Aaron Ramsey

01 March 2009

Hopefully some good can come from one of the most sickening and distressing moments I've experienced in football.

The next time a player taking the field against Arsenal, is encouraged by his coaching staff to give his opponents a good kick, "'cause they don't like it up 'em", maybe there will be a thought in the back of his mind. The thought of a young man walking in tears from the field, having—for the second time in his career—smashed apart the leg of a fellow professional footballer.

I am sure that Ryan Shawcross is a nice bloke. I'm sure the tears were real. And I don't believe for a moment that he had any intention to cause such a horrific injury on Saturday, or at any other time. But, to use arsebloggers analogy, like a wreckless teenage driver that thinks he's untouchable until disaster strikes, he does deserve the punishment. And he deserves to be made a role model for what can go wrong when violence of that type is not stamped out, and is in fact encouraged by staff, fans and the media.

Arsenal have suffered three potentially career-ending injuries to players in the last four years. Whether you believe in coincidences or not, my hope is that players stop and think before giving Arsenal the kicking they think they need. Not because I know it can stop us playing. Not because I'm a whining Arsenal fan. But because seeing a young player at the brink of such a promising career (for any club or country) suffer such an injury is the most sickening and distressing thing I've experienced in football.