(Rant) Arsenal players should withdraw from England Squad – What’s the point?

These regular interlulls are now really starting to annoy me, and I am seriously hoping that Saka limped off from yesterday’s game at Brighton so that Arteta has a small excuse to withdraw him from the England Squad for these upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

I don’t even know how they have the cheek to call them Qualifiers. It is a disgrace that the mighty England (who are apparently listed as the Third best team in the world right now, have to go and play teams that are the international equivalent of Accrington Stanley (no offence meant to AS fans, even your side would probably beat Andorra, San Marino and Albania, who are 3 of England’s next 4 opponents). The other one is Hungary, who are not much better I assure you.

I am sure that Gareth Southgate is not in the slightest worried if Bukayo Saka is fit for either game, as the England U23’s would beat them ragged even if every senior player was injured.

Yes, it is good for team building and tactics that they spend time with Southgate and he teaches them how he wants them to play, and I believe he is a very good manager.

But what is the point of learning how to break down World Class teams, and then you get on the pitch to face Andorra? You get harder opponents in training than wasting 90 minutes of your life playing a side that has won just one game in two years, and that was against the miniscule principality of San Marino (who even knows where that country is on a map?).

Now I’m not mocking these countries, but in my mind, these tiny countries should have their own competitions where they play each other and have a chance of winning, instead of playing an England side that will walk all over them without breaking into a sweat. At least they could approach games with a hope of winning!

I’m just sick of all these interruptions to the season when they are totally and utterly pointless!



  1. Oooohh well and did you see an unknown #Lang outsmarting the likes of mighty Messi, crazy Neymar and Mbape? What does that tell you?

  2. English football fans like their cricket and rugby counterparts in fact English sports followers in general love to hate their International teams.
    Losses are celebrated with unbridled enthusiasm.
    The team and the players are gleefully hung drawn and quarted. “My granny cold have done better” Of course the sociological reasons behind such responses are more to do with the relative poverty and lack of opportuity for the masses. Sports stars are seen to be undeserving of their vast wealth, status and opportunity because they were just born talented. Thus the need to constantly undermine them by the masses.
    Clearly though the FA believes the positives of internationals out weigh any down sides so do not expect a lot of change any time soon.

  3. Perhaps the suggestion of a WC every two years, by the always forward thinking Arsene Wenger, would be a much better idea?
    I believe seedings would be involved.

    1. Andrew, from what I have heard / read discussions are ongoing.
      It seems that around 90% of associations around the world are in favour of, at the very least, to look further into this suggestion.

      It would involve both the women and men’s game and, according to AW, would not involve any more games and guarantee players would have at least 25 days away from football every summer.
      They would also spend more time at their clubs, because there would only be a maximum of two qualifying match blocks per season.

      I have no idea about the euros, but I did read somewhere, that if the proposal went ahead, it would supercede the likes of the African Cup.
      I assume competitions such as the CL would not be affected.

      Politics play a obvious part in this.
      Fifa has the WC as it’s main revenue and if it did supercede the EUFA type competition, those associations would lose their most active revenue based source of income.

      I believe talks are taking place as we speak and I guess more precise details will emerge from those discussions.

      Just as cricket keeps evolving, so should football, but whether such a corrupt organisation AS FIFA should be heading those changes, is another discussion.
      At least, with AW heading this proposal up, we know the thoughts behind it are football related and not a scheme to rip off the poor fans once again.

      1. YES Ken, on HIS part that is certainly true. But the rest of his corrupt FIFA organisation stinks and smells too badly to convince me, for just one fan.

        1. Jon, couldn’t agree more with regards to FIFA and EUFA.
          I find your thoughts regarding the fan’s thoughts on a biannual world Cup interesting though.
          Do you base your claim on the thoughts read in JA, or does it encompass a wider poll?
          It seems to me that, based on the initial reaction by fans (and associations) that the positives outweigh the negatives I. E. the subject of this article.

          Changes are always viewed with scepticism and hostility in the main, but, as cricket has proven, adapting to a moving and younger market can be very beneficial to the sport.

          I’m waiting to see what AW proposes, but as is my known regards for the man, I believe that if he is proposing such a radical change, it can only be for the good of the game….. we shall see how it progresses..

