Banned Wenger set to miss Udinese showdown

EMBATTLED Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s miserable start to the season continued yesterday when he was handed a further two-match touchline ban by European chiefs.

Uefa found Wenger guilty of breaking the rules of his original suspension, which applied to last week’s Champions League clash with Udinese.

The Frenchman communicated with the bench via coach Boro Primorac, who sat next to him armed with a mobile phone, before being warned to stop by officials at half-time.

Arsenal, who privately are baffled by the charge as they believed they had been told explicitly that Wenger could relay messages via Primorac, have also been fined £8,750 for “improper conduct by its officials”.

The ban means Wenger will have to watch tomorrow’s crucial second leg of the Champions League play-off from the stands. The club have appealed against ban and fine but do not know when it will be heard.

It is another blow for Wenger who has lost captain Cesc Fabregas, is poised to sell Samir Nasri and is under unprecedented pressure from fans over a lack of big name signings.

Arsenal have picked up just one point from their first two Premier League games and had two men sent off.