Are the Arsenal players suffering as much as the fans – if not more?

2020 has been a long hard year for most people in the world since the spectre of COVID-19 raised its ugly head, and the government (along with the billionaire owners!) made it a priority to get the Premier League going again, despite the terrible restrictions placed on the general population.

Since the restart, the EPL has proven to be a welcome distraction for the poor folk that had to isolate themselves from the rest of society, and although the players are being very well rewarded for providing some entertainment, there has been little thought given to the mental effects on the players themselves, many of whom are far away from their families and friends at this worrying time.

Mikel Arteta admitted how hard it was for his Arsenal players, who are suddenly being forced to isolate even more than the rest of us, and then rolled out for our entertainment, albeit in empty stadiums, and he admits that it can be a very lonely life for very many of them. They are used to being in the spotlight in front of thousands of fans, and either celebrating (or commiserating) with the crowd and their fellow professionals depending on the result. Now their lives are pretty empty of human contact, and Arteta acknowledged the difficulties on “It is definitely affecting the players,”

“Now, for example with the lockdown: you win at Old Trafford, you feel excited, your adrenaline is really high, you go home and you want to celebrate, you want to do something, but you just go home, by yourself – some of the players live by themselves – and you go home, sit on the sofa, and that’s it.

“To find that purpose and say, ‘Okay, I work so hard for this moment, I want to enjoy it, I want to have people around me’ but you have nothing, so it is a completely different life.

“In our case, when you try to build a new project you need to engage the fans with the team. They have to see live what the team is transmitting. It is completely different on the TV, you are not able to do that.

“Without creating that chemistry between players and fans, for them to believe, for them to see live what we are trying to do, it is complicated. We need that. The players have to feel, ‘Wow, these guys are really behind us, they are really pushing, they are liking what we are trying to do… I feel more motivated, more engaged, I want to participate’ – and we are lacking that.”

Thankfully, there is now light at the end of the tunnel but there are still thousands of people dying every day around the world, and we can still expect at least a few more months of that until the vaccine can be widely distributed.

A lot of Arsenal fans are worried about not being able to spend Xmas with their families, but please spare a thought for the the players, especially the young ones that are thousands of miles from their families, who are going to have a very lonely Christmas indeed…

Tags Arteta Covid-19


  1. Agree with Arteta here, it can be really very difficult for the players, both mentally and physically, who are giving so much for us. Off topic, I hear that global pharmaceutical giant Faiser has come up with a vaccine that has 95%efficacy to protect against covid and they are planning to roll out the vaccine by early next year. Let us hope and pray.

    1. Except we will have these stupid anti Vaxxers and their silly little conspiracy theories spoiling it for the rest of us ,telling us it’s a phoney Pandemic .
      But I suppose we will always have idiots in the world .

      1. I’m just watching CNN and the USA had 2000 deaths yesterday, and every single day, having passed 250,000 confirmed deaths.
        I guess we know Americans are phony, no?

          1. Hi Dan, that wasn’t a question at you. It was simply a view that I can’t understand how idiots can claim it is a “phony virus” when it is clearly killing so many people all the over the world.

            If I hear that “more people die from flu” one more time I’ll go crazy!

      2. YES Dan kit , well said too! Millions of these idiots are also Trump supporters and Q ANON creeps! How much I despise these vacuous so called “conspiracy theorists! But not all are Trumpites either!
        Opinion polls in Britain show a sizeable minority who will not welcome a vaccine and who will not be prepared to take it.
        Enemies of society I call them! Some will be players too; a sobering thought! PERHAPS, as I do not know of course, EVEN AT OUR CLUB!

      3. Covid 19 isn’t fake and it is more deadly and contagious than the flu. I also believe that anti vaxxers have lost the plot but no one should blindly trust pharmaceutical companies.

  2. But what is this nonsense about Premier League players “suffering “? When your paid 100,000 quid a week to kick a ball around a couple of hours a day there is no “suffering” Try working 40 hours a week in a take away and getting 240 quid pay.

    1. If it were that easy we all should’ve been footballers and receive that 100,000 a week. It requires hard work and dedication and sacrifice most often from their parents to get them where they are.

  3. We have all have faced enormous difficulties since March. That is not to say that the players who come from all parts of the globe will not feel the sense of loss of family time this Christmas.

    My husband is severely clinically vulnerable so I have only seen my sons and grandchildren twice since since March, such is his fear of catching Covid and we only live 100 miles apart. We have been living like hermits and will continue to do so until a vaccine becomes available. Christmas 2020 will be just another day.

    There will be countless more having a far worse time of it than my family; lost jobs, food banks, and depression fearing what the future holds if they can’t pay the rent or mortgage. Families with elderly residents in social care who have faced unbearable separations and the NHS who are still battling through rising infections having worked through the pain barrier to help the sick.

    Whilst I can empathise with the football players, that is as far as I can go.

  4. Oh come on! You can’t suffer when you get paid millions for playing the game you love.

    I would like to see an article more like: who’s gonna play CF at Leeds?

  5. A thoughtful article and my only quibble is, as so often with this site, about the headline itself!

    To be precise , only with the “if not more” part. We all realise that the whole world is suffering under this ghastly pandemic but I would make the point, lest it be forgotten by some, that millions, even billions are suffering in extreme poverty as well and have not the money to help them through the fact they cannot pay the rent, mortgage, feed their family and are terrified of being made redundant (or already are, or are longterm unemployed, living in tower blocks on the twentieth floor with tiny children to keep occupied, etc, etc). Or even homeless as millions are, worldwide, though not a single current Prem player!

    Forgive me for pointing out that Prem footballers have none of these financial wories, though they will certainly have other worries, among them the isolation the article outlines.

    I stress, I think it a fair article overall and it is ONLY that heartless suggestion that fans may be suffering LESS than players that so offends my sense of fair play So to suggest that players are suffering more than fans is so well wide of the mark as to appear heartless and naive. Proper use of headlines, so they are not just written to attract thoughtless comments, is so necessary.
    THAT IS MY TAKE ANYWAY. Who agrees?

      1. Thank you very much PAT, GENUINELY! I did not stress enough what a fine article it was and more of this type is welcome. I am an extremely irritating pedant of exactitude – as you know so well already- but do it for reasons I believe in wholeheartedly and never to just irritate for no good reason.

        Exactitude in words is a way of getting close to truth, esp in this bleak time and surely is what all humans should be striving for. Otherwise, we end up like Trump and his fellow Neanderthals.

        BTW, I will FINALLY send you part three of my fan/ club future relationships article later today.

    1. I agree with you about the headline.

      Players no matter how much they earn are humans just like us so are vulnerable to such feelings as loneliness, joy, sadness and the likes. They are also vulnerable to such things as cancer, depression, heart attacks and the likes. Having money does not give them a shield against those things.

  6. well, i would gladly suffer, if i were a top class footballer on one hundred grand a week ,at least.i would take the suffering over poverty anyday. i know this is being a bit cynical, but, come on, i am irish ,after all. and, i would love nothing better than to be able to travel to european destinations without any restrictions. so i guess my point is that there is suffering, and then there is suffering . personally,i would swap myy suffering for any one of the arsenal squads suffering. but again , all things are relative.

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