Mikel Arteta Lashes Out At Arsenal Critics Over NLD Postponement.
After criticizing the reaction to the delay of their north London derby with Tottenham, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said his club has “never, ever questioned” when matches have been put off.
It is thought that they only had one Covid case, but they took advantage of Premier League restrictions governing the number of minimum available players required for a match to go place, with squad members unavailable due to injury, suspension, or international service.
Spurs said they were “extremely surprised” by the decision, while boss Antonio Conte went further when he said: “If the Premier League decides to postpone games for injury, it means that maybe they have to try to make a best schedule and to reduce many to play games. This the first time in my life that there is a league that has postponed the game for injuries. It is very strange and surprising.”
Arteta, on the other hand, has come out fighting after accusations that they were manipulating the system.
“We didn’t have the players necessary to put a squad out to compete in a Premier League match, that is 100 percent guaranteed,” Arteta said.
This is a no-win situation. When we played the first three games of the season when other games were off, we were killed and called naive, and told when you have that many players out – don’t play with your kids. Now we postpone a match for all the right reasons – believe me – and we get these reactions?”
“I am telling you what we’ve done, when a team has come to us and said we cannot play and these are the reasons why we cannot play and the game has been postponed, we have never, ever publicly questioned any of that and we will not.
“That’s why we have the Premier League and the other regulators, to consider and find out and do their due diligence to postpone a match, to try and maintain the fairness of the competition.
“We have been very consistent. We played (Nottingham) Forest when we had 10 players out.”It got to a point where we could not put a squad out, that is why we didn’t play. As simple as that.”
Arsenal are set to meet Liverpool in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final (0-0) tomorrow night, and while Arteta thinks the game will go ahead, he was hesitant to divulge team news.
“I don’t want to because I don’t want to give anything away. There are issues, there are issues that have not been resolved, that’s why we could not play the last game.“I hope that there is no more news and the game can be played.”