Tuesday 2 March 2010

Wenger more guilty than Shawcross - Author's response

Firstly, many thanks to the thousands of you that read yesterdays article and to the small minority who left comments.

Secondly, i very rarely write response pieces to articles i write, but after reviewing how many individuals have got their proverbial knickers in a twist about my critical approach to Mr Arsene Wenger, i thought id clear a few things up.

The article was not written to be inflammatory in any way, shape or form whether you interpret it as that or not. The title "Wenger more guilty than Shawcross" is directed at which one was the more deliberate in their actions. I totally understand that Shawcross may well have ended a fellow young pro's career, and i hope and pray that that is not the case. However, in MY opinion, he did not deliberately go out to maul or injure Ramsey. It was a late tackle that was forceful. It happens every week. On this unfortunate occasion it lead to a disastrous outcome.

Wenger on the other hand is 100% deliberate in his approach and it is this that he should feel MORE guilty for. An elder statesman of English football such as himself should know better and he should know that our press will blow up everything that he says...and the point is HE DOES KNOW THIS AND THATS WHY HE DOES IT. As i watched the tackle on Sky Sports News i cringed and felt repulsed..but as they showed Wenger after the newsreel of the event i felt anger and gross disappointment. It is worth noting that had this had happened to Wayne Rooney (as many of the comments seem to wish) and Fergie had made the comments that Wenger did, i would be doubly upset and angered. I don't want to see contact eradicated from football. I also don't want refs to 'protect' players..i believe its the rule makers who have that responsibility. If in some mad way we decide to eradicate tackling, then its the rules which should protect players and allow ref to administer those rules. The fact is that currently Shawcross's tackle warranted a yellow card..but thankfully the ref sent him off as we would NEVER had heard the end of it.

Personally i want to see violent tackles eradicated by strong rule sets and hard suspensions implemented. For the Arsenal fanbase in particular, what do you think should have happened to William Gallas for his vile tackle at Bolton?? My opinion is that he should have been given a six match ban, a massive fine and a bloody great big slap. Here is Wengers dismissive comments regarding that tackle, and once again his stale paranoia regarding the sins against Arsenal football club

Nah..that tackle wasn't bad Wenger thinks..no intent from Gallas whatsoever..who does he think he is kidding?

As i said in the article all managers are biased and partisan..but this is a question of truth. I'm not expecting him not to be aggrieved that Ramsey has had such a bad injury, but he always takes the opportunity to spin the events...and people say our manager is the master of that!!

Just to make a point..regarding Roy Keanes tackle on Haaland once upon a long ago..it was a disgrace. Keano should have been severely punished. I don't care if its a United player or not dishing out the dirt..you do the crime, then you do the time.

Shawcross' tears do not negate what happened in the match. But he is damned if he cried or he is damned if he smiled. He will serve his ban, and then get on with it. If Wenger wants a massive change of rules he should harness his cult loving supporter base and get them to protest to FIFA.

And finally as they say on the news, thanks to the many that left vile personal comments directed at me, hoping for the death of myself, the death of my mother in a car crash, the many c words, f words, whatevs..you really showed your class in formulating an educated intelligent response. As a writer i know that not everything i say will be popular, but if its my opinion (and this is my blog after all) then i will write it. My conscience is clear regarding the allegations that the piece is xenophobic. It clearly is not. Also many thanks for the emails and tweets in support of the piece, many of which were from paid up Arsenal fans...So to genuine Arsenal fans that have found the piece offensive in any way then i offer a handshake..to the rest of you scumbags out there that use the internet as an anonymous way to vent your filthy spleens in the hidden environment of your parent's spare bedrooms, you know where you can stick it

Glory glory Man United

I will leave you with a very descriptive pic of Abou Diaby..once so cruely cut down by a tackle, dishing out what he thinks is a fair challenge..expect us all to go bonkers the next time a Gooner makes any sort of late challenge.



  1. this is interesting..


