Arsenal Suspends Alex Song

Alex SongIn the aftermath of the skirmish between Arsenal and Newcastle United on Saturday at St James’ Park, midfielder Alex Song has been suspended for going after central midfielder/winger Joey Barton. Apparently, Song stomped on Barton’s ankle early in the game, but the referee didn’t catch it at the time and take action on the pitch. The Football Association (FA) sees it fit that he be sat on the bench for three matches.

The FA website says that Song will start a three match suspension that will take effect immediately following the acceptance of a violent conduct charge. He was charged after an incident during the team’s fixture at Newcastle on Saturday, August 13, it added. This means he will miss a couple of vital early-season matches against defending league champions Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as Swansea. However, he will be able to play in the second part of the UEFA Champions League play-off in Udinese.

However, Song will be joined in the punishment with teammate striker Gervinho. A melee started on the pitch between him and Barton when the midfielder accused him of diving in order to draw a penalty. The situation got out of hand fast when Gervinho slapped Barton, which drew a red card. Because the teams couldn’t control the conduct of the players, they have both been fined £25,000 and have until today to respond.

In response to the incident on the pitch, Barton took to Twitter after the match to defend his actions, which he admitted were exaggerated, from attacks in the media. He asked what people wanted him to do – stand there and trade punches with Gervinho? Players who raise their hands to other players should be taken out of the game, and referees need to get this right.

Meanwhile, Arsenal is still waiting to find out if manager Arsene Wenger will be punished for breaching the terms of his touchline ban. He had been confined to the stands and banned from talking with the dugout during the first leg of the Champions League play-off against Udinese.

The sanction was due to improper conduct after he made serious comments about the referee following an elimination by Barcelona in the previous season. It was believed that Wenger was permitted to pass on instructions to coach Boro Primorac through assistant Pat Rice. However, he had been warned at half-time that this wasn’t allowed, but the assistant looked to continue making calls during the next half.

In other Arsenal news, Wenger has admitted to taking a gamble on Joel Campbell, which he thinks is worth it. The manager says that the 19-year-old is a young prospect who has talent and can play right, centre or left. From what the club has seen, the gamble is worth taking.



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