VILLA IN DRINKING BANN
ASTON VILLA v ARSENAL Tonight – 7.45pm
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!”