Aaron Ramsdale was on the receiving end of the disgraceful behaviour of a Tottenham Hotspur fan after the north London derby on Sunday evening.
As confirmed by the BBC, Joseph Watts, 35, has been charged with assaulting the Arsenal goalkeeper on the back of disturbing scenes at full-time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Metropolitan Police explained that the individual from Hackney faces charges of ‘assault by beating, going onto an area adjacent to a playing area and throwing a missile onto a football playing area.’
Ramsdale had played an integral role in Arsenal’s victory over their local rivals, making a number of key saves to protect a 2-0 lead established by Hugo Lloris’ own goal and Martin Odegaard’s scorcher.
And upon his passionate celebrations when the full-time whistle blew, he quickly became the target of angry reactions from Spurs fans behind the goal.
Ramsdale has a reputation for engaging with opposition fans and attempting to wind them up, while goalkeepers generally are often particular targets of abuse at football grounds given their close proximity to the stands.
As such, the regretful events of Sunday’s derby have opened up an entire debate about Ramsdale and more broadly, the topic of potentially provocative exchanges between fans and players.
What did Jim White say about Ramsdale?Advertisement
And one of the most controversial opinions to have entered the conversation has come from Jim White, who mused on talkSPORT that Ramsdale ‘has a bit more responsibility’ due to the nature of his celebrations.
It’s important to stress that White did also condemn the behaviour of the Spurs fan who then came towards Ramsdale, but perhaps unsurprisingly, his opinion has stirred the pot nonetheless.
Video: Jim White gives his opinion on Ramsdale vs Spurs controversy
🤔 “Surely Ramsdale has a bit more responsibility around a moment like that?”
🤦♂️ “Arsenal won at Tottenham, and he turns around and kisses the shirt!”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 17, 2023
What has Ramsdale said about abuse from fans?
With the tweet duly amassing more than 800 retweets and 6,000 ‘likes’, it’s fair to say that the England goalkeeper’s opinion on the topic – which takes on more relevance than ever right now – has rang true for a lot of fans watching the debate unfold.
Video: Ramsdale gives his thoughts on goalkeepers getting abuse
— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) January 17, 2023
“I find it quite funny that other players or other fans can do what they want to goalkeepers who stand there on their own for 90 minutes and get abused,” Ramsdale explained.
“I waved at a Chelsea fan the other week who was giving me all sorts. In the second half when we scored the penalty, I waved at him and the security guard said ‘why did you do that? That wasn’t necessary!’
“So I said ‘you have listened to everything he said, every name under the sun, but I cannot simply wave?’ It’s enjoyment for me.”
Now, look, there’s a legitimate conversation to be had here about player safety and interactions with fans, but it’s hard not to sympathise with Ramsdale when you hear him laying out his point of view.
Yes, the nature of his full-time celebrations was ultimately provocative, but we can’t live in a world where kissing a badge means it’s okay for people to hurl abuse and try to get onto the pitch.
There are plenty of legitimate and thought-provoking opinions from both sides of the debate, but everyone agrees that the behaviour of a small minority of Tottenham fans was simply out of order.