Photos: Stoke 1-3 Arsenal – Aaron Ramsey Leg Break Is Violent Wake-Up Call

Ollie Irish

1st, March 2010


By Ollie Irish

WARNING: The gallery below does include some quite graphic images of Aaron Ramsey’s leg injury, which you are perfectly free not to look at. However, I think as football fans we should not shy away from an aspect of the modern game that is hard to stomach but must not be ignored, namely its increasingly violent physicality. Football is a hard and physical game, of course, but the FA must do something to properly penalise clubs which adopt a “they don’t like it up ’em” approach against technically superior opponents. To the likes of Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce – that means you.


Picture 1 of 21

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey (centre) and Stoke City's Mamady Sidibe (left) battle for the ball.

Football should not be a blood sport, but that’s the way it’s going in England, a perverse nation where the likes of brave foot solider Terry Butcher (bloody headband et al) are eulogised above artists like Matt Le Tisser. Kicking other teams off the park is simply not acceptable, especially not in an era when players are so fit and strong.

I don’t really know what else to say to add to the many thousands of words that have already been written about the Shawcross/Ramsey incident, which overshadowed a terrific win for Arsenal. But three bad breaks in four years suffered by Wenger’s players, and all tackles made by limited English players on their own ground – with the home crowd almost baying for blood – against more technical non-English players is more than just a coincidence, clearly. As I said above, it’s time for the FA to act. And not just the FA. The hyperbolic media, spearheaded by Sky Sports with its gladiatorial match trailers, must also shoulder some responsibility, if only for spreading the (xenophobic) myth that Arsenal don’t like it up ’em. As has been pointed out elsewhere, who does like it up ’em?

Posted in Arsenal, Photos, Stoke City

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  1. marc says:

    Excellent comments.

    I hope that if any good can come from this situation it is that English football finally turns a corner, and puts aside the progressively more savage tactics that are pushed by limited managers like Pulis and Allardyce.

    However, I do not hold much hope for this. The ‘lesser’ teams under these so called coaches have decided that this is their only way to ensure they can compete. Forget trying to build technically astute teams, well-versed in football. That is far too difficult. Instead buy in the biggest and most aggressive players you can find, if they can kick a ball so much the better and then proceed to harrass and kick and pucnch and pull and stamp your way to some kind of success.

    And it is with some reason that the media, Sky especially, hype the bloodier and gladiatorial nature of the English game so much. It sells.

  2. Me says:

    I don’t like this post at all. I’ll start with the fact that the tackle was very unfortunate. It was made by a young defender still learning his trade. All sympathy goes to Ramsey because it was horrible but there was no malice in the tackle. If you think that players who play like Butcher are still held in high esteem then I don’t know what league you have been watching in recent years. Henry, Ronaldo, Gerrard, Torres, Fabregas, Lampard, Drogba are all technical gifted players who are lauded at every opportunity and rightly so. Rooney has clearly received more praise in recent seasons since he has cleaned up his act and he has been impecible this season with his behaviour and general play. When bolton signed Jay Jay Okocha everyone was delighted. People want to see these types of players week in week out. You make it sound like people want to see an English player ‘do’ a foreign players. As far as I know no one likes the Micheal Browns of the premiership but those players are a necessity for some teams. It isn’t tackling that should be stopped its the intent to hurt other players that needs to be stopped. Shawcross isn’t that type of player. He was clearly going for the ball. He was beaten to the ball by some one quicker and it was a reckless attempt but he definitely didn’t want to do that. Gallas’ tackle against Mark Davies was pretty bad too but thats forgotten about.
    P.S. I would see Arsenal win the league though. Everyone wrote them off and they are right back in it.

  3. Kevin M says:


    Shawcross IS that type of player. See: Jeffers, Francis and Adebayor, Emmanuel. You clearly have no idea about which you are talking.

  4. Ollie says:

    Interesting comments, both.

    @Me: If I make it sound like people want to see an English player ‘do’ a foreign player, I think when Arsenal come to town, there are plenty of fans who want to see exactly that.

    And consider this: imagine the media outcry if Shawcross was El Hadj Diouf and Ramsey was Wayne Rooney. Diouf would have to leave the country in disguise for fear of being lynched, whilst sympathy for Rooney would be massive. Like it or not, although English fans want to be entertained, they also love crunching tackles.

