As an Arsenal fan I get extremely frustrated by UEFA pulling our players out for boring international friendlies after just four games of the new season, especially as our stars will be flying very long distances when they have hardly reached full fitness for our Premier League games.
But there is nothing we can do about it, so we will just have to watch how our players get on and hope they don’t get injured! Although we had hardly any players at the World Cup, for these ridiculous games we have got nine of our first team squad players going away to play for their respective countries. So who are they?
First of all we have Aubameyang, who will be captaining Gabon in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi on Saturday. On the same day we also have Mohamed Elneny in Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger. In an annoying choice we have Lucas Torreira in Uruguay’s squad for their friendly against Mexico, which is being played in Dallas, Texas (Thanks Sue!). At least he may get to play 90 minutes for them!
So that’s the long distance ones but we have another six playing in Europe. Aaron Ramsey, who only played his first 90 minutes for Arsenal this weekend, has been named in Wales’ squad for their UEFA Nations League (??) matches against Republic of Ireland on September 6 and Denmark on September 9. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been called up by Armenia for their Uefa Nations League games against Liechtenstein and Macedonia. Danny Welbeck could face Spain with England on Saturday, and could also be playing against Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka in Monday’s match against Switzerland.
That just leaves Sokratis who has been included in Greece’s squad against Estonia on Saturday and Hungary on Tuesday.
I don’t really care who wins these friendlies, I just hope that no-one gets injured!