Media Miss The Point On Ramsey Injury

The usual suspects have lined up to defend Ryan Shawcross’ challenge on Aaron Ramsey, blithely dismissing it as ‘one of those things, football is so fast‘. It is not one of those things because football is faster now, nor is it acceptable because there are ‘40-50 tackles which are just as bad‘ – Alan Hansen fearing that Steven Gerrard will be pulled up for his usual two-footed lunge at some point.

As is normal, apologists are stating that the manner in which Arsenal play invites a more robust approach from opponents. In admitting that, English players and coaches roundly invite themselves severe criticism for failing to improve the native talents to control and pass a football.

If that is the standard that the English have, little wonder that Arsene has brought in substantial numbers of overseas players, the legacy of Charles Hughes and Howard Wilkinson stretches down the years.

Some in the press box are castigating Shawcross, principally for recklessness. Martin Samuel and Patrick Barclay (on Sunday Supplement) agree that Arsenal are targetted, that Wenger does have a point when he complained of the intimidatory tactics employed over the years.

Nothing can be done about it on the part of the Football Association in terms of the tactics adopted by the Premier League teams. The Laws of the Game exist and provide ample opportunity for officials to clamp down on illegal tackles. A spate of matches where the opposition end up with 9 or less players would quickly get the message through and must be applied across the league evenly. No favours asked, none given, simple enforcement of the laws.

The impact on the squad of Ramsey’s injury remains to be seen. On Saturday it seems to have been motivational, reinforcing the desire to take three points to close the gap to the top. Galvanising as it was for 30 minutes, long-term benefits may not be so apparent. The desire to be Champions was there in the first place, the mental strength to win should accompany that. Perhaps a ‘siege mentality’ may emerge and add a crucial 5% to that which they already possess.

The players would not be so crass as to say that they are going to win it for Ramsey; they wanted the title anyway. This incident can be the bonding moment that the team want, a way of focussing in the short-term at least. Thereafter, as the personal feelings subside from their initial concern and anger – tied to the ongoing recovery of the Ramsey – momentum can be built.

With the internationals taking up this week, Arsene has little time to work on the players. Next weekend Burnley visit The Emirates, like Sunderland a team that is struggling to buy a win or even a point, the departure of Owen Coyle a key moment. That provides an outlet for Arsenal to continue the strength of performance that was shown in the last 70 minutes at the weekend.

Arsenal has made a page available for messages of goodwill to be passed to Aaron Ramsey, here.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 1, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 250 Comments.

  1. Forgive me for repeating my point made just before you posted.

    Why is “intent” regarded as a justification? The difference is as between murder and manslaughter. You may feel that murder is the more heinous crime. But in both cases someone dies. And in both cases someone’s else pre-meditated actions were responsible. The actions were intentional, even if the outcome was not.

  2. Great post. Predictably the wife-beating perverted moron Collymore is spouting his inane shite in a tabloid this morning. Good to see a couple of real journalists being more reasonable.

  3. “40-50 tackles which are just as bad” is a statement that can’t be countered by anyone who has witnessed the Merseyside derby or for that matter the Blackburn-Bolton match. But how on earth does that make those tackles acceptable is beyond me.
    Some of the arguments that has been flowing in the media like “They are well-paid so should not complain” are obnoxious to put it mildly.

    And yes, Stan Collymore has brains as big as his balls, which is non-existent.

  4. William Davies

    The punishment should fit the crime. If a player is fouled and injured, the ‘fouler’ should be banned until the ‘foulee’ returns, unpaid. That would stop these kinds of tackles in a heartbeat.

  5. Missed the Sunday Supplement but will listen to the podcast. It’s a shame that Barclay didn’t mention it in his column today, instead focusing on the Carling Cup final; Getting rid of the Glazers; Pompey in administration and Joleon Lescott for England.

    The time has come for the media to stop the vile words written by Collymore and Hansen and take a responsible line that tackles like the one which took out Ramsey are not welcome in our game.

    I suspect today will be the last we will hear. Another day, another story.

    But we should not stop our campaign to bring justice for Arsenal players.

  6. I note that Tony Cascarino is sticking to stereotype and continuing his anti-wenger feud with a didnt even warrant a red card comment in The Times.

  7. There is a hypocrisy that runs through football peddaled by the likes of Hansen,Shearer and the idiot Collymore.Can you imagine the furore that would have existed today had Rooney or Lampard were injured by such a tackle.

    Over and over again the noton – idea that Football is a Man’s game is indicative of the mentality that continues to pervades in the English game – we all know there is a physical element just as there is a skill element.

    If my memeory serves me correct was it not the same R Shawcross who was responsible for breaking he ankle of one Francis Jeffers a few seasons ago.

    Wenger is correct in his thinking that teams do go out to “get in the faces”of Arsenal players ” because as many are not natives of the UK they perceived as not liking the physical aspect of the game..

    I think that Patrick Barclay of the Times is one of the few ‘Journalists” who actually has some depth and more importantly has the Balls to tell like it is. We need responsible unbiased reporting and the FA to give guidance to referees to stamp this out..Will we get this directive from the FA no…keep up the works

  8. Flint McCullough

    Excellent, as usual YW!!

    I think we shall have our answer to whether this will provide even more motivation (or the opposite) in our next 2 matches- Burnley & Hull. The latter in particular as it will be very much in the mould of the Stoke game.

    It is not really possible to get any satisfaction from the punditry. Even Keown & Dixon were towing the party line. Split second late, unlucky etc….

    That being the case even they, who are relatively recently retired, missed the point. This lad was late & to me it wasn’t a tackle at all. He was trying to kick a ball that was no longer there & Ramsey got the full impact. I am happy that there was no malice but there was such a poor level of awareness & technique from a player, who is not only performing regularly in the top flight of English football, but has now just been picked for the England squad.

    He has previous – Jeffers & Ade (definately malicious yet condoned by Jonathon Pierce – yet another to tow the party line).

    Arseblogger has put in a couple of must reads. Today he has a quote from Bentner. I would love to know the true thoughts of Sol Campbell. If the break had not looked so bad & shocking I have a feeling that this would have caused a major bundle.

    Sol’s conduct after the incident says it all for me.

    Meanwhile England will struggle to add to its solitary trophy/final, because brawn is still of greater value than technique for the bone headed majority of football fans in this country.

  9. when wayne rooney gets his leg broken, i want those same people to tell me that football is a man’s game.

  10. I like Wenger’s comments about his respect for the English game with its physical side and its total commitment. I consider it as more or less genuine. You only have to watch a French league match to see what you get if you take the passion and commitment out of the game. It is this intensity that makes the English game so good. But where would the English game be without the beautiful football we dish up? There needs to be a balance, otherwise the technically superior but physically inferior players will start to drift out of our game and go elsewhere. Leaving us with what? Thinking about the idea that was raised in the Sunday Supplement about Arsene being an outsider in the Premier League club of managers who supposedly like to share a bottle of wine after a game, (something that Arsene has said in the past, does not interest him.) I wonder if this isolation from the other managers is something he could consider mending. Having said that, would you share a bottle of something with Pulis after that match, or Alladyce, or Brown? But that leaves at least another fifteen managers he might.

  11. Whilst the injury is the big story, what was an excellent display from the team should not be lost entirely.

    Having watched the second half again twice since, there were some extremely promising signs for us.

    Clichy had an excellent game, he looked back to his best. Let’s hope the form holds now he has had a chance to get his fitness back.

    Eboue was brilliant, just superb.

    Bendtner scored a cracking goal when we really needed it to get us back in the game – it was a half chance well taken that gave us the platform to really play our game after the break.

    Nasri keeps getting better and better.

    Campbell has been brilliant since he returned – a brilliant signing by Wenger, just what we needed for the short-term.

    If the squad as a whole can maintain this level of form and performance (without 3 first choice players, excluding rvp) then we will be tough to stop in the league. Like last years winners, we are just too good for the teams lower down the table, this will bring us the title now.

    Let’s hope we do the business against Porto as well now.

  12. Anyone got a link for the Shawcross tackles on Adebayor and Jeffers?

  13. Other blogs are already in overdrive on this attacking Wenger and sweeping this incident under the carpet. You’re fighting a losing battle sadly. Until an England star… and I mean a real star… gets a broken leg, nobody will sit up and take notice.

  14. Why English FA ignore this horrible foul? B/c they hate this foreigner club /Arsen`s arsenal/. B/c showcross /anti cross/ is English man.

  15. Shawcross tackle on Adebayor:

    Turns out he IS that type of player

  16. I’m happy with the mature response of almost all Arsenal fans and some responses of the neutrals. This should be the moment when this problem becomes well addressed. Players are clearly told to get at Arsenal by roughing them up. They announce that frankly in the media and more importantly they are proud of doing it.

    Margins between hard/fair and hard/dangerous is not small. Chelsea is a very good example, players such as Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and John Terry, they out-muscled their opponents and, in doing so, out-played them, too. Competing with their athleticism, which then lead to domination in technical areas. This is a part of adequate football.

    The other, more beautiful part, is what Arsenal do; winning by out-passing the opponent. This was the reason to make me a proud fan of Arsenal. I’m an overseas fan, born and raised in baghdad and lives in Holland since 11 years. I was attracted few years ago to the best league in the world and in no time I was a crazy about the fascinating football of arsenal.

    No body should be allowed to compensate for his technical inferiority through rough tackling. The media has created a climate which legitimizes rough tactics as a way of beating us. this gives also explanation to arsenals (always) long injury list. Wenger moaning about that, but was always dismissed.

    As a foreigner I’m very aware what the media can create in the mind of people .. and even I’m coming from iraq, which tells enough about what I had seen, I was very emotional and almost crying for what happened to Ramsey. The media does not kill people now, fortunately. The media kills football. Pure football should be protected … Arsenal should be protected.

  17. The Sunday supplement’s take on the Ramsey incident.

    It goes to how that there are some sensible voices out there, unfortunately the idiots are able to shout louder.

  18. YW- Thanks for your great blogs, I read daily. I urge you to dedicate the next few weeks to continue exposing the stupidity of the so-called football analysists and media. As arseblog pointed out, a lot of teams openly set out to kick arsenal. instead of shaming them, the english media actualy condones this behaviour and here are the results. football is the beautiful, except to the english media who want it to be Thug’s Paradise!! Arsenal is trying to play football the way it should be played- beautiful, skillfull; but the talentless idiots and english media would rather maime players trying to play the game right. They are all morons, spineless thugs and immoral cunts!!

