Arsenal unhurt by bans to players
The French Football Federation suspended all 23 members of their World Cup squad on Friday for their next international match.
That decision is to punish all players who presumably agreed to join Patrice Evra on strike in protest of Anelka’s expulsion from the squad during the tournament.
But the news might be at Arsenal delight since it means that neither of first-team choices Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Abou Diaby will be risked in France’s unnecessary friendly against Norway in Oslo on August 11.
That match will come just four days before Arsenal begin their 2010/11 camapign against Liverpool on August 15.
And the Gunners recently learned that keeping players fresh and available ahead of season openers is very important after Johan Djourou suffered a season-ending injury on duty with Switzerland just days before Arsenal began their 2009/10 campaign against Everton.
But while Sagna and company will not be risked in that match, Samir Nasri, who was surprisingly omitted from the French World Cup squad, is likely to be recalled by new coach Laurent Blanc while the uncapped Laurent Koscielny may get his first call-up for ‘Les Blues’ before he even makes his competitive debut for Arsenal.