Ryan Shawcross has given an interview to the Telegraph in which he said that breaking Aaron Ramsey’s leg didn’t make him change the way he plays but that age has taught him not to be so rash.
The Stoke defender also said that people shouldn’t feel sorry for him, despite his ruined public persona because he wasn’t the one who had the broken leg.
He might want to tell the Stoke fans, who insist on booing Ramsey and singing vile chants at him, because they don’t seem to have got the memo.
Shawcross, who was also bemoaning having his international career ruined after just ten minutes by Zlatan Ibrahimovich, said “It [the Ramsey leg-break] probably affected my persona in public.
“You seem to get labelled quickly and it sticks sometimes. It was an accident and it wasn’t me who had the broken leg. So no-one should feel sorry for me.
“There are lots of columns written about me, for some reason, and it’s never about how well I’m playing and usually it’s about me kicking people or how I play. I would never say I was the cleanest player but my disciplinary record is not too bad.
“It didn’t make me change my game but with experience, you change. The older I’ve got the more I’ve realised that if you use your head more you don’t have to make rash tackles. With experience comes knowledge of the game and how not to get into those situations.”
As for his disciplinary record, Shawcross had just six yellows last season in 32 games, not bad at all for a player who has a track record of inflicting serious injury on others.
This season, he has just the two yellows (both in the same game) in 14 appearances. For comparison, Mesut Ozil has three.
In 2010, however, the year he broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg, he had eight yellows and one red in 28 games and came fourth in the disciplinary tables for that season with 13 points.
Only Javier Mascherano, Michael Turner and Lorik Cana picked up more points in a top five that contained nothing but centre-backs (Abdoulaye Fayé was fifth).
Perhaps he really has learned some lessons.
That’s something to be thankful for, at least.