by Helen Trantum

International football bores me.

It’s a sad indictment of the state of football, but that’s the way I feel. The trouble is, I still waste hours of my life watching it when it does sneak its way onto the television.

You would think that after a full on season of weekly and often semi-weekly games I would be ready for a rest.

A season of planning birthdays and chores and writing around the schedule of the Arsenal, keeping Saturdays free because we have games scheduled and keeping Sundays free in case they get moved for Sky or BT Sport.

A season of my fiance and I passing like ships in the night as one weekend I’m enjoying myself* at the Emirates while the next he is suffering at White Hart Lane.

*Did you see our home record in 2014-15? Fortress, particularly when I was there! The only games I missed? Man United and Swansea in the league and Southampton in the Capital One Cup.

But no, come the second week of June I am already missing the Premier League so much that all of a sudden international football lures me back in.

But it’s still a very different spectating experience to watching Arsenal.

A different class

Where something hangs on almost every game with Arsenal, with England the games mean very little, particularly at the moment. Qualification for the Euros is all but secured and friendlies against the home nations ranked many places below us hardly get the blood pumping.

Moreover, supporting England involves the rather uncomfortable phenomenon of supporting players who, for the domestic season, it is almost compulsory to hate (or dislike, if you prefer). It’s all shades of grey on a scale from Southampton (mild dislike in games we actually play against them) to Tottenham (full on caveman style abhorrence).

Then of course there is the style of play, and that is where we arrive at something of a conundrum.


Arsenal play the best football in the league* and therefore with every additional Arsenal player that enters the fray for the Three Lions – and we have many – England improve their style of play.

*An argument for another day – I’ll touch on this at some point over the summer when I’m bored of transfer gossip. Probably soon then!

However, with every additional Arsenal player that enters the fray, there is significantly more chance of injury which will keep said player out of games in whose outcome I am far more interested. Short term gain for long term pain so to speak.

In one way it is good to see the likes of Gibbs, Chambers, Wilshere, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain get recognised internationally, since it usually means they are playing well for Arsenal (Walcott aside – his pedigree sees him recalled to the squads as soon as he is fit).

However, it is a pretty sorry state of affairs when you’re watching a game of football, wanting a certain outcome, yet simultaneously remaining more invested in something that has little bearing on the game – making sure the boys from Islington come home in one piece.

The long summer

That said, with the final internationals upon us this weekend and the Arsenal players ready to jet off on well-deserved holidays, we get to look forward to weeks with no football, no tidbits of information and nothing but transfer rumours with less than zero foundation in reality to drip feed our Arsenal addiction.

Yhey say there is no smoke without fire, but whoever “they” are, they haven’t met the British media and their pyromania. At Daily Cannon we pride ourselves on adding some context and opinion to guide you on which rumours – if any – have any possibility or probability of happening.

However, in a summer otherwise devoid of football, there is one crumb of hope which will simultaneously keep us on tenterhooks – Copa America started on Friday morning with hosts Chile securing a 2-0 win over Ecuador. And of course, we all know the most interesting thing about Chile…

Alexis may only have clocked a solitary assist in that first game, but his form will be crucial to the home side’s hopes of winning the competition.

The enjoyment or otherwise of my summer will be directly correlated to (a) to volume and quality of goals he scores and (b) whether he picks up an injury or not. Do I hope for him to be successful and provide me with entertainment or do I hope for Chile to be eliminated as soon as possible so that he can enjoy his holidays and come back to Arsenal healthy with his batteries fully recharged.

And there we have it: the domestic fan’s international conundrum.

Somebody save me.