By CARL ELDRIDGE With no transfers to talk of after a rather dull conclusion to trading on deadline day, the coverage of the Arsenal focuses on Eduardo’s ban for diving and the pledge to fight the punishment by Arsene Wenger. The Sun starts proceedings by telling us the Gunners will take on the imbeciles at Uefa after they branded him a cheat.
The redtop reports: “ Europe’s governing body banned the striker for two games after finding him guilty of ‘deceiving the referee’ by diving to win a penalty during last week’s Champions League qualifier against Celtic. Eduardo is banned for Arsenal’s first two Champions League games against Standard Liege and Olympiakos. But the Gunners are convinced the Croat has not been given a fair hearing and are ready to appeal.”
Arsenal’s official line on divegate read: “We are disappointed with UEFA’s decision. We believe it is imperative UEFA’s explanation for its decision provides clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced.”
There is sympathy, too, from Eduardo’s Croatia national team boss Slaven Bilic in the paper.
It continues: Bilic – who ironically dived to get Laurent Blanc sent off in the 1998 World Cup semi-final – said: “This is a disgrace. We are talking about a player who is a role model of a sportsman. I simply cannot understand how he can be punished.”
The Daily Mail has, yawn, launched a campaign to get all divers banned in the wake of Eduardo’s double full pike, while the Daily Telegraph quotes more of the club statement and reveals that Arsenal are expected to receive full details of Uefa’s decision on Thursday and will then have three days in which to decide whether to appeal.
The statement adds: “We have been informed that we will receive a ‘reasoned decision’ from Uefa “We believe it is imperative that Uefa’s explanation for its decision provides clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced. It is also critical that Uefa provides specific details of the processes it plans to adopt in reviewing all games under its jurisdiction.”
Back to the Sun and our old mate Manu Adebayor says it will be like a family at war when he lines up for Manchester City against Arsenal in 10 days’ time.
He said: “I don’t think I have anything that I need to show Arsenal. We all know how good they are – but now I play for City so I’ll do everything to help this team now. It’ll be a good game and will be funny as well playing against players who I see like brothers – such as Song, Clichy and Eboue (no mention of Nik Bendtner?)
“Playing against them will be strange – but it is going to be good. I’m looking forward to it because I’m going to be up against old team-mates, ones who made me into a better player.
“Those people believed in my quality when I first came to this country. To play against that club is going to be very special for me “They believed in my quality and helped put me where I am today. To play against Arsene Wenger will be something special.”
More drivel/news as it arrives…