Paul Robinson has become the latest pundit to react to the postponed North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham.
The Gunners asked for the game to be moved because they didn’t have enough fit players to field in the fixture due to covid, injuries and the AFCON.
Several Premier League matches have been postponed recently as covid-19 spreads through the competition.
Most clubs have asked for their games to be moved and the requests have been granted, but Arsenal has received a lot of backlash for getting theirs postponed.
Former Spurs number one, Robinson believes matches should be cancelled only for covid cases and not for other injuries and AFCON.
He tells Football Insider: “You cannot cancel games because of injuries and the African Cup of Nations. It’s not right.
“I cannot fathom why the Premier League have allowed for the game to be cancelled. If they couldn’t field a team they should have recalled the players they had out on loan.
“The games been cancelled because of one or two Covid cases. It’s an absolute disgrace. If Covid cases are ravaging your squad, I completely understand but that’s not the case here.
“The Premier League cannot cancel games because of injuries. Leeds should have had their last six games cancelled on that basis.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Most people would have an opinion on this matter, especially when it is not their club or former employers who asked for the postponement, and that is completely understandable.
Arsenal and the Premier League have done the right thing, and Mikel Arteta’s side just needs to focus on getting prepared for their next game against Liverpool now.
Totally agree…if we have injuries/players at AFCON/loaned out players then that is our own issue.
AMN is the perfect example, you can’t loan a midfielder out then next week complain you don’t have enough players…where is the logic????
This should apply for all teams!
We haven’t helped ourselves in this at all.
Even talk of cancelling Liverpool 2nd leg & we are letting another player go on loan.
We have called back Azeez and John Jules which might see the Liverpool game going ahead.
In the midst of all these Villa are looking to sign Bissouma.
The reality is that none of the previous 17 postponed games were postponed because of Covid alone. All the clubs had injuries, other illnesses and fixture congestion issues. The FA turned a blind eye because they did not want to suspend the league like in 2020 with the world cup later this year. Also the AFCONS have been taken seriously for the first time this year because of the furore after Klopps comments that the AFCONS were a “little tournament”. So what with Covid, injuries the AFCONS and the usual ridiculous Xmas/New Year schedule the league faces a perfect storm and so the FA has more or less rubber stamped every request rather than risk stopping the league. It is pure lies to imply Arsenal got special treatment when all the previous postponements were actually injury and fixture congestion related.
Yet Arsenal had to play the first 3 rames badly affected by injuy .
The reality is the fixture list is bloated.
We need less games not more.
Scrap the Nations Cup and its qualifiers.
Scrap International friendlies.
Scrap the Carabao Cup.
Scrap the ludacris playing 8 games in 15 day Xmas and New Year schedule.
Any team still in Europe should not enter the FA Cup until the 5th round.
We should be grateful the fa is on our side,let’s make the most of it.
Has anyone actually stopped to think about the business economics behind how a football club is run and what happens when players are loaned or sold/bought?
Selling or loaning players isnt the same as taking back a jumper to a shop for a refund. They are protracted talks that are held for weeks if not months ahead and there are many clauses in the contract whereby a player cannot be injured at the time of their loan/sale etc.
Even if arsenal had played their loaned players, they still would not have made up the required numbers of 13 outfield players, so lets not blame the management of the club for that.
Also, if we are loaning these players out – there must be a very good reason for that in that we must be bringing in new ones to take their places. Once again, buying, loaning or selling players is totally different to buying something in a shop, so pls dont think that we can bring new players in without sending deadwood out.
The fact is that arsenal would have entered into talks with other clubs, agents and players who they want to bring in MONTHS ago, just as they would have started talks MONTHS ago about sending our players on loan elsewhere. Just cos we hear of it now, it doesnt mean that it started now.
So if people stopped to think for one moment at just how long drawn a process dealing with player sales/loans etc actually is , then they’d realise that this whole situation is totally out of arsenal’s hands.
We all know that buying a house takes months – even if you’re a cash buyer. Therefore please consider that buying a player for many millions, plus paying him many millions a year is infinitely more expensive and drawn out than a house purchase and therefore takes time.
Fellow Gooners – just get behind the club and stop doubting their credentials.
