Ramsey’s Injury Puts English Football At The Crossroads

Robert Johnson reputedly sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads near Dockery Plantation. English football today stands at a crossroads. The Devil we know in one direction, the righteous path to improvement another and the third, no-one dare look down.

Each week, the Premier League serves up a mixed fare, the spectrum served from the passing game of Arsenal through to the routine, long ball variant of Blackburn, Bolton and their ilk. In that mix, there is a speed and physicality unmatched by other countries domestic games. Some matches are good, others turgid.

Sometimes there are incidents which ought to force contemplation. Aaron Ramsey’s injury is one of those. One quote sticks in my mind, the imagery vivid. Ramsey’s national team manager, John Toshack, said:

It is a horrific injury, it makes you want to vomit. It is a sad and unfortunate incident. I saw the aftermath of the injury and I thought ‘oh no.’ I still haven’t seen the incident on TV, I have just seen the disturbing photographs in the newspapers and you can imagine how I felt

When a man who has been involved with football for over forty years feels so strongly about an injury, something somewhere has to be wrong. Toshack has seen colleagues and players injured similarly throughout the decades – I remember seeing a Swansea player under his charge break a leg, the sound so loud it could be heard 100 yards away over the crowd’s noise (Phil Boersma, I think it was) – so the injury should not be taken lightly.

Ryan Shawcross has had more character witnesses than he would need at a trial. The manner is which football is closing ranks is sickening. The excuses, trotted out by the ‘great and good‘ defy belief, especially as this is not the first time he has been involved in this type of incident.

A lot has been written, most of it utterly contemptuous drivel from those who make a living leeching from the sport, passing themselves off as pundits. Hits have to be achieved to satisfy advertisers and there should be no surprise that the media has sought to defend the player. If tackles did not fly in, referees would have an easier job and find it harder to make mistakes. What would ex-players talk about if the officials did not get it wrong.

That Arsene Wenger is being held as some sort of scapegoat is unbelievable. Sensationalism has blinded all but a few in the media to the real issue. That is the cross that they have to bear. Accusations of xenophobia are not easily shaken in these circumstances.

The real culprits thought are the coaches, not just of Premier League sides but at all levels, junior, amateur, semi-professional and professional. The mentality of the English game is to ‘go in hard’. It was when I played; nothing has changed.

Little time is spent on technique, how to control a ball, how to tackle properly. Following that mantra will change nothing, deny future England national teams any chance of real success until 1966 becomes an extraordinary one-off. Playing the game properly needs to be engendered from school age.

My children are lucky; their football teacher wants the ball played on the deck – perhaps being a long-suffering West Ham fan means that he wants the game played in the manner of teams under Greenwood and Lyall. I look back to my days in youth football and realise now how fortunate I was, a similar outlook at the club I played for. Credit to those coaches who insisted football was played properly.

Until English football changes, Aaron Ramsey will not be the last player to be badly injured.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 2, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 236 Comments.

  1. i recommend that you watch sky sports sunday supplement. there is a link for the latest one somewhere out there and shaun custis of the sun and patrick barclay offer a very well rounded response to this. i’m thinking about staying off newsnow arsenal for the next couple of days as the crap that the likes of legends collymore, parker and macari are coming out with is making my blood boil. actually, i think we should grant shawcross sainthood and drum wenger out of the game as he has done nothing for english football.

  2. 1 loose cannon

    Shawcross on Adebayor http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/4920065/

    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

  3. 1 loose cannon

    Yogi- I’m trying to post a link but its not letting me.

  4. Great article YW (dont know why i bother saying that any more..)

    I can’t believe the amount of people who are sticking up for Shawcross. This is the 2nd or third player who’s leg he’s broken now, but he’s obviously ‘not that type of player’. He’s only 22 and has an impressive hit list already. The tackle itself was hard but not malicious but that’s not the point.

    Gallas was vilified recenty for a poor tackle that caused minimal damage. Shawcross is defended to the hilt and has even had a sympathy phone call from ‘the best manager in the world’.

    The reaction to this is almost as sickening as poor Aaron’s injury. To think that people are giving wenger stick over this fills me with raging anger.

    There’s a very simple explanation for why we’ve had 3 of these injuries in 4 years – we get the shit kicked out of us every game. There has to be a line.

    I’ll end with this: Collymore = CUNT.

  5. Flint McCullough

    From the general attitude shown by the media & the majority of the English football population, following this incident, we are clearly a long way from even reaching the crossroads, YW.

    “The real culprits thought are the coaches, not just of Premier League sides but at all levels, junior, amateur, semi-professional and professional. The mentality of the English game is to ‘go in hard’. It was when I played; nothing has changed.”

    Perhaps the following expands on this!

    When England again fail to shine at the World Cup, no doubt Arsene will be blamed for not playing enough Englishmen, rather than……

    “The thing is English football, quite aside from this particular incident, will always be rough, tough and incredibly hard fought. The reason for this is it’s how we play the game as kids. We don’t stand round admiring each others skills and/or torsos, if someone was better than us in the playground, we kicked them until they were less good. Arsene Wenger has built an incredible team, a brilliant team capable of football the likes of which I have rarely seen before, if ever. But what he continually campaigns for is that this team should be allowed to fully express themselves without fear of hinderance from the other team, which is never going to happen in English football, because as supporters we won’t stand for it. We like our game the way it is, as does the rest of the world, which is why it enjoys the successes that it does”


    It is becoming clear from the “plunditry” including our own Lee Dixon & Martin Keown still live the the world described above, as well as a good %age of former players now coaching the game at some level.

    There is probably not much hope for the overall improvement in technique to come through until the generation coming through our academy (& some others) system have had their careers & start to teach the ongoing generations.

    From the Stoke program:
    Craig Sinclair – Academy player when asked about the best piece of advice given to him:
    “Put it in row Z. If in doubt kick it out. Use protection.”

    Not bad advice, in certain situations I wish Billy Boy would, but it is an indication of the lack of ambition at that level.

    I am afraid that we are battling against the tide.

  6. it aint just the coaching tho it the parents on the side who know nothing about the game shout at there poor kid to fly in or pass it.

  7. Those who are defending Shawcross whilst attacking Wenger are missing the point that they are the ones doing Wenger’s character assassination.

    Wenger is a change agent and he will always be the target of those who revel in mediocrity. They are too smug and comfortable. I feel that we need the likes of David Dein (not him though) who can lobby for the cause of better football from within the power echelons.

    If Fabregas starts having second thoughts about staying in this league, can we really blame him ? I am even sympathetic to Jose Reyes, Hleb and Flamini right now.

  8. ClockEndRider

    “…..deny future England national teams any chance of real success until 1966 becomes an extraordinary one-off…………….”.
    Do you seriously think it isn’t that already? 44 years ago. We didn’t qualify for 74 and 78 and have never got further than a semi final since. We failed to qualify for the last European championships. It is only in the deluded minds of fools and the collective deluders of the media that England is a great footballing nation. And I say this as a proud Englishman. The fact that so much of our premier league consists of anti-football teams stuffed with rugby league dropouts is nothing to be proud of. There is hope though. The only reason the last in line of clowns to manage arch anti-footballers Bolton was sacked, was because the owner can link the numbers of empty seats directly with the crap being played on the pitch. Compare and contrast with full houses at Old Trafford and the Arsenal. Still, easier for the scum pressnot to rock the boat, isn’t it?

  9. Great posting.., agree on every point.

    The specifics have already been disected again and again, so i’ll just say that i find it incredibly disturbing, even a little frightening the total lack of realisation that has come from this.

    We have a guy who has broken someone’s leg as the ‘victim’.., the true victim laying in a hospital bed forgotten about and whose manager has become the bad guy.

    Only in this country!

    Nothing has been learnt from this and i fear another Arsenal player will be fighting for his career within 2 years.

  10. spot on Yogi some thing needs to be done and fast.The rules book needs to be dusted and amended accordingly to properly govern the beautiful game that all of us surely love.thanks yogi

  11. The only reason the go in hard kind of football we see every week is still around is not just because it is accepted but also expected.

    The alternative to the British game is the slow, dreary style of football available in Italy, where any tackle is followed by rolling around and freely given free kicks. This allows for slow build up for, as long as the ball is controlled the team in possession cannot be tackled, this turgid affair is played out, at best, in front of half empty, joyless stadiums.

    Of course I hated the tackle on Ramsey as much as the next man, but I will not jump on the knee jerk bandwagon, in an attempt to change the football I have loved and followed for 30 years.

  12. Arse Shavin, forget Collymore. If you think a wife beating, Dudley Dullard can hold the moral high ground then something’s wrong. He’s just a reactionary nutsack echoing his equally retarded TalkShite mates’ opinions.

  13. “The crude doctrine of English soccer mistakes force for skill, confuses energy with talent and results at youth level for progress.”

    I came across this article today which carries some interesting parallels with the debate raging now. Even more interesting when you consider it was written back in 1993!

    Here’s the link..

  14. The sick mentality of English football today laid bare: http://www.dangerhere.com/shawcross-and-ramsey-an-interesting-study-into-the-emotions-of-the-uk-football-family/

    More internet hits on people expressing sympathy for Shawcross than for Ramsey.

    What a twisted lot.

