Daily Arsenal news and links, March 19

Sorry, I accidentally put a picture of Will Sheehey here. IU wears red and white, at least.

This was a strange weekend, wasn't it? With no Arsenal but tons of basketball, it was almost like I was an actual American who watches the same sports as other people. Also I'm struggling from blood loss stemming from IU's Saturday evening win to get into the final 16 of the NCAA tournament; the Hoosiers scored in the closing seconds and then fought off a last VCU attack to steal a win. Sound familiar?

Anyway, when Will Sheehey scored I jumped up with arms outstretched in celebration, neglecting to realize how low the ceilings in my friend's apartment are. Hence the blood loss. My hand still hurts, but I'm okay with it.

What? Oh yeah, Arsenal. Football. All that stuff.

And of course the pall that is cast over everything is still the vigil kept on Bolton's Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed from cardiac arrest during their FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur (a match that has been suspended). Muamba's medical situation is precarious and complicated; he is in critical condition at the London Chest Hospital's heart attack center, but his heart condition is said to be "stable." Bolton is considering abandoning the FA Cup, as Muamba's fight for his life has left the club in (completely understandable) turmoil. Should they decide to do so, Spurs would go through to the semi-final against Chelsea uncontested. The Independent has an interesting look at the development of the procedures that helped Muamba get rapid treatment on the pitch, as well as a diary of the scenes at White Hart Lane. Finally Fredorrarci of The Classical looks at the ways in which the "sports don't matter" meme that appears when disaster strikes is simply untrue, and the ways the sports world pulls together when things like this happen.

In Arsenal news, we're all still just sitting around, waiting to play Everton. Harry Redknapp thinks Wojciech Szczesny should shut up about Spurs and (ostensibly) get off his lawn, as he says that back in his day, talking to the press was a fine of a week's wages. Personally, if they're talking about Szczesny talking, I think he should keep doing it - beyond the fact that if Redknapp is talking about it, it shows they're listening, things like this are a big part of Szczesny's personality and part of what's made him take such strides in quality, and to muzzle him would stunt that growth, I think.

There's also some transfer news (sort of). Jamie Sanderson says that Aston Villa are looking to challenge Arsenal for the signing of Montpelier's breakout striker Olivier Giroud, who we've been scouting regularly since he started scoring goals and such. England and Arsenal are destinations Giroud would be amenable to, but since his release clause is (evidently) only €13 million, we won't be the only club able to afford him. I'm not sure Arsenal would sign both Giroud and Lukas Podolski, so it may be a situation where one deal causes movement on the other.

Speaking of Podolski, there have been reports in Germany that Arsenal will announce his signing today. That hasn't happened yet, and honestly I'm going to side with Sanderson here - it seems a bit sketchy. The source is different from the rest of the Podolski news (Bild, as far as I can tell, hasn't reported anything) and there doesn't seem to be much reason to do it now. If it happens, great, but I am not confident.

That Metro piece also included a bit of new information on Park Chu-Young, namely that Monaco now want some more money from us since he won't be going to the military. Basically the transfer fee will double, adding in another £2 million. In the grand scheme of things, not that much, but a £4 million fee for a player who never plays is annoying.

Apropos of nothing: I know I'm probably the only one here who cares, but I'm doing a personal Hate Week, since my beloved Hoosiers are playing Kentucky on Friday for a berth to the Elite Eight. So here's the worst video ever made. I'm still not sure whether it's accidentally or intentionally bad, but either way, it's awesome. Humor me?

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