if he DOES kill someone? Of cours enot and the usual hypcritical bulls*it from the media and it's idiotic sympathisers.
Madirish - You are talking rubbish, leave it out. he did it to jeffers AND adebayor, where they also accidents?
I wish Aaron a speedy recovery like any sane football fan would, but seriously Rocky7 and all the other doom-sayers, what game were you watching? The conspiracy theories need to stop. The ball was loose and if anyone had a right to the ball it was Shawcross (the last player to have touched it, prior to the incident). Ramsey AND Shawcross went in hard on each other and spreading untruths like "Ramsey was in is own half and going nowhere" is purely an attempt to raise hatred towards Shawcross. Shawcross meant no malice, it was wreckless and unfortunate challenge and I believe he's feeling utterly distraught. Venting hate at Shawcross isn't going to change what happened. To try and claim it was Shawcross's intent is just as bad as wishing ill feeling on Ramsey. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Yid Singer
AAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!! How is it an untruth to say Ramsey was in his own half and in a position that posed no danger to Stoke? It is an absolute truth that that is EXCATLY where he was. Your response is utter bull*****, you obviously haven't read the majority of the comments here, or the article. It's not the player we're mad at it's the theory that you need to kick Arsenal to beat us. As Amos said in the forums, Chelsea and Man Utd beat us often enough without resorting to these tactics. It's it just coincidence that all the severe injuries are suffered by top teams whilst playing away at smaller teams? I think not.
What is untrue about "Ramsey was in is own half and going nowhere" ? Where was he then? Shawcross had no need to make a tackle at all he wasn't in any position to gain controlled possession unless like Ramsey he was able to stay on his feet. It was a reckless challenge tantamount to running a red light. Most times you'll get away with it - sometimes you won't. Players need to be taught to see the red lights.
Things like this will continue to happen so long as the players aren't properly punished. In my honest opinion they should start criminally charging these thugs. Hurting people isn't a part of the game, it's clear as day that when he went into the challenge he had the intend to either intimidate or do some damage to Ramsey, the fact that he hurt Ramsey more than he intended is irrelevant to me.
"Ramsey was in his own half and going nowhere. He went in far too hard and fast from feet away ... he had no chance of making the tackle properly."..... That's exactly what you said Rocky7, so don't half-quote what you said. I'm not making it up, you said it. And yes I have read the comments on here and mine were aimed at the conspiracy theorists (like you) that seem to believe this type of potentially career ending tackle is intentional and always aimed at Arsenal players. It's a sad thing when this happens, but it happens and not just to Arsenal. David Busst anyone? And if you're claiming it's not a co-incidence, you must be claiming it's intentional. Either you're a conspiracy theorist, or you're not. Yesterday was an accident.
Yid Singer
It isn't a coincidence that things like this keep happening to us and to a degree there is intent behind it. When teams play against us they try to rough us up, that mindset leads to dangerous challenges which injure our players. In all honesty I think Taylor, Shaw and Danny Smith should be charged with either ABH or GBH. If I push someone and they fall over and seriously injure themselves I would be criminally liable. This is something that bothers me about football, the mindset that it is seperate from the law you see it in things like trying to limit the number of foreign players ignoring the illegality of it.
I suggest you watch the video again. It was a loose ball that both players went for. I'll say it again, he was wreckless in the challenge but hardly malicious. As many have already stated, Ramsey was quicker (just) to the ball and his studs were firmly embedded in the turf, his leg was even bowing. A second later Shawcross made contact, studs DOWN. 1 second, less even. Footballers can't always pull out of tackles so quickly, especially when both have opposing forward momentums. Shawcross had a right to go for the ball, just as Ramsey did. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous and tantamount to saying teams should just let Arsenal win every ball. Get real.