  15. This is the real reason people don’t like Arsenal under Wenger –

    “It is blatantly obvious the Frenchman wants to buck the trend and traditions of English football.”

    Cos we are non-conformers. Well now it’s our time. Let them conform to our rules. The Wenger dynasty is about to be founded in it’s 3rd generation. We will dominate for years to come while has-beens like chelski, manure & the scousers will be ‘tackling’ thin air.
    Up the Arsenal!

  16. ryan shawcross ought to be knighted.

    i honestly thought he died trying to save the british empire.

  17. True Rinseout but also cos he’s french

  18. I honestly think it’s a Northern thing.

  19. LimparAssist,

    The elephant in the room is that most broken legs in the top flight occur in certain stadiums, against certain teams.

    Does anyone remember when Liverpool suffered two leg breaks against Blackburn?

    Even Diaby’s tackle which broke Campo’s leg was where?

  20. Wonderful. No. 7 … that’s the funniest comment I heard in a long time. It’s like the first 2 sentences in a good novel.

    Personally, I believe the solution to the cavemen is top-down. I mean, to be able to take the man in this manner, leg-breaker, takes some practice, it is not a skill mastered idly. What am I saying? Shawcross LEARNT to tackle just like that.

    And yet, Song, Diaby, and many others in EPL practice the subtle art of stealing the ball or simply getting the ball. It also takes practice.

    Chelsea, whom I detest above all, play and an aggressive but fair game in so far as tackling goes, as does someone like Evra or Vidic.

  21. limpar think it aint that
    depends if they want to get more money i think if you go along with wenger it fills less space but it you dont it can ramble on about it for longer.
    Least champagne charlie is sticking up for us

  22. In general, it would be a fitting response for at least Arsenal fans to vilify Shawcross for the next decade. Name something after him, taunt him, tease him, humiliate him endlessly.

    It’s a start. I hope his career ends. It’s for the greater good you see.

  23. do really want to get rid of the sliding tackle as well?
    we got rid of the sliding in from behind and it aint helped and has made the game a bit worse as a spectacle.

  24. zim your prat
    wouldn’t wish anyones career to end.
    yes he went in without thinking and he deserves to be made an example of.
    And yes he deserve a mountain of abuse next season.

  25. I am not sure about this. I think we have crossed the crossroads and are on a very certain path to a more technical game in England. As an innovative club, Arsenal lead the way as always and as always there are clubs and particularly coaches who remain entrenched. But they are being left behind.

    The game is still very physical sometimes and most of us are comfortable with that. Cesc and RvP are examples of players who are not uncomfortable with a hard fought physical game.

    In the main though as we have become more resilient as a squad, teams are finding it more difficult to use violence to stop us from playing our game. All the evidence is that we are playing through this and coming out as a much stronger AND technical side.

    Shawcross may have got a just punishment with his red card or he may have got away with murder. It doesn’t really matter though….and nor does the opinion of the football establishment, pundits, press and media. The real punishment, and this is really why Pulis was angry and looked stupid after the game, is that Stoke got beaten.

    If every time a team try to rough us up and every time a player is badly injured, we go on and beat them, then people will take heed. If we make teams who adopt these tactics look ridiculous and most of all we triumph in so doing…then change will come.

    Stoke got a fucking good hiding on Saturday which is all they deserve….and the problem of poor quality players got a very public airing.

    I do think though that the world of football, not just England, has a refereeing crisis at the moment.

  26. The referees in Europe are still much better. We don’t have even one proper referee….Howard Webb is a joke…Walton is a doughnut….

    I don’t necessarily want Shawcross to face further consequences. What is needed is a full accounting of what went wrong.

  27. Great post Frank

  28. Don’t want to plug someone else’s work but this, but this looks like an interesting reference:

    I’m not sure H*ward would approve.

    “Raphael Honigstein’s book on the peculiarities of English football, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. Die geheime Geschichte des englischen Fußballs, was published in German by Kiepenheuer & Witsch in 2006, and the English version Englischer Fussball: A German View of Our Beautiful Game was published by Yellow Jersey Press in 2008.

    I’d also recommend the ‘It’s up for grabs now’ podcast this week. Alan Davies account and reaction to what happened on his twitter feed after he recommended Shawcross be banned for as long as the injured player is out, is interesting.

  29. I stand humbly ‘pratted’ RS Dad, eyes down, apologetic. But still … what I am saying is a don’t care about Shawcross, nothing, nothing at all. Zero. If he were my son, I would seriously advise a long rest and a re-think.

    It’s not that it’s ‘about’ him; we know that. But it is in fact he who committed the tackle and shattered a leg. Accident? No, not exactly.

    Although I take Frank’s point.

  30. Bentley_The_Flying_Spur

    Blatant tackle. Ryan went in studs up. He wanted Ramsey to feel it. End of story. From all of us at WHL….get well soon lad.

  31. @ Frank

    All I would question is how long it will take for other teams to realise that their approach does not work, and how many more broken legs we will suffer in the interim. Football is very slow to change its mind. We haven’t struggled “oop north” for a few seasons now, but people are still convinced that we do. Similarly with our disciplinary record – we have been at or near the top of the fair play table for years, but Sean Custis on SS still said our record “was not the best”. The games against Bolton should have been a wake-up call to all the kickers, but they weren’t.

  32. Or to put it another way, once is an accident (Diaby), twice is very stupid (Eduardo), but three times and it is a fuckin war you gonna get.

    Or thoughts like that. Just my way. I am a gentle soul.

  33. Great post Yogi, as usual! And spot on comment by Clockendrider. The likes of Kingsalami really don’t understand why we foreigners watch the EPL. It’s nothing to do with your so called superior football. English football is not pleasing to the eye thus our preference for a team like Arsenal which unenglish football. This explains why despite manutd winning so many trophies Arsenal remains the most popular English club in East Africa. In fact manutd are viewed as a team that plays ugly but winning football. The challenge for the English is to play a more cultured game. The good thing is that the people at the new FA academy recognise that. And Arsene owes it to the English gooners to help mold such home players. If Arsenal had as many talented English players in the squad as he does Frenchmen then the likes of shawcross would have no sympathy from your xenophobic press. If the academy project succeeds and the likes of Walcott, Wilshere, Gibbs, Lansbury and maybe four more become English International regulars then the general negative attitude now being shown in the English press will dissappear.

  34. The press, media and the embedded plundits (good word, YW) were exposed long ago. Horrible thought in many cases. I notice Collymore was mentioned in a previous post. I saw him the other day and I was amazed. If Oscar Wilde had written ‘A Picture of Stanley Collymore’, Stan would be the picture. Bloated body, small cold eyes, thinning hair. The man is decaying before our eyes.

  35. Bentley_The_Flying_Spur

    Typical “GET IN THEIR FACES AND UP THEIR ARSES !!!” stuff from them northerners. Modric got hit the same way.

  36. They will change their mind when we have won the league this year, FG. Actually they probably won’t. But do we care. We have Arsenal…they don’t.

  37. who would be dorian tho frank

  38. Bentley_The_Flying_Spur

    Frank, Stan Collymore is a plankton

  39. intresting stats from nn are we protected enough

    La Liga: 2160 cards (2017 yellow – 78 yellow/red – 65 red)

    Serie A: 1805 cards (1686 yellow – 71 yellow/red – 48 red)

    EPL: 1244 cards (1181 yellow – 26 yellow/red – 37 red)

  40. Here in the US the NFL has added several new rules to protect the quarterback from injury. Quarterbacks are the biggest stars and the most influential players and the fans want to see them on the field not on the training table. Alot of pundits have criticized saying it takes away from the true nature of the game just as they do in the UK. Hopefully at some the FA will recognize that the game is better off when the best players are on the pitch rather then limping off after a bad tackle. It seems like a “no brainer” to me.

    I love Sol in back 4. He is the tall strong, stay at home CB who can control the airspace that I have hoped we could get all year. He does not bomb forward in open play leaving us open to the counter. TV is really good at getting forward and he needs a stay at home partner to really make him better. I doubt that WG will be back next yr. Great job by the boss to resign Sol. I hope he keeps Sol around and buys another CB in his mold next year. I hope Sol stays as 1st choice the rest of the season. What do you guys think?

  41. Kenyan Gunner is exactly right.

  42. Without Arsenal, the Premier League wouldn’t be much of a product.

    Man United play decent football more often than not, but without Arsenal- Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, the EPL is an inferior product.

    It’s much the same way La Liga would offer little fascination without Barcelona.

  43. The Press and Media have outdone themselves over the last few days.

    Especially some of the comments coming from ex-players who apparently know more about the game than anyone.

    Nothing short than Scandalous.

    I don’t condone violence, but if i do ever happen to see Collymore, Macari or Darren Gough in the street, i am afraid i will not be responsible for my actions.

  44. Maybe by the time this Arsenal team are dominant, Wenger will be able to say something along the lines of …”and you know what it took it get to this point”.

    I say thanks to the various supporters who have come on ACLF from Liverpool, Tottenham and even Stoke to say, basically, enough’s enough.

    That’s something small but real.

  45. I wonder what the players are thinking. I wonder what Ramsey is thinking right now.

  46. Bill did you see Sol’s run & dummy around the opponent on Saturday? When past the half way line.
    Almost the champagne moment of the match.

