Fabrice Muamba Critically Ill In Hospital After Collapsing On The Pitch

There’s only one place to start this morning and that’s with Fabrice Muamba. The Bolton Wanderers midfielder and former Arsenal trainee suddenly collapsed on the pitch a few minutes before half time in the club’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham at White Hart Lane. He was immediately in obvious distress and was attended by the medical staff of both clubs as well as paramedics, who after several minutes of attempting to resuscitate him then transferred him by stretcher to an ambulance which took him to the London Chest Hospital where he remains critically ill and facing a vital 24 hours

The medical staff of Bolton and Tottenham are to be copiously praised for their swift action which surely saved the players life in the short term, and hopefully it will prove, in the long term as well. Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle says,

“It’s very serious. There’s no getting away from that. God willing, he makes it through.”

Obviously, that’s the most important thing. Reports are understandably coming through quite slowly and really one has to assume that no news is good news at this stage. Muamba is only 23 years old, has a young son and a fiancé and along with everyone else my fingers are crossed that he comes through this.

Much was said of the class shown by the Tottenham fans as Muamba was attended to on the pitch and rightly so. I think the severity of the situation was obvious from an early stage and the fans reacted quite properly, not only in terms of their support for the injured player but the lack of any upset or hassle over the necessary abandonment of the fixture. Beyond the ground, it’s one of those rare occasions when football is united and club or country allegiances go out of the window, we are all, at the end of the day, human beings and what matters is the young man who collapsed on the pitch and is now fighting for his life.

Arsenal have released a short but effective statement about Muamba which I think speaks quite clearly and quite rightly for all of us. The club said,

Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that Fabrice Muamba is in a critically ill condition in intensive care after collapsing during his side’s FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The thoughts and prayers of his many friends at Arsenal Football Club are with Fabrice and his family at this time.

And of course Muamba does have many friends at the club, starting his career as he did at Arsenal. Our former defender Justin Hoyte paid emotional tribute to his friend, as did our centre-half Johan Djourou. Other members of our squad have, like other footballers around Europe, taken the time to send messages of support. Fans have done so in their thousands. Fabrice Muamba has the support of the entire sport and its fans as he faces this struggle.

There is more I could say about Muamba but frankly I don’t want to seem like I’m writing an obituary. Instead I think we’ll end here rather than going on to Arsenal news that was really never that important in the first place and certainly looks nothing but trivial now.

I will simply reiterate my own best wishes to Muamba and his family, if you look around on the net you won’t go far before you come across the story of how he came to be a success in this country against the odds, and that’s the spirit that will hopefully see him to recovery.

Let’s hope for better news tomorrow. In the meantime, get well soon Fabrice.

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