From Raheem Sterling to Frank Lampard: The players, managers and pundits who are FOR and AGAINST Premier

From Raheem Sterling to Frank Lampard: The players, managers and pundits who are FOR and AGAINST Premier thumbnail

With no Premier League football to talk about, there’s only one point of discussion at the moment: when will it return? The coronavirus pandemic has caused our beloved beautiful game to come to an unprecedented halt – and top flight chiefs are desperately trying to come up with a solution as to when the rest of the campaign can be finished. getty The Premier League has been suspended since March and people are divided as to when it should resume The latest development is that an agreement between the 20 Premier League teams will see small group training back on the agenda, with a further discussion scheduled for May 26 to debate contact training. But in all honesty, it seems like everyone is putting in their six pence about what is the safest solution to finish the campaign. Liverpool fans, unsurprisingly, hope the season can be resumed as soon as possible as their side stand just six points away from their first title in 30 years. However, many have cast doubts about whether it is safe for football to return given the dangers of coronavirus. So what have players, managers and pundits said about the proposed return? has identified the best comments below… In demand Man United, Man City and Liverpool ‘battling to sign £70m-rated PL ace’ headlines Three COVID-19 positive tests at Watford, Tyson Fury selling face masks for NHS aim Klopp ‘calls 102-goal ace several times’ as Liverpool seek Salah and Mane replacement KEEN Chelsea staff warned by club after flouting lockdown to make two academy signings moving Poch backed to join Man United despite Newcastle links by his former Spurs star nicked Salah mask-wearing robbers arrested by Egyptian police QUOTES Calling Bates a cretin and destroying Cannavaro and Vieira – O’Neill’s best moments plan CL could be completed using ‘final four’ tournament and with one-legged quarter-finals blow Watford worst-hit PL club in coronavirus tests as one player and two staff infected revealed Burnley assistant is one of six connected to PL to test positive for COVID-19 FOR Frank Lampard Chelsea boss Lampard has said his only priority is that his players feel comfortable with most of them set to return to training this week. He said: “It’s been a job for us as staff to plan how phase one will look because it will be quite different due to the restrictions on how we can work. “It’s good for the players because they will be wanting to get back training in the right conditions; we know it’s difficult circumstances for everyone so it’s going to be a challenge to make sure that we get it right. “Our job from the coaching side is to make sure we’re careful with the players. The first steps will have to be very careful but all managers will be thinking a similar thing. “You can’t just tell them we’re going in this direction because this is something that’s affected everyone and their families. “Football has been put in its place. Everyone wants to get back playing, we all miss it, but we need to know the players are comfortable.” Getty Images – Getty Frank Lampard is in favour of the Premier League resuming – but only if players are comfortable with it Steve Bruce Newcastle boss Bruce believes the planning of the restart has put the Premier League in a good position to resume. “They have done everything they possibly can to make sure everyone is safe,” he said. “The attention to detail is fantastic. I think everything has been put in place. “They have been meticulous in their planning. The vast majority of our squad are satisfied (with the first phase training protocols). Let’s get up and going and see where it takes us. I think all of us want to get it started and finished.” Bruce is hopeful that clubs will be able to move on to contact training and then to a Premier League restart in the coming weeks once the players are fit enough to resume. “Players have been off eight to nine weeks. Normally in pre-season it takes six weeks to get them right and six games (friendlies) so it’s going to be a bit of a shot in the dark but I hope we get the second phase (contact training) done.” Getty Images – Getty Steve Bruce believes preparation has been good for the Premier League to return Mikel Arteta The Arsenal boss, who was the first high-profile person in English football to contract coronavirus, believes everyone in football is ‘willing to play’ but the decision should not be rushed. He said: “I think the hardest thing is going to be to educate the players and everybody involved at the training ground and matchdays that this is different and we have to be very strict with the protocols. “Common sense will dictate when we can take the next step and the next step and the next. We cannot rush it. “We’re all aiming to play. We need to play, we are willing to play. It’s important for us, the society and the economy. “We have that responsibility so we just have to be ready.  Whenever they say, ‘go ahead, open that door and hit the gas.’” Getty Images – Getty Mikel Arteta was the first high-profile person in football to contract coronavirus in March Steve Parish Crystal Palace chief Parish says the return of the Premier League could offer people small relief from worries of the coronavirus crisis and help define the ‘new normal’ for other industries. He said: “Football cannot occupy any paramedic or ambulance that the NHS needs. We must do our best not to create a public-order issue with supporters attempting to get close to grounds. Perhaps most importantly, we cannot take testing capacity from one person in greater need. “I believe that just as Formula One is often the precursor to developments that become standard in general road vehicles, so Premier League football with its physical science, medical infrastructures and resources for looking after its people, can begin to define how the ‘new normal’ might look for a lot of working environments. “Not only that, in our country and beyond, people need to find ways to move forward mentally, to experience some small relief from the worries of this crisis. In my view, a story here and a conversation there about the game last night will not trivialise loss or suffering but offer a tiny respite from it for many people. “Football is meaningless – but it is magnificently meaningless. It has the power to lighten