    I think he did it twice, thrice?

  47. Top comment Matt…LOL.

    Don’t worry we’ll tell the CPS that you’re not that kind of lad.

  48. come on now fellas, collymore has shown us time and time again he is a shining beacon of morality and fair judgement. Who are we to question such a man who’s very life represents the unquestionable value of tabloid news?

  49. Behaviour such as that represented by Sawcross is rarely, if ever, modified except by force of some sort. That is what laws are for. That tactics of this nature ‘might’ work against Arsenal, or is ‘the best plan we got’ will be enough for it to continue (alongside general xenophobia and english ‘hard man’ attitudes of a section of football). To stop it, it will need to be outlawed.

    For this to happen the culture will need to change, or at least be moderated.

  50. I think the sadest thing about it all is how “neutrals” are to thick to see they are being played by the media. How Shawcross breaking Ramseys legg has become a discussion over wheter Wenger is talking nonsens or not is beyond me.

    How Shawcross is the victim that needs support is also beyond me.

  51. I do think Zimpaul that you can’t outlaw an approach or a mentality….assuming we all agree Shawcross’ tackles and he himself a products of a mentality and apporach to the game.

    I do however think it is necessary to point out what should be the correct approach and to account for the negative fallouts of the wrong approach.

  52. Finsbury:

    Missed those runs. Do you think we are a better team with Sol in the back? I know he probably can not play every game but I hope he gets alot of time on the pitch the rest of the season.


    Just like the NFL in the US the culture of violence and the macho were dominant. However, I think the huge pot of TV money and the TV networks wanting the star players on the field motivated the NFL to protect the “wimpy” quarterbacks. American football and their TV revenue are much better off for their effort to protect those star players. Hopefully the FA will somehow realize it is in everyones best interest including their own to stem the tide of bad tackles. It takes away from the game. The neutral fans and especially the international fans tune in to watch the stars on the pitch. Who wants to turn on the TV and see Cesc or Ronaldo or Messi or Modric limp off the field. It is bad for TV ratings to lose the star players. Protecting these players who bring the revenue to the game is a “no brianer”. I wish the English FA would get its collective head out of its butt.

  53. The negative fallouts, Ole G, are so disturbing, so profound – in footballing terms for England, that it is hard to understand why reasonable people in the football establishment can’t grasp them.

    The media are trying to shilly-shally the whole business to a minor story, ‘not the handshake’ is the current media lead, but people are talking, and talking dirty, about what football represents in england. It is a PR nightmare for EPL.

  54. @ Finsbury, Bill
    When I saw Bill’s post, I was going to say what Finsbury said! Sol has always loved a gallop upfield.

  55. This situation is bigger than football, thats why I dont see anything changing at all. No one in the FA has come out and said we are reviewing the situation.

    What I see is a bias that is so ingrained that people dont even realise thats how they are, it seems sensible to them. I believe its starts from the top down, If not something wouldve been said.

    This situation sickens me. You have a manager that defends his team due to THREE broken legs and he is attacked. Is this serious?

    The only reason why we see change as far as playing style is the PL is due to foreigners whether it be the players or the managers.

    Sorry but from what I can see, left to most of the english, you would have to play football in the colosseum.

    Its unbelievable and embarrassing.

    Get well soon Aaron!!

    God bless!

  56. Are you still interested in my take on DD, FG? Much of it is from my old friend Tom. I recorded it here for you because it was a long conversation.


  57. GoonerSinceThe80s

    This guy is South Africa got a 3month ban, and they even talked of the tackler not to get paid of play football untill the injured guy returned. I love the attitude of the pundits in South Africa, Take a look. WARNING: injury is very graphic.

    Let me know what you thought.

  58. Ryan Giggs is Ramsey’s role model. It would be nice if he called on him. And onto the good news. Anyone who saw Delloite’s report would see that Arsenal and Bayern Munich are soon going to be the world’s richest clubs. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manutd, Chelsea and Liverpool are debt junkies! Kudos to frugality!

  59. Zimpaul,

    Since the 80s, I’ve been disenchanted with this mentality. I don’t support England because I detest the “we’re crap but we scrap mentality”.

    I don’t understand why English football thinks it shouldn’t try to outplay but only outfight the opposition, or both outplay and outfight the opposition.

    England won’t win for that. The reason is that England teams have proven not to have as much fight as the likes of Germany, Argentina, Italy, and even Brazil, not to talk of most Scandinavian countries which don’t do any better at the international stages, and not as much ability as Brazil, Holland, Spain, Italy, France and Argentina.

    The French are not known for their fight but they have a much better record in international football because they’ve constructed a few sides chock full of able footballers.

    This mentality was killing English football even at league level and it’s limited the success of teams like Aston Villa, Sunderland in recent times who ordinarily would have done much better than they actually have.

    Most of the upwardly mobile teams in English football; those which have risen beyond their previous stations in say the last 15 years, have been more progressive, and the ones stuck in the nonsense have not made as much progress. With exceptions either way of course but I think, still true.

  60. Last few days been away mourning Ramsey’s leg break. I am just sickened by the sympathy this Shawcross person is getting and the way Arsene is being criticized, when did the simple rules of life change, the bad guy becomes the victim while the victim becomes the bad guy. The English Media sickens me to the hilt, one more reason I will be wishing for England’s downfall come June.

    Having read through almost all the comments in the last four blogs nobody seems to have noticed at first it looked like the ref was going to give a free kick their way, I think that’s one reason why our players were so enraged.

    matt 3.16 be sure to do it without malice, we will use that to defend you.

    Arsenehollis, very crappy of you to think that the rest of us that were born far away from there arent TOTAL fans. It’s this “WE are better than you” supporters mentality that makes want to puke!!!Could you please leave Nasri, Shotta out of it?

    Kenyan gunner you forgot to mention manu has supporters who dont know their players outside of Rooney and former Ronaldo..quite some fans i tell you.

    Ole good to see you have eased down on attacking Poliziano, it was starting to creep me out to say the least.

    All the best to Ramsey, a speedy and a full recovery to him. And here is to looking forward to lifting that trophy in May. YES WE CAN. We are the ARSENAL

  61. Pulis, who is Welsh, and Shawcross said they had contacted Aaaron Ramsey by text because he was about to undergo an operation. Holding each other’s hands arguing about which one was going to press the send button no doubt. Apparently Aaron responded just prior to his operation. He absolved Shawcross of any blame on the grounds that it must be very difficult for a beautiful purple daddy longlegs to control itself in a tackle, especially under the gaze of a large lemon yellow frog.

  62. Excellent point, 1 loose cannon… Ridgewell is another of these “tackle hard” merchants and it’s only a matter of time before he ends someone’s career. The tackle on Walcott was awful, but I am completely appalled that he didn’t get anything for that tackle on McCarthy the other day. Martinez was right, that’s a sending off, and I think the ref assistant being down might have let him off easy. I don’t know if McCarthy was injured, or injured seriously, but I’m surprised there hasn’t been much outcry over that…

    Oh that’s right, everyone’s busy sending Shawcross flowers instead.

  63. Delia _ Block 112

    Waves of emotion will be flowing round the Emirates on Saturday. In all my years of following the Arsenal I have never felt so violated by the crass, uninformed jibes thrown at my beloved team by the England obsessed media. What outcry there would have been had Rooney suffered Ramsey’s fate! I urge all Gooners to give the team everthing we have got on Saturday and don’t forget to take a box of tissues!

  64. Bill.

    Sol is possibly the best defender of his generation, but I get the impression, at this moment in time, if both he and Gallas are fit, it’s not a choice.

    I don’t understand, all top teams have good squads.
    I don’t understand people talking about Clichy vs.Gibbs.
    I don’t understand any comparison between Gallas & Sol. It’s a 60 game season!

    And, we get tackled a little differently to other teams, you might have noticed.

  65. William Davies

    Hey, if you can’t beat them, join them. Instead of a striker and a keeper, hire Jackie Chan and Steven Seagal. Play them for the last 5 minutes against Manure and Chelski in the first game we play with the directive to ‘go in hard’ and ‘get in the face’ of Rooney, Rio, Terry, Lampard and Drogba.

    A couple of snapped legs later and you’ll have new rules flying in banning anything resembling a tackle so fucking quickly, your head will spin.

    I’m sorry and I feel a little guilty for thinking this and at the worst of times, never wish a player an injury (not even spu*s players) but for the sake of the game and our players’ futures, I sincerely hope that Sahwcross’ next victim is Rooney, Terry or such similar cnut.

    It’s the only way that something will be done to prevent this.

    Someone mentioned Ridgewell. the guy assaulted a corner flag which then nearly took out an officials eye, whilst injuring the player also ( who happened to be off the pitch). It’s be safer asking Abu Hamza to juggle 2 fkn live grenade in a room full of people.

  66. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I noticed at least two or three marauding runs into the opponents end from Big Sol. His passes were spot on the money, too.

  67. Perhaps Ole G, if – in general – the english game concentrated on drawing from its stock of excellent footballing qualities, things could be different. By this I mean, for instance the great goal-keepers and England has had a few of those, the extraordinary dribblers and wingers so beloved in England footballing lore, the fantastic protect, swivel and shoot types, the heading – these are all positive attributes. Why does it have to be only the ‘hard-man’ in the middle – the dumbing-down is shocking.

