It’s another old-boy reunion story: Several weeks ago, Reading’s Steve Sidwell was linked with a move back to Highbury, and now it’s the turn of another Englishman who didn’t play much for us – Matthew Upson. Apparently he wants European football so he can fight his way back into England reckoning, and so viz, ergo, he could make a move to Arsenal. We are supposedly “thought to be monitoring his situation”. Absolute nonsense, really. Wenger never played him before, so A) It would take a spectacularly embarrassing u-turn from the boss to suddenly admit he was wrong and B) Would Upson really want to return to the club that, in his eyes, thought he wasn’t good enough?
It’s possible he does want a move to a club that plays European football. It’s also possible that, given he’s negotiating terms on a new contract with his club at the moment, he’s trying to get the best deal he can. It’s a common trick (and not always subtle) to suddenly leak stories about how your client is looking elsewhere. The club panics a bit, comes back with the offer you want, and then you sign. Cynical, moi?
And let me get this next bit straight: You get a two match European ban for fabricating a meeting in the tunnel at a Champions League match, then not showing up to the press conference and questioning the referee’s impartiality. And you also get a two-match ban for… squirting water at the ref (twice).
Welcome to the wacky world of UEFA.