By Tony Attwood
The International Champions Cup has been kicking around for six years in what has often appeared to be a fairly incomprehensible format which leads to confusion as to who, if anyone, actually won the trophy each time it is played.
This summer, it is held in the USA, Singapore and parts of Europe in a manner that still makes it less than obvious who has won. But the organisers insist it is a tournament with rules and a winner.
After the fiasco in China in which a referee would not allow Arsenal to make a substiitution because the player to be brought on did not appear on the officially Party sanctioned list of players, China is not being used anymore. In the Far East it is Singapore.
The whole shebang is owned by a multi-billionaire (naturally) and it does draw the crowds. And the clubs get paid, and of course it does allow supporters in far off places to see the teams they otherwise only support on TV (a bit like people in Cornwall watching Man U I suppose).
This time around Europe and Singapore will hold 10 games between them, and the USA has 27 games. We are told each club involved plays three games (although I am not quite sure how that works with 37 games) and this time there is going to be a champion, who quite possibly the sponsors will announce in advance. It starts today and ends on August 11.
There are some big names involved along with Arsenal, including PSG, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid, Liverpool! Man C, Man U, Chelsea, and yes Les enfants un peu petits. (The Tiny Totts, do try to keep up).
Bayern Munich and PSG start the the European games on July 21 tomorrow and the games are on Premier Sports which is available on Sky and Virgin costing around £10 to £12 a month. Or you can watch it online on the Premier Player.
Our games are below – times are BST.
- 26 July: Atletico Madrid v Arsenal. Singapore. Kick off 12.35pm*
- 28 July: Arsenal v PSG. Singapore. Kick off 12.35pm*
- 1 August: Arsenal v Chelsea. Dublin kick off 8.05pm
*Some sources say 12.30pm. You might want to turn on that bit earlier just in case. Oh, and that is 12.35pm meaning lunchtime, not just after midnight. Just thought I would make that clear.
Lucas Torreira and Danny Welbeck are apparently not going to the far east but the rest of the squad is. Or at least the rest of the squad who played in the earlier games against Boreham Wood and Crawley. Not sure about Xhaka. If you have seen him at the airport, do let us know.
Anyone not going other than Torreira and Welbeck could be a dead cert to be leaving the club. So watch out for
- Monreal: if he is not there it means the transfer out deal is on… although I rather suspect not.
- Joe Willock – if he is not there he really has fallen out of favour, unless he has an injury. But he could be felt to be in need of a season long loan, so that might be what happens next.
- Joel Campbell – if he is not there, the question is, is he still on holiday after the WC or is he now for sale?
- Ooooospina – persistent stories of him leaving, and if he isn’t on this tour it would seem certain.
- Deyan Iliev and Matt Macey – if Ospina leaves will one of these two step up as the 4th keeper? If Cech and Ospina leave could they both be brought in as back up keepers.
- Cohen Bramall – no sign of him with the squad, so we suspect he’s leaving or at least being loaned
- Petr Cech – if he is on tour then presumably the stories of him going to Chelsea are fantasy.
- Chuba Akpom – if he isn’t on tour then that looks like a departure.
- Is Monreal really leaving? A lack of alternatives could be worrying.
- Transfer window gone wrong: how PL clubs blundered with the early closure
- Forthcoming games, the touring party, and what happens after we leave the EU?
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women