No Bendtner reprisal: Olsen
Denmark coach Morten Olsen will not take any action against Nicklas Bendtner following allegations the striker abused a taxi driver on a drunken night out in Copenhagen on Tuesday. Bendtner was not in the squad for Arsenal’s 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw at Bayern Munich on Tuesday which sent them out of the competition and Danish media reported on Thursday the alleged altercation with the taxi driver. “I have spoken to Nicklas and found out what’s going on, and based on that we have no intention of reprisals from our side,” coach Morten Olsen was quoted as saying in a Danish soccer association statement. “Outside of the national team gatherings, Nicklas is an Arsenal player, so his actions in his spare time are a matter for them,” he said. The 26-year-old forward is expected to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, ending a turbulent time at the Premier League club he joined in 2005 from Copenhagen.
Van Persie ‘happy’ at United
Robin van Persie is happy at Manchester United and would like to sign a new contract with the triple European champions, the Netherlands international striker said on Thursday. Van Persie, top scorer in the Premier League last season, has struggled for goals this term, while British media have reported of his discontent at Old Trafford. He also recently complained about teammates getting in his way on the pitch. “What I need to address are the situations when people are taking it upon themselves to think for me, make assumptions or interpret things as if they are me,” Van Persie told the club’s Web site. “Last time I checked my head was still attached to my body, so I’m the only one who knows exactly what I’m feeling. The truth is I’m very happy here. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract.”
Anelka not appealing ban
Nicolas Anelka has decided not to appeal the five-match ban imposed on the West Bromwich Albion striker for his controversial “quenelle” gesture, the Football Association (FA) said on Thursday. The 34-year-old French forward was suspended for his goal celebration during a Premier League match against West Ham United. Anelka had until Thursday to appeal, but the FA said the player had confirmed he would not be doing so. The FA had already said it would not be appealing to extend the sanction. “We do not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction,” the FA said on its Web site. “Having carefully considered the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission together with our appointed QC [Queen’s Counsel], the FA confirm they will not be appealing the sanction imposed on Nicolas Anelka.”
Cantona arrested for assault
Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona, the catalyst for the club’s first English league title win in 26 years in 1992-1993, was arrested on Wednesday following reports of assault, British media reported. The 47-year-old Frenchman, who retired as a player in 1997, was detained near Regent’s Park in London, Sky News said on Thursday. Police refused to confirm the identity of the man, but said in a statement they had arrested a male in his mid-40s. “He was taken into custody and subsequently cautioned for common assault,” a spokeswoman said, adding that the male victim did not require medical attention. No further details were immediately available.