What every Premier League manager has said about the Coronavirus

Quick Reads

The Premier League have announced that upcoming fixtures will be suspended until April at the earliest because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

It comes after Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi were diagnosed with COVID-19 while other players are still being tested.

We’ve compiled what every Premier League manager has said about the disease so far.

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is the first Premier League manager to have tested positive for Coronavirus, and he is now in a period of self-isolation.

“This is really disappointing,” Arteta said. “I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.”

Dean Smith

“They’ll be jumping on each other and hopefully jumping on me in the last minute as well,” Smith told Birmingham Live ahead of Aston Villa’s match against Leicester.

“Listen, they’ve stopped the fair play handshake before the game. It’s probably about time they stopped that. It’s at the end of the game when you show your respect to the opposition after you’ve played them.

“Who knows where we go? We’re following the government’s advice and the doctor’s advice here. The players are aware of everything to stop that spread.”

Eddie Howe

“Yes there have been measures put in place to stop the flow of people in and around the training ground and the stadium, but that doesn’t impact how we prepare for the match,” the Bournemouth manager said.

“I think at this moment in time there is no point focusing on that. Time will tell what happens in the future.

“Playing behind closed doors would certainly be not the preferred option for anyone connected in the world of football because the game is all about the atmosphere created by the supporters.”

Graham Potter

“The bigger picture is we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there’s a concern globally about something that’s unprecedented, there are countries in lockdown, things that haven’t happened since the Second World War pretty much,” the Brighton boss said.

“It seems a little bit shallow of me to speak about what I would want on a football level.

“In a general level, take everything away, of course you want people watching football in the stadiums – there’s no meaning to having football games, Premier League, without supporters.

“But that’s in a normal situation, and we’re not in that situation now.”

Sean Dyche

“There is nothing I can do about it and I haven’t got the depth of knowledge to be wondering what they do with these kind of viruses,” the Burnley manager said.

“Scientists are working hard on that worldwide it seems and it is a collective thing.

“We can only go and prepare like we would do for a game and if it changes or it is called off or a period of time is cancelled then we will have to deal with that as it comes.

“It is not ideal of course but we know health is more important. Everyone is in the picture as to what is going on including the players and their families.”

Frank Lampard

“As a manager yes, as a father yes, as a husband yes,” the Chelsea boss said when asked if he was concerned about the Coronavirus.

“I think we’re all in the same boat with that. I’m concerned, we’re all taking all the right courses of action here within the club and I am as concerned as the rest of us.”

Roy Hodgson

“Whatever decision is made you have to abide by,” the Crystal Palace manager said amid reports that the Government were going to introduce a temporary ban on over-70s attending games.

“We live in a democracy and we are all law-abiding citizens. I will worry about that when the time comes.

“Certainly I have never felt healthier and happier about the environment I am in, in terms of health, at a time when people are asking questions about the environment. I think I am in the best possible place.”

Carlo Ancelotti

“It’s true. In Italy, it’s a more difficult situation than here,” the Everton manager said. “The only thing that we can do here is to follow the Government advice.

“We are doing this, we take care of this and I hope that Italy first of all, has to sort out this situation quickly.

“It is really difficult because everything in Italy is about our sport and here I hope that everything will be okay.”

Brendan Rodgers

“We’ve had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs,” the Leicester manager said. “We’ve followed procedures and [as a precaution] they have been kept away from the squad.

“Of course, from a football perspective, it (playing behind closed doors) would be a shame, but the public’s health is the most important aspect in all of this.

“We’re clearly guided by governments and federations. We have to press on with our work and prepare as normal as course, but this is something that can change very quickly, so it’s about having the agility to move with that, and that’s what we have to be ready for.”

Jurgen Klopp

“What I don’t like in life is that a very serious thing, a football manager’s opinion is important,” the Liverpool manager told reporters.

“I don’t understand that. I really don’t understand it, if I asked you, you are in exactly the same role as I am. So it’s not important what famous people say.

