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Former Arsenal youngster, Anthony Stokes, is in trouble with his Greek club, Apollon Smyrini, after he failed to turn up for training three days in a row, offering no apology or explanation.
The centre forward, who is now 29, is set to be disciplined by Smyrini and it is claimed his future with them is in serious doubt. He only signed for them on 9 February after Hibs cancelled his contract at the end of January.
Manager Georgios Paraschos said: “Stokes has not appeared at training for the past three days. We will be seeking an apology. This is unacceptable.
“We have had no explanation from him.”
This is not the first time that Stokes has found himself in hot water with his club. When he was in Scotland, Neil Lennon cut his contract short at Hibs due to his bad behaviour after giving the player opportunities at both the Edinburgh club and Celtic.
“There’s only so many times you can push the envelope,” Lennon said, “There is a line I won’t tolerate and Anthony had plenty of chances not to cross that line. We’ve been saying for years that he’s a talented player and it’s a shame, but I can’t keep rapping him on the knuckles and saying it’s all right.”
Stokes also found himself in trouble while at Sunderland under Roy Keane. While there, he was banned from the nightclub, The Glass Spider, as Keane thought it was distracting him.
“Stokes could be a top, top player in four or five years or he could be playing non-league,” Keane said in 2007.
“He’ll go one way or the other, I’m sure. The obvious pitfall for him is the Glass Spider. He’s got to be careful, he’s got to work extremely hard and he’s got to listen to the staff here.”
He was loaned to Sheffield United the following season.
Stokes only played for the Arsenal team for two minutes before moving north to Falkirk on loan. Returning to England after scoring 14 goals in 16 games for the Scots, Stokes played for Sunderland, Sheffield United, and Crystal Palace before moving north again to join Hibs for the first time.
He joined Arsenal in 2003, signing from League of Ireland side, Shelbourne, on a free transfer when he was just 15-years-old. Stokes stayed at Arsenal for three years.
Stokes has nine full international caps for the Republic of Ireland and enjoyed his best spell with Celtic. While there he scored 76 goals and created another 66 more in 192 appearances.