Our Way is the Right Way

We’ve had 2 days to digest the events of Saturday afternoon. The emotions have calmed and the parties involved have stated their case. Every Tom, Dick and ‘Arry has expressed an opinion. These are simply my conclusions.

The tackle was not malicious if you believe as I do, that Shawcross did not intend to break Ramsey’s leg. He was late, he missed the ball and used excessive force. A combination of over-aggression, lack of ability and poor decision making. The responsibility for the injury lies totally with Shawcross as he chose to enter into a challenge where damage to his opponent was a distinct possibility. In any other walk of life, under current Health and Safety laws, Shawcross could be prosecuted for the act.

A message to the Stan Collymore’s of this world who repeatedly trot out the line that “football is a contact sport”. The rules have changed. Tackles from behind have been outlawed. Two footed tackles are not allowed. Tackles with the studs up are not allowed.

The rules stipulate: – careless tackles are not punished; reckless tackles are a yellow card; excessive force is a red card. Shawcross was correctly given a red card because his ‘tackle’ contravened the rules. Those rules are in place to prevent players from suffering injury.

Football is not a contact sport like boxing. It is a game of skill where a level of physical contact is allowed, but that level should fall below the point where injury occurs. Would the fools who justify breaking the rules of football as a means of combatting more skillful play also advocate shoplifting if someone is short of money? – it’s an equally ridiculous attitude.

Thomas Vermaelen is a tough, physical competitive footballer, I can’t remember a single instance of him jumping in with a two footed, over the ball challenge. In fact I can’t ever remember the likes of Adams, Keown or Bould producing such crude challenges – perfectly timed slide tackles maybe. Defending and tackling are skills which didn’t require the opponent to get injured even in the ‘good old days’ that the Collymore’s of this world refer to.

The post match interviews and subsequent statements by Tony Pulis and Arsène Wenger were pretty much what you’d expect. I don’t think Pulis is a bad manager or a bad man. He sets his sides up to maximise their limited ability by creating a narrow pitch and rehearsing set plays that are hard to defend. He can’t afford to buy players with a high level of skill so he settles for brawn as it means he has a reasonable chance of getting enough points through a more physical approach to keep them in the premiership, but therein lies the problem. Arsène has built this squad on an equally low budget but managed to put the emphasis on skill by virtue of his ability and vision.

Arsène feels a huge sense of responsibility for his players and to see one of ‘his boys’ receive a career threatening injury for the third time in five years was extremely upsetting for him. I’m sure he is disappointed that football in England seems to have gone backwards rather than aspiring to the more sophisticated approach at the highest level on the continent. He must see the extreme irony in the view that some correspondents have expressed actually blaming him for the injury because he has made his players vulnerable by concentrating too much on skill.

Cesc said it all when being presented with the MotM award….

“You could ask yourself, we are not protected enough – I think so. You speak to the referee, ‘play on, play on’, I know it is England, I know it’s a great game, I know we all love this kind of play, but sometimes there is a top you cannot pass and we are sometimes victims”

– actually, a bit of an understatement I’d say!

Cesc has been systematically targeted by opposition ‘hard men’ all season. The horror tackle on Ramsey could just as easily have been against him. He has not been protected by referees and has received cards himself for seemingly innocuous tackles.

This debate must not be allowed to subside. It is a shame that so much focus is being placed on Stoke since it is actually the referees who have the power to avoid such situations by applying the rules fairly and consistently. Some referees seem to subscribe to the theory that it is OK to kick Arsenal players otherwise we have an unfair advantage due to the greater technical ability. The referee’s job is to protect the players. On many ocassions, they have failed to carry out that duty when officiating games involving Arsenal.

The players have learned from the experience of two years ago. They showed a resilience and determination after the injury that they lacked in 2008. That was due in no small part to the immense character and leadership of Campbell and Vermaelen as well as Cesc.

Every supporter would have traded the win for Ramsey escaping injury, but somehow the injustice has created an energy and will to succeed that has made even the most hardened sceptic believe we really can win the league. Justice for the good guys, for football and for a club that places the important values above winning trophies.

