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English soccer getting too violent?

David Hirshey asks: Has the English Premier League turned into an abattoir of shattered tibias, fractured fibulas and shredded metatarsals? How long before special wings at hospitals are created for the purpose of reattaching EPL players' legs?

The first weeks of this season have seen several players go down with significant injuries -- Fulham's Bobby Zamora, Everton's Jack Rodwell, Spurs' Luka Modric and Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov. Hirshey also recalls injuries suffered because of bad fouls by Arsenal's Eduardo (2008) and Aaron Ramsey (February). And Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng's flying leg whip that ripped Michael Ballack's ankle to pieces last season and kept the German captain out of the World Cup.

Writes Hirshey: "What is it about the English game that leads to such sanctioned violence? Perhaps it's symptomatic of the macho British culture, or maybe it's the only way some talent-shy teams can hope to remain seated at the EPL's top table. But regardless of its causes, the effects are manifest. We're now at a point where the hardest-working men on the field are the guys who carry the stretcher. ...

"Don't get me wrong. I realize that soccer is a contact sport. I even accept that power and aggression are just as much a part of the game as speed and skill. But at the risk of going all Wengerish on you, I worry that the EPL will soon need a bionic limb factory if it doesn't clean up its act."

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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