If Cesc isn't fit, why the hell is he playing in Mexico?

By Graham McNorthbank

Spain: sun, sea, sand, corrupt planning officials and the scumbag football clubs otherwise known as Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Harsh? Maybe. But my patience for all things Spanish evaporated this summer with Barca's relentless tapping up of Cesc Fabregas - a cynical campaign that continues despite Fab 4 committing to the Gunners for  at least the season ahead.

So while Holland have given their World Cup final squad the night off from this evening's pointless international friendlies - meaning Robin van Persie can continue his recovery from the tournament - Spain have selected a near-full strength squad for a friendly in Mexico City.

That squad features players from both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but La Liga doesn't kick off until August 29, whereas our first game is a mere 48 hours after Cesc gets back from a trans-Atlantic flight.

Obviously the timing of these internationals could not come at a more stupid time, but while Arsenal showed some balls in standing up to Barca this season, maybe following it up by ruling unfit players out of travelling overseas on the eve of the new season would add some steel to that stance.

Man United boss Alex Ferguson does it time and time again, even when players are patently fit - just ask Fabio Capello. So why the hell does Arsene Wenger allow Fabregas - not only our captain, but our most influential player - to travel thousands of miles for a meaningless game when he's been telling us Gooners that Cesc won't be fit for the opening game of the season?

Am I the only one who's feeling a bit pissed off?