Aaron Ramsey has been included in the Team GB football team which will compete in the London Olympics.
The Welsh captain was selected by coach Stuart Pearce who surprisingly resisted the temptation to annoy Arsene Wenger even further by not picking Kieran Gibbs too.
Team GB will play their group matches in Manchester (26 July), London (29 July) and Cardiff (1 August), against Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay. It means that Ramsey will miss the club’s Asian tour and, should they progress, may also be unavailable for the club’s visit to Nigeria where they’ll play the Nigerian national team.
It’s not an ideal situation for Arsene Wenger as Jack Wilshere won’t be back until mid-September at the earliest, Abou Diaby is Abou Diaby while Tomas Rosicky has been nursing an Achilles problem since the end of last season and which troubled him during the European Championships meaning he might struggle for fitness in pre-season.
It might well be that further additions to the squad in the midfield area will prevent Ramsey’s absence being an issue, but even then the manager is unlikely to be pleased that one of his players is being made play in a tournament nobody really cares about.
That said, the competitive fixtures might prove to be good preparation for the season ahead but only time will tell.
Full Team GB squad: Who? Never heard of him. Thingymajic. Whatsisface. Ah you know yer man. Whojamacallit. Some Spud. Wasn’t he in Eastenders? Aaron Ramsey. Erm. That fella with the hair. Another Spud. Craig Bellamy. Mr Roboto. Ryan Giggs. That’s not a real name, surely? A marble.
Coach: Maaaaaaat Daaaaaaaaamooooooon.
Meanwhile, Ryo Miyaichi has failed to make the final 23 of Japan’s Olympic squad meaning he will travel to Asia before the club make a decision about his future for the season ahead. Smart money says he’ll out on loan but if he impresses in pre-season, Arsene might just find a spot for him.