The midfielder broke his leg in two places following a challenge from the defender during Arsenal’s game against Stoke in 2010 and though Ryan attempted to reach out in the wake of the horrific injury, he can understand why his sporting rival didn’t want to speak to him.
Ryan told FourFourTwo magazine: “I reached out to Aaron a couple of times but he didn’t want to talk to me and I had absolutely no problem with that.”
Ryan faced a wave of criticism over the challenge, and though he insisted he doesn’t want people to “feel sorry” for him, he suggested he was frustrated by his depiction as a “pantomime villain”.
He said: “The only thing it really affected was my public persona.
“It wasn’t me who had had the horrific injury, so nobody should feel sorry for me, but people like to paint others in a particular way and portray me as a pantomime villain.
“That’s football, and you can’t choose the narrative of the tabloids.”
Ryan received just one England cap, playing for 16 minutes against Sweden, and he isn’t surprised he wasn’t chosen again.
He said: “I didn’t play well and wasn’t selected again but I relished speaking to Steven Gerrard and watching how he, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney trained.
“I tried to soak everything up.
“The reason I didn’t play more for England is because I had a small window to prove I was good enough and I wasn’t – it’s as simple as that.
“Football is a ruthless sport.”