Arsenal cannot let any Covid outbreak be excuse for drop in form, says Mikel Arteta

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Arsenal cannot let any Covid outbreak be excuse for drop in form, says Mikel Arteta
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Mikel Arteta says Arsenal can’t use the current Covid-19 crisis in football as an excuse for any dip in form, explaining they must have a “Plan B, C and D” in place to combat potential problems.

Clubs all over England are battling with outbreaks of coronavirus and in the Premier League just four out of the 10 scheduled games took place last weekend.

Arsenal have, so far, gotten off relatively lightly, although defender Pablo Mari and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga have tested positive for the virus, as have members of the club’s backroom staff.

Arteta is well aware of the threat Covid-19 may pose to his side’s preparations, particularly ahead of the busy festive period, but he does not want it being used as an excuse for any poor results.

Indeed, when asked whether he’s had to take a different approach over the past few weeks, Arteta said: “Have a really positive approach and your mindset ready that unpredictable things are going to happen - and stop complaining about everything that happens.

“Then you will find excuses, we can find excuses for everything. We know what is going to happen, we know bad news will come probably so we have to expect it and try to prevent it if we can with all the protocols we have. But we have to be prepared as well with Plan B, C and D.

“I think it is very difficult for everybody. It is very difficult for yourself and the way you have to do your work, it is very difficult for Vinai [Venkatesham], because he is dealing with a lot of meetings, a lot of responsibilities to try to defend the interest of the club in the right way.

“It is difficult for the players, for myself, for the staff because we don’t know really who is going to be available to do what, and we are all trying to help each other and get the best out of the situation.

“We have to respect the decisions I made because we have to believe that those decisions are based first of all on the wellbeing of all of us, that we are involved and secondly because we have to protect the game, and that is important as well.”

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