Reading the newspapers, listening to Five Live, and watching Arseblogger get more and more irate by the Soccer Saturday coverage of the Ramsey incident, it strikes me that the written and spoken press are completely missing the crux of the issue.
- Shawcross did not mean to break Ramsey’s leg, but that is not the point.
- Gallas put in a poor challenge on Davies, Vieira and Lauren used to put in hard challenges, and Arsenal are no angels, but that is not the point.
- Wenger was emotional after the game, but that is not the point.
- Shawcross cried, but that is not the point.
- The Stoke fans contained some of the absolute lowest of the low, but that is not the point.
- Ramsey was quick, but that is not the point.
- Shawcross has injured before, has broken legs before, but that is not the point.
- Ramsey has suffered a dreadful setback, and while that deserves more of the focus than any of the above, it is in some ways, also not the point.
No, the point is that we have cultivated a culture in English football in which weaker sides can do more than harry and press, they can close the gap using methods other than the legal approach of working harder, being better organised and coming off the pitch exhausted.
In addition to all of that, it has become accepted to put in sly tackles, flail elbows, and deliberately foul to put your superior opponent off the game. It is even accepted to come out before the match and declare this as your intention. Instead of applauding the workrate of the strugglers, the pundits snigger at the late challenges, the full blooded swipes, irrespective of the danger they cause.
No other country allows this to happen. Wild tackles are punished no matter what the consequences, but they only come into focus here if they result in a serious injury. Even then, they are defended – how else can the smaller team compete, they ask? The answer is simple – by playing football better than us. The clue’s in the name of the game, you morons.
I get it, you get it, the blogs linked to the right get it. So why do 90% of those paid to analyse the game miss what is the real story here?