It didn’t take long for Patrick Viera to go back to his old habits in the Premier League, did it? The new Manchester City signing, who returned to England by way of Inter Milan, came on in City’s 1-1 draw vs. Stoke, but soon got into trouble. After a challenge for the ball with Glenn Whelan, the former Arsenal captain kicked the Stoke midfielder straight in the groin, bringing him down.

Referee Alan Whiley missed the incident, but after the game Viera was charged with violent conduct, and will now miss City’s next three games – the one with Liverpool that ended in a 0-0 draw, a tie against Chelsea, and the FA cup replay with Stoke . Not exactly the perfect timing for City’s Champions League aspirations, or Viera’s own hopes of making it back to the French squad in time for the World Cup.

Of course, fans who have followed his career know this is nothing new. He has been sent off no less than ten times in nine years at Arsenal, and has racked up more than 100 bookings. Really, no season seems to be complete without Viera getting in hot water with the FA. What’s amazing is that a player of his quality and experience still lets his temper get the best of him time and time again, and you really won’t see a less classy act than stamping someone in the groin.

He has admitted the charge and won’t challenge the accusation, which at least will keep his punishment only to three games, but you just have to wonder what goes through his head sometimes.


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