With the exception of our London rivals and fans of the other top four clubs, Arsenal is the team most supporters want to see win the league. We’ll win it our way or we’ll just keep trying because our way is what makes Arsenal unique and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

83 Responses to Our Way is the Right Way

  1. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    More of a rambling rant than a structured post today. The media coverage and opposing views of Ramsey’s injury are still ongoing and I think that we, as Arsenal fans, should continue to state our case until something is done to reduce the likelihood of this type of thing happening again.

  2. tommystout says:

    A good read Rasp and good morning to you.
    Ref’s have a duty now, to ensure this does not happen again.
    Constant niggly fouls that are gotten away with turn into nastier fouls that lead to injury. Bob Wilson talked about Lucas yesterday and how he counted 9 fouls by that one player before he got his booking.
    Yeah ref’s have a responsibility now, if they did not already know it!

  3. London says:

    Morning all in AA

    A quality piece of writing Rasp and an excellent read.

  4. charybdis1966 says:

    Very nicely put, whoever wrote that(I’m sorry I can’t tell who it is) and it would be nice to see the good guys win in real life not just in Hollywood endings. The difference in our response to the Eduardo leg break and Rambo’s one could well be a pivotal moment; it was certainly heartening in a way that the Brum collapse was deflating.

  5. Morning chary – its Rasputins post.

    Morning all

    Well said rasp, have the FA come out and said anything about how referees should be giving more protection to players………..

  6. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Peaches, you must be psychic I couldn’t tell. If anyone is interested in my personal take on Rambos recovery I could write a post about it.

  7. Rasputin says:

    Morning chary,

    That’s a great idea, sharpen your quill and get going 😉

  8. Yes please chary that would be a good read. Are we going to meet up on Saturday before Burnley?

    Theres a great video of Fabregas v Stoke that I’ve put onto the vodpod which can be found down the right-hand side.

  9. charybdis1966 says:

    Ok Raspers I’ll e mail it to Peaches either tonight or tomorrow night if that’s ok. 400 words minimum I believe?
    On the rare times I have an idea for a post I think it’s best to take advantage!

  10. tommystout says:

    I read that Ferguson actually rang Shawcross to offer his support

  11. Rasputin says:

    I’m disappointed that no-one’s offered up some more names to go into the ‘Roll of shame – footballing dinosaurs’… although Stan Collymore stands head and shoulders above every other idiot who wants to see more ‘tough tackling’

  12. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes, I’ll be at the Tavern Peaches as I might be seeing the guy from the American blog – but I’ll definitely be there and as neither of my sons are coming I can get hydrated properly. My seat(area 5) is in the Red Action section so I’ll need my singing/shouting voice.

  13. tommystout says:

    Arseblog has offered a few, rooney, curbishly, parker, the whole of talksport except for Durham (Shockingly)

  14. dandan says:

    Nice read Rasputin, I was also impressed with Clichy’s reaction after the tackle, he went from man to man giving encouragement. All in all a world away from the Birmingham fiasco. It would seem that the squad is gelling and a new maturity growing that should see us through, with a bit of luck to the title.

  15. charybdis1966 says:

    Other footballing dinosaurs you can add would be retards like Allardyce, Mcleish and Pugullis(t) maybe?

  16. Rasputin says:

    This is good news. .. no doubt part of the ‘arsenalization’

    Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has confirmed the club will be reintroducing the legendary ‘Clock End’.

    The Clock End stood at Highbury for over 70 years until Arsenal’s move to Emirates Stadium in 2006.

    Upon leaving Highbury, the clock – first introduced in the 1930s – was assembled outside the new stadium.

    But now the club are planning to put it back inside the ground overlooking the pitch.

    “We want to bring the clock back into the stadium and we will move back to having a Clock End, North Bank and East and West Stands,” Gazidis

  17. Rasputin says:

    Comment by Lou Macari …..

    What got my goat about events at Stoke on Saturday was not the tackle, but Arsene Wenger’s ridiculous reaction to it.