  2. "everyone thinks their wife is the prettiest"-arsene wenger..now we got the point!!emotions are speaking for him not his brain..sad but thatts a fact

  3. show us a pic of Haaland too, I live that one...:)

  4. Mats Simonsson2 March 2010 at 14:28

    I would like to point out that Abou was rightly dismissed after that tackle...
    If you look at that game again, Kevid Davies lunges several times and just receives a yellow card, especially the lunge on Clichy after just a few minutes (knee-high) by the sideline.
    You must as well as anyone see the bias in the press towards Arsenal? I do not in any way approve of the tackle by Gallas, but where are the pundits defence of him after that tackle? Where are the "not a bad bone in his body"-comments?

  5. I read your original, i read part of this and quite clearly you fail to grasp the point.

    You take Gallas' challenge on davies, like it in any way is relevent or absolves shawcross of blame, as a point to base your arguments on.

    Firstly, Wenger said immediately after that challenge that if it was bad then he apologised for it.
    Secondly, Arsene Wenger has NEVER sent his team out with the instructions to kick the opposition.
    Mistimed and terrible tackles will always happen, but there is a huge difference between them and a conserted campaign to defeat superior ability with intimidation and reckless brutality.

    You create an environment whereby its deemed acceptable to kick arsenal out of a game because they 'dont like it up em'.., saturday evening is the consequence of that.

    Nobody wants tackling outlawed, nobody is asking for committed play to be abolished..., just that reckless endangerment is treated as unacceptable.

    Rio Ferdinand is committed, how many legs has he broken? None.

    3 players left fighting for their careers in 4 years..., enough is enough.

  6. You should consider an alternative hobby, career, diversion or whatever writing means to you because you're not very good at it.

  7. Not half as interesting as this:

  8. Manchester United fan in enormous, clueless, cockface shocker!

    Reeaaaaaaaaaaad all about it!!!!!

  9. that's poor response to a poor article but perhaps the view from tier 3 is somewhat obscured? It's understandable that you don't like Wenger, I don't like fergie but you're finding a view whwre there isn't one.

    Rob, an opinion from a very good journalist, not a rent a gob like Collymore et al. please have a look at patrick Barclays comments on sunday supplement on Sky and Martin Samuels article in the Mail. two other very good journalists with an alternative view. I tend to agree with them as we are likely to get this happen more often if we don't look to stop it NOW. Shawcross has quite a 'sheet' beside him now - Ramsey, Adebayor, Jeffers and a guy from a spell at Antwerp when he was on loan from your good selves. at this rate he'll be in double figures for breakages when he retires.

  10. oh and everyone does go bonkers when we make a challenge. see the gallas incident for proof and you think there was intent? don't be such a fool

  11. Point taken but i have disagree there with you. You have to be held responsable for your actions on or off the field. As one blogger pointed out, you might be the nicest person in the world but if you get in your car and drive wrecklessly and acccidently run some person over are you goin to critisise their parents for feeling aggrieved. I think not! The person did not mean to do it but they did. Wengers comments are human nature buddy.

  12. u want someone to post all the pics of the outrageous tackles arsenal have dealt with ?? this can go on sweetheart. stop flattering urself, u aint such an acute observer as u may think.

  13. You have found one bad tackle by Diaby - clap clap clap....
    There's another of Gallas against Bolton - put that one up too....
    Shawcross record
    (1) Jeffers - broken ankle
    (2) Adebayor - out for a month after a disgraceful out of control LUNGE - ball & player not even on the field of play
    (3) cut some Belgian in half with ANOTHER shocking uncontrolled LUNGE when on loan at Antwerp
    (4) Ramsay - smashed leg after, yep it's there for all to see ANOTHER OUT OF CONTROL LUNGE.
    To defend this guy while sniping at Wenger makes you look a fool.

  14. Man united fans are so stuck up their own asses it's untrue. I sincerely hope you go into administration so at least we wont hear such twisted commentary that is so anti arsenal. Fact is, you hate Wenger for building a club that WILL compete and will eventually superseed your club, a feat made even more special by virtue of doing it with OUR own resources.

    I sincerely hope something terrible happens to one of your players and let's see how you hypocrites will react, the biggest of all is fergie.

