Tackling is an art but Shawcross is a poor artist, snipes relentless Wenger

05 March 2010 04:30
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains there must always be a place in the game for the art of tackling - but continues to stand by his comments in the aftermath of Aaron Ramsey's double leg break at Stoke.  

Wales midfielder Ramsey saw his season ended by a challenge from Ryan Shawcross which left him with a fractured tibia and fibula, with the 19-year-old now set for a long road to rehabilitation.  

The Stoke defender, called up to the England squad for the midweek friendly with Egypt, has since sent messages of support to Ramsey in hospital.  

Horror injury: Ramsey faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a double leg-break

In the immediate aftermath of last Saturday's game at the BritanniaStadium, which Arsenal went on to win 3-1 to re-ignite their titlechallenge, Arsene Wenger condemned the challenge as 'horrendous andunacceptable', while also criticising Stoke's overall approach.  

The Gunners boss showed no signs of wavering from that view onreflection when he faced the inevitable questions on the incident atFriday's media conference ahead of tomorrow's match with Burnley.  

'I stand by what I said 100%,' Wenger declared. 'I knew exactly whatwould happen the whole week, that was quite easy to predict.'  

Enlarge Message of support: Arsenal fans will unfurl this banner for the visit of Burnley

Wenger continued: 'I am sitting here like I am in a tribunal. Whatdo I have to defend? Is it a football game or something else?  

'I can understand people want to be committed against us, and I haveno problem with that.  I love the commitment of the English game. Idon't want to change that and it makes the game even more attractive,but high commitment demands fair intention as well.'

Wenger added: 'I admire a great technical tackle as much as acreative pass.  A tackle is an art in itself - that means you alwayshave your eye on the ball, never with a high foot, in your tackle youcan already make a pass. 

Suspended: Ryan Shawcross will miss three matches after receiving a red card

'To close your eyes and go in too physical, that does not mean it is intention, but there is danger. 

'Tackling is an art you do not want to get out of the game.  We havesome good tacklers in this league, some who are not good - but thatdoes 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.  

'I want the Arsenal players to go into the tackles like everybody else, to go into the tackles and be committed.  What I say it not just for Stoke or Arsenal players, it is for everybody. I defend football.  

Angry: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

'It is not that we are apart from anybody else. We are the same.  'Iam continuing to defend the values that I believe are important for ourclub and football.  

'That doesn't mean we are angels and everyone else is the devil. It is for everybody.'

Wenger maintains there is no point in continuing to debate the issue.  

'I believe that on our side we have made one decision to supportAaron Ramsey as much as we can and then continue to promote the valuesthat are important for the club and football,' he said.  

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

'It is important to focus on the future, help Aaron Ramsey and letpeople talk.'

Ramsey has undergone surgery - performed by the samedoctor who operated on Eduardo after the Arsenal forward's similarinjury two years ago - and Wenger hopes the youngster will eventuallymake a full recovery.  

'The first signs are good,' said Wenger, 'but of course, mentally, Aaron is very down.

'It is difficult to take, he was just coming into the team on a regular basis. We will give him all the support we can and gradually he should come back.;

While Ramsey's shocking injury may have grabbed all the headlines,Arsenal moved back within three points of leaders Chelsea - and couldgo top of the Barclays Premier League with a four-goal win over therelegation-threatened Clarets, who have picked up just one away pointall season. 

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.'

 In Theo I trust! Wenger insists Arsenal winger Walcott can be an England starPlayers like Ramsey need protecting - Wigan boss Martinez backs Wenger Keane hits back at 'crazy' Wenger over claims rivals are out to get his playersARSENAL v Burnley: Andrey Arshavin amongst returns but Sol Campbell is outPICTURED: Arsenal fans unfurl giant tribute banner to injured Aaron RamseyARSENAL FC

Source: Daily_Mail