Stoke 1-3 Arsenal : Ramsey’s injury sickening – the media have blood on their hands
斯托克城 1-3 阿森纳：拉姆塞的受伤彷如噩梦—媒体是罪魁祸首
May 1st 2006 – Abou Diaby has his ankle fractured and dislocated by a challenge from Dan Smith.
Feb 23rd 2008 – Eduardo has his left fibula fractured and sustains an open dislocation of his ankle joint after Martin Taylor’s tackle.
Feb 27th 2010 – Aaron Ramsey has his fibula and tibia broken, his leg left hanging in the air, by Ryan Shawcross.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas said immediately after the game:
In five years I’ve seen three of them, Abou, Edu and now Aaron. What can I say? It’s difficult.
I love Cesc but he’s wrong. It’s not five years. It’s less than four years. These kinds of horror injuries can happen in football. It’s a physical sport and such injuries are thankfully rare but they do happen. However, I have never in all my years known one club to suffer three of these potentially career ending injuries, let alone in such a short period of time.
Is it just coincidence? Arsene Wenger said afterwards he doesn’t believe in coincidence and I’m with him 100% on this one. I believe that these three injuries are a direct consequence of the ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ‘em’ ethos which has become conventional wisdom in recent years.
‘They don’t like being kicked’, the implication that the wimpy foreigners can’t take it. And it has been peddled across the football world by reporters, TV pundits, radio commentators, Sky Sports presenters and anyone else you can think of. ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ‘em’, as if Arsenal were somehow unique in this. Let me tell you, nobody likes it ‘up em’.
No other club has suffered three horrendous injuries like this in the last four years. My honest opinion is that the belief that it’s ok to be overly physical with Arsenal because, surprise surprise, they don’t like it, is the root cause. If I had to trace it back I think it’d probably start with Sam Allardyce and if I had a time machine that cunt would get it good and proper but sadly we can only deal with the here and now.
Before I go on, I’ll make this point : I don’t think any of the players who carried out these tackles wanted to break another professional’s leg. And in that I’m giving Dan Smith the serious benefit of the doubt because his tackle was by far the worst, well late and I think a bit nasty. Even still I don’t think he intended to do that kind of damage. Now, let me address the people who say "Well, he’s is not that kind of player’.
Duh, you are a fucking moron and you should shut up. Unless the person in question is an actual psychopath of course they’re not that kind of player. It goes without saying. Nevertheless they’ve been told to go out there and get stuck in and give Arsenal a bit extra because, as we all know, they don’t like it up ‘em. So you have Dan Smith’s snide tackle, Martin Taylor’s ‘reducer’ and last night Shawcross’s reckless hack at Aaron Ramsey. Did he mean to break his leg? Of course not. Did he want to? No, of course not. The bottom line though is that he did. I feel his tackle was absolutely reckless. Watch it again if you can – via @twistedgambino. If it happened on a football pitch at the very poor level I play at there would have been war, because everyone could see it was unnecessary. At this level of the professional game it was a horrendous challenge.
If I can liken to it something else it’s speeding. The young guy in his car who goes out, thinking he’s Johnny Invincible, until he careers around a corner too fast and mows down a child. He didn’t mean to, but he did it, and he is responsible. "I didn’t meant to run the kid over" and "He’s not that kind of driver" aren’t acceptable excuses in a courtroom so spare me the mealy-mouthed crap over Shawcross. He looked distraught but his tears don’t matter. What matters is that a talented young footballer has been the victim of a ridiculous tackle and his leg is broken in pieces.
We know Aaron is going to get the best possible medical care and all we can do is wish the best for him as his career takes an unexpected and horrific diversion. We’ve seen the impact of these injuries, the fallout is not pretty, and he is probably going to have to battle the same niggles that Eduardo and Diaby have to struggle against all the time. The physical damage is tremendous, not just the broken leg but try to redevelop the muscle and everything else, but so too is the mental damage. Thankfully he’s got two guys who can show him the way, who can help through when things get really difficult and when it’s time to come back they can help him cross the white line again without fear.
But how fucking heartbreaking is it that we have those two players? I will admit to being rather emotional watching that game last night. It was obvious from the first instant what had happened and I felt sick for Aaron Ramsey. A kid of 19. It leaves you angry. And angrier because this is not the first time it has happened to Arsenal. Nor the second. But the third inside four years and quite frankly enough is enough.
Immediately afterwards on Sky we had Richard Keys and Andy Gray making excuses. "Is it because Arsenal are too quick?", said Keys. Fuck me. No. It’s not because we’re too quick, it’s because we’ve been on the receiving end of some obscene tackles. "Sometimes you have to play them like that", said Gray, referring to the fact that Arsenal don’t like it up ‘em. Well, he’s the thing – as far as I’m concerned, Andy Gray, Richard Keys, the rest of those utter cunts at Sky, and anyone else who has helped perpetrate that myth over the years is in some way culpable for the fact that Aaron Ramsey had his leg busted like a twig last night. They have gone on and on and on about it and this, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens.
Arsene Wenger addressed it already this season at one his press conferences.
I am always absolutely amazed that people get away with it. When we get kicked and lose the game, the question I get from the press is ‘oh, you did not fancy that’. But nobody is upset or shocked by it. When we are kicked they find that it is absolutely all right.
