I’m still quite pissed. It was such a great game by our players, on another day I could keep talking about the positives for days. Right now everything seems trivial. The injury to Rambo casts a dark shadow over all else. It feels worse because I thought the young Welshman was having a brilliant game and was poised to play a big role for us in the run-in.
I was really incensed when I read what the ring master said to defend his animal. There was nothing surprising or different in what the master thug said,
It is a bad challenge but I know Shawcross, I signed him as a 19-year-old.
He has got no bad blood in him whatsoever and there is no way in a million years he would ever go out to hurt anybody. I really mean that.
Everyone else at this football club sends their condolences on the incident, we wish him well for a speedy recovery and as a fellow Welshman I am devastated.
But Ryan has come off the pitch broken-hearted, met his mum straightaway and gone straight home.
For me the game is insignificant, the incident has really spoiled it.
Wow! How can somebody get away with spouting so much crap?
If I break Pulis’ leg with a baseball bat and then run to my mum with a broken heart, will the cops leave me alone? I’ll say I just wanted to “get stuck in” and never intended to break his foot. My dad will vouch for me, he’s known me for almost thirty years now. We will all send our condolences too!
The whole argument is so fundamentally flawed, I tend to wonder if we really are in the Twenty First Century. Across all industries and human endeavor the first priority is to protect the people involved and rightly so. In football the safety considerations are a joke.
The moment a team is encouraged to be “rough and aggressive”, “get stuck in!”, “go at them hard” and so on, we are setting ourselves up for a disaster. Obviously, every rough and aggressive game will not lead to a horrendous injury. But that is no reason to condone it.
These teams go out with an intention to push, elbow and kick at every opportunity. So they need to guarantee that their kicks won’t cause serious damage. I cannot believe a football player can always control the impact of his kick. There is no scientific way to get stuck in with X% intensity so that there is no damage. In the heat of the moment a physical player can get carried away or just be clumsy and irresponsible.
I can understand that Shawcross didn’t intend to break Ramsey’s leg. But that is not a valid and acceptable defense. There was definite intent to kick and hurt. Shawcross could never control the degree of hurt and extent of damage, and that makes him guilty of a criminal offense.
It is unacceptable that one promising young player misses the rest of the season, perhaps more, while the offender gets a three match ban. In such instances, there is no justice in football right now. I believe we need to solve this and here is what I propose.
The onus has to be on the team playing “rough and aggressive” to guarantee that they will not damage someone. They have every right to play hard as long as they make sure such an incidence will not happen. Their word and their condolences are no use to the injured player, his team and the fans.
Across industries, when we give someone a right we expect certain responsibilities. And failure to act responsibly always leads to repercussions. So why should football be any different? We must not go and tell a technical player to not play the beautiful game, so if we want the thugs to have the right to be physical, we have to hold them accountable.
This can be implemented by the following suggestions,
- If a player commits a foul like the one by Shawcross, he is banned till the time the injured player recovers.
- The offending team gets a 10 point penalty.
- The referee’s decision making needs to be scrutinized and appropriate action should be taken if he has not protected the players. In this case Walton should be banned for life.
Justice will be served only if we have such penalties imposed. I know it is a little difficult to accept something that sounds so harsh. But if you think about it, this is closer to a fair judgment than a three game ban!
I understand that football is a physical game and unfortunate injuries can occur, injuries when there was really no intent. I think that the injury to Fabregas last season in that tackle with Alonso would fall under this category. But when a man with his full force and high momentum smashes an opponents leg, it simply cannot be defended as an accident.
Accidents are part of life. I can accept that. We don’t seek retribution for accidents. In spite of these rules there will be a few accidents. But it should not be difficult to distinguish between an accident and a rank bad challenge. Every bad challenge needs to be punished. Players have to be protected.
I don’t expect any action against the English club Stoke by a biased and impotent FA. Maybe, we will see something if Rooney gets his leg broken just before the world cup!
Arsenal though must take this seriously. I do not know the legal intricacies but we should explore a criminal case of assault against Shawcross and Stoke. Even if the end result is not in our favor we need to shake them hard. We also need to push for an immediate change in rules and a serious ban for the offending player and points deduction for his team. Of course, Wenger and the players must not be dragged into this. It is something Gazidis and his team have to get into.
All our players deserve to feel secure and know that the club is willing to fight. They were fantastic on the field even after such an incident and that shows how much they all have grown. Now the club must replicate the same spirit outside the pitch.
(Apologies if you think I’m going on and on about this. I need to get it off my chest)