  19. YW- Thanks for your great blogs, I read daily. I urge you to dedicate the next few weeks to continue exposing the stupidity of the so-called football analysists and media. As arseblog pointed out, a lot of teams openly set out to kick arsenal. instead of shaming them, the english media actualy condones this behaviour and here are the results. football is the beautiful game, except to the english media who want it to be Thug’s Paradise!! Arsenal is trying to play football the way it should be played- beautiful, skillfull; but the talentless idiots and english media would rather maime players trying to play the game right. They are all morons, spineless thugs and immoral cunts!!

  20. mingus,

    do you honestly believe big sam drinks wine?

    if he does, i bet he drinks them straight from the bottle, and the cheapest from those discount supermarkets!

  21. A real shame, especially as Ramsey was starting to put in some very mature but dynamic performances. I just hope than Diaby can stay clear of too many injuries before hte end of the season now.

    If Diaby does pick up an injury I hope Wenger plays Rosicky or Nasri to partner Cesc. Denilson is obvisouly cover for Song, and rightly so but we lose that bit of emphasis from the midfield when Denilson plays next to Cesc.

  22. It’s a pity that Shawcross will only be banned for 3 games while Ramsey will be out for up to a 1 year.

    This kind of tackle should attract a harsher penalty. These players/managers feel the only way to play Arsenal is to kick our players off the pitch- if they think they can play, then play football and stop the kungfu tactics.

    Get well soon Aaron

  23. Gunner From Nigeria

    Its sad that some so called football pundits have by their comments tried to play down the severity of Ramsey’s injury by criticising Arsene Wenger.
    Its even more shameful that some have not deem fit to realize that what is involved here is the life of a person. And not just any other thing without value.
    When a Deportivo La Carona player broke the metatarsal bone of David Beckham in CL match few months before the 2OO2 World Cup, the English media was awash with strong criticism for the said player. But, it always the opposite when it happens to somebody else.
    Nemesis would soon catch up with the English media before long.

  24. Another great article. Keep ’em coming.
    I’m not a regular reader of Arseblog…but I’d urge anyone who hasn’t already to read his posts from the last couple of days. His near righteous anger at this whole disgusting affair is a joy to behold and expresses how most true football fans feel.
    Patrick Barclay remains one of the more sensible and articulate of football journalists. Sadly he’s one of an ever dwindling minority. Most of the rest ’em are just hacks looking for the sensationalist headline to feed the hungry trolls and keep their dwindling industry alive.
    You really didn’t expect insight or intelligence from that almighty loud mouthed pillock Collymore and the thoroughly odious Cascarino did you? don’t click on the articles. Simples.
    Show your support by sending messages to that lad lying in a hospital bed and fingers crossed he makes a full and swift recovery.
    Talent, hopefully, will out.

  25. Collymore and Cascarino? Pffft. They are both idiots.

    I am pretty sure Cascarino just says things to be contraverstial, whilst Collymore is a genunely thick person. A proper plank.

  26. I am a Liverpool fan and I wholeheartedly agree with everything said on this page! The point that if this happened to someone like Wayne Rooney is a good one. If that did happen, the player who committed the foul would become a national hate figure, particularly in the tabloids. I don’t see as many Arsenal games as you guys do so I obviously haven’t noticed such a pattern of aggression against your team, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I saw LFC play Blackburn yesterday and it is obvious that Sam Allardyce sends his players out to hurt the opposition when they can’t overcome them with skill alone. A notable point here is that Chelsea also seem to adopt aggressive tactics, but still manage to be awarded about 5 times more fouls than their opposition, but that’s another story!!
    As for Collymore he is a total tosser and it galls me when ex-players get pundit status when they obviously don’t understand the game (playing it doesn’t necessarily mean they understand enough to analyse it!). I have written to various newspaper editors complaining of the views of these so called experts before.
    I sincerely hope Aaron Ramsey makes a full and speedy recovery and also that Arsenal win the PL this year. The latter may well have more to do with my hatred of Manu & Chelsea, but I do have a lot of respect for your team and fans. The fans because when it was the 20th anniversary of Hillsborough it was Arsenal fans who showed great sympathy and compassion in various ways.
    So good luck for the rest of the season and hopefully no more injuries!

  27. The English press remains biased all the time. When it is a foreign player the it is ok but when it involves an England player then the roof comes down.

    What would happen if Rooney were to get a bad tackle from say, Viera- he would probably get a 10 game ban.

    The English players will likely get something like this soon and then we will see what Collymore has to say then

  28. Like soldiers at war,a wounded colleague won’t be reason enough to quit, this however should galvanize the arsenal squad the more to cross the finish line first.up the gunners.YES WE CAN

  29. 1 loose cannon

    goonerandy – Collymore is wife beater and not a normal person.
    Chukwudu.-If Viera breaks Gerard’s leg War will be declared on France as we know france already have WMDs so it will be a perfect excuse to go in and smash the Eiffel tower and their brie cheese factories for fun.


    the reason why we are not the most fouled team in the league is because referees don’t award us all the fouls we have had.

  31. I feel a great deal of sympathy for wife-beaters. Imagine how they must feel when they realise they have hurt the person they love most in the world. It must be terrible for them.

  32. Flint McCullough

    Thanks Ben.

    It is good to know that we are not totally alone.

    Hull & Stoke, who are relatively new to the PL, generally fill their grounds but the vast swathes of empty seats at Bolton & Blackburn tell their own story.

  33. No one’s saying that it was intentional … just a by-product of “getting stuck in” to an Arsenal deemed “not up for a fight”.

    These tactics are sanctioned by managers, and enthusiastically carried out by players.

    Three broken legs in four years … how many other sides have had even one in ten?

    But what do you expect from thickie Stoke players, half-witted journalists, simple-minded media pundits. Which reminds me … anyone know Alan Green’s take on this?

  34. im fed up with hearing how st ryan didn’t go out intentionally to scythe ramsey’s leg off. nobody is saying that what arsenal fans are saying is that we are targetted and there does seem to be an opposition mantra of “get in their faces they don’t like it up em mr mainwairing” and 3 broken legs in 4 years bears testament to this.

    if you want a real laugh then listen to the stoke fan in the last 5 minutes of sunday evening’s 606 phone in on 5live who claimed that it wasn’t even a foul in the first place.

  35. Thanks for your reasoned comment Ben. Watch out for Stevie G though!

  36. It is embarrassing to see idiots talking about “a man’s game” etc. There are clear rules, and the FA and the referees need to start acting instead of play-acting.

    Or will it be necessary to start defending your team by following the tradition of a REAL men’s game, ice hockey? Where physical contact is approved by the rules, and teams have their own enforcers – “goons” or “police” – to punish the opponent for extremeties?

    Hmm… maybe we really SHOULD hire a few players of the thug mould, retired Blackburn players for example and no football skills necessary, to scythe down the opposition kickers or star players in the last 5 minutes? Enough of them to be able to rotate during three game suspensions.

    Is there any other way to protect our players if the FA do not? Is this the only way to survive – the war path?

  37. If I had the facilities I would look at all the games and make a video of all the fouls that haven’t been awarded to us this season. And then I would post it to the FA so they can take a good long look at the quality of their goddamn refereeing.

    Then I’d make another one of all the fouls commited by us and our opponents, and again send it too them so they can take another good long look at the inconsistencies of their goddamn referees.

    Does anyone know what Song got booked for? And then compare that with Tuncay’s two hand shove on Rosicky where he gets – surprise surprise – nothing.

    I am still fuming. The rage on Sol’s face matched my own.

    The team played magnificently on Saturday. Magnificently. Whether we win the title or not this team has just as special a place in my heart as the Invincibles.

  38. Harry Flowers

    “But what do you expect from thickie Stoke players, half-witted journalists, simple-minded media pundits. Which reminds me … anyone know Alan Green’s take on this?”

    I was told the delightful and totally unbiased Mr Green viewed it as a fair, if robust, challenge. He of course saved his vitriol for Arsene’s disgraceful post match comments. Hardly a surprise eh?

  39. One strategy to stop inter-marriage violence is to educate teenage girls and boys not to tolerate undue jealousy from their squeezes. A few European countries have made public TV messages aimed at girls and boys advising them to walk away if their partner gets too possessive.

    It’s a slightly different tack to the cycle that used to happen before: A horrible case, and then the usual media and public outrage. Abuse would be hurled at the guy (some uneducated brute brought up in a macho culture and probably too stupid to understand what he’d done) from inside and outside the courtroom. Rinse, dry, repeat.

    All good for catharsis, but it doesn’t change anything. Of course, this still happens, but at least governments have a way of tackling the problem.

    Man, it’s not easy to work this into a football discussion, but here goes:

    Arseblogger’s always good in these situations, but his words won’t change anything. We could get 3 more bad breaks in the next four years, and it probably wouldn’t change much. Not while teams like Stoke and Blackburn revel in their thuggery, and definitely not while the financial penalty for finishing in the bottom three is so daunting.

    Grass-roots education will, though. And this will probably only come about when the new crop of English Arsenal players take their place in the national team and shows the country that skill is the most important quality you can have on the pitch.

  40. Credit where credit is due. I read the Arseblog piece after it was recommended here and it was spot on.

  41. …governments have implemented a strategy aimed directly at stopping…

  42. Also “domestic”, not “inter-marriage”.

  43. Oh John Toshack, you disappoint me. Still haven’t seen it? He’s your best f*ckin player you mug!! You cowardly fence-sitting mug, Toshack.

  44. Good point, Calçot. I think something like that happened between Ashley Cole and Cheryl. When Ashley started going to bed with some other squeezes, Cheryl became really jealous, so he told her to take a hike. Something like that, anyway.

  45. In a few days time all of this will be forgotten. Arsenal will continue to get kicked around the pitch and the anti football thuggery mindset will carry on as usual. The media will carry on as if nothing has happened and the referees will not protect our players because the FA allow them to ignore the continued roughing up of Arsenal which results in our player getting seriously injured. Good old English football.

    Stan Collymore is a cretinous prat who typifies what the majority of our media is all about. Sensationalist, headline grabbing comments from a wife beating rapist. Good old English media.

  46. Haha, Poliziano. Though I was talking about teenagers, and I did mean undue jealousy – like flipping out because of eye contact with another boy or girl. If a teenage boy finds himself alone because of behaviour like that, then maybe he’ll learn a lesson.

  47. What’s the difference between managers like pulis inciting their players to go out and “rough up” our players and one of us suggesting on here that we hunt down media morons like collywhore, shearer, cascadildo et al and beat them up with baseball bats?

