Vieira/ Bergkamp/ Ljungberg/ Seaman/ Prices/ Ground/ Kroldurp/ Limpar



By Ian Grant

PLAYERS

Patrick Vieira has been banned for one match and fined £10,000 and will miss the match with Ipswich Town – following the ‘incidents’ at the match at Leeds.

Although Thierry Henry is currently on a goal drought by his standards, having failed to score in his last five outings, he still has 13 Premiership goals to his name this term having struck a total of 125 shots at goal – the highest tally in the top flight. With 53 of those efforts on target he has seen 40 attempts saved.

The Coventry match programme listed a selection of odds for first goalscorer but, though prices were offered for Thierry Henry and Wiltord, for Robert Pires, Ray Parlour, and Tony Adams, Bergkamp’s name was absent.

Former team-mate of Freddie Ljungberg, Pontus Kaamark recalled an incident recently: “Lina really fancied him and was chasing Freddie around the hotel in her bra and knickers. He was running from her. He wasn’t interested and hid from her in a cupboard.”

Following a Mirror campaign to get Dave Seaman to cut his hair, his grandad, Percy Seaman, 83, said: “I’m just an old codger. I don’t like his hairstyle but I don’t tell him what to do.” One Arsenal fan suggested a sponsored Seaman cut in aid of the Indian earthquake disaster.

According to the Mirror, Dennis Bergkamp has admitted being involved in a training ground bust-up with Arsenal team-mate Lee Dixon. The normally mild-mannered Dutch ace lost his cool and clashed with the former England right-back during a “particularly committed” training session. But Bergkamp claims the clash has now been forgotten.

WENGERSPEAK

Arsene Wenger said about the Coventry match: “Dennis has now scored two goals in a row with his head which is quite unusual for him but it was an important goal today.”

Wenger said of Bergkamp:”Now he looks stronger physically. He’s had four or five games together and he is fresh in a period when we have players who have played all season and are more tired physically.”

And added:”I don’t know whether it was him individually, or that I didn’t always play him or the fact that he had not signed his contract; maybe all that together made him less confident.”

Wenger said of the FA decision on his ban:”The sad thing is that my record is not clear anymore even though I’ve been cleared of the main charge. A 12-match ban was something terrible for me. It’s great to get it out of the way so I can get on with my job”

Arsenal feared Arsene Wenger would quit English football if the FA had upheld his 12-match ban for threatening behaviour to a fourth official, says the Sunday People.

One paper says the Highbury board will now try to tie Wenger to the club until at least 2005. However there’s a dangerous domino effect at the top echelons when Sir Alex Ferguson retires, and reckons AC Milan and Barcelona have eyes on Wenger.

Arsene Wenger said of Ray Parlour:”I like him inside the midfield even though he was a wide player when I came to Arsenal. He’s been unlucky to have won only a few caps for England behind people like David Beckham but he can also play in both positions. From the centre he likes to run ahead of the strikers and that’s very important. He’s getting goals like that and as well as scoring against Bradford, he also hit a post.”

MISCELLANEOUS

According to the Independent, Arsenal have an average of 7.2 foreign players starting games this season- the second highest total after Chelsea.

Galatasary players who played in both the UEFA Cup final against Arsenal and the Supercup were each given 130 Turkish Republic gold coins worth $60 each this week.

Strange but true: More viewers in the UK watched US v Iran during the 1998 World Cup finals than that year’s FA Cup final between Arsenal and Newcastle.

Enic, Tottenham’s new owners, have targeted the former Chelsea manager, Gianluca Vialli, as the man to replace George Graham, according to the News of the World.

February 16 has been earmarked by the Premier League and other leading leagues in Europe as the crunch date for the future of transfers.

David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education, met the Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus at the opening of an after-school study support centre backed by the club.

GROUND

Design plans for Arsenal’s new stadium have drawn praise from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. However its evaluation report says: “The design would achieve the club’s ambitions for a world-class stadium. Nevertheless … there is little in the design of the lower parts of the exterior which distinguishes this from any other large, modern corporate building.”

Arsenal says that 75% of responses received on Ashburton Grove are in favour of the scheme. Arsenal director Ken Friar said: “Our environmental assessment has sought to reassure residents that the impacts of the proposals are acceptable and we are confident that the area can handle the increased activity without damaging residents’ interests.”

OLD BOYS

Marc Overmars said of his former manager this week:”Wenger has a special talent for discovering young players. He is also capable of turning any team into a group of specialists in which each person knows exactly what he has to do, and becomes a better player as a result.”

Former Arsenal winger Anders Limpar has opened a trendy new bar in Stockholm called… The Limp Bar. But instead of joining his old club, AIK Stockholm, he has signed for their deadly rivals, Djurgardens, leading some fans to rip down AIK memorabilia in the bar.

Stoke manager, Tony Waddington said we gave him [Alan Hudson] a different coloured shirt from the rest of the players so that when you look up you know who to pass to. Alan has had some local difficulties of late.

TRANSFERS

Another paper reckons Arsene had a shock after being linked with a £5m move for Hertha Berlin star Marco Rehmer. The defender’s agent took the rumours a little too far and turned up at Arsenal’s training ground … with the player himself. Wenger politely informed the pair that their journey had been wasted.

Accordingto one paper, Arsene Wenger is hoping to secure a £1million deal for Danish defender Per Kroldurp. Wenger met 19-year-old Kroldurp this week and is hoping to agree a fee with his club in Denmark, B93. Kroldurp has had two trial spells at Highbury.