Yid Singer
That is exactly what I said .... and show me again where I am wrong. Please. And I didn't say it was intentional, infact pop over to the article that reports the injury for confirmation ... it was 100% unintentional. The point is that these accidents are more likely to occur when teams are allowed to adopt these tactics, tactics which aren't within the spirit or the laws of the game. It's not a conspiracy theory, the facts are that Arsenal are the most fouled team in the Premiership, we have had 3 players suffer career threatening injuries in 4 years, all injuries have occured at away grounds of "smaller" teams in the league by English players ingrained with the physical mentality and buoyed on by the media. With the World Cup coming p this year I think it's appropriate to point out the reason why England never does well in these tournaments ... it's because whilst the rest of the footballing world has moved forward, spending time technically improving their players, the English coaches can be found making young players run laps and promoting tough tackling and "English grit" instead of getting these kids playing with a ball. These are all issues that culminate in players lying with their legs hanging off.
To bring the pushing comparison in is ludicrous. Football is a contact sport, don't be so idiotic.
Yid Singer
YS, what's most telling in your post is that the most recent example you could think of was David Busst from 1996. I can think of Larsson and Cisse- though neither of those players were injured by tackles but by awkward landings. Arsenal have had three players in three ahd a half years sustain this type of injury, the last player you could think of was 14 years ago this April.
Little Dutch
Yid Singer you're not looking at the facts because you don't want to. Arsenal have had three leg breaks all brought about by the same philosophy and approach to playing Arsenal. This is a concept that is commonly broached by the media. Serious injuries like this are happening far too often against Arsenal for it NOT to be a specific tactic used against us, not necessarily to injure but to prevent players from playing their normal game.
Sir Henry
" was 100% unintentional. The point is that these accidents are more likely to occur when teams are allowed to adopt these tactics, tactics which aren't within the spirit or the laws of the game." You're contradicting yourself here. Either it's unintentional or it isn't. If you're claiming their tactics aren't in the spirit or laws of the game, what is it that you're exactly trying to say? that they are breaking the football law and are intentionally trying to harm opposition? Sounds like it to me. These "unlawful" tactics occur week in week out, have done for decades. Personally, I don't think a hard tackle is unlawful, it's a part of the game that Arsenal choose not to adopt. Spurs are much the same. Chelsea and to a lesser extent Man Utd on the other hand do adopt it, are they also "unlawful" teams?
Yid Singer
And who said "conspiracy"? There's nothign conspiratorial about it, it's out in the open. Are you honestly saying you've not seen the "Arsenal don't like it up em" line trotted out before? Why does Shawcross need to go in with that force? Let's say he times the tackle perfectly and wins the ball. What happens? It flies thirty yards up the pitch and Arsenal get a goal kick. What does that gain Shawcross and Stoke? ***** all, that's what.
Little Dutch
That isn't themost recent example I could think of. Cisse (twice), Modric, Dyer, Larsson, Eduardo to name a few. These have all had leg breaks/inhuries, many just accidental. I mentioned Busst as some of you seem to think it only happens to "top" teams.
Yid Singer
YS, you're the archetypal victim of this media mindset that can't distinguish between physicality and violence, a fair tackle and one designed to intimidate. Your arguments are stoick standard and have been trotted out a million times before which is why this ***** persists. It's all black and white, you've variously tried to claim that we want tackling outlawed, that Shawcross either meant harm or it was a legitimate challenge, that you either have to be a conspiracy nut or you have to think it's a coincidence. You take no time to see the grey areas, such as that when a player careers into a tackle at 100mph he's much more liekly to break a leg than if he goes into it at 20mph, just as you've more chance of killing a pedestrian if you mow them down at 100mph as opposed to 20mph. Stop taking the argument to such extremes and try and appreciate some of the semantics.
Little Dutch
YS - I'll try one last time as it feels as though I'm banging my head against a brick wall, and it's obvious you don't want to see what's right infront of you. Prior to yesterday's match Stoke players openly stated that they were going to kick us ... that IS againt the rules, it's premeditated, and it's a cheap *****ty tactic. When players are told to enforce this procedure it's mor likely that they are going to get it wrong and hurt a fellow professional. So whilst the tackle itself was not made to hurt Aaron, it's a by product of the unfair and unlawful tactics that smaller teams are allowed to use to compensate for their lack of talent, and it's accepted as a leveller.