  48. I can dig what you are saying but I am a Yank and I myself was injuried playing football. My knee was caved in Bad. This was part of the game. Fine him do whatever. I hate to be crass but injuries are part of the game. Players get hurt. Did Shawcross go after him with spikes up to hurt him? I don’t think so. Bad tackles happen. Please see the tape of Joe Theisman getting tackled by by Lawrence taylor. It was bad. His leg was snapped in two.

  49. MikeSA: The difference is that one results in our players legs being broken and the other is an idle threat borne out of the fact that our players keep getting their legs broken.

    bobbygee: Please stop wasting everybody’s time.

  50. Matty boy: In a few days time all of this will be forgotten.


    Do we really always need seven substitutes? Could Wenger name Ramsey as the seventh substitute in some or most games as a reminder? Just a weird idea that occurred to me last night, what do you guys thin?

    Great post as always, Yogi.

  51. Ater Ramsey was taken off, Eduardo got a scoring chance.

    He could feel the Stoke defender and although he took the shot, Eduardo did not actually put his foot through the ball.

    Any guesses why?

  52. I really do think that if a player is reckless, with the consequences of his recklessness resulting in Eduardo/Ramsey type injuries the offending player should be subject to more than a 3 match ban. It really does not sit right. They should be held accountable for their actions.

    It will never happen of course, as it would be far too difficult to implement.

  53. A lot has been said since that horrific injury to Ramsey. Some teams are very physical when they play, but it goes a notch up when Arsenal’s in town.
    Have you guys noticed the change in strategy our opponents use? From “parking the bus” in the days of the invincibles to outright rugby like play.
    I think we should just get on with our game and leave them frustrated as usual.
    One thing of note though, i think we start games slower than before. We need to start dominating from the start and scoring early, maybe teams will begin to pack the bus again. I like this because we usually break them down eventually.
    Most importantly,get well soon Ramsey.

  54. To be fair (with regards to the Eduardo chance) it was on his wrong side and he wasn’t shaped well enough to use his left foot. If had been the other side of the goal he would have scored. Or used his right foot.

  55. Could someone pls make a youtube compilation of Ryan Shawcross recklessness, including the one where he ploughed into Adebayor after the ball had gone out of play? Such a clip would be a good response to those who claim that this is a one-off indiscretion by Shawcross who had no intent/malice. It would show a catalogue of violence and recklessness by this player. I would like to post the link to such a clip on some forums that I participate in. Thank you.

  56. when you mention the following names;

    Battiston, Goikoetxea, Haaland, most people still vividly remember the events associated with those names.

    Horror tackles are not so prevalent in the game.

    That it happens 3 times to one team is rare, and very extreme and can not be dismissed by “it happens”.

  57. Off the Ramsey issue for a moment.
    Walcott got into the england squard..was it on merit or Fabio has a soft spot for him.

    Do you think he’ll start?

    Anyway, i hope he plays and gets a good game to.

  58. The mantra when crap teams play us: If you can’t beat them – beat them, kick them and hurt them.

    Maybe our should be: If you can’t beat them – join them (at least for ten minutes)

    Perhaps we should buy the three biggest thugs we can find and bring them on the pitch to kick the opposition for ten minutes so we can then get on with playing football? A bit like footballing bouncers.

    At least this way, being so obviously thuggish will show the FA and referees that by doing nothing they are letting down their members and not protecting them from potential life threatening injury.

  59. Maybe Poliziano is right after all. After hearing Collymore and Paul Parker say Wenger should apologise to Ryan Shawcross, I’m wondering if any expression or feeling of sympathy for the villain in this case, might prevent justice.

  60. This clip is no longer available…

  61. Matty Boy

    Two wrongs don’t make a right

  62. Tateezee: It wasn’t an entirely serious suggestion.

    I was Just trying to highlight the stupidity of the mentality which starts at grass roots level and goes right through the game at every level, which is that if you are outclassed or outplayed then resort to kicking, fouling and thuggery. It is definitely (but not solely) an English disease. Although my idea may seem extreme i think you will find a version of it on most football pitches on a Sunday morning and it is prevalent although more subtle in almost every tier of our game. In the old days these type of players were revered and celebrated ‘hard-men’. It’s a continuation of this mentality that results in our players being severely injured year after year.

    Where will it end? What is being done to stop it? Why do the media keep justifying it?

  63. .

  64. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    I agree. One wrong makes a right. Two wrongs make two rights.

    I wouldn’t want to see Arsenal players breaking legs except in extreme circumstances – more extreme than the Shawcross incident; but I would very much like to see retaliation.

  65. It would serve him right if Stan Collymore got his cock bitten off by a dog whilst he was out dogging. Perhaps even a rough collie. Personally I don’t think that animals should be subjected to that sort of treatment anyway.

  66. Thank you, YW, by the way, for your calm eloquence today. I felt sick when this happened, and have alternated between anger and despondancy whenever I’ve thought of football since. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to articulate any readable thought on the subject, for consumption by the general public. So thanks for being so professional (?), if that’s the right word.

    I tried to temper my fury for a while last night, and send a message to Aaron about how much pleasure he’s given me as a fan this season, with his fantastic displays on the pitch. I even drew comparison with Anders Limpar – the highest accolade I could give.

    If the energy and courage he shows on the pitch is anything to go by, then I have no doubt his recovery will be a full one.

    In the meantime I will be singing his name to the rafters at every game I go to – in the knowledge he’ll be watching, and in the hope that he can hear us.

    Victoria Concordia Crescit

  67. Good post LimparAssist.

  68. If the two-faced liars (pundits) think that this is football, and these kind of injuries are part of the game, then why we didn’t see 3 Manchester United players with broken legs in 6 years? Why we didn’t see 3 Chelsea players with broken legs in 6 years? Furthermore, why we don’t see a broken leg in every game?

    Not only that the majority of English players are talentless, and their so stupid English managers do nothing to improve them, but English referees are COWARDS and just as culprit.

    If you noticed yesterday the referee gave a penalty for a “Handball” but not the blatant fouls on Ramsey or Bendtner because of the Eduardo witch hunt earlier this season. Most of the English referees are cowards because they’re afraid of the media saying they favor the “foreigners” when all they have to do is be fair and true to their profession regardless of who’s playing.

    Football in all it’s sources (FA, Refs, Media, Pundits) is shedding a lot of credibility and soon it will all fall apart.

    I was willing to cheer England in the world cup but now I will pray very hard that English football and everything that it currently stands for would fail and fail miserably.

  69. Alex Ice Cream

    They are all to blame: the media which includes MOTD, Sky, ITV as well as all the papers, the FA, referees, c*** managers like Pulis and Alladyce and thugs like Shawcross.

    This is all part of the acceptance that you can stop Arsenal by kicking/fouling/injuring them and therefore it is acceptable to do this. This is part of a culture that condones violence against Arsenal as we are perceived to be a foreign club. As we had with Eddy and Abou, the guy in question is a nice guy….

    I loved AW telling them what he thought of this.

    The FA do nothing, managers still tell players to kick Arsenal, the refs let it go. Even Graham Poll said that these tackles were not an accident.

    Shawcross has previous – ask Francis Jeffers. Is it coincidence that the 3 leg-breakers committed on Arsenal players and the one on Victor Anichebe by Kevin Nolan were committed by a talentless English player playing for poor team? I don’t think so. It is acceptable to even-up the skill deficiency by resorting to violence.

    It is utterly irrelevant that these players are “nice guys”. Shawcross was late and had both feet off the ground when he made contact. Why was his foot so high? This was a reckless tackle and a so-called lack of malice is irrelevant.

    I want nothing more that to win the Prem and shove it up everyone’s a***.



  70. Matty Boy

    Thanks for clearing it up. I agree with you that it is embedded in the English game (physicality), which is greatly affecting the technical aspect of the English game.

    Pundists and analysts have shown criminal tendecies in this respect by propagating it like a gospel.

    I believe the FA needs to do something about this especially with the referees and their inconsistencies.

    Players in spain get a lot of of protection from the refs, any dangerous play is immediately penelised unlike in England where it is celebrated.

    Kudos to some managers outside the big four who like to play the game the way it should…honourable mention, Coyle and Martinez


    don’t worry, good always prevails over evil. We don’t need to get dirty.

  71. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    It’s sad how it took a shocking incident for people to actually get behind their team. I’m so tired of reading stuff like “well, at least this will bring us all together now”. There are way too many bandwagon customers following Arsenal.

  72. Holy shite,

    I got a response from the premier league!

    Dear Jerome,

    Thank you for your email regarding the Stoke City v Arsenal match.

    We were all very sorry to see the extent of Aaron Ramsey’s injury on Saturday, and we wish him a speedy and full recovery.

    Disciplinary procedures are a matter for the FA who deal with these directly. We have included their contact details below should you wish to contact them directly;

    We would like to assure you that the Premier League is constantly striving to set improved standards of behaviour from all the game’s participants. Our standards are high, as shown by our winning the UEFA Fair Play title, with five different Clubs finishing top of the five different sections of the domestic award.

    We would like the English style of refereeing to continue – letting the game flow as much as possible, using management skills to control players as opposed to instantly brandishing cards – but we want to also push for improvements in behaviour standards. The game is full of passion and with very high stakes and sometimes that passion spills over.

    Last season, we introduced the Get on with the Game Programme to promote the Premier League’s response to football’s overall Respect Agenda. Our particular commitment for this season was to eliminate, as far as possible, unacceptable behaviour towards Match Officials. This is a very specific aim, narrower, but very consistent with, The FA’s general Respect objectives. It is welcomed by fans and the media, who rightly believe that our players are role models for the young.

    This is a long term commitment and we will be maintaining our focus on this and introducing new measures.

    As you may be aware we receive numerous queries referring to individual referee’s decisions and indeed in relation to their overall performance. We report back regularly to Professional Games Match Officials, the body which employs all the referees, to ensure that they are fully aware of all the feedback we receive. The performances of the Select Group Referees, is reviewed with each referee in detail in a number of different ways. There is constant monitoring of referees’ performances, with a view to improving their performance from week to week. Referees are appropriately criticised if it is felt that decisions were wrong.
    The referee’s technical performance in a match is assessed by the Independent Assessor, and their overall handling of the match is reported on by an Independent Match Delegate, who is often a former player, manager or coach. These reports focus on the referee’s control of the match, the way that he deals with key incidents as well as the way he communicates his decisions. These reports are shared with the referees on both a formal and informal basis. The aim is to help the referee to improve his performance, taking into account the scrutiny of each performance.
    The referee in this game did send Ryan Shawcross off, after the challenge on Aaron Ramsey, for which it was very clear he was very upset. This is of course a matter for the FA to look into.
    I do hope the above helps to clarify how we are constantly trying to improve and maintain standards of refereeing.
    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate the feedback we receive from supporters.

