Football in Brief: Vermaelen out until New Year

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal's Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen will not play again until next year as he struggles to recover from an Achilles injury.

"Vermaelen is in a [protective] boot," said Wenger. "We want him back and I hope he will be back soon, but not before January."

The 25-year-old centre-back was injured during Belgium's Euro 2012 qualifier against Turkey on 7 September. He was initially expected to be out for one week but has not played since. Vermaelen's last Arsenal game was on 28 August and since then centre-back duties have been taken on by new French recruits Laurent Koscielny and Sébastien Squillaci.

Koscielny, however, suffered concussion on Saturday and will miss the next few weeks.

We are making bad decisions, says Cech

Petr Cech has admitted Chelsea are making psychological errors after another disappointing weekend result. The Blues' 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday meant they have won only one of their last six league matches.

"We're in a period where everything is going against us and the little things make a difference," said the 28-year-old Czech Republic international goalkeeper.

"We need to be more relaxed and we have the experience to be, but it seems every time we got the ball in the second half we made the wrong choice. That's why in the end they [Everton] got their equaliser."

Mourinho's ban reduced by Uefa

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has had the suspended one-match ban imposed upon him dropped on appeal by Uefa.

Mourinho was given a two-match ban, with the second match suspended, for "improper conduct" after Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were sent off in the last minutes of Real Madrid's Champions League match with Ajax, allegedly earning dismissals on purpose so as to miss a meaningless match with Auxerre and then have clean records for the knockout rounds.

Mourinho will now only be banned for the Auxerre match, and his fine has been reduced from £33,000 to £25,000. Real Madrid's fine has also been reduced, to £84,000 from £102,000.

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