According to Alasdair Gold on Twitter this morning, tomorrow’s North London Derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal is OFF. The announcement is set to be made in short order this morning.
Understand that the Spurs players and staff at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have been informed that tomorrow’s north London derby against Arsenal is off. The Premier League are set to announce their decision shortly.
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) January 15, 2022
Tottenham were ready to play the match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tomorrow but Arsenal had appealed to the Premier League for the postponement since they have only 12 outfield first team players available. The Gunners have several players out injured, one player suspended due to a red card, two players currently away with the African Cup of Nations, just loaned out two more players last week, and had one (1) suspected COVID-19 positive test.
By the letter of the league’s COVID-era postponement policy, which does not specifically dictate that you need multiple COVID positive tests or an outbreak in order to qualify for postponement, Arsenal fits the criteria for a postponement, though it’s pretty rich that the Gooners are going to be granted this after howling in protest after Liverpool successfully postponed the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between the two clubs due to what turned out to be a series of sketchy COVID false positives last week.
In addition, I’d really like to know how the Premier League justifies this postponement when earlier in this season they forced Leeds to play a match (against Arsenal!) during a COVID outbreak with just nine healthy senior players. But whatever. We’re not going to get that, probably. Mostly I find this whole scenario just darkly hilarious.
I don’t think this is necessarily a BAD outcome for Spurs — they’re already ready to play without Eric Dier, Cuti Romero, and Son Heung-Min and this gives additional time for them to (hopefully) come back into the squad and get back up to speed. But wow, on the face of it it sure does seem like a load of horseshit, doesn’t it?
We’ll wait for the official confirmation, but this looks like it’s going to be Tottenham’s fourth match in hand this season. Wheeeee!
Update: Confirmed. The match is officially off.
Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the North London Derby, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.
Full PL statement ⤵️
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 15, 2022