After Arsenal striker Eduardo broke his leg, Gunners came out in full support of their player, unfurling a banner which claimed they would win the Premiership and the European Cup in his name.
Arsenal were top of the table at the end of February, but after drawing away to Birmingham, despite their opponents going down to ten men after Martin Taylor was sent off after just three minutes, Arsenal spent the remaining months of the season in decline.
In the end they finished third, with the league title and Champions League they promised to win for Eduardo ending up at Old Trafford.
This week, Arsenal fans have made another pledge, this time for Aaron Ramsey, who broke his leg when playing against Stoke last week. Whilst images show Ramsey’s leg buckling before going in for the 50-50 challenge with Ryan Shawcross, Arsene Wenger has claimed that Arsenal are targeted by other teams.
The Arsenal manager launched an emotional tirade in the direction of Shawcross, claiming that the challenge was “horrendous”, “unacceptable” and “ridiculous”. He also claimed that “it wasn’t football”.
Whilst his reaction was full of drama, like his post match reactions to Taylor, claiming the defender should be banned for life, with a week to calm down Wenger claims he stands by his comments 100%. I can only assume he hasn’t seen the pictures which clearly prove Shawcross did not break Ramsey’s leg.
Regardless, William Gallas’ two footed assault on Mark Davies was far worse, as was Diaby’s horror tackle on Steinsson. Did Wenger brand these actions anti-football? Did Wenger call for his players to be banned for life? Of course not, that would make no sense. But if he is to turn a blind eye to the potentially career ending challenges his own players perform, he is certainly in no position to put players like Shawcross in the limelight. Let’s be honest, the defender was only sent off because of the extent of the injury, not for the challenge itself, which was obvious to any observer to be a 50-50 ball both players could go for.
Arsenal’s former captain, Patrick Vieira, has one of the worst disciplinary records of all time and in the Premiership years, no player has been sent off on more occasions, which is fairly shocking considering he had played here for just nine of the eighteen Premier League seasons.
This season? Only one player has picked up more yellow cards than Alex Song (who has played in 22 of Arsenal’s 28 league games this season).
United Rant sums up the behaviour of Arsenal’s manager fairly well but I imagine all of that will be lost on the Gunners.
Regardless, Arsenal fans have created another banner for their latest player to break a bone, with the hopes this will inspire their players to win something. Their last trophy was won five years ago and they are understandably getting pretty desperate.
Do it for Aaron? They couldn’t do it for Eduardo. In fact, they completely bottled it after Eduardo broke his leg. So easier run in or not, I struggle to see why Ramsey’s injury will be inspiration enough for them to win the league this season.
I wish Ramsey the best of luck and a speedy recovery… but he won’t return from the unfortunate injury to play for the champions.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.