Premier League – Paper Round: Dilemma for Wenger

Arsene Wenger could be in for an uncomfortable time tonight, should the Arsenal manager opt to serve his touchline ban against Tottenham Hotspur in their Carling Cup clash.

The Independent reports that Wenger is considering accepting his Football Association charge for improper conduct today, which would see the Gunners’ boss forced to sit in the stands at White Hart Lane rather than choosing to request a hearing, risking banishment from the dug-out when his side face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 3.

Wenger has never been the subject of a touchline ban in his 14 years as manager of Arsenal, and is likely to face ‘appalling personal abuse by some of the home fans at White Hart Lane,’ The Independent goes on to suggest.

The Frenchman won’t be the only manager facing a hate mob tonight, with Bolton boss Owen Coyle set for his first return to North West rivals Burnley since leaving the club just nine months ago.

“I expected to go back to Burnley one day, but maybe next season when I fully expect them to be in the Premier League again,” says Coyle in the Daily Mirror – clearly hoping that a bit of well-timed flattery will take the edge of his inevitably hostile reception.

The Scot goes on to call Burnley “a wonderful football club with fantastic people… (who) I still consider friends.”

Coyle’s successor in the Burnley hot seat, Brian Laws, is more realistic about what the Bolton boss can expect, however, summing up tonight’s tie in a single-word text message to the Scot on the day of the draw: “ouch”. (The Sun)

Spurs fans could be in for a treat tonight, with £14m summer signing Sandro finally set for his first start for the North Londoners.

However, they’re not alone in their eagerness to see him play, as even Harry Redknapp has yet to watch the Brazilian midfielder kick a ball in anger.

“We’ll find out a lot about him in this game,” Redknapp says in the Mirror, “and whether my chief scout has still got a job on Wednesday!”

Have no fear though, Spurs fans, as Redknapp goes on to assuage any doubts about the 21-year-old midfielder: “He’s a great lad. A really lovely fella. Totally dedicated to his football. He’s not going to go off samba dancing anywhere.” What more could you ask for?

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Paper Round-up without the obligatory nod to ‘sexed up football stars’ splattered across at least one of the red-top front pages.

Thankfully, the Daily Star has delivered with aplomb, with another – rather smug looking – blonde bombshell screaming “I netted FOUR footie aces in SIX hours”.

An impressive boast, you might think, but – on closer inspection – it would appear that the Daily Star’s ‘investigation’ extends as far as arranging for a couple of blondes to have their photographs taken with a couple of Hull City players in a Manchester nightclub, with some ‘harmless flirting’ thrown into the mix.

Not exactly the scoop of the century.


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