Reverse your argument LD, the ball was going nowhere when Ramsey "won" it.
Yid Singer
Whatever guys. We're obviously at an impasse and none of us will change our minds. Stoke have their way of playing. It's rough yes, but not unlawful. Not every team can play like Arsenal, ALL teams play to their strengths. If you don't get that yet, you really should think about watching another sport. I don't particularly like their tactics, but I don't label an individual (or a team) unlawful because of it.
Yid Singer
Comparing the incident to pushing isn't ludicrous the point was to show that it doesn't matter whether you don't have to have the intent to seriously injure someone to be liable for their injuries. Football is a contact sport but it has rules, I'm pretty sure that you're not allowed to hurt your opposition or try and intimidate them even though these things are allowed to an extent they usually don't result in serious injury so the individual doesn't get punished. When these things result in a serious injury the offender should have to take responsibility as far as I'm concerned. When players are held to the same standards as people on the streets they will perhaps be more careful.
YS, your comments are so cliched and hackneyed that talksport and MOTD would do well to feature them.
Sorry for the double post, I know what I'm saying seems harsh but the reality is people are allowed to excuse thuggery with ''It's part of the game'' too much. With the exception of Danny Smith I don't believe the players set out to seriously injure the players I do believe they tried to hurt and intimidate them with the challenges. It didn't work out they should have to pay the consequences for their thuggery.
Your's on the other hand are pointless and merely designed to insult. Well done. Over and out.
Yid Singer
If Stoke's play isn't unlawful YS then why did they have a player sent off? Why are they 3rd bottom of the PL disciplinary table? A reckless challenge, which you claimed yourself is what it was, is an unlawful challenge. There is no question of that. You haven't even attempted to explain why a tackle of that nature in that area of the pitch was justified. Your whole argument is riven with the contradictions of an intentionally closed mind.
I honestly believe your style of play has nothing to do with the injurys you recieve. I think yesterdays tackle was poorly timed, but studs were not raised and there was clearly no malice. I for once understand Wengers frustration when looking at his misguided comments, to see another one of his players with a shocking leg break must be very hard to take. However these things happen, Modric had his leg broken this season by serial thug Lee Bowyer, and possibly the worst tackle ive ever seen was Kevin Nolans on Victor Anichebe last season. The only thing i found shocking in the game yesterday was the Stoke fans evil chanting after the injury. Just appauling and if anybody is to recieve extra diciplinary action it should be Stoke City for their fans behaviour. "Youve only got one leg" is worse than anything ive ever heard to be quite honest.
HY, other teams have had players with broken legs, and I'm sure we wouldnt be crying hoarse if it had just stopped with Diaby. No other team has suffered so many leg breaks - surely, its got to be the result of harder or more forceful tackles. Other teams also have skillful players, there have been other instances of rash tackles but no other team with 3 leg breaks in 5 seasons.
@Yid Singer - if the Spuds played the silky footy for which the Arsenal are well known and had three - THREE - of these horror leg-breaker tackles inside 4 years, when it is well known that the popular approach to playing Arsenal is "kick 'em, they don't like ir" (popularised by that fat **** Allardyce among others) would you be on your board telling people not to overreact? Once is an accident, twice is unfortunate, three times and someone is taking the *****.
Whether there was malice or intent is irrelevant other than in the morality of a player willing injuring someone else. In the context of the game the officials are only concerned with serious foul play or committing a foul "in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force". Shawcross's challenge meets all 3 of these criteria. You can't judge malice or intent other than in the case of Roy Keane nor is there much point in trying to do so. What you can do is ensure that "serious foul play" which this tackle was is punished appropriately and that players take into account in their play the consequence of tackles that are careless, reckless and/or using excessive force on the livelyhoods of fellow professionals.
Yid Singer seems to be even more advanced than hodfound in the moron of the millenium competition. Zero intellect and yet 100% cocksure.
