Arsenal are currently enduring a 17 day wait between their last Premier League game of the season against Burnley and their final in Baku to compete for the Europa League trophy and a place in the Champions League.
It’s a long time to be going without competitive action; longer than your average international break, and even longer than some winter breaks in other countries.
Chelsea would have faced the same prospect had they not flown to Massachusetts to face New England Revolution in a charity match named ‘Final Whistle on Hate’, a battle against anti-semitism.
They won the game 3-0, though it cost them dear as Ruben Loftus-Cheek was ruled out of the final with an achilles injury – a player who’d developed into one of Chelsea’s best and most reliable in recent months.
In an attempt to stay sharp and match fit, Arsenal appeared to have booked in a behind closed doors friendly against LASK Linz. This isn’t too strange for the Gunners and Emery to do, having played a few fixtures away from the media in their summer preparations as well.
Despite the good intentions, this news hasn’t gone down very well with the fans, who are terrified of losing one of their best players to injury before the big, season-defining final.
Here’s a quick look at what they’re saying about the club’s decision to host a friendly…
Full story behind Arsenal's behind closed doors friendly with LASK Linz this week.https://t.co/PGmrtejTHt
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 20, 2019
Hope no one gets injured. The only thing am worried about?
— Pranav (@pranav_268) May 20, 2019
This got diaster written all over it knowing us it be Aubameyang to do a Loftus cheek.
— Darren Walker (@Darren800) May 20, 2019
They better not get injured?
— TheUnaiView (@TheUnaiView) May 20, 2019
Sounds dodgy to me, hope no Ruben Loftus Cheeks
— Welshy (@Welsh_Gooner) May 20, 2019
Playing a friendly game when you have an European final game in few days. A very bad idea.
— Jarvis (@jarvisofficial1) May 21, 2019
Waiting for someone to end up like this. pic.twitter.com/O8uvuYCs51
— Lacasauce (@lacadrippp) May 21, 2019
— Adama ?? (@princebadama) May 21, 2019
What is the point? After all the games played the player’s bodies need to be relaxed ahead of the final. It’s not as if they had an extensive break and now need to get fit.
Better off going to Baku early and start training whilst getting used their time & climate
— TrueSay (@TrueSaidIt) May 21, 2019