This morning saw the announcement of England's World Cup squad, and like most people who aren't English, my first reaction was to scan the list for Arsenal players. Lo and behold, as most everyone expected, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will make the trip to Brazil.
One possible Arsenal connection will not be made, as Kieran Gibbs has been left out of the main squad in favor of Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw, and was not included on the standby list. It's a shame for him to be sure - I'd imagine every player wants to represent their country at a World Cup - but as an Arsenal fan, I'm pretty okay with him getting the summer off. Theo Walcott will also miss the tournament as he continues to rehabilitate his busted knee.
Speaking of Arsenal left-backs, a former standout is conspicuously absent from consideration. Ashley Cole, former Invincible and current Chelsea cash depository, was left entirely out of the team as well, and as a result has retired from international soccer. On the one hand, I can kind of see his point - it seems like he could have at least merited a standby place. On the other, he's pretty old, he's not even a regular starter for Chelsea anymore, and since it's not like England are winning anything it looks like in certain spots they're looking to the future a bit. Also it's Ashley Cole, so feel free to laugh at him if you like.