Media Nonsense Is Mind Numbing

It’s been two days now. The Ramsey injury has taken the spotlight away from a humiliating loss for the Chelsea Boys against the Men from Citeh. It has also taken some heat off JT and his sleazy teammates. Unfortunately, most people writing in the media have completely missed the point.

A young man has lost one year of his life and will probably never be the same again. It’s not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last unless people sit up and take notice. No one seems to want to get to the bottom of the issue and look for a solution. How can this be ignored as something that is part of the game?! If it is a part of the game then we have to isolate the part and remove it.

This isn’t only about Ramsey and Arsenal or Shawcross and Stoke. It is about considering such serious damage to a human being as being an acceptable part of a sport! When Wenger called it unacceptable many people actually criticized Le Boss. They were concerned about the impact Arsene’s words will have on Shawcross.

On one hand, a leg snapped like a twig is acceptable, while on the other, a couple of words spoken by a man who must be distraught are unacceptable. Incredible!

There are far too many people who want to dismiss this by saying, “He isn’t that kind of a player.” How dumb can you get? To every pundit or media man who wants to say this, I would really like to ask – Who is that kind of a player, name one? I bet you can’t.

Over the years, and even in some arguments with close friends, I have seen people use completely irrelevant statements to make a mess of an important concept/principle based discussion. This one probably takes the cake.

Such a tackle being horrendous or unacceptable has nothing to do with the intention of breaking someone’s leg. Even the fact that a leg is broken or not is moot. Any tackle with the potential of breaking someone’s leg is horrendous and unacceptable.

There is another shocking argument, if the leg hadn’t been broken this wouldn’t have been a red card. Weight for weight, human bone is stronger than concrete. So the “if the leg hadn’t been broken” argument doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Any challenge that can snap two bones as if they were bread sticks is insane at best.

In the plethora of articles written in the media, I haven’t seen a single constructive suggestion that discusses ways of reducing such incidents. There are very few who actually say that this is a real problem.

Too many people have lost the point because they have focused on the specifics and have let their inherent bias take over. A perfect example of all that is wrong with the media can be seen from what Jamie Redknapp has to say in The Daily Mail,

It was clumsy, late. But was it any worse than William Gallas’s tackle on Mark Davies of Bolton a few weeks ago? No. I’ve watched it back a dozen times. If you rely on Arsene Wenger’s emotional response, then Ryan Shawcross would be hanged, drawn and quartered. If the tackle hadn’t caused the break, it would have been a yellow card.

This idiot’s response to Wenger’s comment is harsher than Wenger’s comments about Shawcross’ tackle! And what is the point of revisiting the Gallas tackle? I don’t think any sane Arsenal fan defended Gallas by saying it was a valid tackle. But it’s far to easy to complicate the issue by bringing in such diversions. Once upon a time your man made a mistake and so all that is wrong should be forgiven and forgotten!

If you really think about it, the problem is not hard to identify.

  • Referee’s who allow persistent and unnecessary fouling contribute to the problem
  • Pundits who promote “Hard and Aggressive” football are part of the problem
  • Commentators and pundits who criticize referees when they send people off are a serious problem
  • Managers who have kicking and pushing opponents at the core of their tactics are part of the problem
  • Players like Shawcross, who at 22, has broken two legs and knocked other players our for weeks, are part of the problem

There is a reason a foot above the ground is considered dangerous and we have seen enough Ramsey like incidents to know it’s a very valid point. A hundred dangerous tackles cannot be condoned because they didn’t break a foot, and a tackle that breaks a foot cannot be accepted just because a hundred others didn’t break one.

I feel the English FA and the Premier League should conduct proper research into the number of serious injuries that occur in English football and those that happen in places like Italy, Spain and Germany. I believe this will provide a clear indication of how bad football in England really is. Right now it’s just my speculation and I will be happy if such a research proves me wrong, but such research will give us a complete picture and the right knowledge to take better decisions.

We cannot let the morons in the media break the legs of rationality. The problem is real and it needs a crunching tackle!


29 Responses to Media Nonsense Is Mind Numbing

  1. Rohit says:

    Brilliantly written. Bravo!

  2. Nischit says:

    I love your blog. In fact, I thought of writing a blog, but you express my thoughts better than me, so why bother? 🙂 It annoys me to hear anyone say the tackle was mistimed, and this and that. Its bullshit. I also CANNOT for the life of me understand, how the focus is on how bad shawcross must be feeling. Aside from the fact that he’s already broken somebody else’s leg before in his short career, all the talk is about how he isn’t that kinda player and how broken up he must be. WELL, Ramsey’s leg is broken in 2, propose how to stop shit like that from happening. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Shawcross intended to injure Ramsey, but he did intend to take the ball or whatever was remaining. Uhhh!! So much is wrong here that I can go on and on and on….

