National teams are beginning to release their provisional squads for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France this summer. Arsenal players are no strangers to international football, often being run into the ground by summer after summer without a rest and the FA's incredibly wise, not-at-all idiotic decision to skip holiday breaks.
This summer promises to be another summer of breath-holding over possible injury with the Euros and the Copa America Centenario just a year out from the last Copa America. As you can tell, this is something about which I am in no way bitter. Let's get this over with.
England's squad actually came out yesterday. I can't find a tweet that contains the whole thing, so I'll just link the squad:
You'll notice the inclusion of Jack Wilshere, sure to be injured and out for the season by the time the tournament is over, and the exclusion of Theo Walcott - while 18-year-old Marcus Rashford's goal against Arsenal was apparently enough to earn him his first-ever international call-up. Worrying stuff for Theo's international future.
France's squad has already been released as well:
Goalkeepers: Benoit Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham).
Arsenal have two players on the squad for Les Bleus, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud. On-loan Mathieu Debuchy misses out due to injury, which he will undoubtedly blame on Arsene Wenger.
The Poland squad is also already out:
Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc (Bournemouth), Łukasz Fabianski (Swansea City), Wojciech Szczesny (Roma), Przemysław Tyton (Stuttgart).
Defenders: Thiago Cionek (Palermo), Paweł Dawidowicz (Benfica), Kamil Glik (Torino), Artur Jedrzejczyk (Legia Warsaw), Michał Pazdan (Legia Warsaw), Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund), Maciej Rybus (Terek Grozny), Bartosz Salamon (Cagliari), Jakub Wawrzyniak (Lechia Gdansk).
Midfielders: Jakub Blaszczykowski (Fiorentina), Kamil Grosicki (Rennes), Tomasz Jodlowiec (Legia Warsaw), Bartosz Kapustka (Cracovia), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla), Karol Linetty (Lech Poznan), Krzysztof Mączynski (Wisła Krakow), Slawomir Peszko (Lechia Gdansk), Filip Starzynski (Zaglebie Lubin), Paweł Wszołek (Verona), Piotr Zielinski (Empoli).
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax), Artur Sobiech (Hannover), Mariusz Stepinski (Ruch Chorzow).
Wojciech Szczesny has made his way back into the squad, along with former Arsenal player Lukasz Fabianski. Robert Lewandowski doesn't play for us, but I signed him once in FIFA after RvP left and we won the league comfortably. /danago'd.
Goalkeepers : Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Liverpool), Owain Fon Williams (Inverness).
Defenders: Ben Davies (Tottenham), Neil Taylor (Swansea), Chris Gunter (Reading), Ashley Williams (Swansea), James Chester (West Brom), Ashley Richards (Fulham), Paul Dummett (Newcastle), Adam Henley (Blackburn), Adam Matthews (Sunderland), James Collins (West Ham).
Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace), David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest), Joe Allen (Liverpool), David Cotterill (Birmingham), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace), George Williams (Fulham), Andy King (Leicester), Emyr Huws (Wigan), Dave Edwards (Wolves).
Forwards: Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Tom Bradshaw (Walsall), Tom Lawrence (Leicester), Simon Church (Nottingham Forest), Wes Burns (Walsall).
Gareth Bale is kept out for the Champions League final but will be in the squad thereafter, where he will join Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey.
Meanwhile, in Spain:
You will again notice the absence of... well, anyone at all who plays for Arsenal. Apparently Spain manager Vincente del Bosque would rather take a 10th-place defender like Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta than either of the two guys who helped keep the most clean sheets in the league, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal. Honestly, though, while I'm disappointed for them, I'm happy that two of our most consistent players from last season will not be threatened by injury and instead will just have to have heart attacks watching their friends instead.
Arsenal's star playmaker Mesut Ozil makes an unsurprising appearance on the Germany squad. Mertesacker is left out, but that is unsurprising given his retirement from international football after winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Former Gunner and fan favorite Lukas Podolski continues to get international call-ups along with 2014 Transfer Window MVP Sami Khedira. Kim Kallstrom will also be there for Sweden and Thomas Vermaelen will be there for Belgium. Hopefully they all will have a great party together.
The squads still to be named include Albania, Switzerland (which will likely feature Arsenal target Granit Xhaka), Russia, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, and Portugal.
We'll keep you updated on developments regarding Arsenal players as they come out.