Saturday, March 6, 2010

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger Stands By Criticism Of Ryan Shawcross '100 Per Cent'

Frenchman still unhappy with incident that left midfielder with a broken leg...

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended his post-match comments about Ryan Shawcross's tackle that left midfielder Aaron Ramsey with a broken leg.

The Welsh midfielder was left fractured tibia and fibula after the tackle by the Stoke City defender, a challenge Wenger branded "horrendous and unacceptable" after the game.

And the Frenchman's view does not seem to have changed after a week to reflect on the incident.

"I stand by what I said 100%," Wenger said.

"I knew exactly what would happen the whole week, that was quite easy to predict."

Wenger appreciates there is always a place in the game for tough tackling, but believes players have to be more disciplined in their approach.

"I can understand people want to be committed against us, and I have no problem with that," he said.

"I love the commitment of the English game. I don't want to change that and it makes the game even more attractive, but high commitment demands fair intention as well.

"I admire a great technical tackle as much as a creative pass.

"A tackle is an art in itself - that means you always have your eye on the ball, never with a high foot, in your tackle you can already make a pass.

"To close your eyes and go in too physical, that does not mean it is intention, but there is danger. We have some good tacklers in this league, some who are not good - but that does not mean you go into it trying to break a leg.

"It is not Arsenal against the rest of the world. What I say here is valid for the Arsenal players as well."

Arsenal eventually emerged 3-1 winners in the game against Stoke, and can supplant Chelsea at the top of the Premier League with a four-goal victory over Burnley at the weekend. Wenger is hoping his players can put the Ramsey controversy to one side and concentrate on continuing their title challenge.

"All the rest is to go into unneeded controversy. I don't see how that can help football or Aaron Ramsey," Wenger said.

"For us, Stoke was a vital victory and has put us in a good position for the rest of the season.

"It is down to how consistent we can be, how much we turn up from the first minute until the 90th minute - all that will decide our championship."


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