Arsenal news/links, April 3

Marouane Chamakh, actually scoring a non-fictional goal

Okay, so I forgot how dull the season gets when you're only in one competition. I honestly don't remember it being like this last year (maybe because by this time last year, we were in full collapse and I've wiped it mostly from my memory. I honestly don't remember losing 3-1 to Stoke City at all). Now I know why there's so much awful crap on SportsCenter in the fall and winter, when NFL is the only thing going on. There's just so much dead space.

So...yeah, time to fill it!

This is how bad it is: the top news of the day all involves Marouane Chamakh. Yeah, really.

Evidently Marouane wants to stay at Arsenal. There have been a lot of rumors about him being sold to literally any team that would pay for his airfare (which I hear is also negotiable), but he says he has ordered his agents to reject all offers. So that's just great.

I have spoken to Wenger and I will stay at Arsenal. I think he trusts my work and I will have opportunities in the first team. I left Bordeaux to improve as a player and I think I can continue for this club.

Well, I guess I can't fault his spirit. If he actually was able to get to the point where he could be a decent contributor, like he was at the start of last season, that would be great for the team. On the other hand, with Robin van Persie in world-class form this season and Lukas Podolski possibly coming in for next season, I just don't see where his opportunities are going to come.

Also there's this thing about Chamakh and Adel Taraabt going to a hookah bar together after the game this past weekend at QPR. I guess I'm supposed to care? I mean, it's not a great idea for a professional athlete to smoke, but he could do a lot worse. It's not the best way to break back into the club, but you'll excuse me if my outrage is a bit muted.

Robin van Persie did an interesting interview on the dot-com about his evolution as a striker, and about how his style helps surprise opponents. The most interesting part of it to me is how many times van Persie admits that he didn't think he could become this kind of player, but Arsene Wenger basically convinced him that he could. Good managing there, Arsene.

Speaking of Arsene, he says the FA is taking way too long to pick Fabio Capello's replacement as England manager. They say they're waiting until the end of the season to avoid destabilizing whatever club the new manager currently runs, but they're risking an unsettled national team going into an important event. So they should probably get something together in the relatively new future, or risk getting railroaded in the Euro 2012 tournament.

Segues! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain thinks that the recent English-ing of Arsenal is going to help both the club and the national side in the future, as bonds between players grow. Honestly I don't care even a little about how the England team does, unless it's full of our players. And even then, mostly what I want is for everyone to not get hurt. Still, though, it would be nice to not have to hear people complain about how Arsenal are ruining English football and other stupid things. So go on, The OC, and prosper.

Finally, Theo thinks Ryo is good.

Apropos of nothing: In their day-after preseason rankings for 2012-13, ESPN, USA Today and NBC all have (my alma mater) Indiana ranked as the #1 team in the country, barring an early NBA departure by Cody Zeller or, to a lesser extent, Christian Watford. Do these rankings mean a ton? Not really. Do you care? Probably not. But I'm excited, so go me, I guess.

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