The world seems to react when we cancel a game, yet when others do it (even by lying), no one says a thing.
Arsenal has enough enemies. We dont need our own fans to be amongst them.
sound commonsensical, but just a bunch of window dressing meant to deflect attention away from the real issues at hand…bad optics and justifiably so, especially considering the original intent of the postponement protocols…as such, no amount of chatter regarding protracted loan talks or the seemingly complicated nature of the business of football will remove the stain of our attempts to engage in deceptive practices, regardless of the fact that others might have likewise taken advantage of the situation…btw most properly run footballing organizations don’t loan out players until they’ve secured the services of a suitable replacement, for obvious reasons…furthermore, in our more recent history, we’ve been known to not only be exceptionally slow when it comes to getting deals over the line, we likewise have a troubling propensity to conduct business in the 11th hour of the transfer window, so to suggest that it’s “out of our hands” is incredibly disingenuous
The Real Viera Lynn – you mention that we seemed to have engaged in deceptive practices. No we didnt. We’ve been very transparent throughout. The club said they only had one covid – unlike liverpool who clearly lied. If you look at the PL rules, it states a team can postpone a game if it cannot field enough outfield players. Its nothing to do with covid. And that;s what has happened to us – while we had only one covid case, our 1st team squad has been decimated with injury. That – and that alone – allowed our game to be postponed. Burnley have had 5 games postponed. Has the world gone as crazy as this? No. Liverpool lied about covid. Did the world go crazy with them? No. When we played our first 3 games with 4/5 covid cases, meaning we didnt have a forward line, did anyone applaud us? No.
Im sure the club is working frantically to bring in new faces – in fact, another player has just left today and inbounds are imminent. I am not window dressing. Just saying it how it is.
So if, as you would suggest, it was common knowledge that Pool “lied” then why how would you explain the widespread reaction to our request for a postponement??? likewise, there’s a thing called the “spirit” of a rule, which certainly wouldn’t include what we’re presently experiencing or this would be a standing rule regardless of the ongoing pandemic…furthermore, since when does it matter if teams are experiencing considerable “1st team” injury concerns, that’s why you have massive squads and those waiting in the wings…finally, the fact that you think we should be applauded for actually playing against a recent promoted side simply because we had 4 positive tests speaks volumes about the length you will go to defend the indefensible…that’s some straight-up blinders nonsense, so to even suggest that you’re simply telling it like it is couldn’t be farther from the truth
No “why” in “then how would you…”
Let’s respect each others point of view and leave it here. We both clear have our own views re this and wont see eye to eye either way.
No worries, although I wish you would have at least tried to address some of my obvious concerns with the narrative you provided…Cheers
OK – seeing as you asked nicely, here’s further explanation as to what i meant 🙂
1. the widespread disapproval of us postponing the game was most likely cos we only had only one confirmed covid case and not multiple cases. I think people are actually focusing on the fact that we had only one covid case and got the game postponed and are NOT CONSIDERING the injury rule (which i shall go into later) which is the real reason why it was postponed. As with most things that seem to happen with Arsenal, the media tends to get far more into a frenzy with us than other clubs. We tend to get far more negative press than other clubs when it comes to certain things.
2. PL rules state that a club can ask for postponement of a game if they cannot field 13 outfield players plus one goalkeeper. Once again, this is not about covid, but injuries alone. This is a PL rule and not one made up by covid.
Even with those players (who’ve been loaned out such as AMN, Kolasinac and Mari available), we only had 11 1st team players fit and available – of which two of them were Ramsdale and Leno – therefore giving us only 9 outfield players. Therefore, under PL rules about injuries (and NOT covid related), we were well within our absolute right to request postponement which they granted. Let’s also consider that since December, we’ve had 11 covid cases in our club – and have always played and fulfilled our fixtures (spirit of rule here). We’ve never complained, nor lied. We’ve simply got on with games. On this occasion, with the perfect storm of injuries and only 9 outfield first team players fit, we were well within our right to request postponement – which the PL reviewed and granted.
