Morning Gooners – hope all is ok with you?

Had a rubbish night sleep – work stuff playing on the mind – so feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus. Haven’t even touched a drop of alcohol either, so it makes it even more annoying. But there you go, such is life and all that jazz.

There isn’t even a bunch of Arsenal-related news going on to sink my teeth into either, on account of the internationals still going on. Elneny played the full 90 last night against Algeria, Tomiaysu will most likely play tonight against Tunisia, Partey will be in America on Wednesday in the early hours of the morning paying for Ghana against the US no doubt, then there will be Jorginho, Rice and Ramsdale all in the squads for England v Italy, as well as Havertz in Mexico in the early hours too. So it won’t be until Thursday until we know who is likely to be available for the game on Saturday.

Imagine playing in the early hours of Wednesday morning, then probably flying back Wednesday Evening UK time, then having to report in for training on Thursday. I’d assume the club would probably gift those players travelling that far the Thursday off, then you’d expect them to be in on Friday. But if you are Havertz or Partey, your match finishes around 3am on Wednesday morning UK time, which will be . You then have all the warm downs, press, etc, before probably heading back to a team hotel or your own hotel at around…what…5am UK time, which is 1am Philadelphia time (where the match is being played)? If he goes to bed around that time, then he will be getting up at say 1pm UK time on Wednesday. Then it’s off to the airport for probably a flight around 4pm UK time, with a seven hour flight to London that would touch him down at 11pm UK time. If he’s home for 1am he’s done pretty well. Then he has to get to bed and probably report to training for 10amish?

It goes to show you what life these guys have to lead. Yes they are paid handsomely, yes they have to perform and yes they are expected to deliver, but I think about when I’ve had to travel for work and how shattered I often am when I get back, yet I’m not doing a physical job like these guys do. These athletes’ bodies are highly tuned engines and in an ages of marginal gains, this kind of travel on the body could be the difference between getting an extra 1 – 2% from a player. And it isn’t the international teams who pay the wages of the players. They just use them for pointless friendlies and send them back in a less than perfect state than when they received them.

This is why I detest mid season internationals and, specifically, when they are for meaningless friendlies halfway around the world. It just doesn’t seem right.

Anyway, it’s happening, we have to be prepared for players to not be at their best and hopefully we have enough of the currently injured players returning and ready to deliver.

To cheer you up and make the mood a little lighter after my rant, here’s an interview with Mo Elneny about how he cried when he found out the club was going to extend his contract for a year. It is the kind of class that Arsenal show when you talk about how we behave as a club and whilst from a football perspective I’m not sure how much value it will give us this season, from a humanistic perspective it is lovely to see the way the club behaves and treats people. They haven’t always got it right (remember the whole redundancies during COVID and Gunnersaurus being binned off?), but in the mean there is an element of class about The Arsenal and that is something that we should all be proud of.

The interview is great and it’s nice to see a player speak in such glowing terms about the club the way Elneny does, but I suspect that after this season there won’t exactly be a massive clamour for him to sign an additional two or three year deal just to be a cheerleader for the club. I suspect that when he has found his form and can remain fit this season, the club will have put him in a position where he can start to look at other options and given he said he wants to play until he’s 36/37, I doubt that it’ll be at The Arsenal at that time. There’s no doubt that he is a great addition to the squad from a personality point of view – the players and staff at the club seem to love him – but if you’re thinking about a practical point of view and the 25-man squad rule for how many overseas players you can have, then after this season I suspect the club and Elneny will be having a natural conversation about a parting of the ways.

For now though he is getting back to fitness, I’m sure he’s over the moon he’s back in his international team, so his story can continue to be a positive one.

Other than that there isn’t much going on, so I’ll put a pin in today’s ramblings and hopefully come back to you with something else Arsenal-related tomorrow.

Have a good one folks.