Dave Kitson reveals Stoke players' mentality before Aaron Ramsey's leg break in 2010

Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey

Eight years on from Aaron Ramsey's horror leg break and former striker Dave Kitson has given an insight into the mentality of Stoke City players and Tony Pulis before the game.

Ryan Shawcross was the culprit with a disgusting challenge that earned the centre-back a straight red card. Ramsey spent the best part of a year out of action with a double fracture.

Stoke players were unusually aggressive that day, even by their standards, and since then many stories have been told about the events leading up to the clash.

But now Kitson has revealed exactly how Pulis prepared his players to face Arsenal - with whom they once shared a fierce rivalry - and what he's said is pretty shocking.

According to the 38-year-old, Pulis ordered Stoke players to "take someone out" if they missed the ball and "dominate" Arsenal's players in tackles.

Kitson claims the Stoke dressing room before the Arsenal game was "full of aggression", which explains a lot about the way they played and Ramsey's leg break.

"I was there when Ryan Shawcross snapped Aaron Ramsey's leg in half," wrote Kitson for The Sun. "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. Stoke manager Tony Pulis absolutely despised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, hated the way he played.

"All week I had never seen a manager so desperate to win a game of football, it was bordering on out of control. In training, I remember doing the set-piece routine from corners.

Players react as Arsenal's Welsh midfiel

"I remember us practising it over and over again, the corner coming in and Pulis screaming: 'Ryan go across the f****** front - if you miss the ball you f****** well make sure you take someone out.'

"Like every other game he was telling us to turn them and get at them and all the usual stuff managers say. But that particular game it was very much: 'Lads, don't forget, be aggressive in the tackle, dominate your man.' That was the message.

"The changing room was full of aggression and I remember the team talk more than anything. 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.

Stoke's English defender Ryan Shawcross

"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 injuring players. Teams are a direct reflection of their manager. Without exception. We never sat in the dressing room and said: 'We are going to injure that player.' It's more: 'Don't give them time, get in their faces, if the ball is there to be won go and f****** win it.'

"But it just went too far. His desperation to beat Wenger and justify his way of playing football. It crossed the line and went too far.

"He was just desperate to win and some of the tackles we would put in - myself included because it was asked of you - were shocking really."

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