Bully boy Ridgewell kicks Theo out of the game

Brainless Liam Ridgewell must have watched re-runs of his Birmingham City team-mate Martin Taylor’s leg-breaking assault on Eduardo as preparation for his miserable side’s visit to Arsenal yesterday.
That is the only conclusion I can make after watching him cut through poor Theo Walcott in a thuggish attempt to bully the speedster out of the game…and it worked. Now we are left with another injured player but watching the tackle again – as we turned over the (Black and) Blues 3-1 – it becomes evident that it could have been a lot worse.
Arsene Wenger has his say on the matter in this morning’s papers and as ever he is careful with his condemnatory conclusion.
The Sunday Mirror reports: that AW lamented a knee injury to Theo, who was making his first start of the season for the Gunners, having been sidelined since August because of a back problem. Walcott eventually hobbled out of the action just after the half-hour.
“It was a tackle which cut through, without any restriction. I felt it was a tackle meant to impress,” said Wenger. “I do not know whether he wanted to play the ball. If he touched just the ball, then that is part of the game.
“That is my first impression from the bench, but I would have to see it again.” Walcott will undergo a scan to assess the damage, which could now signal another spell on the sidelines for the World Cup hopeful.
“It is difficult to assess at the moment, whether it is a ligament which is twisted or just a kick,” said Wenger. The fact he says he felt a little unstable when he was running is not good.
“We will scan him Sunday. If he has just a kick, then he has a chance to play on Tuesday (away to AZ Alkmaar). But I believe he will not be available. It is not a cruciate problem, but it could be more than a week.”
The Mail on Sunday tells us that it was only after Andrey Arshavin had put the result beyond doubt, with five minutes left, that the Arsenal fans saw fit to sing manager Arsene Wenger’s name ahead of his 60th birthday on Thursday.
For the sake of his own health, Wenger should blow out his candles and repeat the wish he has probably been making for several seasons – for his team to be more clinical in attack and more agricultural in defence, it reports.
Wenger said: ‘We were cruising, in control, two goals. You were wondering who would score the third goal. The Premier League is like that. We made a mistake defensively, they got back to 2-1. In the second half we did not have the same fluency, the same control in the game, the same pace.’
It adds that Arshavin settled this contest four minutes after Mannone’s save, ending a move that started with the goalkeeper’s throw out to Cesc Fabregas.
From end to end in two passes and less than 20 seconds: Wenger will wish his team could make everything so straightforward.
An intriguing tale comes from this morning’s News of the World which brings us news of Emmanuel Adebayor having a ruck with Alex Song.
It reports that the Togo striker was taken off just minutes into the second half soon after taking out his frustration on Song with his side trailing 3-0 against Cameroon in Yaounde.
Adebayor kicked him twice in the back of the legs as Song raced clear with the ball and was only stopped from doing more damage when he was barged over by the Arsenal midfielder’s cousin Rigobert.
Adebayor enjoyed a close relationship in north London with Song and the 25-year-old later apologised to his former colleague despite Togo’s defeat costing them a place at the World Cup.
Adebayor said: “When I realised my nasty side was taking over I asked the coach to take me off. If I had stayed on the pitch I just do not know what would have happened.
“Fortunately, the coach agreed with me and I was taken from the pitch. When I played with Alex he was a friend. No, he was more than that, he was like a little brother. I’m happy for him and wish him all the best in the future.”

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