After almost a week since the leg break, you would expect people to have nothing to say further about the incident. But then you just can’t stop the idiots. More rubbish was spout out from Tony Pulis’ mouth and this time he involves Arsenal fan in it. Apparently there are 300 e-mails which were sent by Arsenal fans to them to show they sympathy for Ryan Shawcross. Somehow, I could never quite believe that. In the same report, Theo Walcott also expresses his opinion on that matter. His words of support for Shawcross would not be taken kindly by those in the Arsenal camp, let alone Aaron Ramsey, who is the one and only victim here. After being accused of being brainless on the pitch, Walcott tries to act like one off-field. Shame.
I don’t know why I only saw it a day late but John Cross‘ assessment of the whole incident is absolutely spot on. John also touched on the media bias that has been going around and fair play to him for bringing that up. It’s heartening to see that at least some of the experts (unfortunately none of the ex-pros) are looking at both sides of the picture.
I think Shawcross’ tackle was reckless but not malicious. But, ultimately, Shawcross is to blame. That, however, didn’t stop Alan Green’s show on Saturday night suggesting that Wenger should bide his time and consider his views before launching into a fierce tirade at Shawcross. Trouble is, as much as I like and respect Green, we journalists have deadlines to meet. We stick the microphone under his nose! Therefore, you don’t get a very considered view. It is likely to be an outright attack on Shawcross, Stoke and the football world in general. But you have to understand one of his players has been seriously injured. Someone said to me this week that Wenger is experienced and media savvy enough to be smarter than that. Do me a favour. What, after one of his players has nearly been crippled? I watched Match of the Day and there was more sympathy for Shawcross than there was for the player lying in a hospital bed. The balance was definitely not right. It comes back to this Arsenal “don’t like it up ’em” accusation. To be fair, Alan Hansen and Andy Gray have said that many, many, many times down the years. However, Shawcross was reckless, hard and out of order on Ramsey. Before people start, I’ve lost count of the number of texts, e-mails and tweets telling me about how Shawcross has got history for bad fouls on two former Arsenal strikers, Emmanuel Adebayor and Francis Jeffers. Look them up, they’re bad. Which brings me back to the original point. Ramsey is the one this week that deserves the sympathy, not Shawcross.
Even after such an unfortunate incidents, the other teams never seemed to learn. Our next opponent is Burnley and one of their players are already talking about getting into Arsenal’s faces and stopping us from playing. That player is Leon Cort, another central defender, and frankly I’m a bit worried of further injuries. He even goes on to say that they will not be holding back on the tackles and readily admits that there will be mis-timed tackles in the game. How does the FA allows this kind of talk to continue prior to games is unbelievable. That the opposition team is clearly looking to foul and the possibility of players getting injured are too real not to deal with. We need protection from the FA and the referee to stop this kind of nonsense from going on.
One story out there today links us with Juventus’ Felipe Melo. According to that report, Juventus wants cash as well as a trade of either Sagna, Clichy or Van Persie for the Brazilian midfield enforcer. Somehow I don’t see that from happening. While Melo may have caused Juventus in excess of 20 million, his current worth has plummeted somewhat after being voted one of the worst player in the Serie A after a disappointing debut season for the Turin club. I also feel that Wenger is not too keen on parting with any of those players. As a team that is young and growing up together, keeping everyone in the squad is the utmost importance. That being said, with Gibbs seen as an able replacement for Clichy and Thomas Cruise in reserves, the left back looks to be the likeliest of the lot should the move materialise, although I still don’t think that will happen.
Match preview tomorrow, Diaby could be back. Finally some light at the end of a very solemn and dark week.