Arsenal And Ramsey Pay The Price For Trying To Preserve The Game

It’s the year 2025, and the England School of Throw-Ins at Burton continues to churn out the best talent in the country. The national football centre was converted three years back under the orders of England manager Tony Pulis. Players are no longer built to pass and move.
They are trained to throw and spend five hours a day eating and putting on bulk. On introduction to the academy the players watch a montage video of short-sighted madcap tackling. Globally, the long-throw in tactic has spread like an epidemic disease. Gates in England are at an all time low! The game is in dark decay.

by JAMES CURTIS I must chose my words carefully this morning. I am angry but that bitterness is overridden by a disappointment, firstly for Aaron Ramsey and secondly for football. People laugh at Wenger. They mock his ideas on football, they provoke him at press conferences, only because they do not share the vision or the intelligence of the man. Wenger warns us, he even tries to guide us, and when what he says becomes a chilling reality as it did yesterday we stand silent.
I write with caution mainly because the Ryan Shawcross tackle still leaves me undecided. People criticised the referee for allowing the game to spiral into a moment where we had to witness Ramsey’s foot dangling half off. To that point though I was enjoying how Peter Walton allowed play to flow which is a rarity in English football. The tackle? Not high, not over the ball and no studs showing.
Still, too often are Arsenal the gopher because of this idea that to beat Arsenal you have to be physical. Players are basically encouraged to put in unnecessary tackles, in unnecessary parts of the pitch and lose all thought of the consequence. Do it enough and the result will only ever be Arsenal coming off with broken body parts. Shawcross did not intend the outcome, but he can hardly be surprised.
Stoke cannot attract the type of player Arsenal do, so must live within their means. This forces them into organised football and deep defending, but when a Premier league side appear unable to string more than three passes together, something is wrong. Clearly Stoke spend more time on the training field wiping down wet balls and coming up with throw-in routines to the level where they forgot the fundamentals. How embarrassing then, that the most excited the home fans got was when Rory Delap requested a towel. Further more, this won him man of the match.
Shawcross will miss just three matches for an act that leaves Ramsey unable to play football for at least a year. Next to that, Alex Song will miss only one game less for collecting 10 yellow cards. And for what, simply doing his job? Song plays in a position where a yellow card every game is a possibility and if referees could give out give the same punishment to players who pull shirts and play cynically, there might be some even ground.
Instead, what happens is Arsenal pay the price for attempting to play within the rules to the best they can. Arsenal will always be pulled up more when they don’t though because England like to hold Wenger as a hypocrite. They are not complete saints and have taken dives and made bad tackles. But Patrick Barclay highlighted the difference this morning, suggesting that Eduardo didn’t follow through on his shot that went wide of the post because he was afraid of the incoming challenge and memories of his own broken leg in 2008. The Times writer also said he will never really be the same again.
Barclay also said that Arsenal have more fibre and more backbone than any other team, quite the opposite of the average assumption. The Gunners overcame another nightmare situation yesterday to take home three points and close the gap on Chelsea. Maybe Arsenal are not as good as the blues and Manchester United although at present that would be based on the last four years and not the last four weeks. This is the misconception: Arsenal do have a sterner backbone, they just don’t have the same quality. Slowly though, even that is changing.
Frankly, the last week has been a shambles, taking focus off of what is most important – THE GAME! John Terry’s pathetic tabloid extravaganza with Wayne Bridge, Portsmouth’s sad decline into administration, Ashley Cole’s divorce, and Aaron Ramsey’s unjust punishment for having a boundless ability that takes reckless tackles to scupper. All the while Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are trying their hardest to preserve the game but people try their utmost to grind their bones to dust.
THERE’S ONLY ONE ARSENAL, THERE’S ONLY ONE AARON RAMSEY!

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