Antonio Conte has stated it was “very strange” that Tottenham’s North London Derby clash against Arsenal was postponed earlier in the year as their opponents “didn’t have one player with Covid”. Initially due to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in January, the Premier League accepted the Gunners’ request to call off the match as they claimed they had “many players currently unavailable across our squad as a result of Covid, injuries and players away with their countries at AFCON”.
It was a decision that did not go down well at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, especially after Tottenham had tried to rearrange their league clash against Leicester City in December in order to find a new date to play Rennes in the Europa Conference League following a Covid-19 outbreak at the club. Asked about the decision to postpone the original derby clash, Conte brought up the fact that Spurs’ clash against Rennes was put down as a 3-0 defeat because the Premier League didn’t want to move a game.
“It was very strange that our game was postponed for Covid and Arsenal didn’t have one player with Covid,” explained the Italian. “We lost a game 3-0 because the Premier League didn’t want to move a game when we had 10 players with Covid. At that time it was unfair, this is the past and we have to be focused on the present, to try to get the best result.”
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Tottenham face a quick turnaround after Thursday’s North London Derby with a midday kick-off against Burnley on Sunday. Not exactly ideal preparation for what could be a vital game in the Champions League race, Conte doesn’t appear to be happy that the club accepted the lunchtime kick-off rather than contesting the decision.
“If I complain about it, I’m like other coaches in the past. You remember [Mikel] Arteta did and I said coaches shouldn’t complain. So I can’t now,” stated the 52-year-old.
“It’s difficult sometimes to accept Premier League decisions, but if the club accepted it I have to. A big club have to pay attention. Before the game you don’t think this situation causes you this type of trouble, but afterwards you are angry and it’s too late. You need to be angry before. If you want to win you have to take care about all the details.”
Source by Football London