  4. Typical arrogance that England is so good that they shouldn’t have to play qualifiers to make the World Cup. How long is it since England last won an international tournament?
    As for Arsenal FC, you only have to watch the quality of the Liverpool _ Manchester City to see how far Arsenal is off the pace.

    1. England squad is worth at least 1 billion

      almost every player is worth at least 100million on average

      1. 1 billion doesn’t buy you results. How long will this sort of money remain in the game, if the world wide audience drops off and advertisers leave?

        1. People can be homeless, jobless and lack of medical attention but football must keep spending big

          just look at the transfer market deadline day, media are speculating and encouraging big money spending

    2. OG, it’s not arrogance, just sensible thinking.
      We have seen in cricket and rugby just how pointless it is to pit countries who are estab a sport, against countries who are learning the game.
      Cricket has introduced different versions of the game, that allows emerging nations/clubs to participate in a much more level playing field.
      I do agree that the English FA have a lot of arrogance – much like the Australian cricket team… and, to my knowledge, only one of those mentioned have ever been caught cheating!!!
      Just saying my friend, just saying.

      1. Sheriff didnt stand a chance against Real Madrid.. Greece won the EURO…Leicester lasted for a whole year and won the Premier League.. Just to name a few of the surpises that took place in the last years/decades..that is the joy of the sport..Arrogance/Ignorance (apologies for the choice of harsh words, am not a native speaker) appears in the article in my opinion, even though i can understand the writer’s point of view, but not the way it is expressed.. Disrespectful commenting towards these countries (the beauty of the sport is that the weak can fight and get results from far stronger opposition.) and especially Hungary.. Historically, the difference between Hungary and England is indeed massive. The gap between them (in terms of actually winning competitions or even challenging) though is actually the same, if not smaller than that between England and top teams like Brazil and Germany that have numerous titles. Hungary has been in 2 world cup finals, has 6 olympic medals (3 of them gold) and is also the team that caused the heaviest defeat in the history for England, 1-7..Have they been in huge decline; Yes, they are a shadow of their former selves for the past 30 years…Was the comment about u23 disrespectful? Yes. Maybe City should have fielded the u23 vs Arsenal as well, we have lost our last 9 premier league matches vs them…

      2. Yes Ken, Australia punishes their ball tamperers with 12 month bans, taking away their livelihoods. England gives their’s a two week suspension, a slap on the wrist, MBE’s and knighthoods. Michael Atherton (Capt) and gravel and mints come to mind. Hypocrisy at its highest level!

    3. Not sure whether this is ANOTHER opportunity gleefully seized by you to bash England, Oz (not sure why you feel the need to do it so often) or you are merely chastising Pat, because as far as I’m aware he is not reproducing any mainstream article.
      And thanks for including the update on Arsenal, although I’m sure most readers are aware we are struggling. I take from what you have written that you believe only teams at the top of the league need their best players?

      1. No not at all, just in my view commenting on the fact that England or any other team does not have to qualify to take part.
        You are drawing a long bow with your ultimate sentence; where have I inferred that “only the teams at the top of the League need their best players.” I was commenting on the gap currently existing between where Arsenal would like to be and those two Clubs.

  5. It’s the ‘friendlies’ that annoy me more, utterly pointless!!! Ken, is AW suggesting we abandon the UEFA Cup? If not every two years we are going to have both competitions in the same year. That will not please the big EPL clubs one bit. Personally I think it’s a non- starter but seeding nations in the present format of one competition (WC and UEFA C) every two years would be sensible.

      1. Thanks Ken I have read your detailed response but can’t help feeling that FIFA are going to hit a wall when they come up against the other corrupt institution called UEFA.

        The evolution in cricket was only made possible with the introduction of huge changes to the game,first ODI and then 20/20 to attract more countries to take up the sport. Football is basically the same game it was 100 years ago but has evolved with the introduction of new technology. It’s the simplicity of football that appeals to probably every country in the world, 2 halves of 45 minutes each of constant action not 80 minutes of ‘football’ over 4 hours with endless timeouts as in the American version. I’m all for not tinkering with something that seems to be working quite well. Only my opinion though!!

