Mikel Arteta has urged the Premier League to continue playing despite a recent rise in positive tests among top flight clubs, with the Gunners boss insisting that the current Covid-19 protocols are ‘working’.
With recent postponements in the last week, including Manchester City’s clash with Everton on Monday and Fulham’s trip to Tottenham on Wednesday, there have been calls for the Premier League to take action and put in a place a brief circuit breaker in order to tackle the rising cases.
While new West Brom manager Sam Allardyce has already given his support to the idea, it appears that as yet there is no plan to call a halt to league action, with the hectic festive schedule continuing as ‘normal’.
One major obstacle preventing the implementation of a two-week break from top-flight action is the already crammed nature of the current fixture list, with limited space available to enable games to be played at a later date.
However, Arsenal manager Arteta – whose positive Coronavirus test back in March triggered the three-month postponement of the 2019/20 campaign – insists there is no need to pause league action with the current protocols have shown to effectively minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
“We are all concerned with our own health and with what is going on around us,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“But all the protocol that we have in place, everything that we do around the training ground, around football matches and the fact that we play outdoors, it minimises the risks a lot.
“You see the records since we started to test, it is incredibly positive and I think as long as we can we have to carry on doing that, obviously without putting anyone at risk.
“But I think we have shown the system is working. OK in the last week or so something has happened, I think we are going to have more restrictions and more tests to try to be as efficient as we were before. And we will see. I think it can work and we can carry on.”