    ….. great stuff Lou, you are a credit to your profession 👿

  18. charybdis1966 says:

    As far as I was aware Raspers the Clock won’t be in place till the start of the 2010-11 season and some will say better late than never. I do wish in the first 3 seasons at the Grove they’d done something like this – we had grey concrete/steel over most the stadium for far too long.

  19. Rasputin says:

    Hi SH,

    Yes I reproduced the wording @10:10. Long overdue I’d say.

  20. Rasputin says:

    Yes I agree chary. I always sat in the North bank lower as central as possible and just above the goal, and I haven’t heard singing anywhere near as loud or passionate since we moved to the Emirates.

  21. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s some spot you had there Raspers, I only got to sit in the North bank once, and that was in the upper tier. It was the game against the Saints where Bobby and Pennant both got hat tricks. I can still remember it vividly when Bobby got the chipped third and went off, finger wagging, to the corner flag to celebrate.

    What a leg-end.

  22. tommystout says:

    i think its great news… i used to be in the northbank just behind the goal excellent spot. i also remember going in the east stand when i had west stand tickets – i was escorted over the pitch to the correct seat, trez embarrassed!

  23. tommystout says:

    we are also 5th in the rich club league, manu drop to 5th.
    What i’d like to know is how necastle make it into the top 20

  24. charybdis1966 says:

    I used to work with Justin Hoyte’s dad and he used to get me seats(only offered at face value I hasten to add) usually in East Lower TommyS and loved the squeezing through the narrow turnstiles set in that famous art Deco east stand, the façade of which is still preserved at Highbury Square. How much more claustrophobic would it feel if we stepped back in time to Highbury after being used to the open spaces of the Grove?

  25. tommystout says:

    I’m not used to the grove mate, i’m a northern gooner with other responsibilities now, so ive been at Highbury a lot more often than emirates.
    But yeah that stand sure was closed in especially at the back and stuck behind a pillar LOL.

  26. sorry, rasp.. in my excitement of reading the story i neglected even reading a few posts previous.

    bloody good news.

    for me, having the stands offically called as they were at highbury is just fabulous news.

    a real treat for us highbury oldies.

  27. south stand? pfffft

    clock end!

  28. Rasputin says:

    No worries SH, I wonder where they are going to site the clock – hanging off Club Level?

  29. Alfa says:

    Rasp, you summed up how many of us feel very eloquently. The game will change but it’s taking a long time.

    Great news about the Clock. I wasn’t a Highbury regular but went a few times from when I was 8. It was a bit sad at the Emirates in the first season to hear the old North Bank and West Bank fans chanting to each other – don’t hear it now.

  30. I don’t know if this has already been flagged up but Matt Dickinson has a couple of good pieces on his page in The Times

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/matt_dickinson/article7046045.ece

    He’s saying that Arsène is right to question the coincedence of the serious injuries, talks about how Barcelona don’t get a kicking from teams that are inferior and questions Polls take on why Vidic wasn’t sent off.

    Obeying the rules is as key to his article as it is to rasps.

  31. This bit will make the blood boil

    How can it be denied when Ricardo Fuller, the Stoke City striker, says: “Some people say before the games, ‘We know how to play Arsenal . . . we have to kick them.’ Nobody in the whole country is upset by that.”

    More revealing still is that such a statement should go unremarked. Kick Arsenal? Well of course you do. You aren’t going to beat them with pretty passing.

  32. Rasputin says:

    A quote from Allan Shearer from a couple of years ago “If you let Arsenal play football, they’ll beat you” – so the answer is simple, don’t obey the rules and play football, play foulball!

  33. charybdis1966 says:

    The thing is Peachy, those Fuller type of quotes always follow a few words along the lines of “we know Arsenal can play attractive which we all love to watch, but for us to survive in this league….” As if this legitamises their approach and softens the impact of their warning that their hatchet men will be out to “sort” us out.

  34. Its interesting what he says about Barca that in La Liga it wouldn’t be tollerated.

  35. Alfa says:

    Chary, so the key is to make sure they don’t survive in this league, by enforcing the rules and penalising them when they break them (and before they break a leg).

