FRIMPONG OUT news/links: 26 March

Evidently no pictures of Kieran Gibbs were taken this week.

After a great weekend of football for Arsenal fans - an easy win for the Gunners, dropped points by Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and a good-looking league table finally - there is some awful news this morning. Emmanuel Frimpong appears to be considering quitting Twitter.

Love instead of watching tv or on msn.the most annoying thing is that some people on here think they know it all wen they don't let's be
Mar 26 via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

Honest if you did u wud be in my position And nt on twitter am going to take a break from this twitter thing cus some people take life too
Mar 26 via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

Serious and u cnt have a laugh these days before some1 starts moaning caio twitter cya all again.
Mar 26 via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply


Obviously this is a bitter blow to Arsenal's Champions League qualification chances, so one can only hope he reconsiders.

On to things that are actual and real. Aidan wrote earlier about Kieran Gibbs' contributions to Arsenal's recent good form; Arsenal Column repeats those sentiments. We've talked about it before, but it bears repeating again and again - while mettle and toughness have been important, this run of wins is in large part due to the return of Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs (and Carl Jankinson and Andre Santos in theory, though neither has played much).

Over in N17, Harry Redknapp has seen fit to say that he thinks Spurs can catch Arsenal, even though less than two weeks ago he was complaining about Wojciech Szczesny talking about Spurs. The only thing surprising about this is that he didn't do it from his car window.

I'm not sure whether I think this is overexuberance or not, but the club's win streak has started a dull roar of claims that Arsenal could be a legitimate title challenger next season. Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph wrote a whole column on it, and manager Arsene Wenger has said that if additions are made (for example, Lukas Podolski, who he admitted the club are trying hard to sign), a title run could be possible.

There's a good case to be made. Wenger is right - aside from the two bad runs the team has had this season, they've been near title form (as Wilson notes, since mid-September, a span that includes January's rough patch, Arsenal are only five points behind the Manchester clubs). Injuries and the awful summer doomed Arsenal's title hopes this year, but it seems that with the hoped-for additions, the team may be good enough to win something next year. On the other hand, there are still eight matches left this season, and if our record in those matches falters, the story will be very different. In other words, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. But optimism is okay.

Wenger also discussed the importance of Champions League qualification in the signing of world-class players; I'm sure those who have heard me talk about this subject before will not be shocked that my reaction is a resounding "obviously." He does specify finishing third, though, which I won't disagree with. I do think that if we finish fourth, an exodus is far-fetched, but seizing an automatic group stage appearance says a lot, and may be even more helpful in recruitment.

Thierry Henry had two goals and an assist for New York Red Bulls over the weekend, proving the strength of the Premier League or something like that. He scores when he wants.

Finally, Fabrice Muamba got out of bed and ate food, things that I never thought would make me so happy to hear about an adult man I've never met. He also watched the Match of the Day highlights of Bolton's weekend win, and I don't have any jokes to make about any of this because it's just the best news. Hopefully his recovery continues steadily.

Apropos of nothing: Arsenal are hiring in their physiotherapy department. No word yet on whether the new hire would be Abou Diaby's personal valet/surgeon.

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