  5. ds goon says:

    like i said in your previous post ollie i sincerly thank you for posting these fine article. it’s nice to see a few people have the balls to call it as it is. it was not malicious per say but certainly a tackle he would have not gone flying into like that if it wasn’t instilled into him that arsenal ‘don’t like it up em’ and if he had regard the consequences of ‘taking the man’ also in that tackle
    like a drunk driver who accidently runs over an innocent victim has no case to say it was not intentional so to shawcross has no case to say it was not intentional. that is missing the point completely. obviously he did not indent to break poor aaron’s leg but he should be punished as the driver would be punished (in footballing terms a longer ban for starters to disuade reckless no regard for the consequences tackling) but we all know that won’t happen.

    @me stfu twat like kevin m said refer to the leg breaking of jeffers and the studs up tackle on ade, off the pitch, might i add. if you play with fire you’re going to get burnt is the best way to describe why i have no sympathy for shawcross. gallas infact is NOT that kind of player you cunt. and i don’t remember gallas breaking a bone let alone two in that (yes bad) challenge.

  6. matthew says:

    i wonder what would be said if the official had red carded Cesc for the studs to the leg of the Stow player shown in picture 7 which could have ended very similarly. bad tackles happen and the game is a contact sport. I wish Ramsey a speedy recovery and have no ill will toward Shawcross.

  7. eamogomez says:

    Why was Campbell adn half the Arsenal players more interested in approaching Shawcross than checking on Ramsey. Whelan and Bendtner were nearly d only 2 trying to help Ramsey. It was a freak accident, no malace in the tackle. Thats fuckin malace. Still lousy on Ramsey still going to be a great player. The english game needs players wanting to win the ball that bad, obviously there is going to be injuries sometimes its just going to happen

  8. lee says:

    does this photo not show fabregas challenge whitehead high on the ankle? is this acceptable?

  9. lee says:

    pictures 16 and 7, the only 2 tackles with intent to hurt a player.

  10. Gary says:

    The Shawcross/Ramsey incident is not relevant to this article. While the author makes a valid point about the physical side of the English game, Shawcross and Ramsey went to kick the ball at the same time, ok Ramsey got there 1st, maybe Shawcross my have better timed his kick, is Bender wasn’t pulling his shirt!! Watch the replay and their feet collided, it could have been Shawcross’ leg. The referee’s can n6t be trusted to give teams parity, Vidic against Villa? Fabregas’ challenges on Whitehead AND Pugh? Both yellow card offences at the very least, the Whitehead one possibly Red (SEE\ PIC 7) Looking at the images shown, this is clearly a biased piece….didn’t Stoke score?? You wouldn’t think so just from the pics…

  11. dgiant says:

    Aaron needs to take this matter to the british court and bring a civil lawsuit against the guy. Sue that idiot for 10-20 million pounds (pain, suffering and lost wages).

  12. daz says:

    both players went into the tackle 100% and Shawcross got there slightly late. If i was Bentner i would seriuosly ask myself if the tug on Ryans shirt half a second earlier causes this. Watch the replay you see this and look at the pictures looking at Aarons leg even before Shawcross had caught him. What amazes me is that some Arsenal fans look thro Arsene Whingers glasses and only see fouls committed by players on his team but not the other way around. Picture 7 proves this. Fabregas has two challenges from behind,Vermaelen had one on 20ish minutes from behind and Cambell did Fuller the same way. Watch the game and take off those those Whinger specs. Youll see that your players made more bad tackles than we did. Going back a season you all seem to forget you had a player sent off for dangerous play on Sorrenson. What about Adebayor’s tackle on Shawcross a few minutes before the off the pitch slide. Gallas anyone?? Diaby anyone. You could fill a photo album with Fabregas’s bad tackles from behind. Just as Hull fans. Like i said…take off you Whinger goggles and watch the game again. All the best to Aaron and wishing him a speedy recovery from what everyone other that Arsenal fans are saying..which was an accident

  13. stoke12246 says:

    Kevin m you cleary know nothing for Stating jeffers, francis and adebayor francis jeffers is one person you penis. Also take your arsene blinkers off for a second realise that arse themselve are a dirty team, especially that horrible little turd fabregas look at pic 7/ 21 above!!!