    You can say what you like now but in a couple of years time (hopefully you'll be in administration by then), the whole world will realise what Wenger is trying to do...rid football of thuggery that even YOU thrived on when you met superior teams than you.

    Dirty northern bastards.

  15. Maybe when you wrote it you thought your post wasnt imflammatory, but surely you must see that any post so soon after such an event is going to be incredibly inflammatory to a lot of Arsenal fans. To think otherwise is very naive. Your post seemed to centre on your quote "The way he condemned Ryan Shawcross was a disgrace." To be honest, I dont understand what you have seen to get this view. In neither the interview with SkySports or the BBC does he mention Shawcross, simply the tackle. What exactly were Wengers 'version of events' that you talk about. Wenger talks about the over-physicallity of teams towards Arsenal, but he doesnt single out a particular player. Personally I think you saw this as a way of getting more hits on your site, which seems all to common these days, rather than posting something worthwhile.

  16. Any excuse for people to have a pop at Wenger, i firmly think he should take a leaf out of fergies book and just refuse to talk to certain media outlets because he, along with fergie are the two greatest managers in Premier league history. He is an emotional guy, and he didn't attack Shawcross personally, the media have done an amazing job of misinterpreting his comments ever since the 'Special One' left us, i can only assume to sell papers and stir up ratings to fill Jose's void. Shawcross made a hard, mistimed tackle and is fully deserving of a red card regardless of studs up etc, he didn't win the ball, he snapped another players leg. i do have a degree of sympathy for Ryan but he should face consequences of a reckless challenge made out of frustration of losing control of the ball.

    Their has been some pretty crazy statements made by Arsenal fans baying for blood and others (the most outrageous, a stoke fan stating it shouldn't have even been a foul!)

    Lets just get a bit of perspective people

    Get well soon Aaron

  17. The little pictures in the article are a very cheap attempt at putting across a vague and invalid point. The bottom line is that is you go in as hard as shawcorss did, u need to be banned. because there is no need to enter a tackle with that level of force. What happened to Aaron Ramsey only proves the point Wenger has been making all this while. Contact is not part of football. There's a reason why all the other leagues dont play that way. The problem with the Premier League is, if contact is eliminated, the foreign players are going to run rings around Englishmen, and the Arsenal will invariably end up winning every game they participate in. To tip the balance in the lesser teams' favour, the English game still allows such tackles.

  18. we are Arsenal! you can kick us and you can write whatever bullshit you like about us.... We'll keep getting up and coming back for more. we are Arsenal and we are better than all of you on the pitch and off it and we'll prove it.

  19. Well you can point one or two of Gunner late tackles but I will let you know that there's a limit a player in Arsenal shirt will take when the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Stoke city were dishing the tackles out on them for so long. There comes a time, that the Arsenal players will responde to the challenge by dishing tackles out in a negative way. "You can force a horse to stream but you can't force the horse to drink"... and unfortunately Arsenal always get picked on, and Can you write a blog on stop the "we will get in their faces" or so .. that's like saying I will kick off the ball. Is that how to play a football? Typical English Managers!

  20. You're right, it's not the individual player's fault that his team's manager has instructed them to go and kick the skilled players because there is no other way they can compete. It is a systemic problem and should be dealt with accordingly by the FA. By not dealing with the problem they merely encourage teams to think they can get by with not raising their technical level of play. It's crap to watch and a lot of the talented players will leave to go where they can have longer careers. Top to bottom, the Spanish league is much more entertaining than the EPL and they players are better. Most players like Shawshank couldn't cut it on the worst team in Spain. Other than Arsenal, Man U and a few other teams I'd prefer to watch La Liga any day.

  21. Please quote in full those parts of the Wenger post-match interview in which he says that Shawcross deliberately set out to hurt Ramsey. I've watched it a few times and don't see it. Perhaps I'm missing something.

