TIDYING UP ALL THE LOOSE STORIES IN FOOTBALL THIS WEEK
By Greg Stobart
ADE RETURNS BUT SPURS ARE FURIOUS
Tottenham will not discipline Emmanuel Adebayor for his late return from the Africa Cup of Nations - but manager Andre Villas-Boas is exasperated with the Togolese striker’s attitude.
Adebayor was due to return to training on Thursday after Togo were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations by Burkina Faso, but the former Arsenal man did not touch down in London until Friday night.
It means the 28-year-old has not trained with the Spurs squad since early January and is unlikely to start Saturday’s clash against Newcastle despite being the club’s only fit senior striker.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is unlikely to hit Adebayor with a fine but is understood to be angry and frustrated at the lack of communication from the forward.
The two have had a frosty relationship throughout the season, highlighted by comments made by Adebayor when he came out of international retirement last month to play in Afcon 2013.
Adebayor has also been in poor form on the pitch, scoring just two Premier League goals since completing a permanent £4 million transfer from Manchester City last summer.
JONES KEPT AWAY FROM TRAINING
Phil Jones' absence from the Manchester United team with a severe dose of shingles was compounded by being told to stay away from the club's training ground last week for fear of his illness spreading amongst his team-mates.
While shingles itself is not contagious, the disease can spark a bout of chicken pox among those who have not suffered from the illness.
And with a host of players only returning from international duty late last week, the club had to vet the entire squad as to whether they suffered from chicken pox as children.
Amid a frantic scan of the squad's medical files, United doctors had a roll-call of players and staff to ascertain their potential vulnerability to shingles ahead of Jones' return to the squad.
MANCHESTER CITY MAKE STADIUM PLANS
Manchester City's plans to boost the capacity of their Eastlands stadium continue apace - and safe terracing is still high on the list of the club's considerations as part of the ground's regeneration.
Safe terracing is widely used in Europe, particularly in Germany, and City officials are big admirers of enhancing supporters' matchday experiences at the Etihad Stadium.
The club have already spoken out in favour of The Football Supporters' Federation's campaign for the implementation of safe standing in England.
And by employing the model used by the likes of Borussia Dortmund, who still comply with the all-seater rules issued for Champions League games, the club know that they can boost capacity, match revenue and fan experience in one fell swoop.
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