    Kind regards,

    Communications Team

    Dear Sir/Madame,

    The Stoke Arsenal game was the last straw. It was a game in which we saw inconsistent refereeing and a horrific injury which, with better refereeing, could have been prevented. Consider for a moment, the automatic ban Alex Song will get because of the yellow card given for (what I can only assume to be) sheparding a Stoke player off the ball with entangled arms, whereas Tuncay on the other hand shoves Rosicky to the floor, but yet goes unpunished.

    This inconsistent refereeing doesn’t only effect Arsenal. It was displayed in the Carling Cup final where Vidic and Fletcher should have both been shown yellow cards early in the game.

    This quality of refereeing along with the vile misinformed culture of how to play Arsenal, has indirectly lead to Aaron Ramsey’s injury.

    Review all Arsenal games this season and look at all the incidents which have not been called for fouls, all the penalties Arsenal should have been awarded. There have been some high profile ones, (for example, against at Old Trafford, Manchester City and Adebayor), and some lower ones that have been on display all season.

    Look at the yellow cards we’ve received compared to our opposition. I’m sure the statistics will yield a disparate amount of cards per foul.

    I am asking that your referees begin to do a better job of protecting all players in general. Don’t let attempted fouls go without warning punishments. I’m asking that you as an organisation do something to stamp out this culture of hard tackling, of making illegal the concept of kicking players. I’m asking that you do something to protect the integrity of the league because at the moment, under all the gloss and the make-up, it’s in a real bad condition.


  73. From today’s Fiver, The Guardian’s newsletter:

    One violent lunge. A scream. Tears. Angry voices. And a quick departure in the back of a van driven by one of the three main emergency services. The Fiver’s usual Saturday night out at Whispaz nite spot (no jeans, no trainers, no boot-cut slacks, no slack-cut boots, no young slim people, no not smelling faintly of cat food) left plenty of time for thought this weekend.

    Thrashing about in the communal lower bunk of its comfortable five-man holding cell, the Fiver was able to consider the major events of the weekend, mainly the tackle by Ryan Shawcross on Aaron Ramsey that snapped his tibia like a slightly stale breadstick in a depressing backstreet Italian restaurant. In particular, the Fiver’s thoughts turned towards the question that seemed to be on everyone’s lips. Is Shawcross really, really – is he really? – that kind of player?

    He may have snapped both bones in Ramsey’s leg through sheer brute force. But is that really him? Or does he occupy that place where you can go in between guilty and innocent, a kind of footballing Switzerland, a comfortable holding camp perhaps on the banks of a lake, for people who aren’t that type of player despite having been that type of player for the half-second it takes to be that kind of player?

    Fortunately, Wayne Rooney has joined the debate. “I was with him at United for a couple of years and he’s not that type of player,” Rooney said, sitting in front of some adverts at an England press thing. It’s a view shared by Rory Delap, who also isn’t that type of player: “I know Ryan and he wouldn’t mean to do that,” Delap explained today. “He is not a lad who would go out to do that.”

    So, there you have it. Consolation no doubt for Ramsey as he spends the next three months hobbling around in a cast with a dirty sock on the end and the words “Every journey has a beginning and an end and a middle bit and we walk these paths for a reason that lies beyond our paths of reason and that’s the reason everything has a reason, luv Sol xxx” written in biro.

    Ramsey can at least tell himself that none of this really happened. That his leg just isn’t the being-snapped-in-half type. That Shawcross is only the type of player who does that kind of thing when he actually is doing that type of thing. And that while the Fiver may subscribe to the view of ancient Greek thinker Pindar that who you are is defined by what you do, this rule – unlike the rules of energy and resistance and unstoppable force meeting chalky, breakable object – doesn’t seem to apply in football.

  74. Raadi Al Haroumi

    Moan moan moan Nasir.. I don’t care what anyone else does, I just support the team, and trust me, when I see the same 3-4,000 faces every week at shitholes like Stoke and White Hart Lane, I’m certainly not thinking… ‘Ooooh, that anonymous bloke on the internet isnt a real can i get through my day?!’ ..

    Seriously dough.. I was thinking about the Ramsey injury, and all aspects have really been covered here and on numerous blogs etc.. but what if Shawcross would have committed the same act of thuggery on Cesc?!.. Well he wouldnt would he? He wouldnt fucking dare, but Ramsey.. young, not nearly as iconic..easy target. It boils down to a lack of respect and I couldnt give a shit what people are saying about Shawcross… he deserves to be fully castigated for this.

    Get well soon Aaron.

  75. Hang on a minute…hang on aminute. We are in danger fo thrwoing the baby out with the bath water here.

    The English football establishment including the FA, PFA, Referees Association and many of the press and media are dinosaurs.

    But be a bit careful here. The EPL is the best league in the world….and it is the most cosmopolitan. Many players in the EPL are English and not all of them are thugs, though some of them are coached by thugs. Many of the young players coming through are going to be very impressive and not just Arsenal youngsters.

    There does need to be a change in attitude but part of the excitement of EPL football is the pace at which the game is played. Combine that pace with technique and it is often breathtaking. Arsenal are at the forefront of that change. The problems occur when great technique and pace combined with the courage to commit rubs up against the slow and less technical. Those in the latter category hale from all countries not just England.


  76. Thats a very interesting letter you wrote gadget, their reply was (probably as expected) going over things rather than ansering your questions though… i agree with every thing you said and hopefully some of what you said will be taken into account.

    have a look on the premier league’s page on bbc sport, then click predictor (if you have time). look at the fixtures manu and chelsea have there are many games where they can drop points. I predict we will draw or lose 1 of our remaining fixtures, so chelsea will have to lose twice and man u twice, both scenarios are realistic..

    and also goal difference will be key, we have to have to score as many against burnley, wolves in particular as possible if it really comes down to the wire and possibly goal difference, which is a possibility.

  77. Firstly all the best Aaron!! now all this usual crap that this scumbag shawcross being a nice guy does my head in,say he was a nice guy,everyone gets frustrted weater your nice or not!! when these other teams play us they get frustrated because they dont get near the ball,for most the match they chase shadows due to how quick our players move the ball.this inturn leads them to leaveing theyre leg in that half a second more as to make a point that theyre there most the time these thugs tackles mite leave just bruseing but then when horrible injuries to Ramsey then happen they get defended with this bullshit of mr nice guy!! every1 here has played the game and know u can change ur mind of what ur doing a a split second all theses scum like shawcrap do this when they play us week in week out its a fukn disgrace now i know i havent said anything new here but still how these scum get away with it is again an oter disgrace!!!!

  78. Thanks for posting that Yogi. And thanks for your posts of the last couple of days. Both times this has happened recently has been when we are in with a chance of winning the league. I really hope the boys will rise to the occasion this time and win it. They would have earned it the hard way as there have been no favours for us along the way.

  79. @ Frank

    True that the crap footballers CAN be from any nation, but the culture that condones and celebrates dangerous physical play is the culture of the ENGLISH football establishment. There’s no getting away from that, sadly. Also, since we are in England, many more of the less able footballers are likely to be English or British, because it tends to be the cream of the foreign crop which is imported, rather than the makeweights.

  80. Excellent post, YW. One of your finest.

  81. And arsenehollis, good points regarding the excellent performances.

  82. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice one, Raadi. What if you stopped wondering what if and actually formed a coherent thought? Seriously dough.



  84. Thanks Y.W. for that link to I have left my message for Aaron.
    I really hope that we as supporters can use this incident to unite, despite our differences, and take action to rmove the scourge of thuggery and brute force from the EPL in particular and the English game in general. The culture of anti-football is still alive and well and until it is eradicated there will be more incidents like Aarons and more rewards for the perpetrator.

  85. i like the banner its pretty cool, its gonna stay up ’till he comes back, im looking forward to having it at the emirates


  86. i have the link on my name to the banner aswell…..

  87. Sure, FG. But that is not my point. We are in danger of doing that which we accuse the football establishment of doing which in our case is to brand everything English in football as bad…and that will not do.

  88. @ Passenal
    A difference for me this time is that I absolutely KNEW we were going to win the game afterwards. You know the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” These guys have been through so much together and I sense a steely determination to come out on top.

    My worry now is ManUre, not Chelsea. The Chavs are busted. They have lost their aura and everyone will have a go at them and believe they can win.

  89. @ Frank

    OK. But I don’t see that happening on the whole. The discussion seems to be around the culture of aggression and the xenophobia in English football, rather than English football in its entirety.

  90. The thing is Frank that unless the FA take this seriously and do something to rid the game of the over the top leg breaking tackle, they run the risk of destroying what is good about the PL and chasing away the talented technical players.

  91. Will arshavin and diaby be available for Burnley does anyone know?

  92. oh shit theres loads of internations ffs. i hope our players have some sense and take it easy

  93. Frank, the foreign technical players gave the EPL it’s recent improved look. I remember watching games from the English league 20 years ago and it was nothing but a 22 muddy men horribly boring contest of punt and run…I can recall in some games the ball would not touch the ground for long periods of the game.

    Why is it that the players who manage to break legs are all English? It’s in the mentality of everything English Football. English managers defend it and condone it. English media defend it and condone it. English pundits and former English players defend it and condone it. The FA does nothing about it, which is a subtle way of defending it and condone it.

    Until they abandon this philosophy, they will always be “mediocre”. Take the foreign players & managers away and you will return to the EPL stone ages.

  94. So it looks like Shawcross is at Arsenal’s training ground with Walcott and the rest of the England squad. How chilling.

  95. Oh that is rubbish, G4E. It is not true that technical ability was introduced by non-Brits. It is true that the more technical foreign players are attracted to the EPL and not only for the money. It is certainly true that a more technical game is possible with modern playing surfaces…but the best surfaces were invented at Arsenal and the groundsman was English. There is a thuggish tendency in some English players and that needs to be eradicated for the EPL to move on. But it is not all pervasive.

  96. And to all the people who said Shawcross didn’t have intent to hurt, I say he did and he knew what he was doing.

    In the first half Fabregas fouled him from behind and he was so mad about it that he had a face-off with Fabregas. He then waited till the 2nd half and since he couldn’t do this to Fabregas and get away with it, he took it out on Ramsey.

    Watch the game again blind pundits.