  22. Jeffers,Ade,Ramsey.lol!

  23. "everyone think their wife is the prettiest"-aresne wenger
    now we got the point man..emotions are speaking for him rather than brain..get well soon arsene

  24. Firstly, you can show as many pictures of Arsenal players making bad/mistimed tackles under Wenger, but you won't fine any broken limbs hanging. You won't see/hear excuses about Diaby or Gallas like Steinsson/Davies 'was too quick'. You won't hear excuses like 'Gallas/Diaby doesn't have a bad bone in his body'. Interestingly, both Davies and Steinsson belong to a special footballing club who dish it on a regular basis, but when it's dished back by the softy foreigners from Arsenal - it is 'an assault' or 'a disgrace' and we all know Arsenal 'don't like it in their faces'. The fact is both of Barcelona Wanderers' players played on after a 10 day break. The question is why/how Gallas/Diaby didn't break their legs? What stopped them?

    Ryan Shawcross has 2 broken limbs next to his name already, plus a number long term injuries (Adebayor tackle last year comes to mind). If he continues with this rate by the time he's Gallas' age he'd have done a whole football team + some reserves.

    The questions is what does Shawcross have to do in order to rethink his approach to the game? How many legs does he have to break in order to be labeled 'a disgrace' or to have performed 'an assault'? Will he ever be called a physically gifted but footballistically talentless, limited and above all BRAINLESS thug that he is. His footballing qualities stop somewhere after his throw-in/corner flick-ons and bone-breaking tackles. One of the best defenders ever Laurent Blanc, and you should know this cause he played for you, used no shinpads cause he was that good in using his brain in defence.

    There's much more to debate when it comes to this topic, but only after hypocrisy and double standards are eliminated from the English media. That's why Wenger's (and Rafa's) approach might be the only way to combat this madness.

  25. i won't waste my time giving you a shed load of abuse-youv'e prob had a bellyfull of it by now-but you typify all that's wrong with the english game & why we'll never win a world cup again.our xenephobic media who hate arsenal cos we're seen as johhny foreigner.now you know in your heart & head if that tackle(i'll give the carrot headed cunt-the benefit of the doubt)had put rooney or stevie g out b4 a world cup,all hell would have broke loose-by the way mr innocent has previous-ask jeffers or go futher back to his loan period in belgium.as for casting up gallas assault on a bolton player..let me remind you behaviour breeds behaviour-they(bolton)under fatsam have systematically kicked us off the pitch numerous times over the years-so players to protect themselves will try & get their retaliation in first!dont you find it even a little co-incidental that we've had 3 leg breaks in 4 seassons?if this had happened to old red nose he'd be going ballistic & you know it-so don't point the finger at sir wenger it's hypocrtical to say the least-but then it's common knoledge that man u are well looked after by the men in black hey!!instead of trying to defend the indefensible,just admit you hate arsenal,as we def hate you wind your neck in....

  26. What has it got to do with Man U?

    Oh - of course, Alex is going to buy Shawcross, isn't he.

    Shawcross should fit in well- after all he's broken 2 plays legs already. Should be able to make double figures at this rate.

  27. The tactic used by the less technicaly proficient sides against teams like Arsenal and indeed against players like Ronaldo IS AT SOME POINT GOING TO CAUSE INJURY. Shawcross, although not turning up on the pitch in armour and armed to the teeth has however an approach to the game against Arsenal which IS AT SOME POINT GOING TO CAUSE INJURY.Managers that instruct their players off the pitch must take some of the responsibility for what happens on the pitch. People in the press and like you who make sorry excuses for this tactic are not adding anything to this sport. Conspiracy? no! innevitable outcome? I think their can be no doubt about that! I'm hoping with all my heart Arsenal win the title this year, the british hooligan press need to be taken a long way down.

  28. Again your missing the point.

    Wenger NEVER said that Shawcross deliberatley went out to injure Shawcross. Yet yourself and many others have decide to react as if he did.

    He said the tackle was 'hurrendous'..and it was. Would Ferguson have reacted any better? I actually think Wenger was very restrained when you actually listen to what he had to say.

    Its typical Xenophobia.

    Look at the media backlash, why attack Wenger after one of his most promising young players just suffered a potentially career ending injury?...the reason is that English football has some deep seated issues that the old guard dont want to acknowledge.(thats how it was in their day so its still fine)

    The physical approach is a tactic much admired in the English game, which explains perhaps why this country produces so few skilful players

    Arsenal great Bob Wilson has called on football authorities to act in the wake of Ramsey's horrific injury.

