By Ollie Irish
The first I heard about Aaron Ramsey’s desperately sad leg break was yesterday afternoon at Ljubljana airport (I was away on a stag do and saw no football the whole weekend). I overheard a couple of English guys talking about ‘Ramsey’ and ‘Shawcross’, and that the latter had left the pitch in tears.
From that overheard fragment of casual conversation, it was easy to fill in the gaps. Ryan Shawcross had hurt Aaron Ramsey badly with a violent tackle, I was sure of that.
Why was I so sure of that? Because this is Tony Pulis’s Stoke, a big, ugly and horribly limited team which has used bully-boy tactics in the past against Arsenal (Would Pulis dare employ the same roughhouse stuff against Fergie’s Man Utd? We all know the answer to that) and whose zenith of creativity is a long throw-in. Football? From the hands of Rory Delap onto the head of whoever and not a foot in sight sometimes.
Stoke City today are symptomatic of English football’s obsession with ‘sticking it up them’, ‘them’ being the glove-wearing Johnny Foreigners who come over here, take our money and play better football than us (i.e. Arsenal). This vile obsession, which, sociologically speaking, you can tie in with the pathetic behaviour of English hooligans (i.e. the insecure, no-imagination wasters with dead-end jobs who dwell in dead-end market towns and consume gallons of pissy lager to fuel sub-moronic Football Factory fantasies), is in danger of turning football into a blood sport. It doesn’t help when the Prem’s media cheerleaders (Sky, The Sun etc.) encourage such obsessions.
I will blog more about this depressing and very emotional story later today – after I’ve slept like the dead – but for now all I wish to do is send my absolute best wishes to Ramsey.
Oh, and you MUST read Arseblog’s post on the Shawcross/Ramsey incident. It is spine-chillingly brilliant and the most heartlfelt, poignant article about football I’ve read in a very long time. LINK