Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have insisted that Premier League games should not be postponed amid Arsenal’s latest request.
The Gunners have lodged a response for their North London Derby meeting with Tottenham this weekend to be called off due to a number of injuries, Africa Cup of Nations call-ups and Covid cases having hit their squad.
Should the request be granted, it would be the second game this weekend to fall foul, with Burnley vs Leicester already called off, whilst there is an ever-growing list of Premier League matches to be rescheduled due to various postponements.
Neville has suggested that matches should now be played regardless, with clubs seemingly taking advantage of the current rules set out by the league.
Talking on Sky Sports, the former Manchester United man said: “I honestly believe that all teams, not just actually in the Premier League but in the EFL, now must be made to play their fixtures.
“Balogun’s gone on-loan, Maitland-Niles has gone on loan, Xhaka got a red card, that’s not the fault of anybody else. We can’t be calling fixtures off.
“If it was down to Covid and 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 whether they think they’ve got the best team to win a game.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool icon Carragher shares the same opinion and believes that clubs in England should be following the example set by major leagues throughout Europe.
He said: “I don’t want this to be about Arsenal, I think Gary’s right, this is about the Premier League as a whole. This is not having a dig at Arsenal, we’re just talking on the back of them being the latest club. Every club has done this.
“No other league in Europe is doing this, certainly in those big leagues. Bayern Munich played a 16-year-old in the last game and that tells you exactly where they are. Why can’t we do that? We can’t our young players be given an opportunity in these circumstances?
“Everyone is in the same boat and I’m exactly with Gary. If it’s an outbreak of Covid and decimated the squad, I can understand but players being in the AFCON tournament, just normal injuries, that’s got nothing to do with it. You’ve got U23 squads, you’ve got younger players as well. This is an opportunity where they may get the chance.
“I know there’s a lot riding on Premier League games, I totally understand that but at this moment, I think teams are no doubt taking advantage of it.”
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