  3. munala says:

    how many think the media circus would be the same had it been rooneys leg, they dont care care as long as it aint thier own (arsenal is considered a non english team). Desi; u know this n it aint da 1st tym we r talking bt it.

  4. FinnGun says:

    Spot on.

  5. Aussie Jack says:

    Tackling the human body is a skill that needs a lot of practice. In rugby the ideal tackle is from the side and around the ankles, high tackles are frowned upon as being ineffective. In junior rugby the coach will instil on his charges “they can`t run without legs”. Even so there is a right and wrong way if you don`t want a broken neck. Put your head behind not in front when making the tackle. In rugby league the head on tackle is favourite which ended up with the `spear tackle`, picking the player up turning him upside down and driving him head first into the turf. This was outlawed some years back, as was the `flying wedge` in rugby.

    So, we come to the sliding tackle in football. It is just as lethal as those in contact sports but unlike contact sports you cant`t prepare players for it in training. So ban it altogether or make strict codes of conduct and adhere to them.

    • Nischit says:

      Interesting to see that Rugby made the game safer for the players. FIFA are a bunch of wankers and its just emphasized by the head wanker. Sliding tackles are an art, if perfected. However, If you look at Shawcross’ tackle closely, it wasn’t really a sliding tackle, it was just an aggresive all or nothing tackle. Such tackles should go the way of the “spear” and the “flying wedge”.

    • desigunner says:

      Point well made. I think the tackle from behind was outlawed for this very reason.

      In football though, there is a slight issue of culture. In other countries any high foot is dealt with severely and the ref’s decision is respected. In England there is a tendency to let these things go by. Ref’s are even criticized for sending offs. In a way that encourages these “accidents”. The laws need to be implemented consistently and with an emphasis on safety and not on physicality.

  6. TayTay says:

    this is possibly one of the most sensible blogs on this this topic so far. . . good job !

  7. Aussie Jack says:

    Just on the media for a second. I swear to God that most of these so called `sports journalists` only write to please the editor and keep in favour. Company policy and office politics no more.

  8. Marcus says:

    Yes Desi……

    It seems like the media has floated up a barrage balloon of bull. Or is that a smokescreen of….

    It is, as you say, mind-numbing and incredulous at the same time.

    The media in this country is so morally debased that they turn any and every scenario into a pantomine.
    Wenger is always the pantomime villain. That is the price he pays for being French, intelligent, and humane. English boys are always the horny handed sons of the soil, the boys done good types.

    The media bypasses that which doesn’t fit their stereotypical puppet show, so Aaron Ramsey is already half-forgotten.

    When violence and degradation turns into pantomime, it has a name …..it is called the Colosseum, the gladiatorial arena……..in short, the death throes of a decadent civilization.

    • desigunner says:

      You know, Media in India is just as bad. I don’t know much about the US as I don’t follow anything with particular interest over here.

      These days I prefer reading only blogs and skim through the traditional media for quotes and facts. Even then there is a lot of bull in those few articles.

  9. Wasike says:

    Is the English media xenophobic or what?The last time there was a furore on Eduardo’s dive every sports journalist and even well known English players like John Terry were up in arms about how foreign players bring the game to disrepute through cheating?How the same energy is not applied in condemning a beastly act like Ryan Shawcross brutish tackle?Is the English media and public guilty of double standards by condoning criminals under the guise of footballers who are praised for their malicious ‘grit’ and steel?

  10. leah says:

    Point on man. I hate to see legs and carreers shattered. to try to justify the tackle (from the media) is irresponsible. Let’s look at issues wholistically and not in the prism of the teams we support. I hate to see reckless tackless either aimed at Man U or any other team

  11. critic says:

    what can a blog do about it???what can ppl do about by agreeing with u and not doing anything??does any1 has a plan how to confront epl bodies about this??

  12. Bobby p says:

    Excellent post! The media are a disgrace, some of the idiots they interview are just plain laughable! Stan Collymore saying that Wenger should apologise to Shawcross? Someone help me figure that one out! That tackle was horrendous and unacceptable, especially in the Premier League! You would expect that kind of thuggery in the Sunday league. Owen Coyle described Gallas’ tackle as “an assault” Where were the likes of Jamie Redknapp condemning that Statement?? Xenophobic morons! Poor Ryan Shawcross is the victim in all of this, how dare Arsene even criticise him for “he’s not that type of player” Bollocks! He is now! Ramseys leg is the proof!

