Antonio Conte says he feels as if Thursday’s Premier League match was a “waste of time”.
Player welfare and match roster congestion were some of the big concerns of managers and coaches heading to a special Premier League match on Thursday.
Asked how it went, Tottenham manager Conte said: “I have to be honest, I think it was a meeting where we tried to talk, and some coaches tried to talk and ask for solutions.
“But I think everything has been decided. And I think yesterday was a wall, and that’s also why I don’t want to enter into discussion.”
Under pressure if he felt it was a waste of time, Conte said: “I think so. Because when you have a wall in front you can ask and talk about what you want, but every decision has been made.”
Spurs had a Covid-19 outbreak at the club earlier this month which led to the suspension of three games in all competitions. Conte said he was worried about the players’ fatigue if those who recovered play twice in three days.
“It’s not easy for us, it’s not easy for all teams to play after just one day, it’s not easy. We need to manage the situation very well due to the risk of losing players due to injuries,” added Conte.
“We have to be very careful, especially my team. Don’t forget we had half of our squad (out) with Covid … When you catch Covid, then you have to live with this situation for two or three weeks after you’re done with. the covid.
“If there is someone who is a little tired, it will be very important to have a good chat with the players because we have to manage this period.”
Conte said players who were unavailable due to the recent outbreak have returned to training ahead of Santo Stefano’s visit to Crystal Palace, with only Cristian Romero and Ryan Sessegnon currently unavailable.
The Premier League publishes match postponement guidelines
Following requests from executives for transparency as to why some matches were canceled and others not, the Premier League released a guide explaining its protocols for postponing matches.
Clubs have been told they must provide the following information when requesting a match postponement:
- Details of the players and staff who have Covid, their vaccination status and – if known – the source of their infections
- Players and staff not available due to injury and illness
- Players on the squad list who are still available, including U21 players with “adequate experience”
- Medical information to verify the status of each player not available, which will be reviewed by Premier League medical advisors
The Premier League will then consider the following factors when deciding whether to grant the request:
- Impact of Covid infections, injuries, illnesses and isolation on the team, as well as the number of U21 first team and “with the right experience” players available
- Matches will be postponed if a club does not have at least 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper available
- Status of any Covid outbreaks in the club, including the number and source of infections and proximity to the match
- The club’s ability to safely prepare its players
- Medical advice on the existence of an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of players and staff while playing the game
- Advice from the UK Health Securities Agency and other public bodies
- Other exceptional circumstances
Smith: two games in 48 hours are “madness”
Dean Smith, the Norwich manager, says it is “madness” to expect teams to play two games in 48 hours as clubs continue to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Canarian Premier League match at West Ham was canceled last weekend due to ongoing Covid-19 issues, with only four of the top 10 scheduled games being played as scheduled.
Liverpool’s clash with Leeds and Watford’s trip to Wolves on Boxing Day have both been postponed.
Norwich will host Arsenal on Sunday and then play at Crystal Palace on 28 December. Smith, however, believes it is an unreasonable expectation.
“We have some new cases, but we have more coming back. We’re not sure how many will be missing on Boxing Day,” he said.
“We have to push through rehabilitation and people are collapsing in rehab because of that. At the moment, he’s asking huge questions of everyone’s teams.
“It is madness to have to play two games in 48 hours and there has to be a question about the integrity of the competition when teams play against weakened teams against other teams and that is affecting league positions.”
Smith had also called for Norwich’s previous game against his former team Aston Villa to be canceled due to Covid-19 problems and team injuries.
The Norwich manager revealed that he felt it was “bordering on irrelevant” for him to have to field the likes of Sam Byram, who was rushed to the field after a long suspension due to injury when he was sent as emergency substitute during the 2-0 defeat. .
“I think we are now in a dangerous situation, where we are putting the health and well-being of the players at risk,” said Smith.
Vieira would not support the players’ strike
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira wouldn’t support a players strike, but he’s worried about pushing someone back into action too soon after recovering from the coronavirus.
“I don’t know if they would be right to do it, the only thing I can tell you is that I am against this type of strike,” Vieira said before Palace’s trip to Tottenham on Boxing Day.
“What is really important right now is that the voices of the players or managers should be heard a little more.”
The former Arsenal captain added: “I am not worried about the well-being of the players in regards to matches during this period as it has been like that for years and years. What worries me is the well-being of the players in regards to Covid. .
“I think that players who come back from a Covid situation and ask them to play, not having had enough training, is a lot for them. This is what worries me.”
Rodgers: The holiday schedule is not good for players
Brendan Rodgers says the congested winter schedule, combined with the problems caused by the coronavirus, is negatively impacting the well-being of his Leicester City players.
The midweek defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals was the first of four games the Foxes will face over 11 days over the holiday period, with an away match against leaders Manchester City arriving in Boxing Day, another test against Jurgen Klopp’s team two days later and a home game against Norwich scheduled for New Year’s Eve.
Leicester also had to contend with their own Covid woes, with Tottenham and Everton games being canceled due to a string of positive tests within their first team, leaving Rodgers’ side tense.
He said: “I think for every coach and manager … this period is still particularly busy with a full squad, but playing against Manchester City on Sunday and then playing again against Liverpool on Tuesday is not good for the players.
“For their well-being and health it is not ideal. Obviously it has been said that we have two more weeks to play and we will start from there.
“If so, we just try to be as competitive as possible, like with the game against Liverpool with changes and all, but we were competitive and that is how we will always try to face it in the future.
“We will not regret ourselves depending on who is available and who is not, we want to be competitive, it is a great challenge to make the team play at the top of the division and with the form that is inside, but it is a challenge that we will accept” .
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