Arsenal news/links, March 30

One (1) world-class player

I don't know about you guys, but today and this week seem like they've taken forever. Tomorrow morning can't come soon enough, I think. Nothing interesting has happened in days, so I think we could all use a game to stir things up a bit.

That was mildly depressing. On to the news!

Arsene Wenger says that he wants to get player contracts dealt with as soon as possible after the end of the season, and he says he's confident that he can keep everybody. Of course, he also said last year that he was confident that Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas would be here this year, so I'm not sure how much stock to put into this. I don't have the information that he does, but I am also somehow confident players like Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie will stay at Arsenal. I have nothing to back this up, it's just a feeling I get from the players and the team.

Bobby McMahon talks about the effect that Arsenal's fullbacks have had on their improvement this year, as we have done a few times this year. It's just nice to see other people picking up on this, rather than just parroting the "van Persie/mental strength" theory over and over again. Actual analysis is fun.

Everyone's favorite Gooner reporter Jamie Sanderson talks a bit about how Alex Song has grown into a legitimate world-class player. There's one thing in there that I particularly agree with - Song is one of the best examples of Arsene Wenger's faith in the ability of an evidently incompetent player paying off. He was awful when he first started at Arsenal, and honestly even last year there were times where I couldn't figure out why he existed. Now I know.

Andrei Arshavin got in a car crash, and was given a grapefruit for his trouble. Russia is a weird country.

This isn't really directly Arsenal-related, but Arsenal Column is trying to develop a new way of measuring chances. I like the idea, but am waiting to fully pass judgement on it as it's still in its early stages of development.

Apropos of nothing: Peter Crouch, criminally underrated? Brian Phillips is on the case.

Bonus apropos of nothing: This may be camera fakery, but Cristiano Ronaldo takes on Rafael Nadal in some kind of football/tennis hybrid. It's pretty cool.

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