    Did he intent to break a leg, most likely not…was he seeking revenge for Cesc’s first half foul on him, I say yes.

  97. Here’s what the laws of the game establish as dangerous tackles:

  98. How many current English players you would say have better technical ability than the foreign players. I will be loose in my counting, 10 players?

    It’s not only about the players Frank, it’s also about English managers, pundits and so on. It’s that mentality that says breaking someone’s leg is just part of a game of any sport…because it’s not, if it was…we would see it in every game.

  99. The root of the problem is in refereeing and you can see that in the response to Gadget. Three major problems with referees in this country.

    i). They have never been players and therefore do not understand the environment in a top-class match. They are unable to see it with players eyes.

    ii) They should be very good athletes.

    iii) They do not allow non-English referees..actually that might be non-British.

  100. I agree it is also about managers, press and media etc and have said so, G4E. My point though is that there were technical English players before technical foreign players arrived.

    But all of this is beginning to sound like some sort of pogrom.

  101. Shawcross is a poor football player and I mean that in the qualitative sense. But he is not the norm. Inceasingly players like Taylor and younger players like Shawcross are looking like fish out of water. They should not be playing.

  102. Up until that incident it had been an extremely fair game on Saturday – in marked contrast to last season when they hoofed us off the pitch and injured 3 players.

    It is of great credit to the team that they continued and got the win. A championship medal come May would be a fine gift for Ramsey.

    It is amazing that some people can turn this into an opportunity to berate other fans, as is there normal repetitive habit. You sound like a fool Nasir, a bad taste one.

  103. Of course there was and there are still good English players Frank…very little though, and only the selected few get lucky and have a decent football education in the top clubs.

    The rest are taught to compensate the lack of technique with brutal force…this is wrong and will not benefit English football in the long run.

  104. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What I find funny is the fact that it took a broken leg for some folks to get behind their team. We’re very different if you haven’t noticed already, arsenehollis. I don’t forget things as easily as I probably should. But at least I’m not a liar.

  105. The comment by the Liverpool fan gave a good insight, it is not just Arsenal who suffer against technically inferior teams trying to compensate with physicality.

    I think managers play a large part, it is a style and mentality issue. Allardyce and his c*nty ilk should be got rid of.

    Look at the change in Bolton already under Coyle and the way Burnley played us at their ground. Some teams aim to do this sort of thing.

    Still, Gallas could have broken the Bolton player’s leg at our ground. What would we have said if that had happened?

    To be honest, whilst teams do go out to kick us, I believe we have been unlucky. I say this because there are about 10 truly filthy tackles a season normally, but rarely do they end up like this.

  106. Is the implication that I am Nasir? Any support for that?

  107. this phrase sums it all up:

    “It is acceptable to even-up the skill deficiency by resorting to violence.”

    thats it, thats how other teams in the league approach their fixtures w/ the Arsenal. For some teams, the skill deficiency is not as apparent, for some they simply choose not to resort to these tactics (coyle, martinez), but for those teams where a huge gap in technical ability exists between them and the arsenal, the whole of the game plan rests on levelling the technicaly playing field through violence. disgraceful.

  108. That is the epitomy of the antithesis of what sport is

  109. the fact that the whole of the xenophobic English footballing machine, from the pundits, to the good ole boy English players, has mobilized to defend Shawcross and his character is not just pathetic, but is so blatantly obvious that one cant help imagine all of the clubs of the Prem meeting with Sky pundits, journos, the FA, in some secret back-room meet up to plot how they can SYSTEMATICALLY keep the Arsenal down.

    It really is pathetic.

  110. arsenehollis, I agree with Wenger’s assessment of this situation. You can’t call it unlucky or a coincidence if it happens 3 times in less than 6 years. Sorry mate, injuries like our team and players suffer on a regular basis like Hamstrings, Groins, etc. are bad luck, 3 broken legs and ankles are not.

    When there is pattern forming, luck goes out the window. Some fans berating our defenders for conceding goals from high balls…why don’t we call that bad luck?

  111. “Inceasingly players like Taylor and younger players like Shawcross are looking like fish out of water. They should not be playing.”

    I agree, but clearly Capello is so short of options he has called the latter up to play for the National team, which should be a reward for the best players. To me a hard but fair tackle should not leave your opponent on the side lines for an extended period. There is a technique to good defending just as there is with good passing and goal scoring. It’s just sad that more emphasis is not placed on improving your technical level so that you can win the ball fairly without endangering your opponent rather than just being ‘hard’.

  112. There is no problem with most games in the EPL. Even the tactic of playing more physically against Arsenal…even AW and Cesc Fabregas agree. Neither would get rid of the cut and thrust of the EPL. The problem lies in that type of tackle and the generally poor quality of refereeing. It should not be a problem outlawing the tackle…and the FA have an excellent opportunity to do it now.

    The poor quality of refereeing though is a real concern and I see no evidence that this is a problem limited to England. So we can expect some very, very poor refereeing in the WC…as we did in the ACN and are doing in the Euro whatsit.

    Well done gadet btw…you are a star.

  113. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    No, it’s more to do with the serial doomers you seem to go out of your way to defend.

  114. @ arsenehollis

    It’s possible. But since Gallas was in control of the tackle and didn’t slide in, it wasn’t likely – and that is the point. Accidents DO happen when no-one is at fault, but dangerous tackles are deemed dangerous because the likelihood of injury is so much greater. To return to the overworked driving analogy, the speed limit in the UK is 30mph for a reason – that a child hit by a car travelling at that speed is far less likely to be killed.


    I’ll tell you what really did make me want to lamp another fan, though – someone said something like, apparently it’s a clean break and Eduardo’s surgeon says he should be fine, so that’s OK.
    FFS, the guy is NINETEEN and he will be out of football FOR A YEAR. And that’s not counting the time it will take just to get to where he was at 5:30pm on Saturday.

  115. Maybe G4E. The guy for Hull had his leg broken last year with a spiteful kick, but my point is that these injuries are so rare to get even one is pure bad luck.

    I certainly think we get rough treatment though, that refs should protect us better, and the culture in the media perpetuates this.

    All 3 injuries were away, where teams will be more aggressive and close us down more. Also, all have come after we declined form our 2004 peak, it is in no way a justification, but perhaps losing some of the aura has encouraged sides to think they can get to us this way?

    Anyway, whilst it clearly isn’t all down to bad luck, it is certainly extremely unlucky that it happened to us.

  116. “Still, Gallas could have broken the Bolton player’s leg at our ground. What would we have said if that had happened?”

    There was never any chance of that happening – see Ole Gunner’s post analysing that incident on yesterday’s blog. The Bolton player was back in the next game a few days later.

  117. Passenal,

    indeed, the player was back in the next game. but after crying for his mummy first.

    what wussies.

  118. I agree with you, Passenal. But I think that the technical level of most players coming through in the EPL, whatever their nationality, is very high. Not just Arsenal youngsters either.

    In many ways Stoke stick out like sore thumbs. They are willing to do anything to stay in the EPL. The Delap throw-in is not football, and the interruption to play is already illegal. But no referee ever does anything about it. What do you expect from the home of the BNP. If you dropped a large bomb on Stoke and Burnley tomorrow there would be no BNP.

  119. england lost in the six nations on saturday didnt they?

    delap for the rugby team!

  120. Paulie Walnuts

    I think it`s fair to say that since Arsene changed the style of the team it`s been open season on us. If someone had done that when PV4, Keown or Adams was around it would have resulted in one almighty scrap.

    That`s not a criticism just fact & until we get referees prepared to protect us away from home it`s going to continue.

    As for England players copping one – it ain`t going to happen. Now they DO get protection. You can`t breath on Stevie G & Rooney is practically royalty. Hardly anyone makes a challenge on him these days let alone `gets in his face`.

    The key to how we finish the season is the away games. Like it or not, our lads have to give some back when the inevitable comes our way. If we can compete physically our football will overcome the opponents.

  121. Passenal

    Once again – snap! ha ha ha

    @ Frank
    “The problem lies in that type of tackle and the generally poor quality of refereeing. It should not be a problem outlawing the tackle…and the FA have an excellent opportunity to do it now.

    I am pessimistic that they will deal with it, one reason being that whenever these incidents occur, the situation gets turned into a referendum about the whole of English football and people feel obliged to defend the status quo.

  122. The Gallas incident was a red herring. The whole point is that no-one made conatct above the ankle and no-one committed the whole weight of their body on the standing leg. Anyone who confuses that incident with the Diaby, Eduardo or Ramsey incident knows less about football than an EPL ref.

  123. I think that something will be done about this because Aaron Ramsey is a Brit.

  124. arsenehollis

    “The guy for Hull had his leg broken last year with a spiteful kick, but my point is that these injuries are so rare to get even one is pure bad luck.”

    I’d say that it’s GOOD luck that these injuries happen so rarely. Russian roulette.

  125. @ Frank

    I hope you’re right. We need the Welsh FA to speak up, though – we haven’t really heard anything form them, have we?

  126. Nasir – to be honest I have no time at all for the doomer brigade. I have given up arguing against them, it is pointless, they are too dumb to get it even if they would listen. Most of the blogs on that sort of slant are clearly a wind-up, scam, or ego trip for the writer. ANR and Le Grove are the best examples: poor writing, lacking even basic logic, and clearly designed to provoke a reaction.

    I am not going out of my way to defend the doomer brigade at all. However, I think that some people are a little bit too pleased with themselves for their apparent die hard allegiance and rather too quick to paint others who as plastic fans.

    That someone who has never been to an Arsenal game in their life, isn’t even from north London, and only started supporting the side after Wenger made them beautiful to watch and extremely successful can claim to be a super fan and anoint themselves with the right to slam others seems a little rich to me. This is an example, it is not aimed at you of course.

    What I am arguing against is the internet super fan with very little connection to the club or the community that it is part of.

    The Evertonians have a saying, which says something like this in it, paraphrasing:

    Fans are born and not made
    Those who matter understand
    those who don’t understand don’t matter.

  127. If Ryan Giggs had suffered such an injury as a young player it would have had an effect. There will be repercussions after this incident and I think that AW knows it.

  128. I am not at all optimistic that the FA will take any action – they will justify this by claiming that it will take away from the ‘passion’ of the PL – it’s there for all to see in the response Gadget received to his letter. I think 3 broken legs in one team in 4 years is too high a price to pay. Eventually someone will pay with his career.

  129. The last high profile leg-break I can remember was last summer, Axel Witsel in the Belgian first division.

    Kieran Gibbs, out for the season, had his foot broken by an excessive and reckless challenge, in Europe, a couple of months later.