    As I’ve said before, this has to apply both way; I thought Gallas should probably been sent off a couple of weeks ago.

    Football’s a game, who wants to play a game with reckless idiots?

  36. dandan says:

    A lot hangs in the balance, win the league and Wengerball will become legitimate, the model for others to copy, Rafa would not need a lot of encouragement to follow and Man Utd as a general rule are half way there,
    So come on you reds

  37. Rasputin says:

    Exactly dandan, I think that is one of the reasons why so many fans from other teams want to see us win the premiership – they’d like to see their side play football more like the Arsenal.

  38. charybdis1966 says:

    One would think so Alfa, but I can’t see it happening until a leg break happens to none of the medias/FA’s golden boys, e.g. Shrek boy, Lumpus Maximus or the Classy JT.

  39. charybdis1966 says:

    Oops, “happens to ONE of”

  40. SharkeySure says:

    “More of a rambling rant than a structured post today!”

    You’re kidding right….thats (yet another!!) very good post.

  41. SharkeySure says:

    Alfa…Gallas would have got the benefit of the doubt from me…..

    He stays on his feet, he follows the ball once it breaks loose cos he is still in control.

    Most importantly, whilst it was a bit of a lunge, he didn’t fly in with ALL his weight on the front foot. had he done so, then Davies would have had the serious injury that it was initially thought he might have.

  42. Alfa says:

    SS, sure, he was more controlled hence the minor damage caused. Still on the margins though. It’s a fine line I guess.

  43. kelsey says:

    Morning all again.

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned but Ferguson phoned up Shawcross to see if he was alright.

    We do have an ally in John Motson. He hopes we win the league for the sake of football, the way we play and how prudently we run our club. ref: Radio 5 live last night.

  44. dandan says:

    Yes heard that kelsey, but then again he has been around long enough to remember, just how boring and violent the game used to be

  45. Rasputin says:

    Morning SS, Alfa and kelsey,

    I was a bit shocked when I heard that fergie had phoned Shawcross, but then I thought that I wouldn’t put it past him to be an act calculated to wind us up as is his style (a la Keegan) when things get tight at the business end of the season. A win for us and a loss for them and we’re in second with a much easier run in.

  46. Rasputin says:

    I hope Ryan Giggs at least, had the decency to pick up the phone and express his best wishes to the Ramsey family ……

  47. SharkeySure says:

    I reckon you’re spot on about Fergie Rasp !!

    Good shout

  48. Big Raddy says:

    My guess is that Shawcross will be partnering Smalling at OT.

  49. dandan says:

    Yep think thats a good shout BR

  50. SharkeySure says:

    I’m pretty certain that Shawcross was let go by Man U, and ended up at Stoke.

    There was even talk of it being partly due to his disciplinary record (on pitch).

    I’ll try to post a link to his tackle in Belgium whilst on loan at the Manc scums feeder club – Royal Antwerp

  51. SharkeySure says:

    A Shawcross ‘tackle’ in Belgium

    I can’t see this at work, but a mate gave the ‘little angel’ a 9 out of 10 for brutality for this ‘tackle’

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Not nice at all SS.

    I seem to recall us selling a CB and re-signing him to good effect. GG sold Keown because he wanted more money, maybe SAF did the same!

  53. Rasputin says:

    Oh I see, Shawcross may well be on his way back to manu – makes sense. Stoke would do very nicely out of the deal I’m sure.

  54. The TROOF says:

    We need to get collymore off the air and away from the papers… this man is an uneducated buffoon. we should complain enmasse to these tabloid radio stations and newspapers and wegner and the team should now refuse to give pre and post match interviews until we are dealt with faily and with respect.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    Well said Troof.

    Of course you could stop listening

  56. Alfa says:

    Troof, spot on, but won’t they just give them more excuses to say that we are soft and whingers?

    I think that Ferguson’s refusal to talk to the BBC because of their documentary about his son makes him look pathetic.

  57. SharkeySure says:

    Good shout Raddy re Shawcross ‘going home’!

