Ouch! Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) vs Theo Walcott (Arsenal) (video)

“I felt the tackle was a little bit from the side, but it looked at full pace. I don’t want to go too overboard because one of the beauties of the English game is total commitment. We have to cut out what is really dangerous but we have to keep the basics, the commitment that makes the league more attractive than any other league.” – Arsene Wenger.

“It was a hard, committed tackle. It was like watching Stuart Pearce again, committed to getting the ball before the forward. The problem sometimes is in the follow through. But what do you do? You’ll end up not making a tackle at all. I’m sure the Arsenal boys have made tackles like that in the past.” – Alex McLeish.

A fair tackle or over-zealous defending?

Liam Ridgewell’s tackle on Theo Walcott can be seen here.

25 Replies to “Ouch! Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) vs Theo Walcott (Arsenal) (video)”

  1. Just what we have come to expect from pompous self-righteous gooners. This was a brilliant tackle, just what you pay your money to see. Arsenal players and supporters hassle the referee for free kicks from the first whistle to the last. Teams like Birnigham just get on with the game and dont cry about it every time we are on the end of a good old fashioned tackle. If Arsenal dont want to play with them men, then gho play netball….KRO.

  2. Is Alex McLeish saying bcos the arsenal players must have made such tackles then it make it fair? If so, that is quite disappointing coming from a manger in the so called “best leauge in the world”. Maybe he should be couching in the time of Moses when the law was “an eye for an eye”. Truth be told, sometimes players go over board in the name of making a good tackle. Just be careful and take note it could be you next time on the other end of the tackle next week.
    Now Engliand and Arsenal suffer for it.

  3. Liam Ridgewell has just returned from a broken leg himself now thats what i call a good old fashioned english footballer! The referee didn’t see a foul but he wasn’t wearing the red tinted glasses handed out by mr selective vision arsen wenger!

  4. A “good” tackle that leaves Walcott out for 4 weeks with ligament damage? Get a grip! Going through the man to get the ball is not only hurting good players, it’s depriving fans of seeing some of the best players in the world. It’s all these “up and at ’em” teams have got going for them – weak refereeing and hefty challenges from behind.

  5. I’m kind of torn between the two extremes here. I try as hard as I can to be unbiased but I’m afraid I’m human and therefore by default biased.

    Looking at the tackle, you have to admit he won the ball fairly and you don’t want to see good, hard tackles removed from the game. A well-timed tackle, that leaves the attacker on the ground and the ball at the defenders feet is as beautiful and skilful as a defence splitting pass.

    This tackle however is no different from the one that snapped Eduardo’s leg other than that the defender got the ball first and not the man. A split second later or earlier and his foot with studs raised could easily have been going thorough Walcott’s ankle.

    It’s a tough one, I have no doubt that the player was going for the ball and had no malice for Walcott but it’s so easy for that kind of tackle to result in a broken leg.

    It’s a toughie, no doubt and the debate rages on even amongst Arsenal fans as to whether or not it was a dangerous tackle. I feel it was dangerous but fair, if that makes any sense.

    The problem is that it’s a millisecond from being assault.

    The solution is to allow this kind of tackle but should a tackle like this lead to a horrific injury like that of Eduardo’s, the offending tackler must be banned for as long as the injured player is out of the game. I think a lot of players will think twice about their tackles then.

  6. Nothing wrong with the challenge, and I feel with a lot of players that they’d have far fewer injuries if they wore proper shinpads and not the flimsy pieces of cardboard you see so many playing about with during matches.

  7. Typical thuggish tackle from a typical thuggish , talentless team.
    How many more players need to be crippled and injured before something is done about this. Personally Ridgewell should be made financially responsible, as should have been the case of Taylor on Eduardo.

    If the offending player was unable to play for the same length of time as the injured player , perhaps then they might re-think these stupid, dangerous tackles.

  8. Maybe if you lot focused on the ball more and not them man, you could start playing decent football like your neighbours, Aston Villa. Now there’s a decent footballing team. ;)

  9. I love to see great tackling but hate to see players getting injured as a consequence. It doesn’t matter to me who they play for. Sometimes a tackle is made and it’s just bad luck that one or more players are injured. But I don’t think that was the case here. I’m not sure that Ridgewell needed to make the tackle he did. There were 5 Birmingham players ahead of Walcott with only Van Persie in a more advanced position for Arsenal. The fact that Ridgewell touched the ball before taking both of Walcott’s legs DOES NOT make it a fair tackle. I don’t want to see physical contact eliminated from the game but ANY tackle where the player has no control of his momentum (as was the case here) is dangerous.

    Tackles that cause injury need to be reviewed after the fact (if they are not dealt with at the time by the referee) and dangerous tackles punished.

    A decent defender, realizing how little danger Arsenal posed to Birmingham at that point would have been content to restrict Walcott’s options. It was interesting to see how much ground Ridgewell covered to make this tackle. Those closer to the ball were quite happy to allow Walcott the ball taking into account his very limited forward options. I know that doesn’t meet the Red Meat Brigade of real tackling but it is better defending.

  10. ” Eduardo! Eduardo! Eduardo! The mans a fully fit millionaire! for gods sake let go! ”

    Oh, right, he earns a lot of money so it’s ok to have your leg snapped off by a syphilitic, inbred, neanderthal. Are you for real mate? Have you just been released from prison? Did your parents not show you enough love as a child?

    How much would you want to have your leg snapped off? I’d bet anything would happily have given up every penny he earned during the 18 monhts he didn’t play to have been able to play.