    So I don’t think this is all about English vs. Foreign. It’s about Arsenal vs. the rest of the world.

  130. You are on very dodgy ground, quoting Evertonians, arsenehollis.

  131. Ian Wright committed the whole of his body weight above Schmeichel’s ankle. It is a comparable incident, there are a few each season – check the picture on todays arseblog – we have been very unfortunate even if it is not entirely coincidental that we have suffered 3 such severe injuries.

    Have you ever thought about refereeing Frank? The game could use your knowledge.

  132. @ Frank, Passenal

    The frustrating thing is that all the FA have to do is instruct referees to enforce the rules as they are right now. No legislation needed, just a change of emphasis.

  133. I have read somewhere that challenges like that on Ramsey somehow happen fifty times every game. Has anybody got some proof? But irony aside, has somebody videos of challenges similar to the one Ramsey suffered?

  134. Frank I paraphrased, but anyway.

    It is a good piece of poetry in full dude, check it out.

  135. …and of course RvP missed more than half this season as a result of a tackle from an Italian….and Emmanuel Eboue broke John Terry’s foot. etc etc etc etc

  136. You enjoy snuff movies, Evilfiek?

  137. LimparAssist
    I think the player who stamped on Gibbs knew exactly what he was doing. That was revenge for making their team look stupid.
    I don’t think it is just Arsenal, but we are definitely targetted most for reasons that we all know, and we get protected least.

  138. “I think that something will be done about this because Aaron Ramsey is a Brit.”

    I don’t know Frank, so far the reaction could be a cut and paste of the one following the Eduardo injury. Shawcross is now an England player so he will be protected by the establishment whereas Ramsey is foreign by association. Ridgewell’s unneccessarily rough challenge that led to Theo’s injury got very little coverage as well.

  139. Wasn’t Terry trying to “do” Eboue that time? I thought that was a case of the biter bit.

  140. I agree with FG…it is about crap refereeing. In rugby you don’t have to hurt a player in a short arm tackle to be sent off. You go because it is dangerous. Straight red. Every incident of this type should be a red.

  141. I just think it is a question of turning up the volume, Passenal. I think the Ramsey incident will have turned a few important heads. We will see.

  142. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    So when did this magical aura surrounding the steel legged pre 2005 Arsenal disappear, arsenehollis? Was it when all of our English players moved on?

  143. i think youre being harsh arsenehollis you are entitled to support arsenal no matter where you are from..

    plus why the fighting, we should do as the team and stick together until the end of the season not have silly arguments

  144. arsenehollis,

    i am not english, i don’t come from london. i have never been to london. i started supporting arsenal sort of by random when i was 9, the season before wenger came. and since then, arsenal has become a big part of my life.

    i hope to one day watch arsenal at the stadium.

    even though i have nothing to do with the community, whenever i read about arsenal’s involvement in the community, in addition to the achievements of our ladies’ team and youth teams, i feel proud and honoured that i am a fan of a club that is different, that is special.

  145. Fun Gunner,

    no change in emphasis needed.

    jsut a matter of getting the refs to do what they are supposed to do. do their jobs properly. which they aren’t.

  146. Good for you No7…this whole thing about not being a fan until you go to games is idiotic. If that was the case Arsenal fan base would be limited to less than 60,000.

  147. Not sure conspiracy’s the right word, but I still said yes anyway.

  148. If I meet any English referee in person, I would tell him right in the face
    “You’re a COWARD, just like Howard”

  149. The whole mindset is the problem, if you say we have to get more physical with Arsenal then Arsenal will have more injuries than the reast, though it may not be broken legs.

    I believe Arsene and Cesc are saying, we have to deal with how people play Arsenal because they cannot change the rules but its not cool.

    There should be changes with the tackling but having managers telling their teams to rough up Arsenal and actually saying it publicly needs to be dealt with.

    The PL may be all the rave but when a national team of the stature of England cant come close to even winning a tea cup you have to ask why. Its obvious the skill level is not up to par and the problem is how the players are taught to play.

    Mi done!

    God bless!!

  150. @ no7
    We DO need a change of emphasis, because at the moment, the FA prioritise “allowing the game to flow”, the euphemistic term for lax enforcement of the existing rules.

  151. I’ve tried to feel sympathy for Shawcross.

    But my mind goes back to the words of Lady Bracknell: “To break the legs of one fellow professional, Mr Shawcross, may be regarded as a misfortune: to break the legs of two looks like carelessness. And to break two people’s legs and stamp on the ankle of a third two yards outside the field of play looks like the actions of a vindictive, incompetent lout.”

  152. Each person will understand it differently, probably based on personal circumstance, but as someone who grew up in the borough part of being an Arsenal fan is rooted in the community.

    Going to games is a massive part of being a fan, primarily for the experience. Those people who go home and away every game, I tip my hat to them. Whilst I would not have booed Song say, I think it is ridiculous to say those people are poor fans, the ones who go to every single game. That involves dedicating your life in a big, big way to the team.

    Of course some people think you can just say you are a fan. Some people think always defending the team on blogs does the business.

    Each to there own. I don’t want to start a row about it, but for those people who sit on here and criticise the level of support others offer with a very offhand superiority, it is fair game to point out that for some they are also just bandwagon jumpers.

  153. FunGunner,

    noted. but i do feel that allowing the game to flow and doing the refereeing job properly are not exclusive.

    what i feel is that sometimes we are not given freekicks for clear fouls(hence we are not top of the table of fouls received. hull proudly sits on top of it, and that’s what the detractors brandish proudly, without even realising that those stats lie)

    if the ball drops to our players, of course play should be allowed to go on. and then punishment should be meted out retrospectively. that is what i mean by letting the play go on and doing the job properly.

    but what i see happening is that we get fouled, we don’t retain the ball, and the ref doesnt stop play, because he doesnt see anything wrong, for some reason or another.

  154. arsenehollis but the point is you can feel connected to the club not with physical links ie: living in london/north london. I am sure lots of those living on avenall road and surrounding areas feel no connection to the club whatsoever

  155. Wright Gunner

    ‘It wasn’t a bad tackle’ is the standard line, isn’t it? On the sofa, in the studio, in the press box, from the phone-ins. ‘It didn’t look that bad. There wasn’t much intent. He’s not that kind of player. He was just too quick for him. I thought the ref had a good game, actually. He let it flow.’ This last phrase – and we have all used it – translates as letting the players operate on the absolute boundaries of what is legal; a standing leg on this side of the divide, a raised foot on the other.

    Unfortunately the minority press opinion…

  156. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    So if my Dad didn’t make me an Arsenal fan I’m not a true fan? I don’t claim to be some super fan either. In fact I’ve stated many times I’m a relatively new supporter. I was introduced to Arsenal in late 2005 by my girl’s season ticket holding uncle who happens to be 100 percent English and have been supporting ever since. I’ve visited London many times, too. I can even make my way around Barnet and Enfield Town without getting lost. Can’t say that about the rest of London.

  157. @ no7

    Agree on the whole.

    “Noted. but i do feel that allowing the game to flow and doing the refereeing job properly are not exclusive.”
    Yes – that’s why I called it a change of emphasis, rather than, say, a change of direction.

  158. Bradys right foot

    Evening gooners a new low for even talk shite as Collywhore continues on his anti arsenal tirade. The shite he spouts just beggars belief.

  159. Just say no, BRF.

    Having said that, I’m currently suffering Claridge on 5Live…

  160. Bradys right foot

    Jesus Limps i don’t know whats worse Collywhores hatred or Claridges stupidity, he said we’d finish behind Villa ffs at the start of the year.

  161. Don’t do it, don’t do it!

    Mugabe Media Lockdown.

    It’s the only way.

  162. A cautionary tale for any foreign players considering a move to Stoke City FC…

  163. Paulie Walnuts

    It really doesn`t matter to me where our players or fans come from (nice post Khalid earlier today btw) but it seems to make a difference to others.

    Had Robert Huth broken Ramsey`s leg I doubt he would have the almost full weight of media opinion behind him that Shawcross does.

    I`m English , but it`s so obvious double standards apply.

  164. i don’t understand how people can say if arsenal wins the title, it will be because the competition is at its weakest this season, with chelsea and man utd not killing off the title race.

    well, if they aren’t doing that, maybe they are just not good enough?

    did people tell us we deserved to win the title in 2008 because we led the table for half the season or so and only a late collapse saw us finish 3rd, 4pts behind?

    everyone raved about man utd being strong mentally.

    so why don’t these same people give us some credit.

    on one hand, they claim that the epl is the best league in the world. on the other hand, they are saying that should arsenal win, it will be because the rest of the teams werent good enough.

    so they are basically discrediting the epl.

    they don’t even think before they give their opinions.

    a friend once told me. opinions are like assholes. everyone has one.

  165. Paulie,

    when someone breaks mr wayne rooney’s legs, i want these same experts to tell me that football is a man’s game.

  166. Although I did somehow, unfortunately walk past someone’s radio earlier, & heard Darren Gough(?) on TalkShite going on about the ‘incident’.

    I’d have thought a Fast Bowler who played at the top level of the game of Cricket would appreciate the ability of a trained sports person to react within nanoseconds to a ball (easier when it’s bigger and white), or someone else’s leg. Otherwise, surely, he’d have got a lot more wickets?

  167. Hollis,

    You should just take a bow. Every solitary syllable of what you said here today makes complete sense and puts into perspective the many contributions and accusations made by others on this site. And the fact that you make your point in such a polite way (unlike those you address) demonstrates your class as well. Well done.

  168. You’re right FG, the rules are there but they are not being fairly and consistently applied. Too much license is given in some instances, which allows things to get out of hand. There seems to be an unwritten rule that early fouls are not booked, but they should be, then that sets the tone for the rest of the game.

    Arsenehollis you are being really unfair to supporters who don’t happen to live in North London. If your rule was applied, Arsenal would not be as big a club as it is today. Whether you like it or not, the PL is now a global phenomenon and you should just be glad that you happen to be a local supporter and therefore able to get to games rather than lording it over those who by accident of birth are not able to attend matches, but are just as passionate. I’m sure many of them would give anything to have that privilege, which is probably why they cannot understand how the lucky few are not more vocal and supportive at games when they wake up in the early hours of the morning to catch Arsenal on TV for which they pay subscriptions that help to swell the coffers of the club.

