Former players Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both believe that clubs should be forced to play games as they are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The backlash comes after Arsenal requests for their North London Derby to be postponed as they have insufficient players. They have a number of players missing because of coronavirus, suspension, and the Africa Cup of Nations.
“I honestly believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but the EFL now, must be made to play their fixtures,” Gary Neville said. “Folarin Balogun and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have gone on loan, Granit Xhaka’s got a red card – that’s not the fault of anybody else. We can’t be calling fixtures off. If it was purely down to Covid in extraordinary circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players out, but we’re now talking about teams for the last few weeks where there’s no doubt they’ve been calling games off based upon whether they think they’ve got the best squad or team to win a game. It’s got to stop.”
“I don’t want this to be about Arsenal, it’s about the Premier League as a whole. Every club has done this,” Jamie Carragher said echoing the words of Gary Neville. “No other league in Europe is doing this, certainly not in those big leagues. Bayern Munich played a 16-year-old in their last game and that tells you exactly where they are. Why can’t we do that? Why can’t the young players be given an opportunity in these circumstances?”