“We have to speak about things in the right manner, not people with no knowledge, like me, talking about something. People with knowledge will talk about it and tell people to do this, do that, and everything will be fine, or not. Not football managers, I don’t understand that.

“Politics, coronavirus, why me? I wear a baseball cap and have a bad shave. I’m concerned like everyone else. I live on this planet and I want it to be safe and healthy, I wish everybody the best, absolutely. But my opinion on coronavirus is not important.”

Pep Guardiola

“We are conscious of it because it has happened already in Italy,” the Manchester City boss said. “The league is suspended, and in Spain the next two weeks are behind closed doors.

“It is going to happen here. The tendency rises at the same level as Italy before and in Spain right now.

“The other issue you have to ask is, is it worse to play football without the spectators? We do our job for the people and if the people cannot come to watch us, there is no sense.

“I would not love to play matches in the Premier League or Champions League or the cups without the people. But we are going to follow the instructions of the government.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“I would understand yes, under the circumstances,” Manchester United’s manager said when asked if he would understand it Premier League games were postponed.

“It’s up to the experts to decide and the main concern must be the health of the general public and the decision that will be made we’ll back.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. Have to get on with it when we can. I think football is for fans. Without fans we are nothing anyway. The game should be always for them.”

Steve Bruce

“To play behind closed doors is not the answer, in my opinion,” the Newcastle United manager said earlier today.

“For me, suspend it, shut it down and re-arrange it for another date when we’re a bit more clear about the whole situation. But we’ll see what happens.

“There’s been no symptoms [from any Newcastle players or staff]. Touch wood. The doctor has been in contact with the other doctors [in the Premier League] I believe and we’re awaiting this phone call [about tomorrow’s game].

“Up until yesterday we were pretty convinced the game was going ahead. The welfare of everybody is key to all of this. The welfare of every individual is far more important than a football match. Like everybody else, we wish Mikel [Arteta] well and hope he recovers well.”

Daniel Farke

“I will definitely shake hands with Chris Wilder,” the Norwich manager said.

“We trust the specialists on Coronavirus and don’t want to panic too much. It’s probably the right decision to not shake hands before kick-off, even though everyone probably will afterwards.”

Chris Wilder

“It is hugely disappointing from a sporting point of view, and from our own point of view, if we have to play behind closed doors,” the Sheffield United manager said.

“Yes I would (postpone the league). For me, the game is nothing without the supporters. We all do it for a reason and that’s the buzz and the excitement that the supporters bring.

“A delay and for the season to be extended would be my preferred choice.”

Ralph Hasenhuttl

I think it’s for sure not the same sport if you want, when you play like that it feels more like a training game,” the Southampton boss said on matches being played without fans.

“But if we can manage to end the league with playing behind closed doors then it would help I think for the competition, it’s important. In general I think the break that will come after this game is important.

“All we have to do in the moment is to do everything possible to make sure that the virus is not spreading so quickly. This is the goal we all have and if it helps to play without supporters or anything else we have to do this and deal with it.

“This is the most important thing at the moment, and everything else is not so interesting. I think it’s normal that there are in the moment more important things around us to focus on than football, and then it’s not easy to put the focus back on the pitch if you need to.”

Jose Mourinho

“I don’t know anything about it,” the Tottenham manager said. “I will do what I am told to do. If I have to play behind closed doors I will, if I have to stop playing I will. I am just a football man – I do what I am told.”

Nigel Pearson

“I don’t think we had any great leadership last night, listening to the prime minister,’ Pearson said. ‘I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership.”

“I wouldn’t want our fans to be going into a situation where they are fearful of contracting something that could possibly affect either themselves or a member of their family.”

David Moyes

After consulting with the medical team, we have supplied all the players with hand gel to keep with them,” the West Ham manager told the press.

“We’ve also agreed to no shaking hands at the moment, just fist bumps.

Nuno Espirito Santo

“Of course, it will be hard because of the situation that is happening around the world,” the Wolves manager told BT Sport.

“You play a game of football and then you realise what’s happening worldwide with all these people ill and dying and all these things and you have to play a game of football. It’s absurd.”


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