Day five of the international break and I’m bored already. We do it all again in October too. A ten month domestic season could really do without the additional and often meaningless fixtures. Looking at England alone, they play Scotland next week in a friendly but as every England fan knows, when these two countries meet, there’s no such thing as a friendly. If football clubs can travel far and wide to play Champions League and Europa League football, why can’t international teams do the same? Leave their respective clubs on a Sunday night, play their match on a Tuesday or Wednesday and then head back in time to be fit for the weekend’s club fixture. In October, the Australian team fly out to England to play one match which is a friendly but what’s the point in making such a lengthy all round trip just to play in a fixture which means absolutely nothing? Six days later, Australia are scheduled to play New Zealand. Is that any good for a footballers body? No, especially for those who play their club football in a European country.
Arsenal have Martinelli, Jesus and Gabriel jetting off around South America during this break, that’s at least 11 hours in the air each way, the faffing around at the airport either side of the journey, probably nowhere near as bad as it would be for you or I but it’s still a faff and then after match one, off they go again to Peru for another fixture. Admittedly, both are World Cup qualifying fixtures but even so, by the time they get back to England, I doubt they’ll feel at their best. As said a couple of days ago, we can only hope that none of our players pick up an injury. Tomiyasu, a player who I think it’s fair to say, struggles to stay injury free throughout a season, has gone off with Japan to play two friendly fixtures. The first in Germany, the second in Japan in Tuesday at 1.20 UK time. Thank goodness we aren’t playing until Sunday eh, especially as we’re away to Everton.
The media seem to getting stuck into Manchester Utd at the moment. The takeover fiasco is causing a stir, the Mason Greenwood situation which ended with him leaving, Erik ten Hag’s constant moaning about every decision going against his team and now of course, Anthony has hit the headlines after suggestions that he’s been involved in domestic violence as a result of which, he’s been dropped by Brazil. What Utd do next with him will be interesting to see as they’ve set a bar with Greenwood who was never convicted. The Brazilian Football Confederation released a statement which read:
As a result of the facts that have come to light, and which need to be investigated, and in order to safeguard the supposed victim, the player, and the Brazilian national team the CBF have withdrawn [him] from the squad.
Perhaps the rules are different in Brazil and it’s deemed ok to release this news to the public whereas here, the details would have been kept confidential until he’s charged, if he’s ever charged of course. Brazil have responded swiftly, will Man Utd do the same I wonder and will Rachel Riley have to bin yet another Man Utd shirt….
Thankfully, at least from the outside anyway, the only real problems Arsenal seem to have is moving on Nicolas Pepe and Cedric Soares. I think both are waiting in hope for the club to rip up their contracts so they can leave for free. Especially Pepe. The Mirror report that Besiktas are keen on the player but they now face competition from league rivals Trabzonspor. I’m still hoping a half decent offer comes in from a Saudi club and he says yes but time is running out as the transfer window for the Saudi league shuts today. Turkish clubs have until the 17th of this month.
Back at Arsenal, the women got their Champions League qualifying campaign off to a good start with a 3-0 victory over Linkoping, the club both Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig were signed from. Their next fixture will be tougher no doubt as they play Paris FC, a game they must win in order to reach round 2 of qualifying.
Finally, Arsenal have four nominees for the 2022/23 Ballon d’Or. Katie McCabe and Amanda Ilestedt (PSG and Arsenal) for the women, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka for the men. Aaron Ramsdale has also received recognition by being nominated for the Yashin Trophy, which has been awarded to the best goalkeeper since its creation in 2019.
Their chances are slim to none I reckon. Not all the time they play for Arsenal…
Catch up in the comments.