As usual, the clowns who organise international football have scheduled a round of meaningless friendlies in the week leading up to the first Premier League game of the season.
Although not all the squads have been announced, it looks if Arsene Wenger is going to have to cope with a fair number of his first team being away from North London next week.
England face Scotland at Wembley with Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott all included in Roy Hodgson’s squad.
France travel to Belgium with Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud all likely to be involved, while Yaya Sanogo is away with the U21s. Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski go back to Germany as they face Paraguay; Aaron Ramsey will line out for Wales against the Republic of Ireland, and both Lukas Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny could be involved against a Bendtnerless Denmark.
Most worrying of all will be Spain’s trip to Ecuador. Having seen Nacho Monreal injured during the Confederations Cup and Santi Cazorla only just return to training after an extended break, Wenger will be hoping that Vincente del Bosque uses the chance to see some new players rather than dragging his men all the way to South America.
The former Real Madrid manager hinted he’d be looking at youth, saying, “We’re concerned about the squad list to be announced on 9th August as it’s quite controversial. None of the players who usually play for Spain have done anything to warrant not being called up, but as the season hasn’t yet kicked off, they haven’t done anything to warrant being called up either.
“Plus, we aren’t going to punish anybody because we lost against Brazil, especially after everything we’ve done and won together over the years, and we have young players pushing hard.”
Fingers crossed he sees sense and leaves our Spaniards alone, but we’re not holding our breath.
It promises to be a quiet week for the Arsenal manager, with just Frimpong and Jenkinson running around playing hide and seek, and Mousetrap on the floor of his office.
“Get outside and play,” Arsene might say. “Can’t you see I’m trying to make important phone calls here?”
“But boss,” Frimpong could reply, “you’re just playing Angry Birds on your iPad.”
“I said OUT.”9,399 views