And the assembled hacks had a little titter and off they went to do exactly that. The furor over Gallas’s tackle after the Bolton game was incredible. I don’t remember any pundit saying "He’s not that kind of player", only slamming him for what was, I agree, a bad challenge. The Shawcross apologists are out in force today yet these are the same people who made such a mountain out of the molehill that was Eduardo’s dive against Celtic that UEFA ‘investigated’ and tried to ban him. A dive. Yet when a young man has his leg broken in bits they keep their mouths shut or come out in defence of the honest English clogger (any coincidence all three challenges have been by Englishmen?). Honestly, they make me fucking sick. This willingness to overlook acts of horrific violence yet focus on trivia like diving.
Shawcross gets a three match ban, Alex Song is now banned for two matches for a booking that never was. How the fuck does that work in any sane kind of world? It’s rotten to the core, is what it is.
And back to Sky for a moment. If anything sums up their hypocrisy it’s the decision not to show replays of the tackle. Why not? They say it’s because the images are too upsetting. Firstly, who the fuck made them the arbiters of good taste? Why do they get to decide what is and isn’t acceptable? People have buttons on their remote which say ‘off’ or ‘channel up’. If they don’t want to watch it, advise them and they can turn it off. As the broadcaster who has done most to big up the ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ‘em’ thing they have a responsibility to show what happened to Aaron Ramsey. To show what a tackle like that can do. To show that when you egg people on enough and they think it’s ok to behave recklessly that there are consequences.
For Ramsey it’s a broken leg and a year out of the game, all going well. For Arsenal we lose a talented player at a crucial part of the season … and we have to watch another of our lads injured in a way that would bring tears to your eyes. And even for Shawcross, who I think was utterly reckless, the tackle on Ramsey was not his first wild lunge of the night, who has been told to go out and play like that. He didn’t want to break Ramsey’s leg. I’m sure it’ll make him sick, give him nightmares and all the rest. I’m not suggesting he’s a victim by any means but he is a byproduct of this media led scheme too. I don’t feel sorry for him but I think it’s a fair point in the grand scheme of things.
I’m sure there are some reading this who will say ‘Arsenal aren’t whiter than white’. And that’s true. No team that plays a high intensity physical sport can say that. Yet no other team has been on the receiving end of the kind of injuries we have. That is a fact. One you can put down to an accident, two could be just unfortunate, three … too much. And enough is enough. I’m sure this will get plenty of coverage on Arsenal blogs, many of whom I’m sure feel the same way about this as I do, but there are good journalists and sports writers out there who also have a platform and, in my opinion, a duty to address this issue. If they love football then they can’t ignore this.
Some will, Shawcross has been called up the England squad which affords a player a certain amount of protection from the most jingoistic and snide journalists. I do hope there are others who will take up the baton though. Not against Shawcross in particular but on the general issue. It is not ok to kick Arsenal, or any other team, out of a game. We all love the physical aspect of football, it’s part of what makes it such a great game, but there’s a line you don’t cross and too often now teams have crossed it with us, without so much as a word of condemnation. Instead there’s the sly smile, the snigger and the sneering about how ‘Arsenal don’t like it up ‘em’.
It is not acceptable. The consequences of that mindset were obvious last night as a 19 year old boy screamed in agony as his leg hung at a sickening angle. This is the outcome of your sly smiling and your sneering. Are you happy now?
Before I finish on this particular section, props to Stoke’s Glen Whelan who stayed with Aaron Ramsey from the moment it happened. A cut above the rest. To the Stoke fans who applauded Aaron off the field, fair play to you. To the rest who chanted abuse as he lay injured and gave him wanker signs as he was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, you are fucking pondlife. I hope you die roaring.
Finally, it seems a bit trite and redundant but I want to wish Aaron Ramsey all the best and I hope we see him back in an Arsenal shirt, where he belongs, as soon as possible.
As for the game, what can you say? It doesn’t bear much analysis in terms of the performance but one thing stood out for me. Cesc Fabregas. Our captain. When Eduardo was injured against Birmingham we went to pieces, culminating in the toe-curling sight of then captain William Gallas throwing a tantrum when we gave away a late penalty. Last night we were a bit tentative after the incident, which is only natural, but it became clear this is a different Arsenal team. There was no feeling sorry for ourselves. No dwelling on things we couldn’t change.
Cesc Fabregas became the leader Arsenal fans have so dearly wanted for so long. I won’t hear a thing about how he’s not a captain because he fucking well is. First goal – assist for Bendtner’s fantastic header. Second goal – a penalty under the most intense pressure imaginable. He had the balls to get up there, take it and score it. Third goal – assist for Vermaelen. Nor did he stand for any of Stoke’s baiting. He had a little kick at one of their players who had kicked him earlier. He Sssshhh’d Tony Pulis. He dragged his Arsenal team over the line. He led by example last night and at the end of the game our players stood in a huddle, knowing they’d shown what they’re made of, and the captain rallied his troops. Each one of them was fantastic last night. The lessons of Birmingham have been learned.
I know people all have their opinions of this team, the players, the managers and everything else but if last night didn’t make you proud to be an Arsenal fan then there’s something wrong with you. My spine is tingling even thinking about it.
I think that sometimes we lose sight of why and how we support our football club, and while you’d never want to be reminded because of what happened to Aaron Ramsey last night did just that. Our reaction, our desire, our spirit, our togetherness, it was the Arsenal.
I love the Arsenal.