  13. elu27 says:

    If this were to happen to Wayne Rooney, then the whole media circus will be up in their arms telling us how wrong the tackle was and how it should not even be in the game. But since this happens to Arsenal, they would act as if it wasn’t a big deal. They tell us how Shawcross is not a bad lad and it was just a “coming together” of 2 people who are “committed to the tackle”. Total nonsense. Good to know there people who feel this way.

  14. Frank says:

    Just ask those people one question: What if it were Rooney whose leg was broken? Put this question to Sir Alex as well, would he still be calling that rascal.

  15. Durban_Gun says:

    english football in general is very hostile to foreign players coz not many english players can compete with the abilities and talents of foreign players. the reason
    for this is because foreign players strive to play the beautiful game opting for ability and technique to influence a match rather then brute force violence and fear.take brazil for example why do they have so many talented individual players? its because from children they are taught to develop their abilities thru training learning and hard work there is no other logical reason to explain this. english players on the other hand are taught from a young age to be “physical” if they cannot compete with more technical players. i believe every nation has a unique footballing culture which leaves its imprint on its players .dats why brazil is brazil. how many talents has england sacrificed thru their violent football culture? they are to blame for the decline in english talent not foreign players . foreign players provide the english with the privelage to compete at a universal level which is the only thing keeping english players at a descent level.. a mass exodus to spain is looming

  16. Northbanker says:

    I’ve calmed down enough now to comment.
    Unlike the pundits or anyone else condoning the tackle Bendtner, who stood a few yards from the incident had this to say, ‘the tackle was totally out of control’. Now that is the core of the problem in English football today, we see it week after week. How are England supposed to develope talent when our players have to spend half the game jumping in the air to avoid out of control tackles? Where are defenders of the the Paulo Maldini, Bobby Moore type? defenders who could nick the ball from an attacker with minimum of contact. Shawcross hasn’t even learnt the basics in the art of tackling and now he’s been picked for England God help us. If he put in tackles like that in the World Cup he won’t be on the field for more than 20 mins and, if he didn’t, then what use is he to England?
    Don’t ask me the solution but one thing is obvious, referees need to take back control of the game. Even if this means slowing things down a bit to stop the game reaching frenzy mode.
    Two broken legs and other serious injuries from this ‘he’s a nice lad really’ and he’s only 22 years old. How many more before he retires from the game?
    Watch the link below (it includes his previous)then I’m sure you’ll agree, he’s not so nice after all.

    • desigunner says:

      Thanks for the link.

      England needs a visionary like Wenger at the top of the FA and the Premier League. Right now everything seems too old fashioned and bureaucratic. People will always resist change but someone has to have the balls to implement it. Once it’s done the benefits will be obvious even to the most vehement opponents.

      Good point about Maldini, Moore. Italians tackle all the time and seem to do it so effortlessly. On the other hand successful defenders in English League are mostly physical. Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry etc rely more on brawn than technique and a lot of support from the ref’s like the Carling Cup final. Doesn’t work very well at the international level, does it.

  17. drvics says:

    Great article Desi.
    I was watching the ESPNSTAR coverage of the match with John Dykes and Paul Masefield. Mase actually predicted a Stoke win before the match and even during half time, saying Arsenal would not be able to handle the ‘physical’ nature of Stokes game. What was worse was his analysis of the incident post match. He said it was an accident, there was no malice in it and get this ‘Ramsey was just to quick for him’. I almost throw my remote control at the TV. I am a doctor and no way could that tackle, at that force, and dont forget, near the halfway line, be deemed unintentional. Shawcross might not have been looking to break Ramsey’s leg, but he sure wanted to leave a mark at the very least.
    Incensed, I wrote to Espnstar & football focus about the incredible bias of the so called Pundits. Doubt it will have any effect, though. Maybe if a vast majority wrote in, things, at least wrt espnstar in India, could change.

    • desigunner says:

      I often feel I need insurance for my TV and other household appliances. Some day these pundits will drive me crazy enough to smash something.

      ESPNSTAR is sad. I’ve written to them in the past. But it was conveniently ignored.

  18. […] Ramsey has obviously been dominating my thoughts. Media nonsense just made is worse as we discussed yesterday. Today, I was consciously trying to think about the […]

  19. Aussie Jack says:

    Having now seen the video I agree with Nischit that it was not a `sliding tackle` but a wild, out of control, don`t give a damn type and to me even more vicious than a sliding tackle. Without the knee jerk reaction of immediate comment I can honestly say that Shawcross should be suspended for the rest of the season. Not only he but all players and managers have to realize this kind of aggression is totally unacceptable and not in the interest of the code.

  20. Debbie says:

    Nice post! I really like your posting.
    i will come back to read more of your posts.

    Cheers

  21. Dear Desi,
    Fantastic Analysis… Hats off…!!!

    and Ur English is fantastic…, will U mind if I ask what U do…???

    Thanks

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