Matuidi ‘back on Wenger’s radar’

Arsene Wenger is anything but impetuous. So can someone explain why today’s papers are suggesting that the Gunners chief is ready to renew his interest in Saint-Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi?

The argument is that because Cesc Fabregas has a hamstring injury, AW has realised just how short he is of players who could be considered suitable replacements and so has put Matuidi back on his radar.

The Daily Mail’s take: “(AW) is ready to step up his summer-long pursuit of se Matuidi, with Cesc Fabregas facing three weeks out after aggravating a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Portsmouth.”

The Daily Mirror today suggest that the N5 Emir has already had lengthy discussions with St Etienne and 22-year-old Matuidi over a move but that the fee is the stumbling block.

“St Etienne are demanding £6m while Arsenal want to pay half that figure and are prepared to take the deal right to the wire in the transfer window to drive a hard bargain,” it claims.

Good spot in today’s Telegraph in their preview of the Champions League play-off second leg clash against Celtic at the Emirates tomorrow night. The paper points out that only one of our goals so far this season has come from a striker – Eduardo at Goodison Park.

But the paper says that rather than worrying about his forwards not scoring, AW sees it as a promising sign that so early on in the season the rest of the side are chipping in with goals.

He said: “We have played a 4-3-3 formation early in the season and there are many benefits from it. At the start of the season, I wanted to play high up the pitch, making a threat in the opponents half early in the game. It tells me that we have a game where we attack from everywhere.

“Our strikers at the moment are providers. For me, in a good team everybody can score and a good striker scores and provides. At the moment they provide more than they score, but I know that Eduardo and Robin van Persie will score so I am very happy that at the moment they do not score and we still score goals.”

Meanwhile there is a bit of sport in the Sun this morning which reports that Pompey’s John Utaka claims Bill G. DID foul him in the game ion Saturday and that he should have been red carded.

Despite the fact that TV showed Gallas made no contact with the Nigerian when he was through on goal in the first half, Utaka blabbed: “I asked Gallas and he said to me it was a foul. What can you say to that? It’s like everything is going against us.

“He was smiling, he knew it was a foul but it wasn’t his decision. It could have been 2-2, the game could have gone either way, but he then scored at the other end. It was a foul because he pulled me from behind after I ran past him – he pulled me back. It was unfortunate the linesman didn’t raise his flag. I was shocked because on a good day it would have been given. We were unlucky and nothing was given.”

Mate, you tripped over your own bleedin leg! End of.

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