Dave Kitson has revealed the shocking events that led up to Aaron Ramsey’s brutal leg break which occurred during Stoke’s clash with Arsenal back in 2010.
In his latest column for SunSport, the former Stoke striker has described in detail the horrific moment Ramsey suffered the devastating injury eight years ago, and how the actions of ex-Potters boss Tony Pulis may have played a huge part in the incident.
“Stoke manager Tony Pulis absolutely despised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, hated the way he played,” revealed Kitson.
“All week I had never seen a manager so desperate to win a game of football, it was bordering on out of control."
Kitson recalled that Pulis made sure his troops were pumped up before the clash, and even told players - defender Ryan Shawcross in particular, who would end up breaking Ramsey’s leg - in training that if they were unable to win the ball, make sure they took out an Arsenal player.
“Ryan (Shawcross) go across the f****** front - if you miss the ball you f****** well make sure you take someone out,” said Kitson.
“I remember Pulis pacing up and down shouting random things - this bundle of nervous energy blurting random swear words, trying to burn off his own nervous energy.
“And, of course, the upshot of all of that energy was that we went over the top and it cost Ramsey a year of his career.
“It seemed to me that was as a direct result of players reacting to their manager’s over enthusiasm and buying into that whole thing and carrying out his instructions and crossing the line.”
And as for the moment itself:
“I heard the crack of Ramsey’s leg from the bench. I heard the screaming. And the build-up to the game contributed to this moment,” while he went on to add:
“Ramsey's leg was pointing towards the away fans. His body was facing me on the bench but his leg was at a right angle.
“It was just horrendous. I distinctly remember Wenger turning around in the technical area absolutely horrified by it.
“The first person he looked at when he turned around was me on the bench because I was in line with him.
“Even though it wasn’t me who broke his leg, I was on that bench, part of that team.
“Wenger gave me this look of complete and utter disappointment - the kind of look your dad gives you when you’ve f***** up, when he’s gone beyond anger.”
Warning, graphic content.