Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s positive coronavirus test was arguably one of the stories that hammered home the path COVID-19 was going to run through the soccer world.
Arteta is now feeling better, and said he was fortunate that his case was not severe. He’s also grateful that his three children under 10 did not catch the virus.
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The Arsenal boss and his wife must know how fortunate they are to have a nanny, as both contracted to the virus before the nanny joined the afflicted.
“Thank God, the kids never got it,” he said via Football.London. “We are all completely fine now. … We could not prevent it in our home. I think it was too late by the time we had the positive test as well. We were reacting and now that’s why I insist that instead of reacting, you have the chance now to stay at home and prevent a lot of situations. We have to do it.”
Arteta also detailed the challenges in running a Premier League club in isolation, but he thinks the homework he’s given his players might get them thinking about the next stage in their careers.
“There are things we have to maintain doing, improve and develop, and individually they are really enjoying the challenge. We might get a few coaches after this virus, or at least a few players that are willing to go down that path because I think they are really enjoying the process.”
[ MORE: What we love about Arsenal ]
The Premier League is done with game action through at least April 30. The silver lining is even more time for his players to digest Arteta’s plans for the long-term.
Arsenal have announced they have canceled their return to training.
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Their manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus on March 12 and since then the entire Arsenal first team and staff have been in self-isolation.
That was due to finish this week and the team were supposed to return to training on Tuesday but given the escalating coronavirus pandemic and things escalating in the UK, Arsenal have released the following statement urging the public to stay at home.
“Our men’s first-team players were scheduled to return to training on Tuesday after completing 14 days isolation following Mikel Arteta‘s positive diagnosis for the virus. As a result of the current situation we are clear it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to ask players to come back at this time. Therefore our men’s first team, women and academy players are all remaining at home. Stay at home and save lives.”
That last sentence is the most important thing here.
Arsenal’s players and staff could perhaps return to training but with the PL season suspended until at least April 30, there is no rush.
But this seems to be more about making a statement as many Londoners continue to ignore warnings from the UK government about social distancing.
Every Premier League club should follow their lead in releasing statements urging people to listen to government advice and stay inside and away from others to help to flatten the curve and save thousands of lives.
Latest coronavirus connections to soccer:
UPDATE: Per a statement from Brighton & Hove Albion, Arsenal’s fixture away to Brighton, previously schedule for Saturday, has been postponed.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is the latest individual in world soccer to test positive for coronavirus, the club confirmed in a statement on Thursday, less than 48 hours before the Gunners are tentatively scheduled to face Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League action.
[ STATEMENT: PL to convene for “emergency club meeting” on Friday ]
Below are key excerpts from the club’s statement, which you can read in full here:
Our London Colney training center has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening.
Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
Head of football Raul Sanllehi added: “Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows. Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.”
It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates. We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.
We are now working to trace any other people who have had recent close contact with Mikel. We will let them know what has happened and they should follow the NHS guidance which is likely to recommend self-isolation.
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Does Mikel Arteta have the upper hand on Pep Guardiola?
Arsenal’s boss certainly doesn’t have the resume or reputation of Man City’s wizard, but Arteta will enter Wednesday’s match with plenty of information.
Arteta, of course, sat next to Guardiola for years at Man City before leaving mid-season to take the manager’s job at Arsenal.
[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]
It’s fair to say that Arteta has a bigger book on what Guardiola will attempt at the Etihad Stadium than the other way around.
“It gives me a very clear idea of what they are trying to do, what they will be looking to do but it’s something different to be able to stop that and as well create the issues that I think we can create for them,” Arteta said, via Football.London. “That has to happen on the day, when they are at their best, we know what they are capable of doing, the variation they have. At the end of the day, it’s about the players on the pitch and their performance.”
A win from the Gunners would really improve their unlikely top four stock while weakening Man City’s hold on second place.
Arsenal definitely has the attacking firepower to challenge Man City’s suspect back line, and Arteta will know the pressure points as well as anyone. He’ll know what Guardiola most fears from his men, too.
That said, Guardiola will know what Arteta knows and, at the risk of making this too convoluted, might have some surprises in store not unlike the Gabriel Jesus at left mid he deployed versus Real Madrid.
How surprised would you be by an Arsenal win at the Etihad?
Mikel Arteta‘s delayed return to the Etihad Stadium is coming up soon.
Man City and Arsenal’s fixture has been rescheduled for a week from Wednesday, the assistant set to match wits with old boss Pep Guardiola.
[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]
The match will also be Pablo Mari’s first chance to match-up with his old club.
Arsenal’s advancement in the FA Cup allowed few guaranteed openings in the schedule, though Man City is also favored to advance with a Wednesday trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
The Gunners are 7W-5D-2L since Arteta took the reins for a Boxing Day draw versus Bournemouth.
The match gives both sides three matches in a short period, with Arsenal hosting West Ham on Saturday and visiting Brighton on March 14.
City will have one less day’s rest after Sunday’s Manchester Derby at Old Trafford, and hosts Burnley on March 14.