Ridgewell denies Walcott malice
Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell hits out at criticism of his tackle on Theo Walcott earlier in the month.
By James Riach
Last Updated: 28/10/09 8:19pm
Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell has hit out at criticism of his tackle on Theo Walcott earlier in the month.
The Blues stopper went in hard on Walcott in the Premier League game against Arsenal in October, and although he won the ball fairly, received criticism for the ferocity of the tackle from certain quarters.
Gunners forward Eduardo broke his leg after a challenge from City defender Martin Taylor in February last year, and Ridgewell's tackle on Walcott got alarm bells ringing at the Emirates of a repeat incident.
"I was sliding in from behind, getting the ball. My momentum carried me through," Ridgewell told the Birmingham Mail.
"He's a fellow professional, a young Englishman, and I wouldn't intentionally try to hurt anyone, especially someone you want to go and help win the World Cup for us basically.
"It's a pity such a big thing was made of it. He didn't come out and say anything, I didn't come out and say anything and it was just disappointing that certain people - who had nothing to do with it - said stuff.
"The main thing for me was to just get a tackle in, and it was there, the ball was there to be won. I think maybe that's what it was, a lot was made because of what happened (with Taylor).
"It's a pity it keeps getting brought up. Sadly, I think that's the way football is."
Ridgewell himself suffered a broken leg in April against Plymouth Argyle, but the former Aston Villa stopper scored on his St Andrews return against Sunderland at the weekend.
The 25-year-old denied that he had been feeling his way back after the injury, and revealed that manager Alex McLeish had asked him if he had been protecting himself in a reserve match.
"The gaffer did ask me, he mentioned that, and I just said 'no, not really'," he added. "I felt that there wasn't a tackle that I needed to make in the games I'd played.
"If there is one that is needed to be made, I make it. I always have done. It's a pity that it was questioned really because I never shirk out.
"I was just waiting for the right tackle and that was the other week basically."