Mikel Arteta says he feels lucky to have come through a Covid-19 infection without any secondary impact on his health, and says that everyone – in football or otherwise – needs to be mindful that the virus is still prevalent in society.
The Arsenal boss was diagnosed in March, precipitating the shutdown of English football, and even this week there was a sharp reminder after David Moyes and two West Ham players tested positive for Covid days after our 2-1 win over them at the Emirates Stadium.
The fact that some players will be travelling away to play international fixtures is another concern, widening their potential contacts and increasing their risk of exposure.
Arteta was asked if it was important that football continued despite the recent increase in cases – something which has delayed the return of fans to stadiums, and said, “Obviously we have much more information right now than we had many months ago when that happened.
“As well the bubbles that the Premier League clubs and the government have been able to create, to try to maintain everybody as safe as possible. I think it’s working really, really well.
“But we all know that the issue is still there, that is not going away. And we have to give the same approach. Be always very careful, very conservative, and try somewhat to maintain this business alive, because it’s really important in in many, many aspects.
“We are lucky in our profession that we can find a way and not many professions can say that.
“So let’s respect that and try to keep going in the best possible way.”
On players who will be away, he continued, “When everybody starts to fly away to very different countries, I think at the moment it is a little bit of a different experience.
“And we don’t know what the outcome is. We want to believe that they will follow a lot of things that are implemented and are working well.
“So fingers crossed that we don’t get any bad news from there.”