    If you stopped being so angry and hateful for a minute and tried to view this from both sides, you’d form a much more informed and intelligent view of the situation. ;)

  11. What are you lot going on about, he won the ball it was not a foul move on. Why the hell are we even talking about this!! Is this to be the case every time an Arsenal player gets injured due to a tackle. FFS Gooners get a grip!!

  12. He played the ball but there was no way he could go in for it as he did without demolishing the man as well – and it was from behind , which is extremely dangerous. Therefore it was a foul, and in my view, a red card foul. The only saving grace, compared to Taylor’s assault on Eduardo, is that Ridgewell kept his feet low. Hence, no broken bones, but significant ligament damage because of the violence done to the knee joint. It wasn’t a ‘good old fashioned tackle’, and I’m sick and tired of hearing that kind of nonsense from English football fans. It was x-rated and he’d have been off in any other country.

  13. The laws of the game very clearly state that you’re not allowed to endanger your opponent or use excessive force in a tackle.

    Even in the old days, this was a foul and a booking. You’ve never had the right to go through the man to play the ball using excessive force.

    Nobody says Ridgewell should be banned. He should simply have been booked. Bookings are a part of the game.

    For example, Alex Song was rightly booked in the same game for a lunge at a Birmingham player.

    The rules of the game are the rules of the game, and they exist for a reason.

    This is not Aussie Rules, it’s Association football, and the rules couldn’t be clearer that it’s a foul and a booking.

  14. william davies should grow up a bit! i,ve no doubt you’ve never played football in your life mate! i suggest you take your shirt and tie off and try playing a working class game! or stick to your ps3 fifa 10 where you wouldn’t have to pull out of a challenge! oh! and by the way mate yes you can break my leg so i can get 12 months off work for £100.000 a week!

  15. It’s obviously silly to chant Taylor’s name after Walcott got crunched, but it’s also silly to tar an entire fan-base with one brush following the actions of a minority group.

    Regarding Ridgewell’s tackle, it is my opinion that Walcott saw him coming and actually lunged to control the ball. Two players went in committed and unfortunately one came out worse than the other.

    To suggest we have players that set out to hurt an opposing team is ludicrous. It is also ludicrous to expect a lower league team to not play physically against a team of Arsenals calibre.

    Arsenal are a far more skilful side than us and most teams in the world, and football is a physical game. If we can’t compete with your skill, then we’re going to have to try and trump you physically.

    Sorry, but that’s football.

  16. So Arsenal players are all sweetness and light and would not tackle anyone hard.

    In fact quite the oposite……..
    try this one
    or this one
    or this one

    I could go on and on. Arsenal fans that condemn hard tackles should take a long hard look at themselves.

    Or maybe Arsenal must be a rubbish, small team like Birmingham.

    I’m sure I can do this for any team, and probably more for the likes of UTD and Chelsea, so it is nothing to do with a team’s ability. Get out from up your own backsides.

  17. You cannot with a straight face say that Ridgewell wasn’t setting out to make an impact with that tackle. He wanted to leave an impression and make it known that Theo wouldn’t be allowed to dance through the midfield. Players do it all the time. You can see by the way he makes sure to trap Theo’s leg that he is either going to “get the ball or the man”.

    Watch any given game where Theo (or for that matter any other small, skilled winger) plays a smaller club. See him make a defender look foolish. Then watch what happens when the defender has a shot at causing some damage to him in exchange for (at most) a yellow card. This happens weekly.

    It’s not a ban – it’s not any more than a stern warning and a foul. It was unfortunate Theo got hurt, but it is part of the game. I missed the tackle live, but with all of the headlines I was expecting a much worse challenge than what apparently happened.

  18. I think the problem here is that a large number of the Arsenal support are younger glory hunters who don’t understand the game, so they whelp and bleat whenever anything goes against the team they’ve supported 5 weeks. They won’t be happy til the FA bans tackling Arsenal players.

    Nothing wrong with that tackle, unfortunate an injury prone player got another tweak.

  19. Why didnt Walcott just dive out of the way? Thats what superstars are good at nowadays isnt it!If Wenger had tought him to dive a little better then this injury wouldnt have happened.
    Long live the full bloodied English tackle!!!

    PS. If you want to watch “non contact” ‘soccer’, try the Italian or Spanish leagues, they will be right up your street!

  20. Ridgewell is a licensed thug with a history of thuggish dangerous tackles. He has done it before against Arsenal when with Villa he tackled Van Persie thigh high & trod on his back. It is only good luck that to date he hasn’t caused an ‘Eduardo’ style serious injury OR has he ? You only have to look at Ridgewell’s ugly face ……… case closed !!
    I wouldn’t expect Brummie fans who are a chip off the Ridgewell block to agree as proved by their Eduardo chant on Saturday. You must be very proud but then it’s understandable blighted as you are with living in Birmingham, supporting Birmingham City whilst forever in Villa’s shadow & talking with that awful accent.

  21. I personally think there was nothing wrong with the challenge…BUT there was no need to dive in because he could have stood up to him, and i agree with Ole Gunner about the rules of the game, i’m a referee and I wouldn’t have given this as a free kick etc, but only because football is getting to pansy as it is.

  22. ^^ Kipmonster – this is a light hearted discussion about the greatest game on earth, a game which people discuss and give their (sometimes one sided….uhmmm)opinion about. This was never a discussion about the merits of living/not living in certain regions.
    Please take your spite and anti-regional attitudes to some other websites (maybe a PS3 vs Xbox360 forum!) and not bring them to sporting discussions.

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