I’ve enjoyed writing on here for the last year or so and have had great conversations and banter with teams’ fans up and down the country apart from one, Arsenal's. As some of you might know, I’m also on twitter and the theme continues on there as the dozen or so people on my blocked list are ALL Arsenal fans?
I’ve learnt that fans of Wednesday’s opposition don’t take well to home truths being pointed out and my coverage of the Ramsey incident and subsequent pieces have been met with little more than ignorance and abuse. That’s not to say that ALL Arsenal fans have been like that, thankfully there were a few that having read the points I made were able to discuss and debate without the need to resort to insults and name calling.
The fact is that the behaviour of Arsenal management and players since our time in the Premier League has been nothing short of disgraceful. Ever since that first meeting at the Britannia, both have seen fit to drag our name through the mud at every given opportunity. The main culprit has been Mr Wenger, who has ruthlessly pursued a personal vendetta against the club and Shawcross and has now even taken to making up incidents in a blatant attempt to discredit a player whose only crime was being the other party in an unfortunate 50/50 challenge with a fellow professional.
Stoke are a rugby team he says, we are bullies, we foul and injure players at will… The statistics to date this season and indeed before however, tell a very different story.
Arsenal sit 3rd from bottom in the Disciplinary table with 6 red cards, Stoke are comfortably in the middle with only 2 red cards, above the other media favourites who ‘play the right way’, Bolton. Indeed, prior to the Ramsey incident in the previous 3 meetings last season not one Stoke player had received a caution against Arsenal.
Stoke have committed the third fewest fouls in the league too, and considering we only have the ball about 40% of the time I’d say that’s a pretty commendable statistic.
That said, I fear fact and statistic will fly out of the window of reason come Wednesday night as the media and the plastic flag waving Arsenal fans will simply be fuelled by lazy journalism, hearsay and the hypocritical rants of their Manager. I only hope and pray that the referee, Mr Peter Walton (the very same referee from ‘that’ game) is strong enough to manage the game that actually unfolds in front of him and not listen to any hype surrounding it.
I’m glad to hear that neither manager, to both their credits, will be conducting a press conference, I hope this gesture serves as a reminder to all that we are here to enjoy a game of football, not to continue a baseless and unfair witch hunt.
To that end, I will not be publishing any abusive posts, nor those discussing previous meetings unless they are pertinent to what happened in this actual game. If you want to know my thoughts and feelings on Shawcross, the ‘incident’ and various shades of grey in-between then look back at my previous articles when it was debated to death.
Vis Unita Fortior
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