lives; why not see if we can use that power again?” getty Parish believes the return of football will benefit many clubs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United boss Solskjaer believes the return of the Premier League will give the public a much-needed lift. “It will definitely give everyone a lift – I think the majority of the country depends on football,” he said. “With the summer holidays with no Euros or World Cups you are starved from football and can’t wait for August to come back and the League to start again. Getty Images – Getty Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is for the restart of the Premier League Roberto Martinez The Belgium boss said the return of football has to be considered as nothing will return to normality until a vaccine is discovered. He told Drive on talkSPORT: “You need to understand the circumstances of not finishing the season could be drastic for many institutions. “So you need to find a solution. We all need to bring a bit of common sense and understand until we get a vaccine, we won’t get a normality. “So from that point of view, we need to get sport back, we need to get football back, we need to get that little bit of light, that little bit of stimulation for the whole of humanity that we can beat this virus.” AFP or licensors Roberto Martinez has not managed in the Premier League since being sacked by Everton in May 2016 Troy Deeney right to refuse to return to Watford training over COVID-19 fears, says Ally McCoist – “There is no argument against him.” AGAINST Troy Deeney The Watford captain spoke to talkSPORT last week and expressed his fears of potentially passing the virus to a member of his young family. “We’re due back in this week, and I’ve said I’m not going,” he said. “Within the meeting I asked very simple questions; for Black, Asian and mixed ethnicities they are four times more likely to get the illness and twice as likely to have long lasting illness – Is there any additional screening? Heart stuff to see if anyone has a problem? “I feel that should be addressed. I can’t get a haircut until mid-July but I can go and get in a box with 19 people and jump for a header? I don’t know how that works. “No one could answer the questions – not because they didn’t want to, but because they didn’t have the information. “I just said. ‘If you don’t know the information, why would I put myself at risk?’.” Getty Images – Getty Deeney is incredibly skeptical about the Premier Leagues Project Restart Nigel Pearson Hornet boss Pearson echoed Deeney’s concerns, insisting someone could die if the Premier League is rushed back too soon. “God forbid we have a fatality,” he said. “People are closing their eyes to the threat. “Yes, we would like to restart it but it’s got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It’s about safeguarding people’s health. “We have to try to believe (Government) advice that we’re being given that we’ve reached the peak but there’s still an incredible number of people losing their lives through this. “The death toll in the UK is anything between 33,000 and 38,000. That’s filling our stadium and then filling it half again. It’s a sobering thought.” Getty Images – Getty Watford manager Nigel Pearson is worried there could be a fatality if the Premier League returns too early Raheem Sterling Man City and England forward Sterling believes Premier League players’ health and fitness cannot be compromised just for football to return. He said: “You can’t come back in with one-and-a-half or two weeks (of training). “You’d need a full four to five weeks, especially if you’re going to go back into competition, when you’re literally paid to win. You do need to do that preparation – you can’t just go straight in.” Sterling has expressed his concerns over the plans to resume the Premier League next month Danny Rose The Tottenham defender, who is on loan at Newcastle for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign, cannot fathom how the football authorities in this country can justify the 2019/20 season resuming with people still dying from COVID-19. “It’s a fing joke, I’m not even going to lie,” he said on an Instagram Live. “The government is saying bring football back because it’s going to boost the nation’s morale, I don’t give a fabout the nation’s morale. “People’s lives are at risk, you know what I mean? Football shouldn’t even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively. It’s b.” Rex Features Danny Rose is vehemently against plans for the Premier League to resume Ray Parlour Speaking on the talkSPORT Breakfast, Arsenal legend Parlour said players should be allowed to say ‘no’ to returning, as there is more at stake for them than just money. “You can’t put pressure on players like that,” said the former Arsenal midfielder. “If they’re not 100 per cent, you don’t know what their lifestyles are like, they might have a pregnant wife at home, they might have older relatives living with them and they can’t put them in jeopardy. ‘We’re talking about lives here, this isn’t just a football match. You can go and play football, yes, but it can be an absolute nightmare for families. “30,000 people have lost their lives – that’s more important than football.” Parlour believes no one can force Premier League stars to play against their will Simon Jordan The outspoken talkSPORT host, and ex-Crystal Palace owner, believes a June restart should not be a possibility, insisting that it is only being made an option because of the Liverpool and Leeds’ current positions. “The season, for all manner of reasons, needs to be completed properly, not by changing the format. And, as yet, it hasn’t reached the tipping point where that’s an impossibility. “But, frankly, if a June-only return date is available for football to complete its calendar then the 2019/20 season should be voided. “In the 1974 Charity Shield, two domestic powerhouses playing in that game, Liverpool and Leeds, would never have thought, 46 years later, one would be vying for their first championship in 30 years and the other out of the elite for nearly two decades. “They will both be apoplectic about any voiding notion. “But bringing back football in the eye of a pandemic, to protect Premier League broadcast deals which can be renegotiated, to give Liverpool the title and perhaps promote Leeds and West Brom, makes scant sense to the majority of the football world.”,

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