    He said: "The game has moved forward but the Football Association and the Premier League are content to have a brutal side to the game.

    He added: "In my opinion this is born out of most managers and coaches facing Arsenal, plus media pundits and even ex-players, instructing their players to get in their faces.

    "Arsenal are a relatively small team. Opposing players are told to shake them up, get in their faces, tackle hard, bully them. I would defy coaches and managers to deny that is the case."

  29. I have a 3 word repy to you about your viewa on Wengers comments and 'football press/officialdom manipulation' - Sir Alex Ferguson

    Turn your highly tuned insight on that man in the same way as you have Wenger and post another blog, along with pictures, along the same lines

  30. weak response to a weak article.
    the web has allowed us insights into many amazing things - this site or rather this writer is not one of them.
    If you want to be taken seriously than write seriously if you dont then stay off the web.

  31. You "want to see this", you "want to see that" - typical Man U fan. The rest of us would just like to see some equitable treatment. You cheat, you foul, you dive and then what you get the "benefit of the doubt" (and the continued obedience of Sky Sports and the rest of the media). Of course you don't have a problem with tackles like this people don't do it to you lot because they know what will happen. A card comes out if a player looks at one of your lot. The other way round..........well ask Vidic about Sunday, that's how you get treated by Ref's.

    So you carry on with this sanctimonous rubbish. You purport to be arguing from a neutral point of view which is in itself laudghable. We all know what Man U fans think of Arsene Wenger, we hear them sing about it every time we play them............oh, and what did the FA do about that...........oh yeh, nothing. Go back and live in your cosseted little world of favouritism and leave us alone.

    It's bad enough suffering this crap from the media................I actually thought Ramsey was the victim but no, apparently not everyone and his dog is telling us otherwise. So we've enough from the media/pundits/ex-pros without you overpriveleged archangels putting your venomous oar in.

  32. It's no accident that both photos are from games against Bolton!! I'll say no more!!! - Galway Gooner!

  33. Rob Blanchette, you are a typical and despicable manicure fan. You really hate arsenal because you know we'll never surrender and will be up there for many years to come.

    You go on about two or three tackles by arsenal players...how about Roy keane, phil and gary neville (let's not forget paul scholes) doint it for years and getting away with it.

    I really hate manu and not because of your success, but because of scumbags like you being on a high horse. I hope you have another plane crash you mug.

  34. Surprised Wenger actually seen this.. he usually misses everything.. Oh wait.. thats when his side are kicking everyone off the park!!

  35. "Thoughts" of a Manchester United Season Ticket Holder. There's a paradox.

  36. wishing plane crashes on my team..class

    and whats all this manicure business? bloody joker

    btw i dont hate Arsenal..nothing to hate about. You play pretty football, you lose to us quite often..nice deal me thinks

  37. If Shawcross was to 'accidently' break Wayne Rooney's leg - you come back and say the same thing about Ferguson - you half-wit nutcase!!!

  38. The sheer stupidity of this article points to one of two things, either the author cannot seperate the emotions he feels for a particular team, Arsenal, or a particular person, Wenger, from being objective and taking the incident on it's merits.

    Or the author has decided to pander to the emotive nature of football fans to illicit popularity.

    Gallas's tackle was Vile ? yet Shawcross's was only late and forceful ?!

    Both are similar incidents in that the ball was there to be won, Gallas stepped in a split second too late, just like Shawcross, neither were mean't to hurt, the difference is Gallas stepped in with insufficient force to break Davies leg, Shawcross didn't.

    Gallas is 32 and I cannot remember him ever breaking another person's leg, I could be wrong, Shawcross is 22 and has broken two players legs already.

    Sort yourself out, the article is far too transparent.

  39. spot on!! Had enough of this holier than thou attitude that the arsenal fans portray! Your players are as dirty as the rest, i don't support the tackle and my sympathies to Ramsey, but it's high time the professor shut his gob!

