Friday 16 November 2018

Wenger given three-game touchline ban and £40,000 fine after ref rant

Arsene Wenger has escaped stadium ban Photo: PA
Arsene Wenger has escaped stadium ban Photo: PA

Sam Wallace

Arsene Wenger has escaped with a three-match touchline ban and £40,000 (€45,000) fine rather than the stadium ban the club feared for the English FA Cup third round tie against Nottingham Forest for his confrontation with the referee Mike Dean last Sunday.

The Arsenal manager raged at Dean in a confrontation after the draw with West Bromwich Albion, the exact details of which are likely to be revealed when the FA commission publishes its written reasons for the charge next week.

Wenger escaped a more severe punishment because on this occasion he did not shove or physically confront Dean as he did with fourth official Anthony Taylor one year ago at the Emirates.

Then Wenger was given a four-match touchline ban and his behaviour on that occasion was taken into consideration this time when the Arsenal manager's punishment was weighed up.

He has admitted to being abusive and questioning Dean's integrity for the handball decision against Calum Chambers and, had the confrontation take place during the game, Dean would have dismissed the Frenchman.

Having railed against the standard of refereeing and originally pledged to "100pc" contest the charge, Wenger relented and admitted to misconduct.

He will be banned from the touchline for the Forest Cup tie as well as the first leg of the League Cup semi-final against Chelsea and the Premier League game away to Bournemouth.

Wenger still has to respond to the FA by 6pm on Tuesday over remarks made before and after the Chelsea game last Wednesday.

Beforehand, he described decisions going against Arsenal as a "concerning coincidence".

Then, after the game, when he was again enraged over the penalty awarded to Eden Hazard, he against suggested that decisions against his side were "no coincidence".

In this instance, the most severe punishment he faces if found guilty will be a fine.

As for player matters, Arsenal are keen on Boca Juniors' Cristian Pavon and are expected to make a move for the 21-year-old winger this summer.

Juventus and Manchester City have also been following Pavon, but Arsenal are understood to be closest to pulling the trigger and have commissioned extensive background checks on the player.

Pavon's explosive style earmarks him as the perfect replacement for Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean set to depart the club either this month or in the summer. He is an Argentina international, having made his debut in the friendly against Russia last year.

Boca would be willing to part with the academy product for offers that begin at £20m up front, with clauses included to account for future success.

They aren't, however, willing to countenance a sale in January as they wish to make an all-out assault on the Copa Libertadores, South America's equivalent of the Champions League.

Carlos Tevez is expected to rejoin the club after an unhappy spell in China. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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