''It Is Inevitable That English Football Will Be Played Behind Closed Doors'' - Guardiola
March. 10, 2020
Manchester City Coach Pep Guardiola is of the opinion that it is inevitable that England will eventually follow the example of Italy and Spain and begin playing its football matches behind closed doors as a result of coronavirus outbreak, but hopes this preventive measure will be limited to only a few games.
“You have to ask whether it is worth playing football without the spectators,” the Manchester City manager said. “It doesn’t make any sense to play professional football without the people, because they are the ones we do it for, but obviously we are going to follow the instructions we are given. I would prefer not to play games without people watching, but clearly health is the most important thing, not the competition. I do think playing games behind close doors is going to happen here, but just one or two games, maybe. No longer than that.”
Man city’s next fixture sees a reunion of Mikel Arteta with the Etihad Stadium after resigning his role as Guardiola’s coaching assistant to take over as manager of the Gunners in December. Guardiola and Arteta have been in regular contact since, and Guardiola has every confidence in his former protege achieving great things in North London.
“I said after one season that Mikel would make a good manager for someone, as long as the right offer came along,” Guardiola said. “He knows Arsenal very well, he played there a long time, and I’m sure they will have some success with him in charge.”
Sergio Agüero should be passed fit for the visit of the Gunners, while Kevin de Bruyne, who has sat out the last two games with a shoulder injury, is back in training and will be subject to a later fitness test.
The Arsenal tie is the first of two City must play before Liverpool are in action again – Guardiola’s team also face Burnley at home on Saturday while the Reds do not play until the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Monday night. Liverpool need just six more points to secure their first Premier League title in the modern era. Though if Manchester City were to drop further points, they could be crowned champions much earlier than expected.