Maybe it is your style of play.The inter passing is so quick and Ramsey had gone while Shawcross was still thinking about it. Maybe Arsenal are victims of circumstance. Eduardo and Ramseys injuries were caused by big centre backs,not deft or quick enough. I feel gutted for the lad. Obviously teams go out to soften Arsenal up. Off the top of my head I cant remember any bad tackles in recent Chelsea v Arsenal matches. Chelsea have been efficient but not dirty. I'm sure someone will put me right if there has been.In fact Ancelotti's Chelsea don't crowd the ref and their yellow cards are down. Apart from 2 red yesterday,Vidic never got sent off today for what Belletti did yesterday, we've been fairly good
To me shawcross has actually showed a real problem with knowing when to be aggressive or to tackle someone as he is not the best at making the right decisions,judging by him breaking jeffers ankle in tackling him from behind 2 adebayor tackled on his ankle when the ball had gone out of play 3 not need to tackle ramsey as he was so far away from the goal but i guess he lacks intelligence like a lot of british thugs in the league who would be real thugs if he wasn't for them playing in the premiership. This is really the problem with the english mindset as the media thinks it is ok to be physical and that peopel should man up but to me these players should at use common sense to know when they need to make these sort of tackles but also to know that they could actually seriously hurt some players,this is the same mentality a lot of them have in the sunday leagues where i have seen people pretty much try and take people out why because it ok . Not wishing it on anyone but i really wonder how would the media react if wayne rooney was to get seriously injured this way but i am sure then the fa would certainly do something about it,right now it is only foreigners of arsenal that seem to be affected so no big deal which says hypocrisy and polite racism if you ask me,the same way the media forgets about gerrard diving antics but cries foul anytime a foreigner does.
HY, your point about Modric actually backs up what Gooners are saying here. Modric is your most technically proficient player, so the thugs from less-skilled teams see nasty tackles as the way to get at him, hence his broken leg. Arsenal has lots of players who play at that skill level, so we get that treatment all the time.
The "accidental" argument being put forward by Yid Singer misses the point. It was an accident that happened because Shawcross was doing something reckless and dangerous. If you drive your car at twice the speed limit and accidentally kill someone, it's not just considered an accident - it's manslaughter.
This is the sort of **** Arsenal FC has to put up with where othe rclubs always escape unpunished - 'Of course it was silly of Arsene Wenger to demand a life ban for Taylor. In retracting his demand within a matter of hours, Wenger himself effectively admitted as much. The reaction to Wenger's reaction was telling, however. No latitude was given for a manager understandably emotional and irrational as he spoke in the heat of a tragic moment. Denouncements, including one by this website, were swift, and so unrestrained that Wenger almost became the villain of the piece. Will those denouncements of 'chronic myopia' be retracted now that Wenger has himself seen sense? The myopia around Wenger is increasingly the one-eyed perspective in which his critics regard his every uttering, seeking instances of hysteria and hypocrisy with the sort of dedication more commonly associated with an Olympic athlete... While Wenger was castigated, McLeish's suggestion that Eduardo's injury may have been caused by "his studs being caught in the grass" was allowed to pass without scrutiny let alone criticism. So too his statement that "he [Taylor] didn't feel he made that much contact with Eduardo". Presumably contact is difficult to maintain once a leg has been snapped in half' - Winners & Losers, February 24, 2008.
Yid Singer - Not only are you a prize idiot you are ignorant to boot. Why not pi** off somewhere else and wind up other people instead of Gooners who have the hump over yet another one of their players having his leg rearranged. Moron.
I wish the boy a full and speedy recovery. I recall an assault by Gallas on Bolton's Mark Davies. Arsenal scored an equaliser which was the direct result of this then went on to win a match they were clearly losing. Mark Davies at the time was running the show and could easily have had his leg broken. There was clear intent on Gallas's part it was also reckless. This "it only happens to us mentality is laughable".
Yeah, the force with which Shawcross clattered into Ramsey is comprable to Gallas who stood there whilst Davies slid into him, eah, well done. Dickhead.
Little Dutch
English football is still stuck in the dark ages where brute strength and machismo are still prided well above skill and dexterity, and we wonder why we don't produce more technically gifted players.

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