Gary Neville has hit out at Arsenal for trying to postpone Sunday’s North London derby with Tottenham and is calling on the Premier League to reject their request.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly asked the Premier League to rearrange Sunday’s game with Antonio Conte’s side. With Arsenal in fifth and Spurs just behind in sixth, the game is likely to have a crucial bearing on the race to fourth.
However, with up to 12 players missing through injury, suspension and international call-ups, Arsenal have reportedly asked for a postponement. Indeed, their situation is aggravated by Granit Xhaka’s Liverpool red card that left Arteta less than impressed.
And with only one senior central midfielder available in Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arteta has serious selection problems.
However, Neville is angry with Arsenal for submitting the request and insists they are more than capable of kicking a team out.
“I sincerely believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but also in the EFL, must play their matches now,” Gary Neville said ahead of Brighton’s game against Crystal Palace.
“[Folarin] Balogun left on loan, [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles was loaned out, [Granit] Xhaka received a red card – it’s no one else’s fault.
Gary Neville sends a clear message
“We cannot cancel the meetings. If it was only due to Covid and extraordinary circumstances where there were 10 or 15 players absent [it would be acceptable].
“But, we’re now talking about teams over the past few weeks where there’s no doubt that they’ve canceled games, that they think they have the best team or the best team to win a game.”
Meanwhile, in another issue, there are concerns over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following a health crisis.
Arteta honest about Arsenal situation
As Martin Odegaard self-isolates after a positive Covid case, Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares also look dubious. This is after the pair received knocks in Thursday’s goalless draw at Liverpool.
Although he hasn’t confirmed whether he’s asking for a postponement, he admits feeling anxious about losing other players.
“I don’t know, it’s hard to say that honestly without evaluating our players. But what today is very unlikely, tomorrow is likely to happen,” a provisional Arteta admitted.
“It went the other way for us when we were ready to play a game and twice it’s been postponed. It’s after the other team got into trouble – so it can go either way. But our intention is always to play.
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