Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Saka withdraws from England squad …

Morning, a quick Friday blog for you.

This Interlull of all Interlulls, hoping everyone comes back fit is top of everyone’s wish list, so it was interesting to note yesterday’s announcement that Bukayo Saka has returned from England duty to Arsenal due to what’s been described as minor muscular problem.

The FA announced: Bukayo Saka has left the #ThreeLions camp and returned to his club for continued rehabilitation on an injury he reported to St. George’s Park with.

On the one hand, you’d hope that with stakes so high at the business end of the season, international managers are more inclined to think about a player’s club duties – especially as for many these are not competitive games. England are playing friendlies against Brazil (a Gabi-free Brazil too) and Belgium, and does Gareth Southgate need to learn anything about Bukayo Saka in these games? No.

Still, that hasn’t stopped him playing Saka previously, so it does leave you a bit worried about the seriousness of this injury. Hopefully it is precautionary, and that common sense is at play here, but my spider senses are tingling just a little. It could be just me as a football fan being a bit fatalistic about a player who is absolutely fundamental to our chances of success this season, but let’s see.

Meanwhile, Arsenal U23s played a behind closed doors friendly against QPR yesterday, a game which featured both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey. The former played 45 minutes as he makes his way back from injury, while the latter did just over an hour. This was, I’m informed, basically close to a first choice QPR side against 9 Arsenal U21s and the two senior players. QPR won 4-0.

At this point of the season, the only thing we should be even slightly concerned about is the fact two senior players who need minutes got minutes. Hopefully they will stand Tomi and Partey in good stead as we prepare for the torturous run-in we face. As for losing the game, it’s never nice to get beaten, but frankly anyone who is worried about that in the context of what remains of this campaign is seeking to be outraged about something.

If you read regularly, or listen to the podcast, you’ll know I’ve basically given up on Twitter, and the replies to our Arseblog News Tweets about this game copper-fastened my point of view. Honestly, people losing their minds over a game that doesn’t matter, that they had no idea was even happening until we Tweeted about it, was incredible. We needed to get some minutes into the legs of two senior players, we did that, and not much else is important.

But we’re ‘finished’ and the players are ‘washed’, and while there were some ironic  responses, there were too many that were actually serious. I know there are more important things to worry about these days, but it was just a bit depressing to see it on a platform that used to be vital and relatively smart, but which is now refuge to the some of the most feeble minds on the Internet.

Not a lot going on beyond that, so I’m gonna leave it there for now. There is a brand new Arsecast for you to listen to below. I chat to Clive Palmer about the Tomiyasu contract and other deals we’ve done, the way the Ben White/England story has been covered, and lots more. Happy listening.

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