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Wenger annoyed with touchline ban

Published: September 18, 2012 | 7:01 am
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Arsene Wenger admits he will “feel powerless” watching Arsenal from the stands in Montpellier on Tuesday – and maintains he still does not really understand why UEFA handed him a three-match suspension.

Wenger was fined 40,000 Euros (£33,000) and banned after he confronted referee Damir Skomina in the wake of last season’s Champions League defeat by AC Milan at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger, though, sees no reason why it should impact on Arsenal’s performance in France, where new assistant Steve Bould will take charge on the sidelines, and he said: “I will feel powerless, but sometimes have that feeling on the bench anyway.”

He added: “We talk about all the possibilities before the game – if we defend or if we attack, if a player makes this run or that run – and go through all the solutions.

“An element of the unexpected can happen, but Steve has experience.”

The Gunners manager’s latest ban followed on from the Frenchman being sanctioned after his post-match outburst following defeat in Barcelona during March 2011, which saw him banished from the dugout for the crucial Champions League qualifier against Udinese last season – only to then communicate with the Arsenal bench, which again saw him fall foul of Europe’s governing body.

The Arsenal manager maintains the guidance received by the governing body is far from clear.

“Honestly, nobody knows really – even at UEFA – what is allowed and not allowed,” he said. “When I ask: ‘But what is it really about?’ Nobody can tell me. I appealed. First, let’s not forget, that I was suspended last year for having done what they told me I can do.

“When I went back there and said: ‘Why do you want to punish me?’ They said: ‘because you communicated with your bench,’ I said: ‘but you allowed me to do it!’

“They said: ‘We made a mistake, but we punish you anyway.’”


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