As I write this the Chelsea squad have followed suit as Callum Hudson-Odoi has been diagnosed too and some players from Manchester City and Leicester have had to go into self isolation after coming into contact with people with Covid-19. As a bare minimum both Arsenal and Chelsea have to call off all of their games for the next two weeks, but that’s only the start of it and the Premier League have to act now. Even when the players end their self isolation they won’t be match fit and realistically both clubs games should be off for a minimum of a month. The Premier League will meet this morning and indefinite suspension of the season is the only sensible decision they can make, but they have never been known for making sensible decisions.
Arteta is a young and fit man and the chances are he will make a full recovery, but our thoughts are still with him and his family. With so little known about this virus in reality we don’t know the effects of him having it, but if there’s a 14 day isolation period that probably means anyone who has come in contact with him in the last two weeks is at risk. Think of the games Arsenal played in that time and the hands of managers, coaches, referees, assistant referees and so on that he shook and you get an idea of how much it could have spread from just him.
Do all of those people have to go into self isolation and then what about the fans who held their hands out as he walked to and from the dressing room looking for a high five. Juergen Klopp (which just autocorrected as Koala) showed what he thought of Liverpool fans trying to do just that on Wednesday night. There can be no argument for continuing as normal when you see what is happening elsewhere.
I came to work this morning (I still have to earn a living) and I have never seen so few people on my mode of public transport. Even in the height of the summer holidays there isn’t a seat to be had, but this morning there were seats aplenty as Ireland brought in it’s first measures to deal with the virus. I have no doubt the measures will gradually be upgraded and it’s difficult not to be at least a little concerned.
From an Arsenal perspective it looks like the season will be put on hold until the all clear or something near it is given, but who knows when that will be. Euro 2020 will probably be put back to next year and the season will resume and finish some time in the summer. What that means for players whose contracts end on June 30th is an entirely different matter and one that will have to be dealt with if and when it happens.
For the moment though all we can do is wait and see what happens and wish Mikel Arteta a full recovery. We’re in uncharted territory and we really don’t know where there is going, but it’s not looking like we’re going to get off easy.
That’s it for today.
See you tomorrow.