  14. stoke12246 says:

    oh also picture 16 i cant wait till that horrible little grease ball gets his dream move to barca

  15. Souksonne says:

    If there’s no just punishment in this type of situation, these type of teams are going to get away with (almost literally) murder time after time. Not to say that Shawcross deserves to be banned for life, but a few more games out than what would be normal for a straight red might make the aforementioned managers stop and think. Obviously it is hard to punish subjectively after every horror tackle, but unfortunately unless an example is made of such cases the ‘beautiful’ game runs the risk of setting a poor example for aspiring youngsters.

  16. Oatcake Muncher says:

    Whatever bell end wrote this article knows very little about football and even less about Stoke City. It’s typical of this shitty site to have anti Stoke related articles. I refer you to this piece of crap from when Stoke first EARNED promotion to the Premier League.

    If all you anti Shawcross idiots would take time to watch the reply you’ll see that there’s nothing even remotely dirty about it, just two young lads going for the ball, one of whom attempts a clearance, admittedly miss-timed, and the other lad accidentally gets his leg broken. Please remove your Arsole Wenger whinging frog rimming brown tinted glasses and have another look and get your facts straight. These things happen in football.

    Stoke are a physical team yes, but that comes from the passion and hard work of the players.

    Stoke deserve to be exactly where they are, in the Premier League, and Shawcross ditto with his place in the England team. And when Ryan Shawcross is kicking arse for England I hope it’ll shut you the fuck up a bit. Not that that will appease the Irish cunt who wrote that steaming pile of turd article.

  17. anarchicalan says:

    Well over 80 red cards since Wenger took over says all you need to know about his “cultured” teams. On their day, Arsenal are a joy to watch, but that doesn’t mean the opoosition have to stand by and admire them. It’s a contact sport – as Campbell demonstarted with EVERY challenge he made, Fabregas (twice), Veermalen, Glichy also left marks with tackles from behind (unpunished with even a warning, let alone a card) – and sadly accidents happen.

    Yes, 3 broken legs in 5 years is unlucky, but I’m old enough to remember 4 broken legs in ONE SEASON, as well as a broken arm, for Stoke City. It’s unfortunate, but people recover.

    I, along with ALL TRUE fans, wish Ramsey a speedy recovery. He’s an exciting and skillful player.

  18. robert longster says:

    ppl are reading to much into the fact ramsey was horrificaly challenged….yes agreed but was it a dangerous tackle ….well no not real as someone wrote above it was an unfortunate tackle with no malice or intent to catch aaron….look at the photos shawcross was going for the ball…… a photo else were it looks as his leg broke just before he was hit….anyway these tackles have been made since football was played in markets 200 years ago and it wont change….can u imagine football with no sliding…please!!! so no defencive blocks aloud? might aswell let them run the ball the full 90yrds to the oppositions goal then! Dont get me wrong wat happend to aaron was not good, its a shame cuz hes a good welsh player.. do you here utd fans bitching about alan smiths broken ankle against arsenal all that time ago? you could see the bone poking out so no difference… and one more thing,,,,someone said to sue him in court…. please!!! we might aswell pack the game in altogether once that starts as players wont want to play anymore, they’ll be in court week in week out…..shawcrooss was going down before ramsey got there and was unluckely caught shawcross doesnt deserve this backlash he may have been abit over enthusiastic but he was going for the ball and DID get it so look carefully and think about wat you would of done…… i would of done the same thing

