The Stoke City manager Mark Hughes seemed to get a bit upset in his pre-match briefing ahead of tomorrows game at Arsenal. The last meeting between the two sides was very eventful, with Stoke going an incredible three goals in front before a spirited Arsenal comback brought it back to 3-2.
But Ramsey’s sending off seemed to finish Arsenal’s challenge to regain a point, and the gossips had a field day after the game when Wenger and the players were abused by ARSENAL fans at Stoke station while boarding the train back to London.
Hughes had a long rant about the criticism of his players after the game, and got even more angry when asked about the never-ending discussion about the famous “Shawcross Incident!”
‘The last time we played them we played exceptionally well,’ Hughes said in the Mail. ‘After the game some people used certain terms to explain why we beat Arsenal, such as intimidation and we bullied them out of the result, which wasn’t the case at all.
‘I would argue for the first 60 to 70 minutes of the game we were by far the best team on the pitch. We played them off the park.
‘We were the team that played the best football by getting the ball down, passing and moving and creating chances.
‘To describe us as bullies was the wrong word, a lazy term and an easy one to label us with.
‘It’s a term that goes back to bygone days when people had a different impression of us.
‘There are other terms that could have illustrated how well we played on the day, such as competitive, and there is a difference.
‘We are competitive as we look to get the ball down and play, and we have a plan A and plan B depending on the circumstances of the game.
‘We can go more direct if we feel it’s the right thing to do, but if we see weaknesses in teams then we will try and exploit them.
‘We are a different side now with different qualities, and weapons I would suggest, and we can use them to good effect.
‘If we get it right then on our day we are difficult to play against, which we have proven this year home and away.’
Then someone made the mistake of mentioning the Shawcross bone-beaking tackle on Aaron Ramsey. Hughes ranted: ‘It just raises its head every time we play Arsenal.
‘How long has it been? Five or six years? Goodness me, a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
‘We seem to have to answer the same questions every time we come up against each other. There are other angles to pursue other than an incident five or six years ago.
‘We’re certainly sick of it, Arsenal undoubtedly are, so everybody should move on.’
Hmmm so who thinks we should just forgive and forget after all these years? Maybe Hughes should have a word with his own fans who give Ramsey a hard time every time we play them……