Mikel Arteta has once again urged the Premier League to show greater clarity on what the precise guidelines are for match postponements around covid. At time of writing, Arsenal’s match away at Leeds tomorrow is one of only two games set to be played in the Premier League this weekend with a slew of postponements due to covid outbreaks at clubs.
Arsenal had four covid cases when they played Brentford on the opening game of the season but had their request to have the game postponed denied and Arteta has, not for the first time, asked the Premier League to draft clear guidelines around postponements rather than the ‘case-by-case’ policy they are currently adopting.
“We need much more clarity about why games are not getting played and what is needed not to play a game. We are all playing in the same league and the most important thing is that, within this context, we are able to maintain the fairness of the competition.
“For me this is a big thing now. We always want to play when we have the right conditions to do so, 100%. We have been here on the other side of the table when we had all of the arguments in the world not to play a football match and we ended up playing it.
“We need clarity because otherwise the fairness of the competition can be altered and that wouldn’t be fair.” Arteta was tight-lipped about the precise covid situation with Arsenal, only adding that the players were tested on Friday morning and they will get the results this afternoon.
He also wouldn’t be drawn on the number of players at Arsenal that are fully vaccinated, “We have done a lot of work to educate players and everyone at the club but we are trying to normalise a situation we have never been through. We are trying to help everybody as well as we can and to live in the context we have to live in today, that we have to live with this virus and probably for longer than we all expected.
“We have been clear about the risks, how we can get it and what to do if we do but we all have relatives, we all have people around us who have been through this in many different ways and I think everyone’s awareness is pretty good. But it’s difficult to control what happens outside when everything is open, those bubbles we were able to create before are now impossible to do.”