Elephant in the room - Covid

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

So, you thought you’d get away from Covid on here eh? Sorry about that.

So this week there have been 40 positive cases in the Premier League alone.

Does it not frustrate you that these ‘men’ cannot stick to the rules? That’s the trouble, they aren’t men anymore. They don’t have to think for themselves and aren’t facing the consequences for their actions. It is the average football fan like you and I that are missing out. The longer they continue to break the rules, the longer the season tickets will sit in an unopened drawer.

These kids are paid too much and don’t have enough responsibility. They never have to grow up, they can be 30 years old and putting dancing videos on TikTok and Instagram, yes looking at you Jesse Lingard. Look around you when / if you are in the office again, imagine that 30 year old bloke sat across from you, dancing in his bedroom and putting it out there for the world to see. Wouldn’t happen would it?

Gone are the days of the true professional, somebody that you knew loved the game, loved the job they did and the money paled into comparison against todays ‘standards‘. You have bang average players earning upwards of £100k a week now, they have no idea what to do with it either.

Look at players of by-gone Premier League eras. The ones you could imagine coming off the football pitch and going back to their normal jobs, one’s you didn’t see in the newspapers until they got their weekly match rating. The Gary Pallisters, Gianfranco Zolas and Claude Makeleles of the world. You could almost imagine Pallister being a bin-man during the week, turning up to training after work and then smashing strikers out of the park at the weekend. A true professional. Gianfranco Zola could run a small ice cream shop (Fun Fact - He now does) and Makelele would be the silent IT guy in the corner of the office, much like his role on the pitch, just keeps everything moving and ticking over without anybody really noticing he’s there.

The players nowadays seem more interested in their shaving sponsorships, and their number of Instagram followers than the job they are doing. Most fans would give their right arm to have one match for the team they love, but its all taken for granted by these ‘Superstars’.

Yes, I know the game has changed, it has changed immeasurably since those days. The pitches aren’t muddy anymore, the tackles don’t even have to make contact for it to be a foul and the referees don’t even have to referee anymore. But we cannot continue going on the way we are at this moment in time. The game is losing the identity that we all grew up loving, the solid centre half sliding in to take the ball, the player and the advertising hoardings. These players, whilst more technically gifted, don’t seem to want to do the dirty work, probably with the exception of Van Dijk at Liverpool, which is why he is head and shoulders above most others. I don’t want this to become a political rant, but football needs to stop until the country can be released from lockdown. The players should be in lockdown too.

I heard a story a few weeks back where a couple had 2 sons. The eldest played for an Academy side, and the other played for their local team. The eldest was taken to the training ground, but had to be dropped off outside the gates, parents were not allowed in or anywhere near the pitch. The youngest played the full match, with both parents watching and you would say there would be around 60-70 parents, guardians and friends there watching that game. Where is the consistency there?

And why can some games be postponed because of Covid cases and other teams are forced to put out their U23s or U18s. Yes I’m looking at the Man City and Newcastle examples. They had games called off because they have a Covid outbreak, and then Aston Villa have similar cases, and they are forced to put out their kids. Where is the consistency?

Man City had their game on 28th December called off after an ‘outbreak‘ which caused them to close the training ground, at this point we only knew of 2 Covid cases, Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker (one who repeatedly broke the lockdown rules, so no surprise there).

Everton asked for a full disclosure but no news sources can give any details.

Aston Villa were forced to field youngsters in their FA Cup game against Liverpool on 8th January. They day before the game, we knew of 10 positive cases between players and coaching staff, they closed their training ground and put the whole squad and staff into isolation. The youngsters gave a good account of themselves and a few of them actually look good for the future, but its not a situation they should have been in had the FA showed any form of consistency.

There needs to be a set rule, as there is for us all in these strange times. (I wont use the word unprecedented as after 10 months of hearing it, it starts to get on your nerves a bit!)

If a member of the public comes into contact with someone who has tested positive, they have to get a test and isolate, taking time off from work.

If a Premier League player comes into contact with someone who has tested positive, it seems a bit of a mystery as to what they have to do. Can they go to training and train on their own? Should they isolate? Or should we just call the game off, and put the other team at risk of burnout or fixture congestion later on in the season when things are hopefully a little more ‘normal’. In my opinion, they should isolate Covid doesn't know or care the numbers in your bank account. They shouldn’t be anywhere near the team and if they have to put the squad into isolation, they either forfeit the game, or play the youngsters, none of this we'll play you when our players are fit again. Doesn't happen for injuries.

Either that, or with a heavy heart we must cancel football until we can re-open society. It is good for people’s mental health to have the football to watch, but it is being proved time and time again that the players cannot remain safe because they cannot stick to the rules. They party, they have friends and chefs over for meals, they drive all over the country and fly all over the world to see friends or holiday. Hard to see when you’re stuck at home.


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