Rory Delap believes the severity of the injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey saw Ryan Shawcross sent off on Saturday.
The Stoke centre-half saw red after his clumsy challenge left Arsenal midfielder Ramsey with a badly-broken leg.
Referee Peter Walton initially appeared reluctant to punish the Potters ace, as the tackle lacked malice.
However, the England hopeful was dismissed after the match official saw the extent of the damage he had caused.
Delap thinks Walton's thought process was wrong and feels injuries have to be accepted as part and parcel of football.
"The referee appeared to react to the seriousness of the incident rather than the actual tackle," Delap said in the Daily Mirror.
"I said to him 'Did you see it?' and he said 'I don't think he meant it - but I've got to send him off.'
"I've been in a similar situation myself when Theo Walcott was injured from a challenge I made on him.
"I caught him but it was more a case of his pace and, well, my lack of it, I guess.
"I've been on the end of it too, when I broke my leg four years ago, so my thoughts are with Aaron."
Shawcross, who left the field in tears after realising what he had done, must now try to clear the incident from his mind and turn his focus to a first England call-up.
Places in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad are up for grabs and Stoke boss Tony Pulis feels Shawcross is deserving of an opportunity to put himself in the frame.
"While we are all deeply saddened at what has happened to Aaron, we believe that Ryan is worthy of this chance to represent his country and hopefully put himself in contention for a place in the England squad for the World Cup finals," said the Potters chief.
"It has been a difficult time for Ryan and he is still upset at the seriousness of the injury to Aaron.
"But it is important to remember what he has achieved over the past two years when he has emerged as one of the best young defenders in the country.
"The amount he has come on in that time has been unbelievable, so I always felt that if he produced a consistent level of performances for us this season, as he has done, an opportunity would come along sooner rather than later."