AS­TON VILLA v ARSE­NAL Tonight – 7.45pm

Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

AS­TON VILLA mid­fielder Barry Ban­nan ad­mits he feared he would spend Christ­mas be­hind bars.

The Scot­land ace was handed an 18-month driv­ing ban af­ter ad­mit­ting a string of of­fences fol­low­ing an M1 crash in Oc­to­ber.

He could earn a re­call to Villa’s mid­field to face Arse­nal tonight – but con­cedes he is lucky to have es­caped be­ing sacked.

Ban­nan, who is fronting a West Mid­lands Po­lice Xmas Cam­paign to stop drink and drug driv­ing, said: “I was think­ing the worst, I was think­ing I could be in jail.

“My le­gal team couldn’t rule any­thing out. They didn’t know what was go­ing to hap­pen.

“It was down to the judge, so I could have gone to jail and the club could eas­ily have sacked me.

“I’ve spo­ken to the club about drink­ing and that’s some­thing we’re look­ing at. I’ve not touched a drop since.”

Em­manuel Frim­pong is on a mis­sion to show Arse­nal fans there is more to his game than sim­ply be­ing a mid­field en­forcer.

The 19-year-old mid­fielder, who is likely to start tonight, said: “Some­times I’ll go on Twit­ter the day be­fore a game to see what the fans are say­ing and peo­ple are sug­gest­ing I’ll deal with any play­ers they don’t like.

“They say, ‘Frim­pong will get him’ and that kind of thing.

“I think I’m go­ing to have to make a Youtube video to show the fans the other things that I am good at. But then again, I’m not ex­actly Lionel Messi!”

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