Arsenal adamant they will not be derailed by Ramsey's horrific injury
Arsenal have raised hopes that Aaron Ramsey’s horrific double leg fracture will prove less serious than the similar injury suffered by Eduardo two years ago.
Although footage of the incident was equally grotesque, the actual damage is purely to Ramsey’s right leg, with fractures to the tibia and fibula. While clearly serious, Ramsey does not have the added complication of severe ankle damage, meaning there is a good chance he should recover more quickly than Eduardo.
The Croatia striker did not play competitively for almost a year, but then required additional surgery to his ankle before making a more complete recovery 18 months or so after the initial incident.
Arsenal are unable to place any definitive timescale on the injury but there is relief that the emergency operations on Saturday evening reduced the fractures. There is no possibility of him playing again this season, however.
Ramsey was treated on the pitch by the club’s head physio, Colin Lewin, before being accompanied to a local Stoke hospital by club doctor Gary O’Driscoll. It is hoped that he can be transferred to London today to begin his rehabilitation.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger described Ryan Shawcross’s tackle as “horrendous and unacceptable” and is concerned by the wider future impact of the incident on Ramsey, who is just 19. “What is most terrible for me is the effect it will have on his physical side of the game and the psychological side — it is scandalous,” he said.
Having seen Eduardo and Abou Diaby break their legs in recent seasons, Wenger said that he did not believe in coincidences and described seeing Ramsey being “kicked out” of the game as “beyond words”.
Wenger has long been concerned by the theory that Arsenal struggle against a physical style of football and the suggestion, therefore, that it is acceptable for opposition teams to adopt a more aggressive style against his players. He has also spoken out consistently this season at what he regards as persistent and tactical fouls against his team that are designed simply to break up the game.
“None of my players have broken anyone’s leg,” said Wenger. “I try to coach my players to be committed, sometimes I feel nearly guilty to do that because when Aaron went for the ball like he did and that happens it is not an easy situation.
“The way I try to play the game is I believe the right way. I still prefer to continue to play like that. We respect the game and our opponents and try to give pleasure to people who watch us.”
Wenger has also called on the Football Association to take further action but, although there is the option for Shawcross’s automatic three-game ban to be extended, there is unlikely to be any further punishment.
The Arsenal players were clearly shaken by Ramsey’s injury and his absence will leave a significant void in central midfield but Wenger stressed that their title challenge would not be derailed by the trauma of losing a team-mate in such distressing circumstances.
Arsenal were similarly well placed in 2008 when Eduardo suffered his injury and there was a clear sense that the players struggled fully to recover throughout the rest of the season.
Wenger, though, believes that Ramsey’s injury will simply provide further motivation. “We had other problems two years ago,” he said. “This group is so strong, and so united, that if you give us one more reason to fight and to win, then to do it for him. What these guys do at this age is remarkable.”
Ramsey is also a key part of John Toshack’s Wales team, who are in the England’s 2012 European Championship qualifying group. The first round of qualifying matches will take place in September, meaning Ramsey is already a doubt for those fixtures.
Arsenal are expected to provide a further update on Ramsey’s progress later this week.