Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech have both been sent home early from Czech Republic duty, after national team coach Pavel Vrba reached an agreement with both Premier League giants over his star duo.
Rosicky earned his 100th cap for the Czech Republic when he captained the side in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Latvia, but did so under the weather after picking up a cold in the run-up to that showdown.
Vrba decided there was nothing to be gained in risking the 33-year-old in Tuesday's friendly against Slovakia, which means Rosicky will be given time to recover before returning to London early this week. The same goes for Cech, who is managing a muscle problem and also won't travel to Zilina as a precaution.
Concessions made for key pair
In an interview with Czech broadcaster Česká Televize national team co-ordinator Dušan Fitzel admitted that he'd held talks with Arsenal and Chelsea and eventually agreed a compromise so Rosicky and Cech were able to start against Latvia, even though the pair are now fairly peripheral for London's two biggest clubs.
Vrba said: "We did so by prior arrangement and took into account the health status of some players. “The coach, Pavel Vrba, moreover, was notified in advance and will give an opportunity against the Slovak Republic to players who, in the past, have not had adequate representation.”
Nervy midweek ahead for both Wenger & Mourinho
Rosicky has been laid low by illness in recent weeks, not even making the squad for the Champions League showdown against Monaco a fortnight ago.
The veteran playmaker recovered for a cameo role in a 2-1 win over Newcastle United before heading off to become a Czech centurion, but should now be considered at least doubtful for Arsenal's crunch Premier League clash with Liverpool this weekend.
Cech meanwhile is probably lower risk ahead of Chelsea's return to action against Stoke this weekend, after all if his muscle problem was that severe surely 90 minutes against Latvia would not have been possible.
The timing is poor for the Chelsea veteran considering mistakes from Thibaut Courtois against Hull last time out, although Jose Mourinho has already made it clear who his first-choice stopper is so in the grand scheme of things the Blues will consider themselves lucky a more important player isn't struggling with a fresh injury problem.
Arsenal and Chelsea fans, do you wish agreements like this were in place with bigger international teams for more important players at crucial times of the season like this? Let us know in the comment box below!
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