Some corners of the Arsenal side are criticizing Ryan Shawcross for his unfortunate and badly timed challenge on Gunners youngster Aaron Ramsey, but support is pouring in from his teammates and coaches at Stoke City.
“I know Shawcross and there isn’t an ounce of malice in him,” said Stoke boss Tony Pulis.
“He has no bad blood in him whatsoever and there is no way in a million years he would ever go out to hurt anyone and I really mean that.”
Meanwhile, Rory Delap has revealed what his conversation was with referee Peter Walton immediately following the incident.
Delap said: “I said to him, ‘Did you see it?’ And he said to me, ‘I don’t think he meant it, but I’ve got to send him off.’
“All I can say for definite is that Ryan just isn’t that type of lad .
“I’ve been there before when I broke my leg four years ago. These things are a hard part of the game.
“I think it was more unfortunate than anything malicious. My thoughts, and everyone else’s, are with the lad.”
On the flip side, Arsenal players and manager Arsene Wenger have had harsh words for Shawcross, with captain Cesc Fabregas insisting that a certain line was crossed.
“I love England. I know it is a great game but sometimes there is a mark you cannot pass,” said Fabregas.
“Sometimes we are victims. In five years I have seen three of these kind of injuries – Abou Diaby, Eduardo and now Aaron.
“We don’t complain but there are things in football that are a little too much. I’m sorry but that is too much. We are not protected enough.”