  19. Me says:

    @ds goon, sounds to me like you were at the beach recently cos i dont think you got all the sand out of your vagina. How can you compare Shawcross to a drunk driver. Wouldn’t it make more sense to compared him to a sober driver who was driving dangerously. You sound like a drama queen when you go over the top like that. You said you agree with this article and while you agree that Gallas’ tackle was bad, you seem to find it more acceptable than Shawcross’. Is that because it wasn’t as bad? I don’t think so because Davies was extremely fortunate to come away without any broken bones. As far as I can recall, Gallas had more neglect for his opponent’s well-being than Shawcross but that’s my opinion. I think you find Gallas tackle more acceptable because you are a gooner.
    @Kevin M, I think he’s the kind of player to get such in, he’s a center half but you’re right the tackle on Adebayor wasn’t a pleasant one. This one wasn’t like that. He was attempting to win the ball. He just wasn’t as fast as Ramsey.
    @Ollie, fans love crunching tackles because thats a great part of the game. people like to make crunch tackles when they play themselves. Are you suggesting that the day of the hard tackle should be gone because if you are then i don’t want to see what you would do to the game. Next it would be the sliding tackle gone and then the shoulder. The game is physical. I am not saying that studs up tackles are acceptable but if some one does anything they can to get the ball or prevent a goal without being reckless with some one else then thats brilliant. And in that pursuit, sometimes people will get hurt.
    As far the scenario will diouf and rooney goes, people would hate him because its diouf. If it was petr cech who came out and missed the ball but took out rooney would anyone feel animosity toward him if he didn’t mean it. I think not. Anyone who did wouldn’t belong in the stands. But this incident on saturday happened between two british players.
    Can I ask about the Fabregas/Alonso incident last year. Do you think that tackle from Alonso should not be allowed?

    Ramsey is a gifted player and I wish him all the best.

  20. Nacho says:

    Very inspiring to see a football writer stand up against the beliefs of basically his entire audience. Much respect deserved and earned, Ollie.

    As for the tackle, from any video and especially from Shawcross’ reaction, it is clear that there was no personal intent to harm Aaron. However, the things Ollie has mentioned above are spot on. The general attitudes and mindset of the ‘English game’ and the vast majority of its supporters are unfortunate. Yes there are knowledgeable supporters who look for more than blood, guts, and glory when tuning in on matchday, but unfortunately it is safe to say that is exactly what some people are after.

    This idea that the Premiership is the hardest and toughest league out there, is likely true, but the fact that this ‘concept of football’ is pushed and flaunted by the media is beyond unfortunate and needs to be halted before any more harm done.

    And to the readers who feel the need to argue about whether or not the tackle was or wasn’t malicious, and to those who are looking to point the blame at other players and situations, that is not the point. We are looking at a much deeper issue here that is a big blemish on the face of Football, not only English Football.

    Kudos to Arsenal for an exceptional performance after watching yet another one of their brothers go down with an extremely serious injury. Let us recall that Eduardo is nothing like the player he was before having broken his leg. This unwanted display will certainly hinder Aaron Ramsey’s development and likely even prevent him from becoming the player he could have been.

    Can’t wait to hear the next immature ‘fabregas is a turd’ comment after this post.


  21. Phil the Stokie says:

    This website has confirmed what I already knew.
    There are some real dickheads that watch football and most of them support arsenal!

  22. Tuncay Stryder says:

    First of all, good luck to Ramsey in his recovery and I hope he is playing again as soon as possible. If I were Tony Pulis, Ryan Shawcross or even Sam Allardyce, I would be looking at legal action against whoever wrote this total and utter load of non sense. On what grounds can call Shawcross a limited player? How highly embarressing for you that Fabio Capello has basically rammed those words down your throat just days later by selecting him for England. Ryan is a fine defender and will get better and better. He clearly did not want to hurt anybody, hence his reaction.

    Arsene Wenger is a total div, who should look a little closer to home (Gallas on Davies incident, which was ten times worse than Shawcross/Ramsey but the lad got lucky) before he slates other teams’ players. While we don’t want to see broken legs, i’m afraid it is a hazard of the game and I have seen it happen on a Sunday morning a few times, but without the cry baby reaction we have found here. Arsenal ‘fans’ really do make me sick sometimes. Perhaps they would be better served watching the NBA from now on, as they clearly know little about football.

    Again, Get well soon Aaron Ramsey

  23. Rich says:

    A repugnant article,a totally biased,blinkered and uninformed piece of trash.I will not waste any more time, or thought on this utter bilge.

  24. Ollie says:

    @ Rich: How about you give at least one reason why you think I’m biased or blinkered or uninformed. Then I might take you seriously, rather than suspecting you’re a trolling Stoke fan with nothing to offer but a kneejerk reaction.

  25. Pesser says:

    First of all I would like to say that I was shocked by the injury sustained by Arron Ramsey and I wish him a speedy recovery.

