Early Doors

Arsenal hit back

Early Doors

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Following the disappointment of Saturday's defeat at Eastlands, this week Arsenal have come out fighting - off the pitch at least.

First, UEFA defied logic and common sense to clear self-confessed "fair player" Eduardo of a dive that was widely considered as blatant as a Shefki Kuqi goal celebration.

And hot on the heels of that victory, the Gunners' new arch enemy Emmanuel Adebayor has been hit with a double whammy of FA charges following Robin van Persie's call for action following his former team-mate's antics at Eastlands over the weekend.

The Togo striker now faces a ban until mid-October, unless of course he contests the charges and, with help of a silver-tongued lawyer or two, the FA are forced to back down.

In a week that has already seen UEFA make fools out of themselves by completing a remarkable u-turn on Eduardo, such an eventuality is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Rarely does a player accept the charges brought against him if there is the slightest possible doubt concerning his misdemeanour (and especially when there is a big game against his club's arch rivals coming up next weekend).

Adebayor's big hope remains that he, and only he, can know for sure whether he meant to wallop van Persie in the face or not. And with a crack team of lawyers on board, the writing on the wall may well be written in washable ink - at least regarding the violent conduct charge.

As for the other, misconduct, charge, he may well be doomed for his lightning quick dash from one end of the pitch to the other with the express intention of antagonising Arsenal fans.

But his equally rapid apology immediately after the game may yet stand him in good stead. There's nothing like a guilty plea to soften the sentence.

The incitement of his former fans was silly, stupid even, but public reaction to his moment of madness has not been as nearly as severe as it was for Eduardo after his alleged dive. Then, the Croat became public enemy number one and all and sundry, including Alex Ferguson and John Terry, jumped on the draconian reprisal bandwagon.

Yet Eduardo still managed to get off scot-free. And Adebayor may be able to take heart in that as he considers his next move. (At the time of writing, Adebayor was yet to respond to the charges. An 18:00 UK time deadline for him to do so has been set.) - - -

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