From the Back Pages, October 30: Arsenal let home guard slip

From the back pages
From the back pages

Arsène Wenger insists that his Arsenal side remain genuine contenders for honours this season despite suffering consecutive home defeats in arguably their two toughest tests of the season so far in the space of seven days. (The Times)

The days since Manchester United last lost a football match tick up to 32 and though there will be few more feeble challenges than this, the sense that David Moyes is beginning to find stability gathers strength. A third successive win was decorated by the match-winning performance of a beaming two-goal Javier Hernandez who, with 54 goals in 125 United games now, should not be feeling as uncertain about his future as the words attributed to him and the Tottenham rumours suggest. He has been a substitute in 75 of those games. That will often be his role now. But here was enough to tell Moyes that he warrants more than the one league start and one in Europe that this season has brought. All in all, the victory was a parable about the less appreciated talents. (The Independent)

‘The first hat-trick I scored stopped me from emigrating to Canada!’ Ferguson reveals he nearly moved 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. (Daily Mail)

Gareth Bale has joined Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among the leading contenders for Fifa’s Ballon d’Or. (The Guardian)

ENGLAND’S lineout leader Geoff Parling was last night ruled out of Saturday’s Twickenham Test against Australia after suffering a concussion in training. (The Express)

England wing Chris Ashton admits that he was fortunate not to have been dropped by England last season. (The Telegraph)

Grovelling Sepp Blatter has apologised to Cristiano Ronaldo after being caught lampooning him. The FIFA president took to Twitter to court the Real Madrid star following a three-minute video – taken as Blatter spoke to the Oxford Union on Friday – going viral. (The Mirror)