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Poll: Emmanuel Adebayor is cleared by FA, but should Arsenal punish him for Nicklas Bendtner assault?

A lack of video footage seems to be the sole reason why the FA has not banned or fined Emmanuel Adebayor for his alleged headbutt on team mate Nicklas Bendtner during the defeat to Tottenham the other night.

I say alleged simply because I didn't see it, but there were plenty at Light Weight Lane who did and even the commentators on the night mentioned it. Thankfully, for Adebayor at least, the cameras didn't catch it and he is in the clear.

If you've had the chance to watch the footage of the match, when Arsenal win a free kick just prior to the incident you can see Adebayor in the background striding toward Bendtner and pointing at him. The action cuts there and next you're aware of something going on is when Gallas is talking to Bendtner trying to calm him down. Then the referee gets involved and has a word with our feuding strikers.

The fact that the cameras didn't capture the moment, nor did the referee or his assistants apparently see it, is a stroke of luck for Manu. It's also lucky that the police didn't get involved, as there would have been several thousand witnesses to what could have amounted to a charge of common assault. And for anyone who thinks I'm going a bit over the top on this point, I can recall a similar incident which resulted in Duncan Ferguson - then a Rangers player - ending up in jail...

So the question is, should Arsenal punish Adebayor for his misdemeanor?

There can be little doubt that he struck his team mate, as the big Togolese striker has apologised for his actions. In a statement on the official Arsenal website, Manu wrote, "I am sorry for the disagreement with my team-mate Nicklas. We are both passionate about this Club and sometimes that can be projected in the wrong way. It was a mistake. We want to focus on the games ahead and rely on our squad’s great togetherness to achieve a fantastic season.”

Footballers by their very nature are transient and while they can claim to be passionate about their club, they are not as passionate as us fans. But you don't find many of us headbutting each other when the chips are down.

And I know it's a cliche, but Premier League players are role models and no doubt the letters that are winging their way to both Adebayor and Bendtner from the FA "to remind them of their responsibilities" will make that point.

Personally I believe that Adebayor should be fined by the club, but not dropped, as that would hurt the team more than the player. Besides, after letting himself and Arsenal down in such a manner, Manu will hopefully be determined to make up for it tomorrow when Newcastle visit for the FA Cup fourth round.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think Arsene Wenger should fine Adebayor or drop him from the first team squad? Perhaps you think both players should be fined? Or maybe you believe that as adults they should be allowed to work it out between them and no action should be taken? Choose the poll option you find most appropriate and click on Vote. I'll post the results here on Monday.

Came straight to this page? Visit www.arsenalpies.tv for all the latest news.

Posted by Gordon Masson on January 25, 2008 10:10 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players| Poll
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