Thursday, 26 April 2012

Matuidi: Blaise-ing a trail to Euro 2012?

Paris buses differ from their English counter-parts by often being on time
TWO SEATS FOR THREE IN THE MIDDLE declares today's Parisien, making Paris St-Germain sound a bit like an over-crowded bus.

The journal is referring to Sunday's crunch game against Lille, before which Carlo Ancelotti will have a big decision to make about the complexion of his midfield.

Momo Sissoko is returning after suspension, and the article debates whether he should come back into the team and, if so, who should make way: Thiago Motta, Matthieu Bodmer or Blaise Matuidi.

If I was in charge it would be an easy decision: The three incumbents are all technically superior to Momo, and far less likely to do some kind of stupid lunge, get sent off, and cost us the match/title. It's a no brainer that the man from Mali should remain on the bench. 

Ancelotti in his wisdom seems to rate Sissoko, so I suspect someone will have to go. Bodmer is most likely to be the fall guy, and I would be highly disappointed should Matuidi make way.

For me Blaise has been one of the unsung heroes of the second half of the season. He had a good start to the campaign before his injury in October, and since Christmas has been back to his rampaging best. He covers loads of ground, is decent in the air, and has a good range of passing. If he could improve his shooting (he missed a sitter in the Auxerre match, and has yet to find the net for les Rouge-et-Bleu) he'd pretty much have the complete package.

I should confess that Matuidi has been a favourite player of mine since his St Etienne days, so I am a bit biased, but I'd love to see him go to Euro 2012 with France. He has been a regular squad member since Laurent Blanc took charge, but his chances on the pitch have been limited to four caps so far, and you would imagine his is one of a few borderline selections Blanc is pondering.

It's probably a bit much to expect him to displace Yann M'Vila or Yohan Cabaye, France's first-choice holding midfielders, but if he can maintain his form between now and the end of the season he should have a decent chance of going to Poland and Ukraine with Les Bleus.


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