Emotional Wenger sad for Ramsey

BY foxsports • February 28, 2010

Arsene Wenger vented his fury on Saturday night after Arsenal's 3-1 victory at Stoke was overshadowed by a horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey.

The 19-year-old Wales midfielder was taken to hospital with a badly broken leg after a red-carded tackle from new England squad member Ryan Shawcross.

Arsenal's success lifted them to within three points of Premier League leaders Chelsea but it was the Ramsey incident that was uppermost in Wenger's thoughts at the Britannia Stadium.

The injury had echoes of previous bad injuries suffered by fellow Gunners players Eduardo and Abou Diaby in previous seasons.

Wenger said: "I didn't see many bad tackles in the game but this one was horrendous.

"To lose a player of that quality at 19 years of age when he is just starting his career is just horrendous. It is difficult to accept.

"It is the third player we have lost on tackles that are not acceptable - (Abou) Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey today.

"I am just shocked because that is not football for me. It is not what I like in the game.

"If you have to live with that, I refuse to do that.

"For a boy at 19 years old to be kicked out of a game like that, it is beyond words. I cannot even enjoy the win tonight.

"The players are shocked, it is a bad fracture. He will be transferred to London tonight to see if he needs emergency surgery but he will be out for a long time."

Wenger went on to claim his side are often singled out for unfairly rough treatment by opponents.

The Frenchman added: "All the questions I get in press conferences about how we don't fancy the physical side of it, that's the result.

"I'm not very happy with the tackle. We know what we are expecting, a battle everywhere, but we have now lost three players to horrendous tackles and I refuse to believe it's always coincidence.

"I don't believe it when you are hit as many times as we are. I just believe in what I see and when you see a player getting injured like that, it's not acceptable.

"Commitment is right, but that is not right."

Shawcross, who in a surprising twist was later named in the England squad for the first time, left the field in tears after being shown a straight red card.

But Wenger added: "Spare me the articles about how nice Shawcross is - it happened with Eduardo."

Wenger branded the three-match ban Shawcross will now face as "just ridiculous" and when asked if the Football Association should take action to eradicate bad tackles, he said: "Of course."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis admitted Shawcross' challenge had to be punished with a red card but defended the character of his player.

The incident occurred in the 65th minute after 22-year-old Shawcross took a heavy touch and then stretched for the ball.

Pulis said: "It is a bad challenge but I know Shawcross, I signed him as a 19-year-old.

"He has got no bad blood in him whatsoever and there is no way in a million years he would ever go out to hurt anybody. I really mean that.

"Everyone else at this football club sends their condolences on the incident, we wish him well for a speedy recovery and as a fellow Welshman I am devastated.

"But Ryan has come off the pitch broken-hearted, met his mum straightaway and gone straight home.

"For me the game is insignificant, the incident has really spoiled it."

When told about Wenger's remarks, Pulis said: "He's can't comment on my players. He doesn't know what my players are made of or are about."

The game was level at 1-1 when the incident occurred after Nicklas Bendtner had cancelled out Danny Pugh's opener.

The Gunners showed some resolve to finish strongly and went ahead with a Cesc Fabregas penalty after Pugh handled.

Even though that officially occurred in the last minute, there were still seven minutes of injury for Arsenal to make the game safe through Thomas Vermaelen.

Wenger said: "I'm proud of our game because it was an unbelievable battle from the first minute. We needed to be tough and resilient to win."

On the title race, he added: "We were in it before the game. We mathematically could get closer to Chelsea today because they dropped points.

"It strengthens our belief and determination but I have said many times we will fight until the last game of the season."


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