  40. William Davies2 March 2010 at 15:45

    Let's hope Rooney is the next 'unfortunate' victim of Mr. Shawcross. Like Jeffers, Adebayor and God knows how many others, Ramsey won't be his last victim because the English media, typically, have deflected attention away from the real culprit here. I wait with baited breath when it's Rooney, Terry or similar more deserving of this kind of injury to see how Fergie and co call the tackler offering their support.

  41. I keep reading "it wasn't that bad" or it was "just mistimed". Why not stop and think the force that has to be applied to snap BOTH shin bones and force them through the skin. Certainly poor decision making on Shawcross' part to put players around him in such danger. Isn't this the what "dangerous play" means.

  42. William i honestly say with hand on heart the piece was not about the injury or the tackle but more about Wenger and his continued comments. I wish no harm on Ramsey or any Arsenal player..no way. It doesnt matter who gets injured, English or otherwise. Its tragic none the less. I dont expect Wenger to ring up Shawcross to give him support

  43. So you had to use pics to justify your poor writing?? How sad really.

  44. Nice one Rob! Same Shit different day. Northern monkey.

  45. What continued comments are you referring to Rob?

    The plethora of phantom ones you have dreamed up or the very, very few he genuinely made?

    Are you on something?

  46. Mr Blanchette, why do you describe Gallas's tackle as "vile"? What evidence do you have that his intention was any worse than Shawcross's was? Don't you think you're being a bit of a hypocrite?

  47. Of course you meant to be inflammatory otherwise you wouldn't have bothered commentating on the issue in the first place let alone come back with this retort of even more ridiculous justification.

    You bleat on about your right to have your
    own opinion and you are of course allowed that but how funny that your opinion is the same as every other crap football pundit (e.g. Richard Keys) that has been portaying Shawcross as the victim in all of this.

    The whole incident really highlights an awful lot of what is wrong with the Premier League both in terms of the way it is played and those that report on it.

  48. Mr Blanchette, My last post did not appear for some reason so I'm trying again. I'm curious to know how you justify describing Gallas's tackle as "vile". How do you know that his intention was any worse than Shawcross's? (The outcome, of course, was much less serious, because Gallas retained more control of the force that he was applying.) With respect, aren't you being a bit hypocritical?

    I note that you have not replied to the principal objection to your previous article. Wenger did not attack Shawcross in his post match interview. It's the pro Shawcross brigade that are being oversensitive in this matter!

  49. Rob Blanchette,

    What was wrong with Wenger's comments?

    It's been pointed out to you that Wenger never condemned Shawcross. Some gooners even felt he should have been stronger in condemning Shawcross.

    You've lived with a mentality so extreme that you can't understand why gooners are so incensed over this.

    If it was your team that for 6 years every pundit, manager and journalist in the country said you had to get in their faces, and then they suffered horrendous injuries, more injuries in general and many unnecessary unpleasant match situations you would understand.

    What incenses us exactly is that nobody was scandalised about it for this long.

    I can't count how many times Match of the Day pundits said this on the show every football fan in the country watches.

    The rest of the country wasn't scandalised, and now when we see the results and feel it's the logical result of popular mentality, you can't empathise with that.

    What you don't realise is that more than anything, I haven't seen gooners more united on any issue than this in years and years, because it's plain for us to see, and Wenger said exactly what most of us think.

    We're used to the media distorting his comments so unlike you (this blogger not the plural) we're not reacting to a parody of what Wenger actually said.

    Wenger never condemned Shawcross. He condemned the tackle. And I think any manager would be well within his rights to rain fire and brimstone on a tackle that so horrendously breaks the leg of one of his prodigious young charges.

    Finally, the actual truth of the matter is that Arsenal are a team similar in size (height and weight and muscularity) to Manchester United. But nobody says that about Manchester United.

    This particular nonsense that you have to get in Arsenal's faces started around 2002 when we still had bruisers in the team. It's not about size.

    It is and has always been an incitement to stop Arsenal using excessively physical methods.


  51. From The Sunday Times
    January 24, 2010
    Ricardo Fuller: we need to rough Arsenal up

  52. Arsenal sucks and so do wenger