  68. Lol NJN,

    They may not practice ‘defence’ at AFC (it’s why their bones are so brittle you see), but Sol’s passing has definitely improved! Now if only someone could take that ‘nice guy’ inhibitor out, and set him loose upon Stoke-on-Trent. Who needs Mr.Chan?

  69. @ Frank
    Thanks for the link, but I’m afraid the narrative doesn’t really hang together for me. For one thing, why would the board collude with Michel Platini to ditch DD? Why did DD need to sell ALL his shares to Usmanov? That strongly suggests more interest in money than in the club. Why didn’t the other directors sell up to either SK or AU? Before the SK business, DF was certainly thinking of selling up and retiring – which isn’t exactly a crime, is it, at 65-odd? The fact that he stayed on because he wanted to make sure the club was not going to get into unsafe hands is a plus point in my eyes. And you don’t even mention the philosophical disagreement about the business model the club should follow.

    I think I’ve said before that I respect and appreciate what DD did for the club (although I think you overstate his importance a bit – others did their share). I certainly don’t think the falling-out was initially about greed, rather that DD could not accept the majority opinion on the direction the club should go in, and that refusal started him down a wrong path.

  70. Zimpaul,

    It really is shocking. If you listen to commentators, short people are quick and clever, whereas tall people are stupid and strong. A moronic idea very ingrained in how we think of football.

    England has contributed so much to football, and I daresay is still the home of the game. To concede so much over so little is what riles. Just a stubborn desire to prove that English grit will win afterall.

  71. Firstlady,

    Allow me to say…”he started it”.

    All I said to bring all this upon myself was that I don’t agree we should be discussing John Terry since I resent the fact that these scum bags just have to behave badly to dominate our discourse and our consciousness.

    If John Terry always behaved well he’d never be in the news.

  72. Excellent Yogi’s…”Get in hard” is the core problem of English footballing mentality, and it clearly shows a great weakness and lack of intellegence. Or even the desire to solve England’s problems.

    You resort to force, most likely it means that you either can’t think of any other options, or you’re to lazy to think of any other option.

    What really makes me laugh is the “Arsenal are too fast for them” So because Arsenal players are too fast, then it’s their fault and it’s OK to hack them down.

    I would say if you’re too slow, stupid, and have no control over yourself…You should not play any sport.

    A former American player who is now a show host on FSC yesterday gave an example on the show liking Shawcross to a dog trying to catch a tennis ball between three people (Arsenal players) and because the people are moving the ball so fast the dog (shawcross) finally snatch or bites the hand of one of them because he’s desperate, tired, and can’t get the ball.

    Well, Mr. Eric Wynalda we are not animals, players on the field must have a mind and know that their studs can be used as a weapon. If you can’t control yourself and raise from being an animal to being a human, then you need to stay home or go entertain people in a Zoo.

  73. I won’t have the conversation here with you, FG. It is not my site. I think you have missed a couple of points though.

  74. G4E, stupid analogy. Truth is a well trained dog will most probably not bite the persons hand to the point of tearing flesh off of it!


  75. Absolutely right CBob…I despise the man and despise his achievements because most of them are aided by referees and other managers who are former united players or loyal dogs to Alex Ferguson.

    I remember the Wigan’s pitch in 2008 horrible for Arsenal’s visit and then with a miracle is carpet smooth for United’s visit.

    I think Ferguson is one of English’ football big problems…and until he’s gone, there will be no fairness in this league.

    Did he ever get the sideline ban for his tirade against that referee?

  76. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’d pay a couple weeks wages to see Big Sol mangle Shawcross, Finsbury. All the better if his mum was in attendance to give him a ride home, too.

  77. taeryn,

    Yes, McCarthy had his ankle injured by Ridgewell’s “challenge” and has had to pull out of the Ireland squad vs Brasil as a result.

  78. G4E,

    I want to believe it’s not true what you say, but so much happens so often to make me think it’s true some of the time.

  79. Finsbury:

    I guess I just like Sol. Brings back great memories. I still think we will we a better team with him. Debates like that are what fans everywhere have been doing forever. That is part of what makes sports fun.

    We do get tackled differently then everyone else. Teams like Stoke do not have any other answer and it has worked in the past. It sucks, but teams will always do whatever they can get away with to try to even the field. The people who make the rules have to change it. Unfortunately money is the only thing that motivates significant change. Hopefully the FA will realize that they will have a better product and generate more revenue longterm if the players stay on the pitch. Injury stopages slow the game and make it a less desirable product for mass comsumption. A few 6 month suspensions without pay might go a long way towards stopping the bad tackles.

  80. Exactly Paul N.

  81. I am sure that Ryan Shawcross will get his come uppance at some point. Funny how all these tough guys in the football establishment feel sorry for Shawcross because he cried. What a bunch of fucking cissies.

  82. Ya he broke my leg and then he cried…he’s the victim then.

  83. If the physical play is such a part of the PL why did Song get a yellow card? Was it even a foul?

  84. I am proud of nearly all commentators on this thread. The views on Ramsy, EPL referees, our media and afc are all spot on and well argued.

    Bill, I also share your views about Sol. I think he and Vaermalen or Gallas is the way forward. They compliment each other and bring strengths that the TV and WG partnership cannot. It seems that William’s injury might turn out to have been a happy misfortune. No such optimism can be found in the horrendous injury to Aaron.

  85. I would like to think it’s not true either Ole G but unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more the truth…at least to me.

  86. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Spot on about Eric Wynalda, G4E. Eric Wynalda has got to be one of the stupidest pundits going. How that guy has a job commenting on the game is beyond me. Fox Football Fone In is a farce. Nick Webster is a f*cking joke, too. They never answer the good questions that actually force them to take a side either. No wonder so many unenlightened people over here hate the game. Look who we have commenting on it. Bobby McMahon is the only pundit on Fox worth listening to. He was the only one to pick us to win the league and is always praising us.

  87. William Davies


    I firmly believe that what goes around, comes around. Therfore I predict that Sol will lodge his entire leg, up to the thigh up Shawcrosses arse when they next meet.

    Here’s to Karma

  88. I totally agree NJN, I also like Bobby McMahon even when he’s not praising us, at least he’s objective and knows what he’s talking about.

  89. Picture this. Tony Pulis’ son walking by the road when a speeding car bumped his right leg with bones all over him. The driver chap gets down and takes him to the nearest hospital.

    Going by the benign comments he came up on the aftermath to Aaron Ramsey’s injury, I guess this would be assessment.

    “The lad in a kindhearted lad, can’t hurt a fly. He hasn’t got a bad bone about him. He was just running late for his flight and therefore chose to go a bit faster that usual. In fact, the lad was so upset about this that his mom had to drive the rest of the road. I am terribly sorry for my son, but glad that the lad made at the right time for his flight.”

  90. NJN

    I had a strong desire to see Sol erupt into a beserker frenzy on Saturday. Think I said so before (I was joking), but the way the Arsenal team reacted was admirable, inspiring.


    We all have our favourite players, Sol’s a legend in world football, I’m a big fan.

    He’s had a very intersting season, and may also have had a hand in The Fall of Our Beloved Geezer ‘Arry and His Blessed Agent’s. Time will tell.

    Deep down, I’m a cheesy Romantic, and I had an irrational desire for Anelka to come back and reconnect with the club, (is he the Chav$ best player this season?), but Sol will do!

    The rules don’t need changing, maybe it would help if the refs knew what they were?

  91. I’m just gonna throw this out there, but fuck Ryan Shawcross. Fuck him. Everyone wants to give him sympathy, well fuck him. Fuck him and his mum.

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean any insult, but fuck ’em. They’re getting enough love from people so I’m gonna give them scorn. Fuck him and his defenders.

    Aaron, fuck ’em, you get up and running soon kid and become the world beater you’re destined to be.

    GoonerSinceThe80s great vid. If only the reaction over here was so just

  92. Paulie Walnuts

    According to the press Ferguson was in touch with Shawcross on Saturday night.

    Most likely to thank him no doubt – but more interesting is the rumoured buy back clause Man Ure have on Shawcross.

    Stoke fans believe the deal has already been done for a return to Mould Trafford in the summer. Another reason to hate him then.

  93. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    There’s just too many incidents to draw from for there to not be some truth, Ole G. It must be nice when you have got teams just handing you wins like Wolves did. There is no doubt in my mind United are treated differently.

  94. And oh yes, the lad was in fact, crying inconsolably and even sent me a text message wishing me speedy recovery. Nice lad.

  95. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    The funniest part was Shawcross didn’t cry until he saw red and knew he’d done something horrible. He’s a f*cking phony no heart thug in my book.

  96. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Song’s booking was a joke, Paul N. Essentially the ref told Song he’s not entitled to fight for a 50 50 ball.

  97. The crying can be uncontrollable emotional reaction to the guilt he feels…because only him knows deep down what his intention was…and I don’t think his intentions were good at all.

  98. G4E @ 4:36, Damn right mate.

    When we played Wigan their pitch was like a plowed field, this was made worse by there being a rugby game played on it 2 days earlier. However, when “Sir” Alex’s lot went up there Sky TV re-sheduled the Wigan rugby match till after the footy. This change was made days before Manu arrived, it had not been done before or since, hmm.

