FTK Blog: Why Ryan Shawcross should receive a 10 game ban

What have Abou Diaby, Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey all got in common? Well of course you know the answer. Do you know what upsets me almost as much as the sad sight of our talented Welshman being hacked down in what is described as a clumsy tackle, it was the way that yet again commentators close ranks to claim that this was simply Aaron Ramsey being too quick for Shawcross. So Aaron Ramsey is out for the rest of the season and possibly longer, and Shawcross is out for three games. This is the same Ryan Shawcross who has previous in that he broke ex Gunner Francis Jeffers ankle with a quote “clumsy challenge”. He was also involved in a tackle with Adebayor’s ankle. Funny that eh?
The art of tackling was never easy and injuries due to the standing leg almost always result in a broken leg. The act will never be defined as malicious as players will never react like a furious Roy Keane and Alf Hinge Haaland. Shawcross is said to have left the field in tears, Aaron left it screaming in agony. Yet all the media pity is for promising England prospect Ryan Shawcross, when they do spare a thought for Ramsey, it much a case of “the lad was just unlucky” The slo mo of the incident is available on the Internet and it is not for those with a gentle constitution. It is x-rated horror and should not be watched unless you have a sick bag nearby. But the way that Shawcross swings his leg into the tackle meant that it was totally uncontrolled.
So is an uncontrolled tackle malicious? To drive a leg in from the side to collect the ball will invariably collect some part of the player at the same time. If the player’s leg is the weight bearing standing leg then a break is inevitable. So no, the tackle was not malicious with regard to intent. However the tackle was uncontrolled and as such it was extremely reckless. To use another media apology for premeditated violence on the football field, it was a tackle designed to let Ramsey “know he was there” Committing reckless acts is just as damning as acts of intent, because the intent is innocently disguised. Shawcross intended to go in “hard” to win the ball but without regard of the consequences, Shawcross intended to collect the ball even if the player was in the way. A reckless tackle is thus one that is guilty of indirect intent.
In a sense Shawcross is also a victim, a victim of the institutionalised brain washing and hype which legitimises the raw thuggery of reckless tackles. It is dressed up as “clumsy” physical play.But note it is born out of  the mantra of managers of teams lower placed in the Premier League who claim “The only way to beat Arsenal is to kick them off the park”  The FA in effect sanction these acts of actual bodily harm by allowing the referees license to allow reckless uncontrolled aggression and only giving a card if contact is made with the player.
Anyone watching the game on Saturday will have been struck by the negative nature of the game played by Stoke. It was like donkeys versus thoroughbreds in a marathon derby. What the media should be doing is highlighting the number of reckless tackles that but for the grace of God would result in many broken legs each week. What the FA should be doing is deciding that reckless tackles should carry a minimum ban of 10 games because in a sense they are more cynical. What Ryan Shawcross should be doing is making sure that he never commits another reckless tackle disguised as “going in hard” ever again. Get well soon Aaron, Arsenalinsider salutes you.

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