herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Thanks, Whelan

Stricken Ramsey's praise for actions of Irish midfielder

Aaron Ramsey has thanked Stoke's Irish midfielder Glenn Whelan for his help in the aftermath of the tackle that broke the Arsenal youngster's leg.

Ramsey, 19, fractured his right tibia and fibula in a challenge with Ryan Shawcross in the second half of the Gunners' 3-1 victory at the Britannia Stadium last weekend.

Ramsey pointedly did not mention Shawcross, who left the pitch in tears after being sent off and has sent messages of support to Ramsey in hospital, in his statement last night.

"I remember what happened clearly and after the tackle went in I saw that my leg was broken and hanging at an angle," Ramsey said.

"I have seen images of the aftermath of the collision again but I don't want to dwell too much on the challenge as I can't change what has happened. It is difficult for me to take everything in at the moment. I thought I had been progressing well this season, so of course this is a real setback.

"It is very hard to take but I am young and have time on my side. I had an operation last weekend and, while it will take time for my leg to heal, I am determined and focused on overcoming this injury and hope to be back fitter and stronger than before.



OVERWHELMED

"I have been overwhelmed by the terrific support I have received from so many people, including fans from many different football clubs.

"In particular, I would like to thank the medical team here at Arsenal for their efforts, as well as the staff at both hospitals. Glenn Whelan was especially kind and I really appreciated his immediate assistance on the pitch as well as the medical support from Stoke City. I also want to say thanks to Arsenal for helping my family this week.

"Last but certainly not least, I have been blown away by the fantastic messages of support from the Arsenal fans. I am proud to be an Arsenal player and your support has been incredibly touching.

"Finally, I want to wish my team-mates all the best for the remainder of the season.

"I know that we are capable of winning a trophy and I will be backing them all the way."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger initially condemned the challenge as "horrendous and unacceptable", while also criticising Stoke's overall approach.

And the Gunners boss showed no signs of wavering from that view yesterday.

"I stand by what I said 100pc," Wenger said.

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