Mikel Arteta is seeking ‘clarity’ over Premier League postponements as the division deals with rising cases of Covid-19.
Five fixtures have already been postponed ahead of the Premier League’s weekend action, following on from the cancellation of several games this week, including Leicester’s clash with Tottenham and Manchester United’s trip to Brentford.
Arsenal‘s clash with Leeds is scheduled to go ahead as planned at present, with Arteta providing an update on the north London side ahead of the trip to Elland Road.
The Spaniard also spoke on the current situation and revealed his hope that greater clarity can be provided from the Premier League on postponements, amid fears over the pandemic’s impact on the sporting integrity of the competition.
“We are good. We are waiting for more tests which we will have this afternoon so we will wait and see,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
“Health wise I hope we’re doing everything we can to protect everybody. The vaccine protocols are in place. I’m sure with everything we are doing we can do our best to maintain everybody healthy.
“In terms of the competition there we need more clarity on why those games are not being played and what you need to not play a game so you can maintain the fairness of the competition and for me this is a big thing now.”
Arteta said that his side will always want to play in the ‘right conditions’, but reiterated his desire for clarity from Premier League authorities to ensure fairness across the division.
“We always want to play when we have the right conditions to do so, 100%,” said Arteta.
“But we’ve been here on the other side of the table when we’ve had all the arguments in the world to not play a football match and ended up playing it. That’s why we need clarity because the fairness of the competition can be altered.”
The 39-year-old discussed the work that Arsenal have done in providing an education on the virus, outlining his belief that both football and society will have to deal with the impact of covid ‘for longer than we expected’.
“We have done a lot of work and tried to educate our players and everyone involved in the club. It is a social thing.
“Everybody is going through something unprecedented and we are all learning and starting to normalise a situation that we have not been through.
“We have to live with this virus and probably for longer than we expected.”
The prospect of a Premier League circuit breaker has been circled this week, with Brentford’s Thomas Frank having been amongst the leading names calling for an entire cancellation of this weekend’s fixtures.
Arteta refused to be drawn on a potential circuit breaker and believes decisions over a break should be made by those with specialised knowledge.
“There are people who know more than me to find out what the best solution is. It is not something I want to give an opinion on because I am not a scientist and not a specialist. We have to rely on the government and Premier League to try to make the best decision.”