“It’s becoming too easy to get games called off” – Paul Merson hits out at postponement of Arsenal versus Spurs

Merson has blasted the Premier League's decision to postpone the North London Derby
Merson has blasted the Premier League's decision to postpone the North London Derby
Adit Jaganathan

Football pundit Paul Merson has criticized the Premier League's decision to postpone Arsenal's game against Tottenham at the weekend.

The season's second North London Derby was set to take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday but was called off due to Arsenal not having enough fit players available to field against their rivals.

Arsenal requested the game be postponed following their 0-0 draw against Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup last week. Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red card early on, which meant he would have been unavailable for the game on Sunday. Meanwhile, both Bukayo Saka and Cedric were forced to be subbed off due to apparent injuries.

This, along with the other absentees due to COVID-19 and injuries, as well as having three players away at the Africa Cup on Nations forced the Gunners to request for a postponement, which the Premier League granted.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson criticized the decision to postpone the game. He told Sky Sports:

"These clubs have spent a lot of money on academy football, on giving young kids a chance. How would those players feel when the manager turns around and says he hasn’t got any players?"
“I can understand if the cancellation is due to Covid, if there are ten cases in the camp and players have to do the right thing and isolate. But when you’ve got one Covid case but you’re getting a game called off because you’ve got seven injuries? Come on. It’s becoming too easy to get games called off. In lockdown there was all this talk about the importance of the fans. Now they have called a game off so late. How many people will have travelled from afar and booked hotels to come to this big football match? There is no care for the fans."
🗣 "They are trying to get the game called off because they have no midfield players. Don't get rid of the two players who could play for Arsenal, why are you putting people on loan to nick yourself 20/30 grand?"Paul Merson has his say on why Arsenal want the NLD called off

The Gunners host Liverpool on Thursday in the second-leg of the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. Mikel Arteta will hope that home advantage will play a huge role in helping his side progress to the final of the competition.

"I did fancy Arsenal to win" - Merson on North London Derby

Arteta's side have been in pretty decent form of late
Arteta's side have been in pretty decent form of late

Paul Merson also gave his opinion on how he thought the North London Derby would've gone if the game hadn't been postponed. He explained:

"As soon as Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Liverpool was over, and Mikel Arteta said he would have to play Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Albert Sambi Lokonga in midfield in Sunday’s north London derby, I thought the game was bang in trouble."
“I did fancy Arsenal to win at Tottenham before all of the injuries and Granit Xhaka’s suspension, but not after that. I mean, who was going to play in midfield? That said, I just cannot believe they got the game called off."
🚨 Our match against Tottenham on Sunday, January 16 has been postponed. #TOTARS

Edited by Adit Jaganathan
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