One painful aspect of being an Arsenal fan, let alone a football fan is sitting through an international break.
Arsenal have see healthy players come back injured and in-form players come back with a first touch that makes Emile Heskey look like a golden god.
I think as Arsenal fans we have seen it all, and now Arsenal’s three new boys are all capped internationals. Luckily the pragmatic Joachim Low has stepped in and stated that, “Three days after the international match in Frankfurt, the Premier League season starts in England, so it's important for Per [Mertesacker], who was injured for a long time, and Lukas [Podolski], who is fighting for a regular place in the team, are able to prepare for the tasks ahead with their club.” This is perfect, it really is, a manager who “gets” it.
So who is out on loan this week? Szczesny, Vermaelen, Giroud, Cazorla, van Persie, Gervinho, Arshavin, Ryo, Djourou, Chamakh, Bendtner, Coquelin, Ramsey and Walcott. Wait Ramsey and Walcott? Both of their respective governing bodies have league play starting three days later, what genius made that decision? This is where people really need to question the FA, even boycott the matches. Now I say that because I’m a club over country type of person. Gunners first, Czech Republic and Canada second (in football at least; I should mention it is the other way around in ice hockey where Canada and the Czech Republic are more important than the Leafs and Sparta.
Why is the FA running a match? Well they have to make money to pay former Gunner physio Gary Lewin and of course Woy. You gotta pay the gaffer. So what am I asking of Arsenal fans? First, boycott this international as it makes less sense than the ones in the middle of the season. Second, post a tweet or response on how angry you are with the FA.
This “friendly” matchday is going to great some issues for Arsenal. Arshavin and Gervinho square off in Moscow, it will precipitate both being out of the starting line-up and maybe out of the squad completely. For Arshavin we say, “meh” anyway, because he was not going to feature against Sunderland in the first place. Chamakh is highly unlikely to make the bench as he has a match in Rabat. Cazorla will likely hit the bench as he will be coming back from Puerto Rico and (Vela’s laziness aside) it is not the easiest flight back to London for him (Puerto Rico to Spain to Luton/Heathrow).
If you are picking a fantasy team for this weekend, I might heavily scrutinise where your players are playing in the middle of the week.