Gary Neville said the Premier League should force teams to meet their matches after Arsenal asked to postpone Sunday’s north London derby, while Jamie Carragher believes clubs are benefiting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Just 48 hours before their match at Tottenham, Arsenal requested that the match be postponed due to the lack of enough players.
Arsenal has a group of players missing due to the Corona virus, injury, suspension and the African Nations Cup.
Earlier on Friday, Burnley’s Premier League match against Leicester on Saturday was postponed due to Covid cases and injuries in the Clarets squad.
But former Premier League defenders Neville and Carragher were in agreement Friday Night Football That Tottenham vs Arsenal should go ahead and that the top clubs in England should stop using the coronavirus as an excuse to postpone matches.
Neville: This has to stop now!
“I honestly think all the teams, not just in the Premier League but in the Premier League now, should play their games,” Neville said.
“Folarin Balogun and Ainsley Maitland-Niles borrowed, Granit Xhaka got a red card – it’s not anyone else’s fault. We can’t cancel matches.
“If it was up to Covid in exceptional circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players, but now we are talking about teams in the last few weeks where there is no doubt that they have been stopping matches based on whether they think they have got the best team or team. To win the match, it has to stop.
“This is not research at Arsenal – I should have talked about this three or four weeks ago.
“Manchester United and the other teams have 30 to 40 players on their team – I don’t think they can get 13 to 16 players together.
“For me, it is [Arsenal’s request] It must be rejected.
“Without knowing the finer details, unless there are a large number of Covid cases coming today at Arsenal, I feel like I played last night in Liverpool, we have to stop this now and we have to get the teams playing.”
Carragher: Young players should be given a chance
“I don’t want this to be about Arsenal, it’s about the Premier League as a whole,” Carragher said. “Every team has done that.”
“No other league in Europe does this, certainly not in those big leagues. Bayern Munich played a 16-year-old in their last game and that tells you exactly where they are. Why can’t we do that? Why? The young players don’t get a chance at Under these conditions?
“Everyone is in the same boat and I am exactly with my neighbor. If it was a Covid outbreak and decimated the team, I can understand, but the players are in the Africa Cup of Nations and they have normal injuries, it has nothing to do with this.
“You have under-23 teams and young players, and this is an opportunity where they can get a chance.
“I know there is a lot of riding in the Premier League matches, but at this moment there is no doubt that the up and coming teams of this country are benefiting from this situation.”
Tuchel ‘very angry’ if Covid rules are abused
Asked if he felt abusing the Covid rules, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said on Friday: “I very much hope that’s not the case, otherwise I would be very angry.
“We do our best to make matches happen and we were playing when we thought maybe we shouldn’t. So, I can only hope very much that the rules are the same for everyone.”
Chelsea reported one positive test for Covid-19 prior to the trip to Manchester City at 12:30pm on Saturday in the Premier League, with Andreas Christensen now in isolation.
The Danish defender had recently returned from injury due to an injury, but was sidelined again after he came back with a positive test. However, Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are in contention to participate, albeit with a little training time under their belts.
“We have one positive test for Covid with Andreas Christensen,” Tuchel said. “So he will come out for this match.
“For the news that Andreas Christensen is out again after we’ve waited so long for him, and now he’s playing really, really hard, and again out. It’s a setback for everyone, for us mentally.
“Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are back, but Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante are in one training session.
“I finally got my players back, and it’s like fishing.”
Hasenhuttl: PL ‘opening the door’ to devious Covid rules
In his press conference on Friday, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was vocal about the lack of transparency over postponements and how the Premier League handled them.
“They opened the door, and you can’t be surprised that someone is passing by now. I can’t say anything about the Covid situation there because that’s usually the reason why the Games are canceled.
“You have no opinion, no transparency, and you can’t say anything about it. The rest is just speculation.
“The Premier League has to deal with this. That’s why I say that new players / signings should not be allowed to play in canceled matches when they weren’t there before this match is due. This is a problem they have and it is difficult to solve at the moment.”
What English Premier League matches have been cancelled?
Brighton vs Tottenham – Sunday December 12
Brentford vs Man United Tuesday 14th December (Now Jan 19, 8 p.m.)
Burnley Watford match – Wednesday 15th December (Now Jan 18, 7.30 p.m.)
Leicester vs Tottenham Thursday, December 16th (Now Jan 19, 7.30 p.m.)
Manchester United vs Brighton Saturday 18th December
Southampton – Brentford Saturday, December 18; Southampton won the rematch 4-1 on Tuesday 11 January
Watford vs Crystal Palace Saturday 18th December
West Ham vs Norwich Saturday 18th December; West Ham won the rematch 2-0 on Wednesday 12 January
Aston Villa vs Burnley Saturday 18th December
Everton vs Leicester Sunday 19 December and Tuesday 11 January
Liverpool vs Leeds – Sunday 26 December
Wolverhampton vs Watford – Sunday 26 December
Burnley vs Everton match – Sunday 26 December
Leeds vs Aston Villa Tuesday 28th December
Arsenal vs wolves Tuesday 28th December
Everton x Newcastle Thursday, December 30th
Leicester vs Norwich – Saturday January 1
Southampton – Newcastle – Sunday 2 January
Everton vs Leicester – Tuesday, January 11th (As above, this game has already been pushed back from its original date of Sunday, December 19th)
Burnley vs Leicester Saturday January 15th
What are the Premier League rules about postponements?
The 2021/22 Premier League handbook included the Covid protocols and stated that the Premier League’s board of directors would “only allow a re-arrangement or postponement of a league match in exceptional circumstances”.
The board is making calls on a case-by-case basis and by directing the Premier League says permission to defer will not be granted if the club has 14 or more players from the squad list available.
However, after a number of matches were postponed in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a new Premier League guide has been published explaining protocols for postponing matches.
There, these factors are taken into account when deciding to postpone a Premier League match:
1) The impact of COVID-19 injuries on the club’s team, as well as injuries, illness and isolation, the number of players available on the team’s roster and any under-21 players with appropriate experience. When the club is unable to bring in 13 off-field players and a goalkeeper either from the team’s roster or its appropriately experienced under-21 players, the match will be postponed.
2) The status of any outbreak of COVID-19 within the club, including the number of individuals affected, the sequence and source of infection and their proximity to the match in question.
3) The club’s ability to prepare its players safely in the lead-up to the match.
4) Medical advice on whether there are any unacceptable risks to the health and safety of players and staff by playing the match.
5) Any advice from the UK’s Health Security Agency and other public bodies.
6) Any other exceptional circumstances.