        1. Good point regarding football being a world wide game.

          But let’s look at the changes I believe you and I have witnessed over the years :

          Substitutions (changed at various intervals).
          Keepers being timed when receiving the ball.
          The football itself.
          Sponsors on shirts.
          Players names on shirts.
          Professional referees.
          4th Officials.
          The PL.
          The CL.
          The european competitions.
          Parachute payments.
          A proposed Super league!!!
          Kick off times.
          Sunday and Monday football.
          FA cup replays.
          Offside rule changes.

          These are just a few off the top of my head and questions your “not tinkering” thought.
          It seems that every season something is being changed – look at the way referees are being told to “let the game flow” and in doing so, have (in my opinion) allowed the technically gifted players to be put at risk once again.

          I believe the game has changed considerably over the years and will continue to do so – for better or worse is anyone’s guess my friend.

          1. Ken, I agree that the game has evolved in the ways that you have listed. When I used the word ‘tinkering’ it was aimed solely at the current World and UEFA cup formats not the game itself. I should have made the point more clearly. Good exchange of opinions though.

        2. Great and above all a sensible and realistic post Andrew. Of course views of someone of the world wide stature and deep respect for AW will and should carry due weight.

          But, like it or not , he is now a key part of FIFA and many will quite rightly never again trust that wicked and corrupt corporation , no matter how trustworthy a single man who is , lets face it, in their pay and employ.

          I personally like and respect a number of MPs’ who I have met across the years and known as people. But that does not mean I vote for their party!

          Which means that an organisation as a whole is always more influential then any – no matter whom- an individual.

          1. Can’t disagree with a single point you have made Jon. As honourable a man than AW is he will not change the appalling institution that FIFA has become. UEFA isn’t far behind.

          2. If one honest man stands up for the millions, great things can and will happen.
            The last corrupt regime, under Blatter, folded like a pack, once they had been exposed.
            Arsene Wenger could be just the man to bring down the next regime.
            I know for sure, he will not work with anyone who might taint his name…. Oh you of little faith.

  6. Pointless to some of us, but England national football team needs some practice for the reasons mentioned in your article

    The long interlull will give Arteta time to assess the Brighton match and prepare for the Palace game

    1. GAI
      Arteta needs to get busy right away then. I replied to ozziegunner on a different article agreeing that we are miles behind Liverpool and City. Watching that game was joyful

      1. I watched the second half of Liverpool vs Man City game, till Mane scored. Based on that game, I’m not worried about Liverpool, but Man City’s passing skills are far superior to ours

        Man City’s accurate passes made Liverpool’s forwards stop their high pressing and Arteta surely remembers how they train at Man City. I bet he has identified his mistakes in Brighton

        1. Gai, Brighton didn’t high press us, they didn’t need to, they outplayed us in every area. Anyway to play like Man C you also need high quality if not world class players and Pep. We’re a long, long way off.

          1. Brighton’s forwards did press us high up the pitch, otherwise Ramsdale wouldn’t have kicked the ball long all the time

            We have several technical players capable of that kind of passing, but we’d better focus on improving our physicality first

      2. Sue P, have to agree, it was the best EPL game I have watched in a long time. If Man C had got Kane in the summer they would walk away with the title. Their lack of a quality finisher might come back to bite them at the end if the season. But their style of football was indeed a joy to watch.

  7. I suggest Arteta does not need the players to prepare for the Palace game.

    He needs that time himself to prepare his excuses for the loss!!!

    1. Article on the (crushingly boring) snooze fest, somehow turns into an Arteta dig ? ( what a surprise).

      Palace – W 1 -D4-L2

      Arsenal – W3- D1 – L3

      Our record above, although not ideal , includes the last 4 unbeaten.

      Game at the Emirates.

      Your logic please ?

      Getting back to the actual article.

      Personally, I only watch England under duress if one of our own is involved to see how they get on – and that has been the case for years now.

      One passion !

  8. Regarding the article headline, I don’t think you can just pull out of the squad without a valid reason. If you are injured then obviously you withdraw but not if you don’t fancy it or just because your club wants you out. You can of course retire from international football but that means you never play again. Back to the Interlul, friendliest are a massive waste of time IMO and yes there needs to be some kind of seedling in the qualifiers.

