I can't think of anything that's particularly interesting or insightful to start this thing out today, so maybe it would be better for all of us if I just skip ahead and get straight to the news. That's why we're all here after all, isn't it?
It's all down there. Just click on the little red words and everything will be revealed.
See, that wasn't so hard, was it?
The Big Important News of the Day is the report from David Woods of the Daily Star that Lukas Podolski has passed his medical with Arsenal, which would appear to be the last little bit of the transfer process that would bring him here from Cologne in the summer. There is disagreement among the trusted Internet stories as far as this goes. Raphael Honigstein passed the report along, calling Woods "well-informed" (well, it was shortened due to Twitter, but same thing). That's typically a descriptor I'd use for Honigstein, so that bears some weight. Gilberto Silver agrees and mentions that "the Star are very close to certain influential members of the Arsenal hierarchy," which I can only assume means Gunnersaurus. Kidding aside, these two know what they're talking about. So does Jamie Sanderson, though, who says that he thinks the report may be premature, as the "clubs are still working on key parts of the deal."
In my opinion, they could both be right. It's possible that an initial medical exam has been given and passed while the deal is still being finished, with the final exam to be done in the summer to make certain nothing's been broken in the interim. The other takeaway here is that it appears clear that there are talks between Arsenal and Cologne ongoing, and that they are at an advanced stage, but probably not done. In short, the club is trying hard to bring Podolski in but the deal is not yet past the point of no return.
Speaking of Honigstein and Podolski, the former has done a piece on the latter for BBC, detailing the Cologne support for Podolski even as he appears to be on his way out, as well as the skills he can bring to the table. Some we've talked about - his prolificacy in front of goal this year, his ability to play in the middle and on the left - but Honigstein also mentions that he could perhaps play on the right as well, and that he likes to shoot from distance. These are both things I'm totally okay with.
While the ladies team is playing as we speak (1-1 at halftime against Gothenburg in the Champions League quarters at Borehamwood), the reserves play later on, and according to Sanderson, among the starters will be Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-Young, and Andre Santos. The first two are being shopped around in preparation for summer moves, while the latter will make his first appearance of any kind since his injury in the last game of the Champions League group stage. Arsene Wenger will personally attend, ostensibly to make sure Park is real. Serge Gnabry is also expected to make an appearance, which means I'm going to be scouring the Internet for highlights later on.
This month's "JACK WILSHERE WILL BE BACK SOON!!!!!" article is here, with Matt Law claiming he'll be back next month after a positive scan last Friday. I'll believe it when I see it personally, but it certainly would be a massive boost to the team if he's at anything like the form he was last year for any period of time. I'm not sure that's likely, though.
And now for our comedy segment, I have two great jokes for you. Jonas Gutierrez thinks Robin van Persie is a bad person, and Tim Krul stayed "calm"! The FA might offer the England job to Arsene Wenger! My thoughts.
Apropos of nothing: I present this without comment.