The Gunners midfielder suffered the horrific injury at Stoke exactly four years on Thursday and fate brings the two clubs together again at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
"Yes, we’ve got this thing with Arsenal," said Coates. "We were very disappointed with how the Shawcross incident was treated because we thought there was never any intent whatsoever on Ryan’s part.
"We thought he was very badly treated over that incident in various quarters and it was wholly unfair on him.
"Players get bad injuries all the time in professional football, and in the vast majority of cases there is no blame to be attached, but Ryan seemed to be unfairly singled out over this one, in my opinion."
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