  9. Given the heavy physical demands on players these days the very idea of playing “friendly” matches defies logic.But then the powers who run European and World football have never had an aptitude for logic other than in the field of corruption.Not keen on the idea of holding the World Cup every two years Ken as this would only add to the workload of players and result in burn out with a knock on effect on Clubs .May I suggest this is another attempt to create another money making instrument to line the coffers of FIFA while the profits will never filter down to grass roots football where it is needed urgently.

    1. Grandad, please see my reply to Andrew above.
      It does cover your point about player burn out and my thoughts on FIFA as an organisation.

  10. Didn’t Wenger suggest a WC every two years????

    For me, there is too much football everywhere. In the UK we have one too many cups. The CL is no longer a league of Champions. We now even have a new European league below the Europa League.

    I feel saturated with football and international football is one of the main culprits. At least in ice hockey, you have small nations in a lower international league (B or C) and the big nations in their own A league.

  11. 100% AGREEMENT PAT!
    I don;t know which I FIND MORE FASCINATING AND EXCITING, cleaning the bathroom and loo or watching giants versus minnows in “spellbindingly exciting” international football!!
    Personally I ‘dbe glad to never watch or follow ANY international football at any leveL ever agin Allworld cups are awarded to corrupt countries of late and I WON’T WATCH THEM FOR THAT REASON.

    I OF COURSE REALISE THAT ALL TOP LEVEL CLUB FOOTBALL IS ALSO RUN BY CORRUPT FIFA AND UEFA. So thats bad enough, without adding boredom to corruption.

  12. Ken it’s not a question of faith in AW, as FIFA’s chief of global football development I don’t believe he is in a position to change the inner workings of the institution. I certainly have faith in him doing a great job in his role and his integrity is unquestionable. I’m all for the good guy winning but it doesn’t happen very often in this modern world of ours.

  13. There’s a lot going on as Ken so rightly said. Two points to illustrate the clashes and different agendas in play here:
    1 FIFA is every bit as corrupt as UEFA, as history illustrates
    2 FIFA, under the banner of expanding the game worldwide, farm out World Cups to corrupt countries administered by corrupt officials who filter off cash. These countries often have neither the infrastructure nor the climate to merit ia WC. They also have no football history or standard, population nor interest to merit the WC. Does anybody think that QATAR will become a hotbed of football? So HOW are such random locations growing football? They don’t need or deserve it. They bought it
    2 a biannual WC will get voted in because the minor countiries and their corrupt officials make money, and their block vote outweighs the European vote and UEFA, who favour their hugely developed and lucrative club structure.

    Expanding the game globally via the WC is a red herring to rubberstamp corruption amongst key officials. It is not where a WC is held that grows future interest, it is how your national team and star players perform.

    Global football has developed far more from the worldwide marketing and popularity of European club football, primarily via the EPL model.

  14. I watch interviews with great kids like ESR and Saka, and I dispair at how big business and greed will corrupt everything they do as they move up the ladder. At the moment all they want to do is play football. Agents will charge huge fees and teach them to be greedy, clubs will treat them like pieces of meat, different football bodies will demand they are overplayed. The players will earn so much they will lose touch with normal people and reality, and faceless corruption will suck money out at every turn. Going to hell in a handcart

    1. guy IF Wenger had ever had the power to transform bad people to being good guys, do you not agree with me that he would certainly have been able to do so with Kronke??!!

      That he could not accomplish this miracle is not something I blame him for in the least. No single ethical guy can on his own totally transform a rotten to the core organisation. And Kroenke was ONLY ONE MAN but AW could not succeed in changing him.



  15. I think the article belittles the smaller teams which is unfair and unjust to them. Sport is a arena which gives equal opportunities to one and all and the winner wins by fair means playing the sport correctly within its rules and regulations. Real Madrid were shocked in their last CL match by a team from unknown Moldova, isnt that a good example of what a small team can do to a big rich and powerful team. There are numerous examples throughout history to suggest that the smaller teams can upset the bigger teams and to call playing against the smaller teams a waste of time is disrespectful to say the least.

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