One of the most appalling things about the Ryan Shawcross tackle on Aaron Ramsey that broke the latter's leg has been the biased and slanted way in which the media has covered the whole affair. I felt this should be highlighted in bold before this weekend's encounter.
The facts of the matter are that Shawcross was late and dangerous with his tackle, this recklessness and out of control force resulted directly in a horrendous and potentially career ending injury. Shawcross has not apologised for the tackle and has not even acknowledged that it was a bad tackle:
"Whenever I play for Stoke I am 100% committed and that will be the same as ever when I next play. Hopefully, when I am back from suspension, I can do well again. The fans and a lot of people around me have been fantastic in their support over the past few days."
"There was absolutely no malice in the challenge. I would never, ever go out to hurt a fellow professional."
Firstly the media reacted as if Arsene Wenger was out of line to criticise a reckless tackle that left one of his best young players needing emergency surgery in hospital, utterly ridiculous. There was minimal focus on the violence of the challenge and Shawcross escaped with only a three game ban thanks to the FA's useless disciplinary system.
Since the incident Shawcross has regularly and repeatedly been portrayed as the innocent and unfortunate victim. 'Shawcross is just a victim...', 'He's a committed player, but he's never going to go into a challenge looking to hurt someone', 'He's a lovely kid and he's been exemplary since he's been at this football club. It was breaking his heart coming off the pitch' and on and on.
Frankly I don't care whether Ryan Shawcross is Mother Theresa in his spare time, he is most definitely not the victim in this story, he is the perpetrator, the aggressor, the man who flew out of control into a tackle in which he knew he had little chance of getting anyway near the ball. Since the incident he has clearly not reflected on events and realised the error of his ways, he has simply said he will carry on being overly aggressive and violent. This chap does not deserve our sympathy or empathy.
The painting of Shawcross as a victim, much in the same way that Martin Taylor was painted as an innocent victim after he had crumpled Eduardo's ankle, shows just how biased and far from objective many so called 'journalists' are in our media. The most recent example of this is the coverage of 'Shawcross getting over the incident', what utter tripe, get over what? Recklessly breaking another player's leg and potentially ending their career while you escape with a three match ban and your legs fully healthy?
Shawcross has had nothing to get over, the media focus here is all wrong. At least some in the media have said things how they are, I would urge you all to read this excellent Guardian piece which does precisely this, sadly it is a minority of the coverage that hits the nail on the head in this manner.