Broken man on the pitch
From Nigel Roddis
Arsenal vs Stoke City, Saturday February 27.
It was a game that wasn’t going to plan. Stoke took the lead but Arsenal in the second half started putting on the pressure with wave after wave of brilliant football. It was only a matter of time, you felt, until they scored a winner. Way over the halfway line, frantic gestures were coming from first a Stoke player and then Arsenal players and the referee which meant something very serious had happened.
I could see Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey partially obscured by a Stoke player in agony with his ankle at a right-angle to his leg. The first frame I took was the best as his expression said everything. After that he seems to have gone into shock as he doesn’t seem to be in pain.
Next, I was looking to get Ramsey and Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross, who tackled him, in the same frame. Shawcross was sent off and then walked towards the tunnel where I was. I’ve never seen a player in 20 years of covering football so distressed. He was in a flood of tears and I think it will take him some time to get over what happened.
In the aftermath it was a matter of choosing the best frames and transmitting them quickly as it was a late game that day and just to keep me busy Arsenal scored two goals and celebrated right in front of me.