Media defence of Shawcross shows need for an “Idiot Quota”

The recent media uproar surrounding the reckless challenge by Stoke City’s
Ryan Shawcross on Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey makes me think that there should
be an ‘idiot quota’ in the British press. The number of people who have
rushed out in defence of the Englishman in comparison to the Welshman who
plays for the ‘French’ team have completely missed the point as they all
reiterate the perennially frustrating line ‘He’s not that type of player’.

Sure, Shawcross is not a psychopath or another Roy Keane but his previous
challenges prove that he is ‘that type of player’. His previous challenges
have left Francis Jeffers with a broken ankle and Emmanuel Adebayor out
for three weeks. Whether he is kindest person off the pitch is a complete
and utter irrelevance in relation to his actions on the pitch.

It is a sad state of affairs when the perpetrator of a ‘reckless and
horrendous’ challenge is presented as the victim of the piece by the
British press, while a promising youngster with a double leg break is
placed into the background. Can anyone imagine if Wayne Rooney was to be
injured in a similar tackle by a foreign player, how the media would hound
that player relentlessly as they did to Aldo Duscher in 2002, when he
broke David Beckham’s metatarsal?

It is this obsession with using violence and ferocity to overcome
technical inferiority in the English game that will mean England won’t win
a major international tournament for many years. Several media
personalities advocate this method of playing against superior technique
which means it becomes incorporated into British football ideology. These
‘pundits’ and ‘experts’ include Stan Collymore, Ian Wright, Lou Macari,
Alan Green, the morons at TalkSport Radio, Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer, Mark
Lawrenson and the majority of nationalistic-bordering-on-xenophobic
tabloid journalists.

Every single person listed above has blood on their hands. Using crude
euphemisms such as ‘getting in their faces’ (one used by Stoke’s Ricardo
Fuller prior to a cup tie against Arsenal) reveals how such media-promoted
ideology seeps into the tactics of teams run by many Premier League
managers. Some of these ‘pundits’ even had the temerity to criticise
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for condemning Shawcross’ tackle.

Wenger actually said: “Spare me the articles tomorrow about how nice
Shawcross is because we had all that with Eduardo”, in reference to a
similar incident two years ago where Martin Taylor left Arsenal striker
Edurardo with a similarly serious injury to Aaron Ramey. In the aftermath,
Taylor was also presented as a victim and supported by all sorts of
ex-pros who also rolled out the clichéd ‘He’s not that type of player’

In this incident, Wenger did not once criticise Shawcross’ character or
off-the-field behaviour but the adjectives he attributed to the shocking
tackle were somehow used to describe Shawcross by parasitic tabloid
journalists. This led to idiots in the list of ‘pundits’ above criticizing
Wenger for ruining what should have been one of the best days in
Shawcross’ career, having been called up to the full England squad soon
after the game. It seems Aaron Ramsey has been forgotten and any sympathy
to the Welshman disappearing quickly.

Consequently, I am inclined to wish for the introduction of an ‘idiot
quota’ to limit the amount of idiotic perspectives voiced in the
mainstream press. How it would be regulated, I’m not sure, but the most
important issue is to reduce the number of mentally malnourishing pieces
published by the mainstream press. Censorship is generally a negative
thing, but for the sake of some common sense and reducing the number of
opinions that actually may lower your IQ and impede you culturally,
Collymore and co. must be stopped.


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