    There is a poster on Untold Arsenal who told how he and his family were interrogated by the secret police under the communist regime because he was an Arsenal supporter. Compared to a bit of winding up by rival teams’ fans, which is the worst we have to put up with over here, that is worthy of respect.

  169. Uptight Literary Guy

    As an American, it’s typical to have a back-up team in the World Cup. We pull for the US as long as it lasts and then have another team to carry us through the tournament. Since I was introduced to football by some guys from England who were touring the US giving camps, and got to watch my first World Cup game with them (the “hand of God” game, no less), I’ve always put my support in with the Three Lions. I’ve also heard, many, many times, complaints from English fans about the thuggishness of the Germans. In the last World Cup, I couldn’t help but think that Wayne Rooney’s behavior reminded me of English fans’ descriptions of German footballing. The last time I left a pitch, it was with a crushed nose, so out of control players and their consequences have way getting me riled up. I realize that Showcross was not awarded for his tackle with an England call up, but it’s hard not to feel that way about it. Would he have gotten called up on the same day he had broken an Englishman’s leg? The leg of of one of his soon-to-be teammates, maybe Wayne Rooney’s?

    I won’t be hoping for the English team to do well in this Summer’s tournament.

  170. no7 the sad fact is, they are not discrediting the EPL, they are discrediting us. Watch if chelsea win the title, they will say how mentally strong they were, if manu do they will praise their strength throughout the season, how they have coped with so many problems, unlike us, of course we havent had any major problems this season have we?

  171. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    The beacon of class that is Joe ladies and gentlemen. A round of applause. You caught me off guard, Joe. I thought you only commented after draws and losses? Nice to see you’re broadening your horizons, though.

  172. Paulie Walnuts

    Hang in there No.7

    What goes around….

  173. Zap,

    yes they are discreditng us. but at the same time, they would be discrediting the league. that’s what i feel.

    and i feel that they are also not giving recognition to teams like villa, everton, man city and spurs.

    i hate man city and spurs.

    but they have improved(regardless of how they have achieved this)

    the champions this season will be the team that coped best with this change.

    and i feel that who copes best would be reflected in the results against these teams. which i believe at the moment we are topping man utd and chelsea.

    the results against the next 5 is what i call it.

  174. oh is Joe a beacon of class?

    its nice to have a beacon of class

  175. I read you number 7 i get what you mean

  176. all i ask for is a fair trial.

    for the journalists to judge us objectively. to give us credit where it is due. and i ask for the referees to do their jobs properly.

    all these nonsense about shawcross being a nice chap, there was no malice, chelsea’s problems, man utd’s problems are all excuses the people are trying desperately to throw up to save their own faces.

  177. @ no7 at 7:48pm

    It is so infuriating. I try not to dwell on it, so that I don’t go insane.

    But while we’re driving ourselves nuts, I predict that the next time Ramsey or any Arsenal player is accused of a bad challenge, the press will howl about the betrayal of what they will mendaciously refer to as “the outpouring of sympathy” which followed Ramsey’s injury. I don’t know about you but I don’t think I have seen more than one article in 50 from a non-Arsenal source which makes more than perfunctory expressions of sympathy before moving on swiftly to the real victim in all this, who as we all know is Ryan Shawcross. Truly sickening. Just like with Eduardo.

  178. cole sitting at his house on saturday, watching chelsea get humiliated on their own turf, arsenal get right back in it, being forced to sign divorce papers with cheryl cole and having a messed up ankle contemplating on missing the world cup. we should feel sorry for him.


  179. Passenal – I probably am being completely unfair and seem a bit of a prick for it. However, I don’t indulge any other more conventional idiocies like patriotism or organised religion, so I am narrow minded about my football team. That goes for my assessment of their talents which is blinkered, my passion which a with most fans is beyond any sense of perspective and my exclusivity on being a fan.

    I can kind of see it doesn’t make sense, but not really.

    I don’t want to offend anyone or get too much into it, but basically I think that you can’t really know what it is all about unless you were born and raised with it and make the games. I have had to move away from the manor for a bit and make only a few games a year now. I never miss one of course, watch them all on the TV, but it isn’t the same.

    Still, my original point was more that some window-licking chump on a blog who just decides he is a fan isn’t really, no matter how much he whines about the doom or anything else. He is just copying, it isn’t his culture or heritage.

  180. @ FG

    i don’t know why i still read those articles though.

    i am really sick of them.

    i am not english. so can someone from england please explain to me why is everyone there against arsenal?

    is it because arsenal tries to play football they have forgotten how to play/ have never known how to play?

  181. arsenehollis,

    exclusivity is natural.

    you are fortunate that you have that birthright.

  182. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Much respect, Passenal. You’re a legend. Proper Arsenal.

  183. Some random questions here:

    1. So is Merida definitely gone?
    2. What chance Gallas staying at this point?
    3. Will Sol be back for another year?
    4. How many doomers have we been hearing from that they were wrong? (I might well prove to have been overly pessimistic when I said it would be tough to catch both Man U and Chelsea when we were nine points back. It still might be so, but based on schedule strength we’re almost neck and neck now, something I couldn’t have imagined would happen so quickly-thanks Everton!
    5. Denilson-what the hell happened here? Along with others here, I thought he was understated but superb last season. The injuries, in particular the bizarre collapse does seem to have precipitated a rapid decline. Perhaps he carried too much of the load in minutes played last season and is suffering this season because of it. It sometimes looks like he’s been running through jelly. Here’s to hoping for a return to form.

  184. i agree with passenal

  185. has anyone heard that we might have an all-red shirt for next season as its the 125th anniversary of the club????

  186. lagooner

    1. It looks more likely than not as there is still no sign of that contract being signed. That would be a shame as I think he is a real talent, but I don’t think he’s quite ready for a starting spot.
    2. I really hope he does and Arsene has talked about bending his 30+ rule.
    3. Unlikely, but you never know as he seems to be having a positive influence in the team
    4. The doomers have been surprisingly quiet and maybe the Ramsey injury will have them putting their doubts aside for long enough to back the team during this key phase of the season?
    5. Like Clichy, I think he was rushed back as we were short of players in the defensive midfield area. I believe he is a quality player who just had a bad few games. If he is given time and a bit of support I’m sure we’ll see the best of him once again.

  187. You’re entitled to your view Arsenehollis, but I’m also free to tell you that I think your view is unmitigated horseshit.

    Parochial nonsense. Anyway, I think you’re just trying to wind that Shottah fellow up.

    Joe’s post was incredibly oily as well. Made my skin crawl a little bit.

    I completely agree with Passenal – and I’m from London, and grew up in a family of gooners.

  188. games where i think we might drop points:
    man citeh(away)

    man citeh(away)

    west ham(home)
    man u(away)

  189. Calcot,

    i am not from london. i don’t know if in the future i will be living in london.

    but if i have a family in future, regardless of where we live, we will be supporting arsenal.

    i can’t imagine my kids supporting any other team.

  190. Great way to put it at 7:55 Passenal. Thanks

  191. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, or where you live. If you behave like a supporter then you are a supporter, no7. I was just illustrating that I absolutely do not share his view about “culture and heritage”. Creeps me out.

  192. I thought we already played Man City away.

  193. we are playing man city at home.

  194. I agree with Passenal at 7:55. And I also agree with Calcot about being creeped out.

  195. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Arsenehollis is a nothing more than a closed minded curmudgeon. Deep down he resents the foreign influence on Arsenal. He hates the fact that Wenger has single handedly propelled us into the company of the most elite teams in Europe via class and talent rather than brute force and spending power. F*cking dinosaur.

  196. Guys, pleeeease let’s not talk about games which we could drop points at – I’m superstitious about that! Anyway, if we drop points (which we won’t!) it’ll be where we are not expecting it.
    Let’s all send nasty vibes out to ManUre and Chelscum so that THEY drop points.

  197. arsenehollis

    So since you don’t go to the same number of games as you used to in the past or you don’t go to all the games, we can safely say that your knowledge of English Football been greatly reduced?

  198. “Wasn’t Terry trying to “do” Eboue that time? I thought that was a case of the biter bit.”

    As I recall, Fabregas was lying on the ground and Terry kicked him. Then Eboue accidentally broke Terry’s foot. That’s the kind of accident I’d like to see more often.

  199. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Much respect to Calcot, too. Top post.

  200. oh yeah man citeh home

  201. i really like the new banner they’re doing fro can help donate money for it on REDAction’s website, it has all the details. click on my name for the link….

  202. Calcot – Winding up that Shottah fellow?

    This Jamaican, born and bred, who lives in the Americas, married to a non-Jamaican, in-laws from the southern US and Haiti, siblings livng in London and Birmingham who loves Arsenal FC and Arsene Wenger with a passion. Dream on my friend.

    Excellent post though.

  203. Harry Flowers

    “Still, my original point was more that some window-licking chump on a blog who just decides he is a fan isn’t really, no matter how much he whines about the doom or anything else. He is just copying, it isn’t his culture or heritage.”

    Absolute nonsense. It’s not about that at all. It’s supporting a football club. It’s not the freemasons. I welcome any supporters of Arsenal and couldn’t care less where they are from. It’s a feeling you have for the club and it’s values…’s no longer about if you were born within spitting distance of highbury.

  204. fabregas and nasri at hull, theyve got a score to settle with em hopefully the only scores that will be settled in 2 weeks will be a larger number for arsenal..

    and birmingham- does anyone think edu will play that? wow it would be emotional for him, hopefully get his own back against those birmingham c@nts

  205. thats at least something positive thansks taeyrn

  206. I know the pricks name should never be mentioned here and ive not even read the post as ive seen on the link to it –

    but that prick pyles “the TWAT” palmer got this as his headline –

    “Big, British Sol Campbell made the difference at Stoke”

    if anyone made a difference from what ive seen was Spanish Cesc Fabregas as he was involed in all the goals. thats irrrelevant anyway

    what a sensationalist Twat!

  207. I had a look at the comments in the Stoke Sentinel (online newspaper) regarding the game on Saturday. Quite a few Arsenal fans had been on there to express their disgust and views. And of course quite a few Stoke fans were defending Shawcross, the worst of the bunch was giving the usual it was an accident/ a man’s game/a contact sport/ it’s Arsenal’s fault if they want to play fancy passing football/Shawcross is not like that. Then he says he is glad Shawcross got the England call up “because we are going to need someone like that to get amongst the Brazilians in the World Cup.”
    As Frank pointed out, Stoke really is a depressing shithole of a town and their football supporters obviously get the type of game that they crave.
    Didn’t we sell George Eastham to Stoke – wonder what he did to upset us?

