Aaron Ramsey must ensure no mental scars remain from Ryan Shawcross tackle

01 March 2010 06:21
Some reflections on events at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke City are a limited team but not a dirty one. Their centre-half, Ryan Shawcross, is a promising player who made a reckless challenge on Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey but not a malicious one.

Shawcross's remorse was obviously genuine. But if he is to mature into a top-class centre-half, one capable of any sustained prominence with England, Shawcross must learn that there is a certain type of aggressive, high-speed tackle tolerated in English football that draws instant sanction from foreign referees, even if no contact with the opponent occurs.

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As for Ramsey, a fine young talent with technical gifts that Shawcross can only dream of, the Welshman will recover medically.

The physical scars will fade but Ramsey must ensure no mental scars remain that could stymie his development. Just look at Eduardo.

History's mocking lessons for England

If England manager Fabio Capello seeks a musical medley to block out the noise from the John Terry-Wayne Bridge saga, he would be well advised to avoid the singles that dominated the charts during past World Cups.

Secret Love by Doris Day and Who's Sorry Now by Connie Francis were the songs that averaged the highest positions throughout Switzerland 1954 and Sweden 1958 respectively.

History's mocking lessons for England's present continues with She by Charles Aznavour at West Germany 1974 and Brown Girl in the Ring by Boney M at Argentina 1978.

Terry might not appreciate the memory from Mexico 1982 of the poignant Happy Talk by Captain Sensible. Or Bridge for Sacrifice by Elton John at Italia 90 (with England/New Order's World In Motion at No 2 and Luciano Pavarotti's Nessun Dorma at No 3). Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet soaked all the weeks of USA 94.

Most recently, two apposite classics ruled the charts during Japan/Korea 2002 and Germany 2006: A Little Less Conversation by Elvis Presley and a famous offering from Gnarls Barkley that encapsulates the current circus around Capello's squad. Crazy.

Source: Telegraph