The father of dirty dirty football in the Premier League, and how Ramsey was done in

Sam Allardyce has molded Blackburn in his own image during his time there, just has he did at Bolton. The match against Liverpool saw Blackburn notch up 25 fouls, equaling this season’s record for fouls. This endemic ‘physical’ style play is the direct cause of Aaron Ramsey’s leg hanging off at an awful angle on Saturday.

At Bolton Allardyce developed players such as Kevin Davies and Diouf, who has now followed him to Blackburn and is still notching up dirty tackles, as shown here against Almunia earlier this season (Thanks 7AM).

This sort of play has deeper implications than just fouling in one game. This approach is the reason why Aaron Ramsey had his leg broken by Ryan Shawcross on Saturday. The ‘physical approach’ is what Stoke  have invested in since the arrival of Tony Pulis.

Shawcross hasn’t got a great record in the past, it has been pointed out that he broke ex-Gunner Francis Jeffers’ ankle in October 2007 . At that time he was defended in exactly the same way by Dave Kemp, asst. manager at the time:

“There’s no way that was a malicious challenge, Ryan isn’t that sort of player.”

This approach is the reason why Arsenal have suffered horrible breaks in four years. Whether or not there was intent to break bones, the recklessness and clumsiness of the challenges and style of play, as propagated first by Allardyce at Bolton, has lead to the problems that Arsenal now face.

Even worse is that much of the media’s sympathy is with Shawcross, in the hope that he ‘can recover from such a traumatising incident’. I agree that he must feel pretty bad, but what about Ramsey, he has suffered a career threatening injury, and may never be the same again.

The Diouf tackle shown above on Almunia could have been another ankle-breaker, and I feel a lot of sympathy for Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey.

Untold Arsenal has made much of the rotational fouling employed by Allardyce, and their record on Sunday shows what happens to teams who play against them. Liverpool were left bloodied and Benitez was so angered he sarcastically commented that Barcelona are looking to copy Blackburn’s lovely style of football.

The issue runs deeper over retribution and the media reaction. Remember the furore over Gallas’ stamp against Burnley at the Emirates, which may have been accidental. That only bruised the player yet Gallas was pilloried. Meanwhile English players such as Martin Taylor and Ryan Shawcross are let off the hook in part due to national sympathies for ‘the English game’, and the supposedly ‘English’ physical approach.

The inequalities in the English game will always exist, but I hope to see some improvement in the attitude towards these reckless tackles which could potentially kill a young player’s career. You can’t just brush it off by saying that they aren’t the sort of character to do that. It now looks like Ramsey will not be back in training for 9 months, a blow for him and the club.

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8 thoughts on “The father of dirty dirty football in the Premier League, and how Ramsey was done in

  1. sim

    Its just a shame how media in England cannot see the obvious issue here. How can they justify and even have sympathy on Shawcross. It just shows how naive they are , I am utterly disappointed by Tony Pulis’ reaction to that horrifying injury. If one of his players had been injured like that then i’m sure it would have been a different issue. If it had been an English player , Rooney , Gerrard , Lampard , Milner with a broken leg , then the media would have made an onslaught on that particular player , how can editors be purely racial on such an issue , when we are trying to stamp racism in sport .
    Ryan used excessive force and was reckless in that challenge , I have played football and its that stupid tackling technique which causes career threatening injury. I’m sure Ryan knew he was not going to get the ball and thats why I am so disappointed in him , why did he use that much force .
    The quality of refereeing in England is an utter disgrace to football. For this reason I believe England will never win the World Cup for everyone to realise that it starts from grassroots and proper standards which takes a country to a greater stage .

  2. king gooner

    let me tell you-this will not be the last-hull are up v.soon with son of allardyce -phil “tango”brown & co who hate us big time-so we know what to expect there.not to mention fat sam & blacburn who if judging by the liverpool game will be doing his best to kick us off the park when we meet-see if i’m wrong!

  3. GD


    I agree Sam Allardyce is the father of kick and rush physical football

    I strongly expect Capelo must pull out Ryan Shawcross from England Squad at least for the time being for his irresponsible and mistimed tackle to assault Ramsey. And the red cars shown to him on that Saturday should be resulted in more than 6 games; 3 will be non sense.
    And Stoke should pay compensation for Arsenal.

  4. Biggy

    I think that Capello was a disgress! After what Shawcross did to Rambo he should be facing sanctions of more than three match ban as AW has called for. But instead the Doppy Italian coach has rewarded him with an England call-up, just two hours after the event. What does it say to the player? Maybe that if he had taken of both legs, he would be in the running for the captain’s job?

    We really need to have a system that responds to mindless thuggery on the pitch with the level of disapproval needed to ensure that the kids taking up the game are not put off. Stoke’s manager was just as dismissive of the incident. His ascertion that the boy has gone home with his mummy was pure quest for sympathy. In truth all he should get from any football lover is the expression of disgust.

  5. Such a shame to see Ramsey out, he may never come back the same – you could put forward a case that Eduardo hasn’t.

    Shawcross has shown more than once (Jeffers, and the challenge on Adebayor last year) that he is reckless. I can’t understand why others can’t see this. As someone said earlier, had he broken Rooney’s leg then all hell would of broken loose in the media.

    Kicking Arsenal is the way teams will always approach games against us, and until someone has the balls to replace the out-dated ‘brutality over finesse’ approach then we’re going to see more examples of young footballers being horrendously injured – and let’s see how the fans of other clubs react if it’s one of their own.

  6. Dude, it’s such a shame you don’t update more often as this is a really good blog.

    If you’d ever want a co-writer, let me know!

  7. Pingback: How to beat Stoke: Tony Pulis, Wenger and Mental Strength « ArseSpeak

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