    The man is a bully, the press & officials are shit scared of him. The record books show their trophy wins but the records don’t show all the favours and “fortunate” decisions given along the way. Villa will go down as runners up……

    Not saying they’re not a good team but fuck me do they get a smoother ride. Was bad enough before they won the European cup but since it’s become rediculous. Imagine how many times Rooney would’ve been sent off if playing for us.

  99. Shawcross is nothing but a thug who shouldn’t be anywhere near a football pitch.

    He is not a footballer.

    The biggest joke is that a red card is the only deterrent to this assault that has been committed.

    Until a proper deterrent is put in place, there is nothing to stop these retarded moron’s from flying in to such reckless ‘tackles’.

    Maybe the pig faced fool would of thought about flying in 2 footed if he thought there was a chance of a 6 month unpaid ban.

  100. @ Gadget at 4:53pm

    ha ha ha – love it!
    You forgot this one – “f*ck the horse he rode in on.”

  101. And you are very right Gadget – Fuck Shawcross, he is a c**t of the highest degree.

    Fuck him, and his mum, and the rest of his idiotic fan’s.

    May Karma rear it’s head at some point in the future and give them all what they deserve.

  102. Finsbury:

    Anelka would be an awesome.

    Your right about the rules being there already. The refs need to do a better job. I would like to see the punishment part of the rules changed. 6 month suspension without pay for Shawcross seems appropriate.

  103. Finsbury and others:

    One other thought about the rules. I would like to see less stoppages in play. IMO the game would be better if they called less of the “ticky tack” fouls and let them play, but punished the bad fouls much more severely. Quicker red and yellow cards for bad challenges and significant suspensions for bad tackles. Your thoughts?

  104. F. Frederick Skitty

    This whole episode has the stench of the corruption that a headlong pursuit of money brings any society.

    Two of the things in this life that, to my mind, need to be free from the bonds of financial agendas are sport and news. Both offer priceless opportunities for us to learn and progress as a species, yet both lie locked in a perpetual, unholy menage a trois with entities such as Rupert Murdoch.

    Now what do we have? We have a national sport administered by old school cretins, wholly incapable of a single useful or progressive thought, not to talk of a deed. What chance do they have to protect the interests of the game (and our love of it) against the big business’ sharpest, most voracious minds?

    What checks and balances are there when the media, especially the sports media is basically controlled by one organisation with nothing but contempt for the concepts of decency or fairplay or even NEWS.

    Sport and news is chewed up, shat out. We then lap it up for the price of a Sky Subscription or an advert on TalkSPORT.

    Now we can see the effect. The airwaves are ruled by people notorious for their stupidity and antisocial antics. Yet they pour poison in the ear of the good people of Britain 24/7.

    Now we have a situation where the entire game is run by the media, journalists desperately try to be even dumber than they actually are. Sometimes I feel like I am hallucinating. This is Eduardo all over again. All discussion is tabloidised from rag to cundit to mug and back again. What is learned? Why do cundits have to be morons or even famous? Surely even the most mediocre manager would be an improvement on what we are subjected to. What do we actually learn about football from them?

    I heard a phrase that rang true. Something like this:

    “Tell a man something that he doesn’t know and he will hate you, tell him something he knows and he will love you.”

    I listened to Talksport for about 2 weeks about a year ago, until it make me nauseous.

    What good is the media doing for football?

    To answer that just consider for a moment the treatment that they meted out to Eduardo over the “diving” incident. Revenge for making one of their own feel bad about his tackle.

    The fact that modern football and its reporting has allowed sport, hate and hypocrisy to become bedfellows is heart-breaking.

    Volume off and no punditry for me from now on.

  105. William Davies

    Nope, ban to match injury. Player out for 12 months then ‘assaulter’ banned for 12 months. His salary to go to the offended player or a charity of his choosing

    Apart from the obvious benefit the added benefit is that no club will then risk signing a thug like Shawcross lest they lose a years wages for a player banned from football. That will mean an end to thuggery of this sort in football.

    That is the best thing that could happen for the game.

  106. Bill:

    Didn’t say I wanted Anelka back, I don’t! He said he wanted to return, and he’s a good player, but he made his choice a long time ago.

    Sol’s case is/was different. He was screwed over by PFC/Notts, AFC/AW helped him out, now he’s returning the favour. Bless him.

  107. It would help if the refs didn’t give AFC players yellow cards for making legitimate shoulder barges.

    And read the FIFA guidelines for referee’s every once in a while.

  108. Nasir Jones-Nasri,

    The Wolves thing wasn’t surprising. It’s like when your colleagues are sleeping with each other, it’s been happening long enough, everyone knows, and one day they spontaneously kiss.

    Mick Mccarthy probably thought; why bother keep up appearances. That way he could have double advantage.

    To be fair, I don’t think they want to hand games to Man United. They just believe the Man United hype because in certain parts, the hype is so strong, that many really think they’re invincible.

    Remember last season when they won like 7 games with a 1-nil scoreline, and teams didn’t even try to win against them, with managers going there, getting beaten and smiling to the cameras, clucking about how natural it was to lose to this unstoppable team. Until Liverpool went there and beat them 4-1.

  109. Ole Gunner on March 2, 2010
    at 2:07pm:

    The elephant in the room is that most broken legs in the top flight occur in certain stadiums, against certain teams.


    While this is true, there is in my opinion another, maybe even bigger, animal (whale?) in the room.

    Newcastle now have players like Coloccini, Gutierrez, Geremi and before had likes of Boumsong. Stoke has Diao, Faye (played for Bolton as well I think) and Huth. Wigan has Scharner, Figueroa etc. Blackburn has Samba, Emerton, Nelsen and such. So a lot of foreign defenders or defensive midfielders.

    Yet Shawcross broke Aaron’s leg, Nolan injured Anichebe, Cattermole hospitalized three players last season, Ridgewell two already this season. McEveley I believe broke Cissé’s leg. Kyrgiakos of course on Fellaini.

    So they do not just happen in certain stadiums, they are very disproportionally inflicted by English players. And only 30 per cent of players in the league are English.

    And is this really a surprise, Cattermole got only bookings last season from those tackles, absolutely nothing for Ridgewell on Walcott or McCarthy etc etc. Ashley Cole only got a yellow for that awful tackle on Hutton, Terry got a yellow for ridiculous two-footed lunge on Sagna at the Bridge last season. The message is clear, almost anything is acceptable, especially from English players, and if a bad injury occurs, well, it’s bad luck but only three games type of bad luck.

    On another thing, did you notice how Tuncay when he came on started kicking everything and lunged on Clichy’s back quite needlessly, a bookable offence in my opinion, just the kind where the ref needs to flash the card to calm the player down. He’s a player I always liked and is very skillful, but now just a few months in Stoke and he is a thug.

    I still cannot believe that Song was the only booked player in that game.

    We all here like Kevin Davies, right. Should he have been there and fouled as much as Fuller did, surely there would have been a booking for him, or even two.

  110. Arsene faced a lot of criticism when he bought Sol but he’s proved to us why he bought Sol. Sol is better than Gallas in those tricky games against the hoofing class like Stoke, Hull, Birmingham, Wigan, Sunderland and even Chelsea. I think he can keep Drogba in his pocket. On current form, he will help us more than Gallas because we still have to play Hull, Wigan, Birmingham and Blackburn all away.

  111. FFS…agree when money enters through the door, cheating, deceit, greed, and many other vile traits will come hand in hand.

    Some people – like Wenger eluded to subtly a couple of years ago after the Eduardo leg break – have to cheat to win.

    The problem is: Control and regulations and persisting on enforcing them fairly on every one.

    Look in the financial world, when you try to enforce regulations, the cheaters will cry about freedom of trade etc., etc. Which is nothing but a code word for “Screw the honest”.

  112. Just f*ck off marturks, you f*cking moron.

    After all what has happened you have the nerve to come here with your utter drivel to divide the team.

    F*CK YOU!

  113. anaconda,

    Oh there’s no doubt that you’re right. In each case there’s a ringing endorsement which follows from English football.

    The two points combined highlights something and it’s encapsulated by the chant….

    “You dirty n——n bastards”…

  114. I am actually surprised you didn’t blame Denilson, you prick.

  115. That was meant for that moron maturks, of course.

  116. I’m not the biggest fan of Gallas, but I have to admit and commend him because he has done “extremely” & “Exceptionally” well this season.

    So, the usual response applies: F*ck Off Howard.

  117. By: Ole Gunner on March 2, 2010
    at 1:47 pm


  118. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I think you are sugar coating it a bit, Ole G.

  119. Which Shawcross should we be most worried about?

    This one: http://u.nu/5nsx6

  120. Or this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Shawcross

    At the rate the latter is going he’ll end up breaking more legs than the other…

  121. F. Frederick Skitty

    Every time Shawcross plays at the Emirates – how about we greet him with the following refrain, heart and soul:

    “Mama mia, Mama mia
    Mama mia let me go!

    Beelzebub has a devil set aside for meeeahh for meeeeeeee!!!”

