Date: 18th October 2010 at 12:41pm
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Much has been made of Jack Wilshere’s horrible challenge on Birmingham’s Nikola Zigic, especially when you consider Arsene’s recent crusade against horror challenges in the Premier League following a spate of reckless tackles at the start of this season.

Cries of ‘hypocrite!!’ can be heard all over the shop (particularly a bunch of buffoons sat on the Goals on Sunday couch yesterday), wagging fingers at Arsene Wenger telling him to practise what he preaches.

They are, of course, all missing the point.

Arsene Wenger accepts that the majority of these reckless tackles are completely devoid of intent, most are mistimed and un-malicious (His comments about Martin Taylor were immediately retracted and apologised for, get that into your head McLeish!), what Wenger is campaigning for is for justice for bad fouls, and justice was had on Saturday.

Both player and manager accepted and apologised for what should, and was consider a ‘disgraceful tackle’ that has no place in football, there was no bleating about how he’s a nice boy who loves his mummy and doesn’t have a nasty bone in his body, just complete acceptance for a massive lack of judgement.

And here-in lies the difference between Arsenal and the rest of the Clogging Sunday Leaguers, we accept that fouls and leg breaking tackles can be made, and that certain playing styles will lead to greater possibilities of horror challenges, and we will try to learn from our mistakes.

Jack Wilshere said of his foul, “I just want to say that I mistimed the challenge on Zigic and accept that I deserved to be sent off,”

“I have no complaints about getting the red card and I will learn from this. I`m missing three matches now which I`m really disappointed about, but I just want to say that I deserved the red card.”


Now compare that with the comments of Richard Shawcross after his recklessness unfortunately saw Aaron Ramsey’s leg almost detached at the ankle.

‘It was an accident and these things happen. I’m not going to change the way I play, If I play on Saturday I will play my normal game as I always have done.’

Can you spot the difference?

Two bad challenges, the only difference between the two is that one tackle was fortunate enough not to see a broken leg at the end of it.

Because Jack’s challenge could quite easily have ended with the same result.

Yet only one player holds himself accountable for his actions and vows to learn from his mistakes, yet it’s astonishing to me that that player isn’t the one who’s forced a fellow professional to the treatment table for a large chunk of his career.

And this, is what sets Arsene and Arsenal aside from the rest, we understand that accident’s don’t just happen, they occur because players act irrationally and erratically at times, it happens to the best of them, but those people who recognise their mistakes and learn from them are a cut above the players who refuse to accept responsibilities for the way they play and will continue to put other players at risk because they think sh*t just happens.