Premier League COVID-19 concerns: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that the 2020-21 Premier League season is likely to face considerable challenges based upon the recent rise in COVID-19 cases among PL players.
The spike in PL players testing positive is particularly worrying to Arteta, given they were only away from their respective club’s structured environment for a short period between the end of the 2019-20 season and the start of preseason.
Paul Pogba is the highest-profile individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19, but he’s not the only one. According to a report, at least four Chelsea players are thought to have contracted the virus during their rest period with a number of other players currently undergoing periods of quarantine rather than joining their teammates in training. Arteta himself was one of the first high-profile cases connected to the PL back in March, prior to the league shutting down for three months.
Asked on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s FA Community Shield against Liverpool, whether or not the uncertainty makes his job more difficult, and whether or not that uncertainty means the season walks a very fine line between being possible and impossible, Arteta explained why that is exactly the case — quotes from the Guardian:
“Yes, and I think we are going to have many more cases in the future, unfortunately.
“You are just planning to do something and then that player tests positive, and that positive was a false-positive. We are trying to get used to it, get around it, and trying to manage the situation as well as we can. There is not much we can do and we know that there are some uncertainties we cannot control at the moment.”
PL clubs unable to fulfill a scheduled fixture due to COVID-related issues have been instructed to approach the PL board regarding a potential postponement. Each instance will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Confirmed cases of the virus were minimal — almost nonexistent — upon restarting the season as players and staff effectively operated inside of a bubble. That same commitment and and adherence to protocols will be required once again if the season is to go off without a hitch.