Wenger to serve touchline ban at Spurs

Wenger will serve his one-match touchline ban in the Carling Cup

third-round clash at Tottenham tonight. The Gunners boss was fuming

after his side conceded a dramatic equaliser in the fifth minute of

stoppage time at the Stadium of Light, which denied them the chance

to go top of the table. Wenger sarcastically patted fourth official

Martin Atkinson on the back after Darren Bent’s late goal, which

came 15 seconds after the allotted four minutes had been played,

and was also critical in his post-match comments. A statement on

the FA website read: “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted a

charge of using insulting and/or abusive language and behaviour

amounting to improper conduct. “Wenger has accepted the standard

sanction of an £8,000 fine and a one-match touchline ban which

will be served with immediate effect at Arsenal’s League Cup match

against Tottenham Hotspur this evening (Tuesday). “The charge

related to Wenger’s conduct towards match officials at the

conclusion of Arsenal’s match against Sunderland on 18 September.”

Wenger’s main gripe was that he could not see why any additional

time should have been played. Speaking after the match – refereed

by Phil Dowd, who sent off Arsenal midfielder Alex Song for two

yellow cards – the Arsenal manager said: “It was outside the four

minutes. “I know the referee can give more than four, it’s a

minimum of four minutes, but in the four minutes nothing happened

to justify the extension of the time. “But I cannot do anything

about that.” Wenger added: “If you have a watch, you can control.

It’s as simple as that.” Asked about a suggestion he had put his

hands on Atkinson, Wenger replied: “Take the pictures and look at

it. “I complain to nobody, especially not to you.” Last season,

Wenger received an apology from referees’ chief Keith Hackett over

his dismissal during the Gunners’ 2-1 loss to Manchester United

during August 2009. Wenger was sent to the stands by referee Mike

Dean in the dying moments at Old Trafford on the advice of fourth

official Lee Probert after the Arsenal manager kicked a water

bottle following a disallowed goal which would have been a

last-minute equaliser. After his sending-off, Wenger was unaware of

where to go and firstly moved to the Arsenal dugout, then the main

stand before being ushered along the touchline to the tunnel.