With domestic football on the back-burner for a fortnight, Arsenal are currently out in Dubai where they will play a mid-season friendly against Al-Nasr because money.
While certainly unusual, the fixture isn’t entirely without precendent, especially as the Gunners have been playing exhibition games out in the gulf for decades.
Indeed, in December of 1976, Terry Neill and his team flew out for a friendly against an Al-Nasr side managed by Pat Saward, formerly of Aston Villa, who were reigning champions of the Arabian Gulf League.
The conditions were fairly dire, with the temperature up above 30 degrees celsius and strong winds blowing across a pitch that looked more like a shallow quarry…
Arsenal won the match 3-1 but, according to the AFP match report, “the Arab side gave a good account of themselves” in defeat.
See, there really is nothing new in football.