UNITED KINGDOM, February 9 – Southampton will be without Kenyan Victor Wanyama for six weeks after the FA confirmed his red card against West Ham will mean a five-match ban.
It was the third time the 24-year-old midfield man had been sent off this season, adding two extra games to the three matches for his horror tackle on Dimitri Payet.
Wanyama was dismissed for two yellow cards against Bournemouth in November and again for being booked twice against Norwich at the start of January.
It means the Kenya captain, whose role protecting the defence is crucial to Saints’ system, won’t be available until the home match with Liverpool on March 19.
He will almost certainly also face a club fine of up to two weeks wages, with manager Ronald Koeman saying: ‘It’s not his first red card, it’s his third, and that’s not good. You have to learn from your mistakes so I will speak to him about it.’
Wanyama’s discipline has been a problem throughout his career. He was booked 12 times last season, and his last season at Celtic in 2012-13 saw him sent off twice as well as collecting 15 yellow cards.
Despite playing most of the second half with 10-men, Southampton kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet – all of which have coincided with goalkeeper Fraser Forster’s return from a 10-month injury lay-off.
However, the England international refused to take all the plaudits for his side’s defensive resilience and, instead, praised his team-mates in front of him.
‘They’ve made it easy since I came back in the team, to be honest,’ Forster told the club website.
‘They’ve really limited the opposition’s chances and they’ve been so strong. When we get on the ball, we’ve got players who are so comfortable on it and who’ll move it.
‘I think we’ve looked really comfortable in the last few games and we’ve obviously picked up a lot of points, which is brilliant.
‘It’s obviously nice that it’s coincided with my return to the team, but if you look at the 10 players in front of me, they’ve been absolutely awesome.’
-By Daily Mail-