  122. That was a cheap shot…Yogi’s Warrior please delete my last 2 comments.

  123. I have this sickening feeling that should Ryan Shitforbrains make an appearance at Wembley tomorrow night, he will receive a loud cheer of support from the England supporters.

    Think about who actually goes to watch England play in a friendly. Other than victims of an incredibly cheap corporate comp, and people that have become lost in the immediate locale, noone goes – except absolute mugs.

    I am generalising here but people that pay to watch England play in a friendly, are a) f*cking stupid, and b) dislike Arsenal, Wenger, the French, the Welsh, passing football, and tact. So it wouldn’t suprise me in the least bit if this were to happen.

  124. Institutional Xenephobia?

  125. anaconda: I think you are right on the British players’ reputation that stops them from being punished as harshly. Someone like Fletcher who I rate, his follows will most likely fall under the ‘honest man’ bracket as did Nolan, as did Ridgewell , as did Cattermole and as did Shawcross.

  126. Maturks/H*ward,

    Stoke are lucky Gallas wasn’t playing.

  127. Paulie Walnuts

    I really don`t believe we are all a paranoid bunch. The facts are stacked against English players, particularly those playing for northern teams.

    Cattermole & Ridgewell obviously spring to mind as do Bolton`s Robinson & Pompey`s Brown (he`s from up north). The foreign `hardmen` like Vidic, Mascherano & Mikel are more shirt pullers & niggle artists.

    Limpar A – I totally agree. Shawcross will get a standing ovation at some point tomorrow night.

    I`m already trying to decide who to support at the World Cup. I thought Chelsea had a team that was made up of the highest percentage of ar%eholes ever until I checked on the England squad.

  128. AFC should start their own International team, London!

    Players like Walcott and Wilshere would qualify, and be kept away from the FA until they decide they want to play Association Football again.

  129. By: Gadget on March 2, 2010
    at 4:53 pm


    Any more love from the nation and he’ll be on the one show with christine and adrian

  130. If Shawcross had known how the media would react, I suppose he wouldn’t have bothered crying.

  131. Ian Wright is now an even bigger c*nt.

  132. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Pedro at Le Moan is saying the foreigners are just as dirty as the English and he’s tired of reading everyone slag the English. What a delusional twat. Talk about catering to your audience.

  133. Limpar, you have just made me even angrier and a little sadder. the former as a human being, the second as an englishman.

    You are right. It is just too predictable in 2010 England.

    How did we come to this. Mind you, No. 2 son saysthat it’s alright really because he never meets these people. Just don’t go ‘oop north’ and don’t go to Morrisons.

  134. I thought Wrighty outc*ntified himself when he sent his son to Chav$ki, for the $, instead of to his spiritual home at AFC.

    Great decision, that was.

  135. In my opinion, it’s better to wait till after the crime is committed before holding the trial. Perhaps you won’t need to get sadder after all.

  136. By: DukeGoonem on March 2, 2010
    at 7:06 pm

    didnt think it was possible!

    whats he said now?

  137. Nasir Jones-Nasri

  138. just admit you hate english people njn or admit you want to be in the le grove gang!!

  139. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I love English people. I just hate thugs, bullies, liars, hypocrites, and xenophobes. So it’s only natural that I would hate Le Grove.

  140. No pz, I don’t need to wait. It’s all too obvious.

    Limpar knows us too well. He’s young, you see. It’s all around him, all of the time. You and I do not see it on a daily basis. Myself because I spend my days as far from daily contact with idiots, and you, why, for the same reason I imagine.

  141. I agree that the most violent players in the EPL seem to be English. However, I suspect that happens because teams fill the bottom portions of their squads with Englishmen and usually the last 10 players on the squad for Bolton, Stoke etc. are not the most talented players. The way they can stay on the squad is by brute force rather then by skill. Teams like Bolton and Stoke also probably feel they need more Englishmen so the local fans can identify with them. The good ones go to Chelsea and ManU etc so they fill their squad with lesser skilled players whose only value is their strong tackles.

    Although I certainly can not back it up with any evidence, I suspect that most of the enforcers and brutes in Spain are Spanish etc. etc

  142. By the way, there’s a programme about Football Finance in the business news on BBC News Channel this evening at 20.00 British time.

  143. “I think Ferguson is one of English’ football big problems…and until he’s gone, there will be no fairness in this league.”

    Comment of the day. He started all this kick Arsenal shit and he benefits most from the old boy network in football in this country.

  144. Yes Passenel, G4E was spot on there.

  145. ‘Passenal’. Doh!

  146. This isn’t related at all to the Ryan Sawchop incident… but does anyone know if there’s any truth to the rumors that we might be signing Mesut Ozil in the summer?

    I’m a huge huge fan of the kid, and think he’d fit in great at Arsenal.

  147. I think it’s a mistake to try to spread the blame to English football, or even to the English people as a whole. However rough and ready English football might be in general, it must be remembered that only a minority are responsible for causing serious injury to other players. It is unreasonable to expect an entire country to change its style of football to satisfy ones own taste, but it is reasonable to request that abuses of that style be eliminated. Most aspects of the physical game, whether one likes it or not, do not cause serious injury. It is particular kinds of challenge that do the damage, and need to be controlled with greater rigour.

  148. http://www.worldfootballinsider.com/Story.aspx?id=33050

    It’s good to see that Ivan is getting in with the movers and shakers.

  149. @Limpar…I have the very same feeling.

    I would not be at all shocked at a chant of “Break His Leg! Break His Leg!” – I really wish I were being over-the-top, but the truth is I really expect it.

    The English game is fast and strong…and I for one enjoy this greatly. Perhaps I am stating the obvious, but that aspect of the game has nothing to do with what happened to poor Ramsey.

    The reality is that these types of “errors” happen at the school-boy level, where players do not know their own strength and are lacking in skill. These men are professionals. They have been playing for many long years. They know when they are late to a challenge. They know when they are going to miss the ball. They know when a tackle from behind is only going to send another player to ground in pain. They know when they are fouling cynically. They know when they are pulling shirts, kicking shins, and all the rest. Shawcross knew that he was late and he knew that he was going to foul Ramsey badly. He plays this way. His team plays this way. There is no defense for it. The rules are in place to keep the game from being a sandbox scrap. The refs are responsible for keeping the rules. They failed Ramsey horribly.

  150. I prefer to wait and see, Consolsbob. Very few people will take any pleasure from seeing such a young player so badly injured.

  151. No. 2 son is right, Cb. Those in attendance tomorrow night will not be a fair representation of football fans in England as a whole, thankfully; just as Stoke City FC are not representative of the way football is played in the Premiership.

    To be honest, I can’t get on board with the argument that all English football is so impotent and sh*t – from training staff, to player, to fans – that excessive force in the tackle is encouraged and leg-breaking arsehole thugs are canonised. That’s just as overly simplisitc as saying all foreign players are soft, play-acting luxuries.

    Be angry about the violence that has been carried out against us, be angry about the way in which it was endorsed by a sneering, xenophobic bubble of bloodthirsty tabloid tw*ts, and encouraged by a psychopath called Pulis. Be f*cked-off as blue murder about all that. But don’t be sad about all England or the state of English football because of it. There are a great many technically gifted young footballers coming through the academies of a number of English clubs (we are more blessed than most). Add to this the fact that young fans of football in this country are far more likely to be football purists than, say 10 years ago, and you’ll see the future’s bright.

    The sophistication and skill on display in the premier league – and Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are at the very vanguard of this – are reflected across the playgrounds and parks around the country. These qualities must be protected, and aggressive, thuggish, behaviour on a football pitch should be run out of town with much more vigilence and vigour than it is being right now. But on the whole, as I say, it’s getting better, and Arsenal are at the centre of these improvements.

  152. Great posts LA and Axis. I agree, but I think it’s fair to attack the English FA.

  153. Listening to these idiot’s on 5live, I’d reinforce that last point.

    FA spokesman:

    “We haven’t been quite on the Portsmouth issue…”

  154. Ahhh these English…

    Why dont they recruit only englishmen at Arsenal….

    It would spare me having to support a team with so many headwinds.

  155. Hey Fin…I agree entirely. They FA, and hence the refs, allow this type of play because they get berated by the “important” men of English football – the mangers and the journos as being soft on the “foreigners”. The truth is, there are always teams like this…who compensate for skill with power and dirty play. They exist in every sport and in every country. The downside for them is SUPPOSED to be that they are heavily penalized for infractions of the rules. It is down to the refs to make it clear that while it is your decision to play that way if you wish, there is a price for it. I am most upset with the refs because they have not and do not make it clear that the rules are the rules and that if you break the rules as part of your tactical strategy then you had best get good at stopping penalties. People say: “Arsenal are wanting protection from the refs.” Not at all, the rules are written in the book. All we are asking for is a fair game. If you want to foul constantly in order to stop us playing our game then you need to also practice playing with 10 men.

  156. It occurs to me that Shawcross didn’t intend to injure Ramsey however an obvious ignorance was the main culprit for this horrific injury. Let me explain….

    Football was a completely different ‘animal’ 10, 12, 15 yrs ago.

    Since then Sports Science has become much more important in the development of players; they are stronger, faster. Everything about the technology and science is designed to maximise bodyweight to power ratios. How many footballers are told about this? Or even taught bassic physics, i.e. if you swing you foot towards a standing leg then the force of the impact over such a small area is going to cause some serious damage.