    As far as this article is concerned, it is obviously written by by someone who I would imagine never to have played football in a truly competitive environment, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. However, I respect that you are entitled to your opinion, as I and every other poster are to theirs.

    Interesting to see how you respond to Stoke fans as trolling and with nothing to offer but kneejerk reactions. I have heard nothing but kneejerk reactions from Arsenal fans all week, understanably so considering the horrific injury to one of their rising stars. So as a “trolling Stoke fan” I’ll offer you this considered opinion, the three worst tackles in the game in question were made by Cesc Fabregas, two of them are seen to be glorified in your photo slideshow, somewhat surprising considering the theme of your article, and the third, and in my opinion the most dangerous, was on Ryan Shawcross shortly before half time, from behind, which seems a favoured method of Fabregas, using a scissor action with the legs, which everyone who as ever played football knows could cause serious injury. This tackle occured directly in front of Arsene Wenger, though I doubt he will remember it, or didn’t see it.

    Anyone who as studied the video of the incident between Ramsey and Shawcross, as I have would see that Shawcross is the one to actually have the ball at his feet and is drawing his foot back to kick the ball, on which he is clearly focused, Ramsey, also focused on the ball, is at that point slightly airborn, and about to push his right foot towards the ball. From this point it is Ramseys speed that gets his foot to the ball a fraction of a second before Shawcross. The conclusion of this is that it is the commitment of both players that cause what can only be described as a freak accident.

    I don’t think for one minute that Arsenal fans will want to accept these facts, they would prefer to seek retribution and act as Judge, Jury and Executioner.

    Football in my opinion is, and always should be a contact sport, by that I mean in a fair manner, otherwise it will lose it’s appeal to the majority who want to see players trying to win the ball, not waiting for someone to make a mistake during a period of tippy tappy short passes. It’s a mans game, lets keep it that way.

  26. Firstplace says:

    Bravo Ollie. Great article. It’s quite amusing them Stoke fans lack the ability to read.

  27. Siggy says:

    What a load of arse! It wasnt even a booking, it was just unfortunate for Ramsey.

    Wenger needs to stop trying to pass the blame for his squads failings.

    All this Arsenal moaning from your manager & fans is turning you into a laughing stock.

    PS. I am a massive cunt with a micropenis

  28. Ollie says:

    @ Pesser: I agree with much of what you say, except that Shawcross had the ball at his feet. He lunged for the ball in a violent manner, clearly.

  29. tomc says:

    @ Ollie: Have you actually seen the tackle? No studs were showing, he tries to hit the ball with his laces. So please explain how lunged in a violent manner. Watch Ramsey jump 2 footed prior to gettin the ball from Shawcross, that is in a violent manner. Also when watching the replay look at Ramseys led start to bend unnaturally, MOTD’s freeze frame shows it clearly enough even in Winger tinted glasses. Lastly please explain how Fabregas can tackle in a violent manner as shown in your picture 7, studs up, yet no card was shown. Which was 1 of 3 bad tackles by the little moaner. Lookin forward to reply.

  30. Glenn says:


    I can find you at least 10 technically worse fouls than the Shawcross incident all committed by the ‘holier than thou’ Arsenal team. The only reason we don’t hear anymore about them is because nobody was seriously injured (luckily).

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones………

  31. Stokie says:

    …….Personally I could not care less if the entire Arsenal team left the Britannia in an ambulance……..’cos I loath and despise their manager, their team, their supporters ……al the guf written by them in this article should explain why

  32. Ted says:

    wow – look at Fabergas slam over Whitehead’s ankle on picture #7

    PS Whitehead later leaves game

    Is Fabergas too slow and clumsy and untalented or dirty like Shawcross, cause that is what the crybaby Arsenal fans claim. The reality is Fabergas was, by far, the dirtiest player on the field in that game. The difference is, Stoke don’t cry and make a drama show out of it. Just like they do not flop all over the field when they get hit (Arsenal special)

    Kudos to them. They may be small club, but I will take that over these Arsenal cry babies any day


  33. […] easy to forget that, before he disassembled Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey‘s lower body at the tail-end of last season, Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross was supposedly being courted by most […]

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