Tuesday, January 25

Eric Dier reacts on Twitter in wake of Premier League ruling but Arsenal confirm fresh Covid case

Eric Dier joins pile-on as fresh Covid case confirmed inside Arsenal camp

Eric Dier joins pile-on as fresh Covid case confirmed inside Arsenal camp

Fresh Covid case confirmed in Arsenal camp in wake of Eric Dier joining Gunners pile-on

Covid outbreak continues in Arsenal camp

Arsenal continues to have the first-team squad come under siege after another Covid case was confirmed in the Gunners camp today.

The report comes by way of the Guardian’s Nick Ames and in the wake of the Premier League making the decision to postpone the upcoming North London Derby against Tottenham on Sunday after an official request was lodged by Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta will certainly have breathed a sigh of relief after the league governing body passed on its decision as he is said to only have twelve or thirteen players in the squad available for tomorrow. Nicolas Pépé, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all on AFCON assignment while the likes of Martin Ødegaard (Covid), Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Sead Kolasinać, and Cédric Soares are all unfit for service. Granit Xhaka would have been unavailable through suspension as well.

Dier joins pile-on after league ruling

But Tottenham are ‘extremely surprised’ and have voiced their concern in their own official statement in the wake of the Premier League’s ruling on grounds that Arsenal may have exploited a growing trend of clubs combining injury as cause to ask for postponements;

We are extremely surprised that this application has been approved. We ourselves were disqualified from the European Conference League after a significant number of COVID cases meant we needed to reschedule a fixture and our application to move our Leicester fixture was not approved – only for it to be subsequently postponed when Leicester applied.

The original intention of the guidance – here – was to deal with player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads that, when taken together with injuries, would result in the club being unable to field a team. We do not believe it was the intent to deal with player availability unrelated to COVID. We may now be seeing the unintended consequences of this rule.

It is important to have clarity and consistency on the application of the rule. Yet again, fans have seen their plans disrupted at unacceptably short notice. We shall once again send food deliveries to the local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste. We are sincerely sorry for our fans – some of whom will have travelled great distances.”

And certainly, Spurs center-back and England international Eric Dier wholeheartedly agreed with the stance his club has taken after the defender took to Twitter in a sarcastic fashion to respond to the situation as it unfolded.

Dier echoed much of the same sentiments that many Spurs fans exhibited on social media, who chose to direct their frustrations at Arsenal rather than the Premier League who are responsible for accepting the Gunners application in the first place.

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What is clear, however, is that if the league does not offer more clarity and act unilaterally regarding its application, many clubs – rightly or wrongly – may try to exploit any loopholes they may find this season.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 West Ham United 21 12 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 28
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 20 -6 24
13 Brentford FC 20 -6 23
14 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 20 -36 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
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