    Anyway, just a random musing.

    I for one will be at the Burnley game on Saturday and singing my heart out.

    Hopefully won’t be long until the standard chant will be:


  157. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s reassuring, LA. On the other hand you have leading figures like Alex Ferguson supporting this type of play. It’s amazing how easily these incidents get swept under the rug by leading figures and the media. There needs to be harsher punishment for these particular type of challenges that Poli mentioned. Until they do that, this appreciation and almost celebration of rough play will continue.

  158. Jimmyd.
    I think my first post here last season was on that topic.

    I think a persons’ senses tell them how big and heavy they are, how fast they are going etc., so it’s an excuse for the refs, the FA, but not the players.

  159. geegunner,

    Mr Wright has done another one of his now famous articles in ze paper where he is doing his best to alienate himself from gooners.this time he is saying that he feels sorry for that c*nt and how he will be going through it mentally aswell and that hopefully Ramsey gets better so that c*nt can have a better conscience.

    F*ck off Wrighty.

    Cunts of the week.

    3.steven howard for his article slagging off wenger when anyone should be sympathetic with the grief of seing yor players keep getting seriously fukin injured.

    + the sooner we get this euro league the fukin better.

  160. Paulie Walnuts

    Can`t agree Jimmy D. I believe Shawcross likes hurting people & cultivating a hardman image which his supporters can identify with.

  161. Finsbury,

    I agree a persons sense tell them how big and heavy they are, but I hadn’t meant previously that it was Shawcross’ ignorance but more so, as you say the managers, FA and Refs who don’t realise how powerful their charges are. Therefore by telling players to ‘go in hard’ make your prescence felt etc.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  162. The nike advert were Drogba is doing Arshavin’s laces is freraking funny.

    It came on right after the half-time break in the Brazil V Ireland game.

  163. Never knew I disliked so many Irish players. They are all recruited from those shitty anti-footie teams that we so dislike.

  164. Especially for Poliziano

    “Slovenia Promise v Netherlands Promise
    Wednesday, March 3
    Nacer Barazite has been selected in a Netherlands ‘Promise’ squad for a friendly match in Slovenia on Wednesday. The midfielder recently scored on his return from injury in Arsenal Reserves’ 1-0 win at Stoke in January.”

    From Arsenal.com

    Duke, I cannot believe how far Ian Wright has fallen in my estimation, yet the next opportunity to be back at the club lapping up the applause from the fans, he will be there. It makes me sick, when I think of how much I used to rate him.

  165. Maria, I usually go to these Brazil games at the Emirates as I love to watch them play, but when I knew the opposition was Ireland, I decided to pass. I think they’ve only been given this game as compensation for the WC qualifiers.

  166. That’s excellent news, Passenal. I’m surprised he didn’t tell me about it…

  167. Jimmyd,

    It’s possible to argue that there’s no excuse for the managers and FA either, it’s their job to know these things.

    I compared it previously to the evolution in balls. From big heavy lumps of dried out pigs bladders that caused many pros to end up punch drunk back in the day, to today’s sci-fi spheres. It was out of consideration for players’ safety that evolution/change happened in the first place.

    Totally forgot about Brasil vs. Eire.
    Well seeing as I’m working right now, wouldn’t have been able to go : (.

    I do like rhumba in the Stadium. Add some faeries into the mix, Football Heaven.

  168. I mean actual Rhumba, used to live with a Brazilian Congo drummer. Loud, but fun.

  169. haha i saw that maria, i also saw the one where he’s eating the laces

  170. Hey John, spare us the “you hate English crap” most of us actually love the EPL and like England in general.

    My gripe is with English Media & pundits hypocrisy and insatiable desire to hide or twist the truth. They blindly defend the “wrong” because they don’t want to admit their methods & talents are mediocre at best.

    The only way to improve yourself is by knowing and admitting your mistakes and shortcomings, then finding ways to overcome them and improving on what you have. Not by siding with the aggressor and claiming this is how football is played and the hell with everyone else.

    Instead of the lesser team’s managers telling their mostly English players “Go out and get in hard” to meet Arsenal’s smart football, why don’t they encourage them to go out there and out-smart them? Why don’t they try to improve their player’s technical skills instead of their physical force?

    It is shameful and unfortunate for the nation that invented football, to be led by people who think this is the best way to play it.

    I think England deserve much better than that.

  171. I might be late on this one, but according to Pulis, Sir Alex Ferguson called Shawcross and “he told him he will get over it, even though he knows he’s hurting now. Ryan really appreciated the call and it’s given him a bit of a lift at a very difficult time”.

    He’s hurting now? Is this a joke? Did Alex call Aaron with the same message of condolence, or is he so small-minded and petty that he would rather call Shawcross because his pride won’t let him console a player who turned him down for Wenger.


  172. lagooner – do you really expect any class from that man? I agree. Sickening.

  173. what an effing waste of time this game is whats happened to brazil nowadays???

  174. LA Gooner, these are the trademark, low life, despicable mind games Alex Ferguson plays. It meant to demean us and break our spirit as fans, and give more power to his herd of lackeys from premier league managers and former united rejects. Or as Passenal puts it “Old boy Network’.

    I will not read this, and if I do it only makes me more rallied behind my team and players.

    F*ck Off Alex Ferguson

  175. lagooner,

    Shawcross learnt thuggery under the great maestro so it’s no surprise the master calls.

    I do wonder though if he calls Eric Djemba Djemba to commiserate with him when he’s under the coss from breaking someone’s eye in the crowd with a misplaced pass.

    I kid but it’s really telling.

    My non-Arsenal mates say we’re paranoid to read anything into it.

    But that’s what they’ve said last 4 years when we complain about teams setting out to kick Arsenal off the park.

  176. 1 loose cannon

    I’m watching Brazil V Ireland and I have to say Its a bit embarassing. the irish and British teams including England they can’t keep possession they can’t string more than 3 passes together its sad really. This is supposed to be the home of football but unfortunately no one wants to let go of the ugly football. its strage that the only team that tries to play football in England is Arsenal and yet you get an Ass like Collymore saying Arsenal don’t deserve to win the title but I know he hates Arsenal with a vengence and I have no idea why? not that I care about his opinion at all, the annoying thing is there are lot like him on the air waves promoting the ugly side of Football and we can do without his type if we ever going to play a football that is going to amaze people on the international level. I believe it will change as we can already see few managers trying to change and move on to a better level. We have Owen Coyle and Martinez they are trying hard to play the right way.

  177. G4E,

    To be honest, I think the most telling thing is that Pulis is the one who reveals the call.

    It seems he’s saying “we have the seal of Sir Alex”.

    It’s at best an image problem.

  178. So we’re all on the same page that Ferguson has outdone himself this time.

    However, the most important thing is that none of us say “I’d love it if we beat them! Love it!”.

    Fortunately, Arsene is just a touch smarter than Keegan. When you think of Arsene and Man United, the image that will forever stick out was in the Old Trafford stands, his arms stretched out fearlessly in front of the United fans.

  179. haha retarded united fans fucking cunts the lot of them

    and whats up with man u fans in london it makes me effin sick

  180. Ole G, you’re right…that’s the other side of the bad coin.

  181. Try living over here on the US east coast where most of the Man U fans can’t even name more than 2 other teams in the premier league. I was talking to this united “fan” the other day who didn’t know who Vermaelen plays for.

    Then there’s the co-worker who gushes orgasmicly about Rooney every weekend, and says he hates Arsenal “because they are too french”.

    Sadly, most of these people’s knowledge of football comes solely from FIFA video games and highlight reels on Gol TV. I don’t watch any of the US television coverage of the premier league, because when I do it’s blatantly obvious the commentators are either Man U or Liverpool fans.

    It’s very refreshing being able to get online and talk with some actual fans of football, who – go figure – are also fans of Arsenal.

  182. The call isn’t as strange as it sounds. Shawcross phoned Ferguson to commiserate after he signed Nani and Anderson. Ferguson was just returning the favour.

  183. Someone suggested that a Brazilian voodoo priest is working for Denilson, ensuring that his competitors suffer injuries. True? Diaby, niggling injuries and now Ramsey.

  184. “Someone suggested that a Brazilian voodoo priest is working for Denilson, ensuring that his competitors suffer injuries.”

    Yes, some twat called Howard made the suggestion.

  185. That would explain Denilson’s back injury.


    Better luck next time Dunceturks.

  186. yeh it annoys me seeing manu fans in london a lot… in america it must be worse yeah but tbh not many people hear about arsenal, my american friend says he only heard about chelsea till i convinced him to be a gunner aswell

  187. and what annoys me is that when we DO actually win something people like howard, moda and maturks (among many others) will be the ones celebrating among us, it makes me ill to think about it..

    drogba doing arshavins laces is a funny ad haha

  188. Not funny…F*ck off Howard.

  189. Get rid of the crap Denilson and we’ll be free of Brazilian voodoo destroying our midfield players.

    A suspected voodoo priest working in favour of Denislon is believed to be responsible for our midfield injuries.

