Call it the League of Nations all you want but we all know it’s just another set of glorified friendlies that ends up costing clubs their players.
It’s not something we have to worry about too much these days, what with our players not really featuring as much as they used to for their national teams. That’s a good thing, as we saw this weekend.
Aaron Ramsey, who started for Arsenal after playing the full 90 for Wales in both their international matches over the break, got to the 80-minute mark before he could take no more and had to come off.
“He played with (the Wales) national team too much and he asked to change.. it was not a big problem but he was tired. I think no problem,” Emery said after the win at Newcastle, but that’s not really the point. Ramsey himself had turned to the bench and asked to come off he was that tired.
Why should Arsenal have to do without one of their key players, whose wages they pay, for any length of time because of the decision of another manager? And it makes absolutely no sense to run a man whose upper legs are made of silly string into the ground for no discernable reason.
The season is but a month old and Ramsey has already played 336 minutes for Arsenal and 180 for Wales. Had he been playing the full 90 for Arsenal all season, like he would have been under Arsene Wenger, he’d already be in the treatment room and out for the next three months.
Thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions this time and his absence for those final 10 minutes against Newcastle didn’t cost Arsenal anything.
Will we be able to say that the next time? We won’t have long to wait. The next international break is less than four weeks away.