August 20, 2021

Arteta ‘Surprised’ Brentford Clash Wasn’t Postponed Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Mikel Arteta has revealed his shock after Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Brentford wasn’t postponed, despite a high number of positive COVID-19 tests among his squad.

The club’s captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and back-up goalkeeper, Alex Runarsson, were omitted from the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat on Friday, 20 August, and sent to self-isolation.

Arteta fielded a squad missing several more members of his first-team, with midfielder Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah and defender Gabriel, also sidelined due to injury.

The Gunners’ performance has received a wave of criticism directed at both the players and Arteta. However, Arteta believes that the game should have been postponed.

He said: “Yes, I was surprised it wasn’t postponed, but the regulators decided the best thing to do was to play the game”.

He added: “What we did is what we had to do, through the club, through the club doctor as well. He explained the situation, how it developed and the risk that we consider.”

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