EPL Players Told not to Celebrate Together: Guardiola, Lampard, Arteta, Parker, Pogba Reactions

The new protocol that aims to stop players celebrating together has got a few eyebrows raised. Some call it controversial, others highlight the difficulty in following them.
They were urged to encourage Coaches and Captains to remind players to maintain social distancing among their teams on the pitch. The match officials were also directed to specifically discuss with Coaches and Captains what is expected of them during games.
According to the new rules, players ought to maintain social distancing as much as possible during games especially in the celebration of goals.
However, despite the new measures, several players of various teams were seen embracing themselves as they celebrated goals during this week’s games, and the league has now set out to hold talks directly with captains and managers to urge them to stick to the protocols.
The Premier League presumably has stepped up measures to ensure players abide by the protocols in a bid to prevent football from being criticized heavily. If this occurs, it is could lead to a change in Government policy which would see the league halted or stopped till further notice.
This new development of speaking directly to coaches and players has sparked a lot of mixed reactions. While no one objected to the new protocols, some believe that the new rules highlight or show controversy as football is a contact sport.

Below are the reactions:

Pep Guardiola
Manchester City’s coach Pep Guardiola
Speaking postmatch of the win over Brighton on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola had this to say:

“We will follow what the Premier League says but I don’t know if we will be able to do it. I respect the Premier League protocols. I understand completely what they are trying to do. When we are indoors everyone respects social distancing. We have to do it. But outdoors, on the training pitch, after being tested many times, in the real moment of joy, [hugging] is instinct and reaction. It is difficult. I don’t know if we will be able to do it.”

Frank Lampard
Chelsea’s Coach Frank Lampard
Ahead of Chelsea’s game against Fulham, Frank Lampard was asked about the new rules and whether the Players behaviors were arrogant, he had this to say:

Footballers are doing everything that everyone else is being asked to do as well. Some people are being asked to work from home – footballers aren’t.

“So they are taking themselves into an environment where they are potentially putting themselves in danger and maybe the family they go home to – a pregnant wife, a grandparent, a parent, a brother or a sister.

“So I think we have to understand that footballers are human and they are being asked to go and do their job.

“If you understand football and understand the passion and instinct that every fan has, they understand it can bring out emotions. To control the emotions I think is a fair ask, but to dictate emotions will probably be very difficult on the pitch.

“We should see if players can control it. I hope they can but this beautiful game that we all love does bring emotions out on the pitch.

“What I want to be clear about is the players are being asked to come to work and they are doing everything they can to toe the line.”

When asked if the club had informed them about it, he said:

“Yes, we have been told that the Players are good lads, they do not want to do the wrong thing”

He went on to say “In a perfect world we will all walk back to the halfway line and just start again. But it maybe will not quite be the case, and I do not think you can hold players hugely to account unless there is the clear flouting of those rules.

“The protocols are in place – they have been hardened recently and I understand why.

“There are areas in our workplace where social distancing is top of the list, but when you are actively playing football on the pitch and there’s a lot of instinct involved, then it’s not always as easy. We need to do our best.”

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal’s coach Mikel Arteta
Speaking to Sky sports ahead of the Crystal Palace game on Thursday, Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta had this to say about the new protocols:

“To control the emotions when you’re going 200mph in a game full of things happening around you is very difficult to control,”

He added “We ask in our players, in corners, for example, to be man-marking people and pushing people around, and then we cannot fist-bump anybody or say hello to anybody.

“It gets a little controversial and difficult to understand.”

Scott Parker
Fulham’s Coach Scott Parker
After the draw against Tottenham which saw some Fulham players celebrating, Fulham Head Coach was asked about the new rules and whether he would speak with his players about it, he said:

“I feel like I’m probably going to. I didn’t notice and I’ve not seen it back. At the same time, I do have sympathy for the players. We are still playing football, these players are still getting judged, I’m getting judged, football clubs are getting judged”

He added “At the same time of course I understand the situation out there and protocols in play. Of course, it’s a conversation I will have with the players.”

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba while speaking with Skysports ahead of Sunday’s epic clash with Liverpool had this to say:
“You find another way, you find another way to celebrate, to be happy, but the most important thing is the result. Therefore the safety of everyone.”

He also added: “I did have it but that was when I was at home. That’s not the problem, as long as everyone is safe, that is the most important thing.”

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