“Just impossible” – Mikel Arteta on player welfare and integrity of competition issues

Mikel Arteta says it is impossible to accomplish both protecting the well-being of players and ensuring the integrity of the competition during the holiday season amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A series of postponements over the holiday season has brought to light the dense game schedule during the holiday season, and Arteta says it is impossible to protect both the well-being of players and the integrity of the competition.

“We had a managers meeting where we tried to expose our feelings and the situation but the decisions are already made, so now we are not going to change that,” Arteta began.

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“I basically said that we were discussing two things, namely the well-being of the players and the integrity of the competition.

In this situation, I think we are wasting our time trying to accomplish both, because then people say you have to use common sense, and common sense again in this situation doesn’t work.

“So whether we change the rules, whether we change the testing system (Covid-19), we change everything, we change or we can’t keep doing it, trying to achieve those two things, because that’s is simply impossible. “

Arteta is not the only manager to bemoan the heavy workload demanded from the players, Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp have spoken in recent days.

It’s a ridiculous schedule, ”Leicester boss Rodgers said.

“We all know the players aren’t fully recovered for 72 hours after a game, so for us to play on a Tuesday against Liverpool it’s ridiculous.

However, we have to play the game so there will be hardly any physical labor, just recovery and then we will watch video footage and prepare.

Klopp said the Premier League’s reluctance to reintroduce the rule allowing five substitutes has only made the problem worse.

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“We wanted to play Boxing Day, we could have played Boxing Day without any problem,” Klopp said.

“But then playing the 26th and 28th just isn’t right. I think you can work out some solutions for that. It’s not that hard to play in a slightly different way, 26th (then) 29th, where is the problem, some teams are doing it. “

“[This] is the best league in the world, the most intense league in the world is the only league in Europe and maybe the world, I don’t know, we still have three substitutes. “

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