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Arsenal: Arteta backs decision to postpone north London derby

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The Premier League accepted the Gunners’ postponement request, with Tottenham complaining of double standards.

Tottenham were preparing to face their city rivals Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday. However, the Premier League’s decision to postpone the game left them frustrated. 

Arsenal issued their request based on only one positive Covid case. However, they had several other absentees due to injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations. Speaking ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup match against Liverpool, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke about the club’s decision to request a postponement.

“We didn’t have the players necessary to put a squad out to compete in a Premier League match, that is 100%”, he said.

“This is a no-win situation. When we play the first three games of the season when other games were off, we were killed and called naive. Now we postpone a match for all the right reasons, believe me, and we get these reactions?”

The Spurs issued a furious statement on Saturday, complaining about the league’s standards for accepting the postponement requests. According to The Athletic, the league officials have decided to change the postponement rules after matchday 23.

The Arsenal boss added: “We will defend our club with teeth and nails. We will not let anybody damage our name or try to lie about things.

“When a team have come to us and said we cannot play, these are the reasons and the game has been postponed, we have never ever publicly questioned any of that. And we will not because that is why we have the Premier League, the FA and regulators to consider, find out and do the necessary due diligence, which is a lot, to postpone a match.

“We have been very consistent. We played [Nottingham] Forest when we had 10 players out. It got to a point where we could not put a squad out; that is why we didn’t play. As simple as that.”