Once again, we have a parade of managers bemoaning the international break for friendlies this week, only days before the start of the season. Steve Bruce is the latest to speak out.
What they forget is that the European leagues begin at different times, so I am not certain that this week's date was selected strictly to get the collective knickers of the Prem clubs in a knot. After all, it's not all about Engand. Is it? ;)
Friendlies are a money-maker first and foremost, and can sometimes provide a decent test as part of the qualifying campaign, especially for countries that need all the help they can get.
Having said that, I really only watch them when they are against top class opposition, as we have this week v Holland.
From what I can gather, there is only one actual qualifier - NI v Faroes.
Scotland have Denmark
ROI have Croatia
Wales have Australia
Other than that, there are some tasty matchups in Germany v Brazil, Italy v Spain and Malta v Central African Republic.
Are the managers right? Is the risk of injury this soon in (or before) the campaign too great? Should they have asked their top talent to feign injury and/or develop a cold to avoid the call-up?