  190. Not funny either. Its real.

  191. 1 loose cannon

    Zap-Manure fans from London are normally glory hunters they call football soccer. I have a friend he says he support Manure but he doesn’t really like football, there are lots like that. They just want to fit in with the crowd and they normally change teams. they support who ever is winnng trophies.

  192. Only in your world it’s real..along with English players are better and all that crap.

  193. What is a “suspected voodoo priest”.

    Fuck off Howard

  194. I actually think were going to sneak past United and Chelsea to win the title. The team is going to do it for our boy Ramsey.

  195. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while, maturks. Angel dust is one hell of a drug.

  196. F. Frederick Skitty


    Hahaha! Was that a reference to Rick James on the Chapelle Show?

    The “mind” of Howard is a badlands that even drugs dread.

  197. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You bet, FFS. He’s a deranged f*cker isn’t he?

  198. Aaron’s surgery has been a success, he has now returned to London and will be in hospital there for a couple of days,” said doctor Mark Ridgewell.

    “It looks like things have gone well so far. We have not been told of any immediate complications, they were two clean breaks and there have been no other problems.”

  199. NJN,

    He is, and his the same type of fool that 10 years ago would, be talking about some black voodoo in relation to Sol.

  200. “and what annoys me is that when we DO actually win something people like howard, moda and maturks (among many others) will be the ones celebrating among us, it makes me ill to think about it..”

    I really don’t care. Alan Hansen, could be celebrating, amongst us and I wouldn’t care just as long as WE WIN!!!!!!!

  201. Hold on, Ramsey’s surgeon is called Ridgewell? Are we sure that this was properly vetted?

  202. Why don’t we gooners send get well cards and messages to Shawcross instead of Ramsey? The message should just read “Hi Ryan, looking at your tackle on the weekend, as well as a few you have made in the past couple of seasons there is no doubt that you are sick. Get well soon Ryan”

  203. By the way, can someone explain to me what exactly is a clean break, and why is it good news?

  204. From what I have heard from others, clean breaks once healed are less likely to involve any future related niggles.

  205. Good article Maria-thanks. I hope they put a special type of bionic material in Ramsey’s injured areas that causes an opponents leg to shatter upon dangerous impact. Maybe it can have a homing device to identify the Nevilles, Ridgewell, Shawcross et al.

  206. Keysersoze on March 3, 2010
    at 6:20 am

    Excellent idea. The irony may just escape his thick head, small brain. I would prescribe compulsory viewing of this clip in his reformatory programme.

    Courtesy of: GoonerSinceThe80s on March 2, 2010
    at 3:51 pm

  207. Been going through the comments on the Ramsey incident for the past few days. Great ones, and some truly insightful and well thought out stuff.

    But I have one question, do the regulars here like Frank, Zim Paul, Ole Gooner etc. also post on other common forums like the guardian blogs etc.? There is some serious shite on display there from absolute morons, who need to be silenced. But I thought the articulate Arsenal fan to silence them is lacking. I know it is all very well to comment here in our comfort zone among like minded people. But our club is the victim of a reasoned hate campaign across the internet, and it is probably our duty as fans to do the best we can to fight them. We can’t get onto the pitch, but our support from the stands can be the difference between an Arsenal win and a loss. Similarly our support can also be the catalyst to silence the morons with a motivation to criticise our club unnecessarily.

  208. I agree with Keysersoze. Frightened not to.

    I occasionally scan the online press articles and make a comment.It is essential that we create some sort of balance out there. I honestly believe that the day of the crap merchants in press and media has reached its zenith and is about to slide down the other side.

    It is not obvious but there are glimmers of hope. There are more Patrick Barclays and Peter Beardsleys out there who represent the intelligent or at least discerning within the football establishment in England. After all, even though for me it is about Arsenal, I think a lot of people want to see the sort of football we play as the norm. Somehow we have to get under the skin of the decision makers and the shakers and movers in football.

    But it is not always clear who they are.

  209. Whoops that londonletter thing was me. That was the article written for FG about DD. Shaker and mover? DD? I reckon he probably knows the pressure points in the football establishment.

  210. Sorry, YW. Not setting up a rival blog. The site is just for recording stuff about London and the people I meet that tickle my fancy from time to time. If you see what I mean.

  211. Luke that clip says it all really. Sky will not re-show the incident because they don’t want to show just how bad it was. How else will St. Ryan get canonized? I don’t wish injury on anyone, but when Shawcross injures someone they care about, I can’t wait to see the same idiots lining up to praise him.

  212. Thanks Realsocialdad, great comments there. I think as a club also Arsenal need to be a lot more proactive in dealing with such things. The very moment a Hunt or a Fuller spouts nonsense about getting in the faces and kicking Arsenal, the club should come up immediate statements on the lines of asking the referee and the FA to ensure that a physical game does not become a license to resort to unfair means. That may make sure to a certain extent that penalty shouts against opposing teams are not waved play-on by the referee, and the referee comes down a little bit harder on unfair challenges. These teams try to put pressure on the referee by implying that Arsenal don’t like a physical game, which probably results in marginal decisions on fouls going in their favour. We have chosen the respectable path of not responding so far, but maybe the time has come to exert some pressure back on the referees.

    I for one am really happy about Arsene’s comment after the Stoek match. No matter what the majority of the press have started saying, I think for the next few fixtures the referees may just be a little bit stricter on fouls perpetrated against Arsenal players, and this may just have a domino effect of players not being so confident about hacking down Arsenal players for the fear of being carded or awarded a penalty. Looking at the way Faye et al handled Ramsey and Bendtner inside the penalty area, it seemed they were cock sure that nothing would be given against them. Because they did not even try to be clever about it, they just pushed/wrestled down our players. But look what the red card and ramsey’s injury did. The pressure went right back on the referee and he gave a penalty which I am sure he would otherwise have waived as ball to hand given his decisions before that. To counter the unfairness I think we need to get out of our gentleman way of dealing with things and try to pressurise the opponent and the officials.

  213. I agree with keysersozer

  214. Passenal, I am sure the journos will ask Wenger about his comments in his next interview. At that time maybe he should run that clip and ask them their thoughts on Shawcross being not THAT kind of player.

  215. Passenal, I am sure the journos will ask Wenger about his post Stoke match comments in his next interview. At that time maybe he should run that clip and ask them their thoughts on Shawcross being not THAT kind of player.

  216. I wonder Passenal, if the likes of Shawcross will kick
    “..someone they care about.” After all, that was Wenger’s point wasn’t it?

    Some teams, and some players, get a free pass.

  217. I’m moving on.

    No more Shawcross focus for me.

    We have a league title to win.

  218. I find the whole media hysterics about Wengers comments after the game mind blowing.

    He was asked what he made of the challenge, and replied that “it was unacceptable”. It was hardly a rant, and considering the damage it caused a bit of an understatement really.

    They then made out to Tony Pulis that Wenger had ripped into Shawcross.

  219. I love the Player of the Month splash on arsenal.com at the moment. What was Yogi saying the other day, ‘Let’s go to work’? It’s straight out of Resevoir Dogs. Tommy V, Nik B and Theo are all looking especially mean.

    This team are about to go supernova. Shame we have the diluting effect of an international pisspuddle right where we should be closing ranks at London Colney, forming a phallanx and readying our warplans. Even so, I pity Burnley on Saturday.

    PS. Inexplicably, Theo seems to be wearing a rather fetching Tomas Rosicky wig in this photo. Does anybody know when these become available at the Armoury?

  220. Great picture. It caught Nik B mid-flob as well.

  221. Ha, oh yeah. It’s quite a Clint-Eastwood-Man-With-No-Name bit of flob action going on there, I reckon.

    A mode of flobbing used to great dramatic effect in the Sergio Leone films.

    To complete the analogy, Tony Pulis is the stammering, out-foxed, Eli Wallach character I guess. Defeated over on the touchline, scuttling away on his hands and arse.

  222. You’re right goonerandy. Wenger only said that he was not happy about the tackle, and that it was unacceptable.

    The part that the media should have quoted is what he said about there being respect for the rules and for each other, which I think is key.

    “The players are professional they have to respect the rules and each other.”

  223. ironic that overpaid tax evader Capello says players are too rich and badly behaved. At least John Terry hasn’t been prosecuted for tax evasion unlike a certain Mr Capello.

  224. How too often the perpetrator and/or his sympathisers are the ones urging the world to move on while the aggrieved and maimed victim struggles through pain the a long recovery process that would rob him of 6 to 12 months of a bright career.

  225. Perhaps a statistician could work out the probability of Walcott’s head being perfectly aligned with Rosicky’s. Somewhat less, I imagine, than the probability of a football player being caught “mid-flob,” which is about 60%.

  226. Quite true, Luke. It’s very easy to move on when one hasn’t been hurt oneself. Send your consolatory email, and on you move!

  227. I really hope our internationals will be discerning enough to keep some of their energy and commitment in reserve for our weekend game against Burnley rather than expend it all in the mid-week internaional friendlies.

    Perhaps Walcott could be excused for wanting to stake a claim for a WC2010 place. (In return, we should expect him to shun any call ups by Stuart Pierce for the U-21s)

  228. Bradys right foot

    Now that we are only three points behind and have the haters worried looks like the press are now attacking our away fans.


    It feels great to be a gooner from talk shite to the Daily Moron the haters are either in full retreat or descending to new lows.

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