  208. Can we really blame Stoke fans for defending their own player, MDGunner? If it was only Shawcross’s own fans who were defending him, there wouldn’t be a problem.

  209. I agree Poliziano, it is understandable for Stoke fans, and their despicable manager to defend him, but for others, that is the question, why they always defend the aggressor so vehemently when the victim is an Arsenal player?

    In fact not only that they defend the aggressor, but they accuse the victim for not taking it like a man! I would like to see one of them laying on the ground in agony with a multi-fractured leg and preferably with no medical help in sight.

  210. the lad shawcross has always been the hatchet man 4 stoke so i dont think it’s a one off thing, even in the fa cup game he was rough and got away with it, he seemed to realize wat he had done then he started crying, if ramsey had not broken his leg there would be no free-kick, no crying and play would have continued, it is not the first time it happens against arsenal…………for england having a guy like dat wit mistimed challenges like dat will compromise dere defense if he ever plays …….. a skillful team will leave him in no man’s land

  211. Has anyone else had the thought that we miss David Dein’s influence in the coridoors of power . Would Dein have sat by and watched the assults of the last 4 years go on unchecked , or would he be working behind the scenes reminding the blazers that the “they don’t like it up em ” brigade represent all that is wrong with English football . Wenger is right . It is no coincidence . When you send your players out to be overly physical , to intimidate and bully the opposition it is inevitable that challenges like the ones on Diaby , Eduardo and Ramsey will occour . In every sport i can think of the use of speed, force and power all comes at the expense of acuracy . Shawcross’s challenge had force and pace but at the expence of acuracy . An inevitable consequence of the “let them know your there ” philosphy . Ramsey is one of the few players I get genuinely excited to watch , I look forward to him making a full recovery .

  212. Get Well Soon young Aaron. We’ll do our very best to win the EPL for you…

  213. dan, David Dein was already out of the corridors of power before he was out of Arsenal because some of the little clubs complained about his involvment while running a premier league club at the same time. Then they got an Mancs guy instead.

    But, I do understand what you mean and certainly we were not treated this way while he was in charge. I can only imagine how they view Gazidis “Oh, the scary foreign American from far far away land”

  214. BTW

    Happy birthday Carlos!!!

  215. Thanks Passenal!! (at 8.42pm)

    I would love to see Sol, Gallas and Merida back in the team next season. However, I can also see where only 1 out of the 3 returning. The problem with Merida is that as good as he is, we’re loaded in midfield and you can understand him wanting to play in La Liga every week in the first team.

    Agreed on Denilson too.

  216. la,

    How many years has Gallas got left on his contract?

  217. 1 loose cannon

    Gallas will stay I beleive, he looks sharp as ever I see no reason why Wenger wouldn’t reward him with a contract above all he behaved himself really well after he was stripped of the captaincy and stopped talking to the media, that must’ve pleased Wenger a lot. He could’ve easily become disruptive but the opposite happened he looks better now.
    I don’t think Wenger will buy another centre half as we have Djourou still to show what he can do. Sol might still be involved next season doing the odd jobs, so I think we will be ok in that department at least for another season. Wilshere will come on for Ramsey next season, according to reports Chamakh is on his way so I don’t see us making lots of changes.
    Now Ramsey is injured I have no doubt Wenger will not let Fabregas go because I thought Ramsey is the natural successor to Fabregas but now he is injured Wenger will halt Barcelona’s advances.

  218. Bendtner’s growing confidene has brought a greater presence and threat to our attack. Eduardo looks AOK and as always very clever. In fact attacking options are looking good. I don’t agree with those who seem to believe Theo is not good enough; he is. More than any however, it is Eboue who is giving attacking options.

    In midfield we have a couple of problems with Song out for 2 matches, Diaby not back, and of course Ramsey. It seems Eastmond might have a role, but one might expect Nasri to drop back a bit. Personally, I prefer Nasri behind Eboue.

    A midfield comprising Cesc, Den and Nasri is, in my view, formidable. With Bendtner, Eboue and Rosicky forward, and AA when he gets back.

    We also have Vela and Theo in the frame.

    Let’s hope Diaby gets back soon, and with Song around we are in fact very strong.

  219. Maria,

    He’s out of contract at the end of this season.

    The question is whether Arsenal will give him a guaranteed 2 years or if Arsene will stick with his standard policy of one-year extensions for older players.

    It’s quite possible to see him sign for a continental club like Pires did rather than accept a one year deal from Arsenal. That would be a shame.

  220. 1 Loose Cannon.

    I doubt Arsene would have let Cesc go no matter how dramatic Ramsey’s progress had been. It’s true that Ramsey is a logical successor to Fab, but it’s equally easy to see that the two of them form a Xavi-Iniesta combination (anchored by Song) in the middle of the park for the next 3-4 years.

  221. When pundits come up with the refrain, “he is not that kind of a player”, why does not someone ask them to specify who excatly are THAT kind of players? Let them give some names (I am sure they would not be able to come up with any names, partly due to political correctness, and partly because it is impossible to determine a person’s actual intent), and then tell them that since THAT kind of players don’t exist there is no point trying to find out whether the person in question is THAT kind of player, but to tackle (pun unintended) the real issue.

  222. If we make one purchase in the summer, I would like to see us try and get a top class (if there any out there) keeper.

  223. Robbie Savage, Roy Keane, Vinny Jones, Darren Fletcher, etc. are that kind of player.

  224. ddrrrrrrinng


    Shawcross: Hello!

    Caller: Ryan, this is your lord and master…

    Shawcross: Old Sir Red Nose!

    Sir Red Nose: I just called to tell you we’ll back you all the way. By the way good hit on the Welsh brat. Will you be back for the Chelsea game…

    Shawcross: Hackie was saying something….they might get the red card rescinded…mummy was so excited..

    Sir Red Nose: Listen…don’t forget your instructions. Take out Drogba. I want that 19th title. Capisce?

    Shawcross: I’m sworn to obey orders Sir Red…

    Sir Red Nose. Good, don’t forget who you work for. Enjoy England camp…go easy on Wayne. Bye

    Shawcross: Bye, great king of the universal sun

  225. Yes, Ole. Wasn’t Ol’ Red Nose’s intervention as sickening as it was predictable.

    Every so often I think that maybe, just maybe, he’s just another manager I’m a bit hard on. You know, successful, likes to play reasonable football. Then he does something like this. Then I remember Neville kicking Reyes all over the park

    “..and i realise I was only dreaming”.

    Viscious, pompous, decadent, cheating bastard.

  226. consolsbob,

    I was listening to the Up for Grabs podcast late last night, and they said it was all Fuckerson’s fault….. he was the one who first really succeeded with the kick Arsenal off the park routine.

    I always blamed Hansen, because he is the one who said it maybe 100 times on a program every football fan watches.

    But this just shows what we’re against. Teams capitulating to them….him backing managers that kick us, but this sickens doesn’t it?

    Why on earth would any decent man get involved?

    If I were Peter Hill-Wood I’d lodge a complaint to the FA and Premier League.

    It’s a massive image problem for the league.

  227. For me Alex Ferguson will never be a great man. I will never cease to respect his achievements. I will never cease to despise him.

  228. “Vicious, pompous, decadent, cheating bastard.”

    That’s him in a nutshell cbob

  229. It will take more than Ferguson’s sub-Machiavellian antics to win man utd the league this season.

  230. Song has got just 8 yellow cards so far. So he is not going to miss that next 2games…,,12306~34375~2009,00.html

  231. IndianGooner,

    be careful with the PL site. It’s not very accurate.

    For example it says Rafa da Silva at Man U is 1.90 tall!

  232. This c*nt should get it in the neck. He should’ve got it in the neck after he crocked Theo at our place. He’s not even an accident waiting to happen, he’s literally an accident in the midst of happening right now. First opportunity for the FA to start cracking down on ridiculous over-the-top reckless tackles, what do they do? Bottle it.

  233. Indian Gooner, that’s right, 8 yellows in the PL. But FA Cup counts as well. He’s suspended for Burnley (h) and Hull (a).

  234. Plus side; he’ll be well rested for Porto.

  235. Ole, I even checked Sky sports and even there its mentioned 8cards.

  236. Thanks, Limpar. I didnt count the cards from the cup.

  237. Did Red Nose call Shawcross to console him when he broke Franny Jeffers’ leg?

    It’d be interesting to know.

    Does he call Eric Djemba Djemba after his personal tragedies?

  238. Can we all start praying/crossing our fingers/whatever that no-one gets injured on international duty?

  239. All in all, the discussion over Shawcross-gate goes to the heart of all the discussions on the state and direction of modern football, and the particular xenophobic streak in english football.

    Behind the media charade the real issue is clear, foreigners (to the Brits) may play pretty but they are cheaters, divers, foreign and not ‘real men’; you deal with them through ‘hard play’, not easy in the CL with non-english refs and guidelines, and culture. But oh-so-allowable against Arsenal.

    On the other hand, as Wenger has said, the pace and physical nature of the english game is in fact part of its attraction, but not the bigger part. If foreign players started leaving english football, EPL couldn’t survive financially or competitively.

    Shawcross-gate will have repercussions, probably behind closed doors; there is no other possibility. It is, kind of, a warning of the problems to come and Arsenal happens to be at the forefront now.

    The problem is one of culture. The English game must adapt or slowly whither, as it has been doing for some decades. The ground is shifting.

  240. It’s a horrible pun, but I think we are seeing the last kicks of a dying horse.

  241. I hope you are right ZimPaul.

  242. I think if the FA and Premier League do act, it will be enough just to alter the balance a bit, rather than wholesale cultural revolution! The laws are in place, – the refs will just be asked to protect the teams who are trying to play football a bit more than they do now. And I think that’s the right solution. We don’t want the game to become a non-contact sport. And neither does Wenger. But what to do about Ferguson…..

  243. 1 loose cannon

    Shawcross on Adebayor

    This is the thug in his early days while on loan at Antwrep from Manure. You will see he went through a player similar to the one on Adebayor and left him rolling in the middle of the pitch

    Still digging for the one on Francis Jeffers but I can’t find it.

    Another accident is waiting to happen is this bloke Ridgwell, its a matter of time before he snaps someone’s leg

    Ridgwell on Walcott

  244. 1 loose cannon

    Shawcross on Adebayor

    This is the thug in his early days while on loan at Antwerp from Manure
    Still digging for his tackle on Francis Jeffers but I can’t find it

    This guy Ridgewell is an accident waiting to happen. It matter of time before he snaps someone’s leg.

    Ridgewellon Walcott

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