3. Spirit of the rule: i totally agree with you on this – clubs must ensure spirit of the rule and i genuinely believe that we have done just that when, like i wrote above, we’ve had 11 covid cases in the last month and have still played on. How about liverpool with only one positive covid case – did they apply spirit of the rule? Nope. They played chelsea on the sunday and then all of a sudden on the tuesday before our game (on thursday) they announced multiple covid cases and shut down melwood. Then, by some miracle, on friday (day after we shouldve played them), they opened up melwood training base and got the team together to play shrewsbury on the saturday withon only one confirmed covid case. So, pls take into consideration the 5 day isolation rule here and you’ll see that things dont add up. Furthermore, as a billion pound club, are liverpool saying that all they do is unreliable lateral flow tests on their players instead of using the far more reliable and proven PCR tests? A lot of things around this dont add up and dont sit right with me. But, seeing as the media have a love in with liverpool and klopp etc, they dont go to town on them, instead choosing arsenal as easy pickings cos that’s what we’ve been for a few years.
There are many teams in the PL who have postponed their games when they couldve played, and all im saying is that arsenal seem to make headlines far more than them. The same spirit of the rule applies to us in our first 3 games of the season against brentford. city and chelsea. We played without our two key strikers and other players who were out with covid – and we subsequently lost those games. That shows that arsenal played within the spirit of the rule when we so easily couldve made a fuss. Lets face it, so many teams have made a bigger fuss, for far less recently and have got games postponed. So, its fair to say, that arsenal have acted within the spirit of the rule and have also played within the rules of the PL.
I hope this helps to give an insight and some clarity into what im saying. Cheers
A bit more info:
1. Every club has a 1st team squad of 25 players. Ours just happened to be decimated with injuries for the NLD last weekend (see point 3 below).
2. Our game was postponed under the PL injury rule ONLY. Every club has the right the use this rule if they cannot field the required number of players from their 1st team squad, however having so many injuries all together at one point is unheard of, hence the furore of why we managed to get our game postponed etc. Like i wrote in my previous post, its fair to say we were hugely unlucky to have had the perfect storm of all injuries and AFCON absences in one go.
3. At the time of the NLD, our absentees were as follows:
a) injured: chambers, soares, tierney, tomiyasu, smith rowe, saka,
b) covid: oodegard
c) AFCON; auba, el neny, pepe, partey,
d) suspended: xhaka
That’s 12 players out. Add to that the fact we have 3 keepers in our 1st team squad. That leaves just 10 outfield players (not 9 as i said in previous post). Either way, we fall well within the PL rule of game postponement due to injuries/absentees. The PL reviewed this and it was their decision to postpone the game.
4. Everyone seems to be thinking we got the game postponed due to one covid case only. That is NOT the case (as pointed out in point 2 above). It was based on the injury rule ONLY.
it appears as if you can only analyze things through the biased lens of an Arsenal fan, whereas it might be prudent if you could set that aside for a moment and put the proverbial shoe on the other foot…just from a sh** and giggles perspective, can you let me know that last time a PL team played ONLY the “injury postponement” card…not to mention, teams can add players to the 25 man roster, as they do for Cup games and the like, so long as they’re under 21, which would provide us with ample choices…obviously, not the best case scenario, but the spirit of the rule wasn’t about optimizing a particular team’s chances of winning the match in question…have a good one
Fact…ONLY 2 keepers in squad
Hein + Okonkwo u21’s
Fact.. Smith-rowe +Saka also u21’s
Total 13 not 10 ….Fact.
Well written piece, only one problem , contains 8 opinions and not one fact .
@Lee Dixon – pls check the following link https://www.arsenal.com/men/players and you’ll find that;
We have 3 keepers in our first team squad (Ramsdale, Lemo & OKONKWO) – FACT. (I hadnt included Hein in my list earlier seeing as he’s an academy player)
You’ll also see that Saka and Smith Rowe are in the Arsenal 1st team squad. FACT
Hopefully you’ll now see the above via the arsenal site as FACTS 🙂
Oh dear , please try official Premier League site for clarification on Arsenal squad.
@Ric – well done for putting things into some form of perspective. You’re right – talks start weeks/months ago and i guess we’ve just been caught up in a perfect storm of injuries that have left us short on numbers. Otherwise what you written is correct and makes complete sense
Oh dear , please try official Premier League site for clarification on Arsenal squad.