It’s four days now since Ramsey’s horror injury, and I’ve been impressed by the powerful, tenacious and heartfelt blogging (and podcasting) on what has been an incredibly emotive issue.
The reaction has been revealing though, hasn’t it? There’s been an incredible polarisation of articles, between those who bow to the ‘it was an accident’ and ‘he’s a good lad’ argument and those who realise that, if it’s brushed off so lightly as it has been this time and in the past, then it’s just going to happen again.
As for those who think the perpetrator has been overly stigmatised – I say go to Ramsey’s hospital bed and take a good look at his leg. Who is the victim here? Get real.
I’d be interested to know what, if anything, is going on behind the scenes – at Arsenal and at the Premier League. I’d be amazed if Arsenal had not registered their protests in some way.
While I don’t want to see the demise of a good tackle, I do think that the forcefulness of some tackles – such as this one, in the middle of the pitch, hardly the most crucial area – could be addressed. There is no way Shawcross needed to go in with such ferocity. Whether it was unintentional and lacking in malice is neither here nor there.
Then there’s the punishment. When players get three and four match bans for slight provocative gestures, or for an accumulation of yellow cards, yet a wild lunge that puts a fellow pro’s career in danger gets just a three match ban, then the authorities, in my opinion, are made to look like chumps. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.
Will anything be done? I must say I doubt it will, at least not overtly. But at the same time I’d be quite surprised if the sight of another snapped leg – and all referees will have seen it, in all its gory detail – didn’t have some kind of effect. If it means referees move in to defuse and calm situations and players sooner then they would have done in the past, then I guess that would be a small step in the right direction. Maybe I am being too optimistic.
What can also not be denied is how superb, how loyal and how proactive Arsenal fans have been in rallying around. More than 56,000 have already signed Ramsey’s get well book, and there are some superb banners planned to support the young Welshman, such as this one from the Gooner. I believe Arseblog has something cooking on that front too. Fantastic stuff.
As for Saturday, well team news and international crocked-ness will no doubt follow. We’re definitely down Ramsey and Song. We’re probably up Diaby. I feel we are owed the healthy return of all our players. In fact, I demand it.
Whoever makes the starting XI, I do – arch pessimist though I sometimes am – feel that something has changed. Ramsey’s injury led directly to the raw emotion and togetherness of the players at the end of the win at Stoke. That desire and passion to make amends and make something happen will take some shifting. And it’s already being mirrored off the pitch by the fans.
I’ve not looked forward to a home game like this for some time.
I cannot wait.