Numerous outlets are running with the tale that our game against the Arsenal on Sunday might be postponed. On the face of it, maybe the Arsenal gaffer has a point, telling ESPN that the Gunners are missing 9 or 10 players.
What is quite extraordinary about this load of old toffee is that most of the club’s absentees are self-inflicted. Only Martin Odegaard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are listed with Premier League Injuries as being victims of the pandemic. Granit Xhaka is suspended.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has a Calf/Shin/Heel Injury. Emile Smith Rowe has a Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury. Sead Kolasinac, Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka, and Calum Chambers are all carrying assorted injuries…
Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, and Nicolas Pepe are all away playing in the African Cup of Nations!
So in truth, Arsenal has 2 Covid cases and 6 injuries. The last time I checked, that was 8 legitimate absences.
The Premier League’s position was outlined clearly: clubs were told no postponements would be permitted where 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper from the squad list were available. Beyond this, additionally experienced U21 players would be considered.
Additionally, crying wolf won’t be tolerated. Any suspicious ‘injured players’ could face a house call from the Premier League’s chief medical officer to confirm the status of the individual(s).
Must try harder.