    Vidic is clearly out the door this summer, and the sweet litlle angel is a ready made thug…oops, I meant ready made replacement !

  58. Big Raddy says:

    Plus Rio is coming to the end of his career and Johny Evans hasn’t been convincing. I wonder if SAF regrets selling Silvestre 😉

  59. Rasputin says:

    I regret him selling Silvestre 😳

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Very good Rasp.

  61. London says:

    Don’t get me started.

  62. Cattle-prod London 😉

  63. Big Raddy says:

    I have been thinking about the rash of commentary regarding Ramsey’s injury and how that relates to the football of yesteryear.

    In my youth players tackled harder with less protection on dreadful bog pitches with rare serious injury. Nothing that a magic sponge couldn’t cure!!

    Wait a moment….. there is a post here!!!

  64. A spark of inspiration Raddy, are you going to follow it?

    Anyone know why these teams ; chavs, spuds, citeh and villa aren’t playing next weekend? Of course they could be but they’re not on the premiership web-site. FA cup maybe….. ?

  65. Big Raddy says:

    No idea Peaches. Are you sure?

  66. I’ve just had a look around NN and there are still new articles being published that are discussing the lack of comment by the FA on the tackling issue with regard to us being given rough treatment.

  67. It seems like the premiership games are being spread out to wednesday next week – the mancs and us have Champions lge games mid-week. Chavs, spuds and villa are in the FA cup so that leaves citeh as the lonely larrys.

  68. I think lg have got a fixture list for us the mancs and the chavs and the chavs weren’t on there for this weekend

  69. London says:

    I have just realised something: these are the games we have coming up, you will notice that if Spuds get to the semi final of the FA cup then the game will be postponed. The only place it will be possible to shoe horn that game in is at the end of the season. Which means we could be in a situation of winning the league at White Heart Lane — for a third time, you just couldn’t dream this stuff up. lol

    March

    06 Premier League H Burnley 15:00

    09 UEFA Champions L H FC Porto 19:45

    13 Premier League A Hull City 17:30

    20 Premier League H WestHam United 17:30

    27 Premier League A Birmingham 15:00

    30/31 Champions L N Q-Final 1L 19:45

    April

    03 Premier League H Wolverhampton 15:00

    6/7 UEFA Champions L N Quarter-F 2L 19:45

    10 Premier League A Tottenham 12:45
    (This Match is Subject to postponement should Tottenham Hotspur reach the FA Cup Semi Finals)

    18 Premier League A Wigan 13:30

    20/21 UEFA Champions L N Semi-Final 1L 19:45

    24 Premier League H Man City 17:30

    27/28 UEFA Champions L N Semi-Final 2L 19:45

    May

    01 Premier League A Blackburn 15:00

    09 Premier League H Fulham 15:00

    22 UEFA Champions L N Final 19:45
    (At Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid)

  70. I quickly crossed everything when I read that London 😆

  71. charybdis1966 says:

    Peachy – I’m doing a post now – shall I e mail it to you when it’s finished ?

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Ooh that would be so exciting. Win the PL at WHL and then the CL at the Bernabeau.

    Perchance to dream

  73. Rasputin says:

    … and RvP back for the last 8 matches ….

  74. London says:

    This is getting exciting.

  75. How many rasp? 8?

  76. Chary – I’m having trouble opening aol so I might need you to email rasp – have you sent it yet

  77. Rasputin says:

    8 games means he’d come back for the spud game peaches ….. extreme optimism, but at the moment, I feel anything is possible!

  78. Silly me – send it to arsenalnuts@aol.com and rasp can retrieve it from there

  79. Did you see what London said that if the spuds get to the semis of the fa cup then that game against them will be postponed and tucked in later on the season.

    Ooooowah …….. 😆

  80. rasp – chary is sending it to you, now hopefully, can you put it in drafts – I can’t get into aol at all

  81. charybdis1966 says:

    Yup, I’ve just sent it to you Raspers. you have editorial control on it -I’m not precious in that way !

  82. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

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