Does Arsenal opening training ground signal an early restart of League games?

It would now appear that the English government, along with Germany, Italy and Spain, are planning to ease the lockdown restrictions now that the coronavirus is slowly coming under some sort of control. Obviously everyone still has to follow the strict social distancing guidelines, but Arsenal are happy they can now organize training on an individual basis, with minimal contact with others.

“Players will be permitted access to our London Colney training grounds,” a club spokesperson told the BBC. “Access will be limited, carefully managed and social distancing will be maintained.

“All Colney buildings remain closed. Players will travel alone, do their individual workout and return home.”

With reports that the Premier League are in talks with the government about restarting the League behind closed doors, then it makes sense for clubs to start assessing their players fitness before games can resume, but it would appear that not all managers are sure they can train and play safely in the near future.

The Brighton manager Graham Potter told the Daily Mail: ‘No player has spoken to me directly about this but there is a concern generally that, if social distance rules are there, they are there for a reason. Therefore, it is hard for us to be outside of that situation on a football pitch.

‘It seems to me that everyone is talking about social distancing and saying that means the crowd cannot be there, but no one is talking about footballers on the pitch.

‘If there is a corner and 20 players are in the penalty box in a small and confined area, that’s not social distancing. We are guided by the authorities, we see the big picture and we want to do the right thing for the health of the nation. It’s something we need to discuss.

‘Those rules are there not because anyone wants to stop us playing football. They are there for a reason, which is to protect people from dying. So we have to be very, very serious about those measures.’

I think that games would only be feasible once we have highly accurate and easily available testing kits, so that every participant is screened every time they enter the ground then they can be fairly safe that games can go ahead. These may be available soon, so maybe, just maybe, football may be coming back soon!

6 Comments

  1. jon fox says:

    All the government statements I have witnessed in all news and political progs say that social distancing is absolutely vital and not one has yet consented to give any firm indication of a date when this might be relaxed. Indeed, all ministers have EMPHASISED(hence my use of capitals, for those who don’t understand why I use them) the need to not specify a date while the virus continues to kill so many daily and they are CORRECT to do so.
    Naturally, I am up with the news and see the Germen “plan” to restart their league next month. I also note how Germany also practises social distancing and pose this question to all who seem to think football may restart in a very few weeks: CAN SOME ONE EXPLAIN HOW SOCIAL DISTANCING CAN POSSIBLY WORK DURING THE GAME ITSELF?
    If some “genius” can properly explain how that can be achieved to my satisfaction, then I may change my view. BUT in the absence of that fantasy explanation I continue to maintain my view that this season is already over in terms of games already played and with no more possible, will be decided as points average per game already played currently stands.

    This would leave us in 8th position and with a possible entry to next years EL, assuming the City ban is upheld. And on that City decision I have no firm view as to which way it might go, as UEFA are of course corrupt to their core, as are FIFA.

  2. Grandad says:

    Your prognosis seems bang on to me John.Thankfully the decision as to when football Leagues can resume will be made by our Government and not by any Football Authority.A very appropriate comment today from the great Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff who considers it morally irresponsible to contemplate a resumption of football, with all that entails, when hundreds of people continue to die on a daily basis from the Pandemic..Well said Dino.

  3. Andrew Elder says:

    It’s all down to money not commonsense!! The EPL clubs want to play out the remaining games, even if it is farcically behind closed doors, to ensure they don’t lose revenue from television rights and their sponsors.

    It would be interesting, no hilarious, to see a match played using social distancing and no spitting!!!

    We should follow the Dutch and cancel the season. It won’t be fair on a number of clubs in all leagues but reality should overshadow our sense of fairness in these extraordinary times. All spectator sports events will continue to suffer for some time yet let’s not prolong it by being too premature now in the middle of the pandemic.

  4. Kenny Rolfe says:

    I said right at the beginning of this virus that the season will not be completed and will be announced null and void. As much as the FA want to give Liverpool the Premiership they can’t. They’ll be far too many legal challenges, Unlucky for Liverpool but as I said before pay back for their hooligan fans getting us banned from Europe back in the Eighties. Regarding European qualification, a null and void season will surely take all clubs back to a position of the Status Quo. however with Manchester City facing the possibility of expulsion then the team that finished fifth the year before should then be promoted to the Champions League. I agree with Andrew Elder that reality should overshadow any sense of fairness. All other positions should also revert. Basically there’s no other option, It’s impossible for the FA give titles, promotion or relegation when they haven’t been achieved no matter how close.

  5. SueP says:

    I’m afraid nothing would surprise me in football. The financial rewards are just too big for efforts to finish the season not to go ahead. I agree that the season should be null and void. Tough do do’s to Liverpool.
    Logic says that social distancing doesn’t work in a team game. With all the health risks that this brings it is morally wrong to consider a restart when the consequences of the pandemic are still very much with us.

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