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Gary Neville And Jamie Carragher Agree That Premier League Should Reject Postponement Requests

Gary Neville And Jamie Carragher Agree That Premier League Should Reject Postponement Requests

"No other league in Europe is doing this."

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher believe Premier League clubs should be forced to play upcoming fixtures following Arsenal's recent request to call off the North London derby.

It emerged on Friday that Mikel Arteta's side have asked the Premier League to postpone Sunday's clash against Spurs because of a lack of available first team players.

They say injuries, positive COVID cases and players currently at the Africa Cup of Nations - Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe - are the reason behind "reluctantly" taking the step.

But some have disagreed with the idea. Speaking on Friday Night Football ahead of Brighton's clash against Crystal Palace, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville gave his thoughts on the recent postponement of fixtures.

Neville said: "I honestly believe that all teams, not just in the Premier League but the EFL now, must be made to play their fixtures.

"Folarin Balogun and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have gone on loan, Granit Xhaka's got a red card - that's not the fault of anybody else. We can't be calling fixtures off.

"If it was purely down to Covid in extraordinary circumstances where there was 10 or 15 players out, but we're now talking about teams for the last few weeks where there's no doubt they've been calling games off based upon whether they think they've got the best squad or team to win a game. It's got to stop.

"That's not a dig at Arsenal - I should've spoken about this three or four weeks ago.

"Manchester United and other teams have got 30 to 40 players in their squad - I'm not having they can't get 13 to 16 players together.

"For me, it [Arsenal's request] should be rejected.

"Without knowing the exact detail, unless there is an absolute load of Covid cases coming today at Arsenal, I feel having played last night at Liverpool, it has to stop now this and we have to make teams play."

Carragher, meanwhile, believes teams up and down the country are taking advantage of the current situation.

"I don't want this to be about Arsenal, it's about the Premier League as a whole. Every club has done this," said Carragher.

"No other league in Europe is doing this, certainly not in those big leagues. Bayern Munich played a 16-year-old in their last game and that tells you exactly where they are. Why can't we do that? Why can't the young players be given an opportunity in these circumstances?

"Everyone's in the same boat and I'm exactly with Gary. If it's an outbreak of Covid and it's decimated the squad I can understand that, but players being in the AFCON tournament and just normal injuries, that's got nothing to do with it.

"You've got U23 squads and younger players, and this is an opportunity where they can get a chance.

"I know there's a lot riding on Premier League games but at this moment there's no doubt teams up and down this country are taking advantage of the situation."

In another segment of last night's show, popular punditry duo Neville and Carragher appeared to troll the Conservative Party and prime minister Boris Johnson with a subtle 'party' joke live on air.

"It is a peculiar rivalry but to be fair, these Friday night football matches we were at Brentford last time it was fantastic... we always seem to get a party," Neville said before raising his eyebrows.

Carragher then takes over with: "Let's be straight this is NOT a party tonight, this is about work. If you speak to Graham Potter, Patrick Vieira, the 22 players on the pitch, they've got to know the difference between work and a party.

"If they get that wrong and think like they're in party mode, they're going to be in big, big trouble."

Thoughts on the postponement of recent fixtures? Should Arsenal's clash against Spurs be called off?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports Football

Topics: Football, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Premier League, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur