Gary Neville has called Arsenal’s request to cancel the north London derby to be rejected as he and Jamie Carragher accuse teams of taking advantage of the situation – but both insist Arsenal are not the only culprit
- Arsenal have applied to postpone Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur
- Arsenal lost four players to the African Nations Cup and Granit Xhaka was shown a red card
- Both Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher called for the request to be rejected
- Critics have claimed that clubs have used Covid-19 as an excuse not to play matches
Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville has called on the Premier League to reject Arsenal’s request to postpone the north London derby on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has criticized Premier League clubs for exploiting the current Covid-19 football crisis as he urged clubs to give chances to young players.
Arsenal became the latest club to request a postponement on Friday after they submitted a request to cancel Sunday’s north London derby.
Arsenal apply to postpone Sunday’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur
Mikel Arteta (pictured) Arsenal played Liverpool away in the cup on Thursday night
Arsenal currently have one known case of Covid – Martin Odegaard – and Granit Xhaka was suspended after his red card against Liverpool on Thursday.
However, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares, Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith-Rue and Bukayo Saka are all skeptical about injury to the match – an issue that has clearly cast doubts on Spurs.
Mikel Arteta is also absent from the Arsenal team in the African Nations Cup: Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe.
Granit Xhaka (right) will miss the derby after receiving a red card for challenging Diogo Jota
The former players insisted it wasn’t a straightforward “digging” at Arsenal but have urged clubs to stop requests.
“I honestly think all the teams, not just in the Premier League but in the Premier League now, should play their matches,” Neville told Sky Sports.
Balogun is out on loan, Maitland-Niles is on loan, and Xhaka is on a red card, which isn’t anyone else’s fault. We cannot cancel matches.
The former Manchester United defender claimed the overhead flights were using the Covid-19 outbreak as an excuse to avoid meeting matches they thought they would not win.
Gary Neville (pictured) has called for Arsenal’s request to postpone Sunday’s derby to be rejected
And he added, “If it was up to Covid in exceptional circumstances and there were 10 or 15 players outside the field.”
But now we’re talking about the teams in the last few weeks where there is no doubt that they have been stopping matches based on whether they think they have the best team or team to win the match. It must stop.
Neville insisted Arsenal were not the only culprit, but thought their request should be rejected before the north London derby.
“I have to say this is not Arsenal research,” he said. I should have spoken three or four weeks ago. Manchester United, other teams, have 30 or 40 players on their team, and I don’t think they can get 14, 15, 16 players together.
Neville insisted that teams like Manchester United with 30 or 40 players had no excuse
Therefore it must be rejected for me. Without knowing the finer details, unless there are a large number of Covid cases emerging today at Arsenal, I feel like I played last night in Liverpool and played really well by the way, you should stop now. They have to make the teams play.
His teammate, Carragher, also insisted he was not entirely blaming Arsenal’s gates, but emphasized that the rest of Europe’s top flight was not facing the same problem.
I don’t want this to be about Arsenal. It’s about the English Premier League as a whole. This is not a dig at Arsenal. ‘Every team did this,’ said Carragher.
Both Neville and Jamie Carragher insisted Arsenal were not the only culprit
No other league in Europe does that, certainly in those major leagues. Bayern Munich played a 16-year-old in the last game that tells you where they are.
‘Why can’t we do that?’ Why not have the opportunity for young players under these circumstances?
Everyone is in the same boat and Gary and I are if the Covid outbreak has decimated the team then I can understand. But the presence of the players in the African Nations Cup, and the regular injuries, have nothing to do with this.
“You have U-23 teams. You have younger players as well. This is an opportunity they might get.
“I know there is a lot of riding in PL matches, I understand that but at the moment I think there is no doubt that teams across the country are benefiting from this situation.”