Shawcross defends Henry and De Jong

07 October 2010 04:31

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross claims some of the criticism being levelled at Karl Henry and Nigel de Jong is unfair and that the potential for serious injuries to occur is just part and parcel of modern football.

Wolves skipper Henry was shown a red card on Saturday for a sliding tackle that sent Wigan's Jordi Gomez into a cartwheel, and a challenge from City midfielder De Jong the next day left Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa with a broken leg.

In each case the tackler has been widely vilified but Shawcross, who found himself in the spotlight in February having made a tackle that fractured Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey's leg, said: "As a player, the likes of Henry and De Jong I'm sure didn't go out to injure another player on purpose."

He added: "It's part and parcel of football - they are tough-tackling central midfielders whose games are based on making tackles, winning the ball and then giving it to the ball-players. Sometimes injuries are caused.

"You have just got to accept in these times, with the ball moving so fast and the player moving so fast, sometimes you are going to mis-time tackles and that is when injuries can happen."

Shawcross, whose team-mate Andy Wilkinson enraged Fulham boss Mark Hughes last month with a rash challenge on Moussa Dembele, received a three-match suspension after being sent off for the foul on Ramsey.

His next start was against Everton and the 23-year-old points to an incident in that game as evidence of the fine margins involved in modern-day tackling.

"In the game I returned in against Everton, there was a tackle exactly the same as the Ramsey one but I was a bit quicker and got the ball, and that shows the difference," Shawcross said.

"It is just a case of half-seconds between you getting the ball or not, and sometimes if you don't get the ball, you can cause serious injury, which has been shown at the weekend.

"But it is part of football and something that we have to accept."

Source: PA