Later News May 20

Deeney won’t train while Rose says players are treated like ‘lab rats’, as 6 down with virus in EPL


The will-they-won’t-they saga over potentially resuming the English Premier League (EPL) looks set to rumble on like a bad Taiwanese soap opera for a while longer, after six positive EPL tests for coronavirus was reported today (SGT).

 

Out of the six cases, three are from Watford – one player and two staff – one is from Burnley, while the remaining two are from an as yet unnamed third club.

 

These results come on the back of EPL clubs resuming non-contact training on Tuesday (May 19), with a total of 748 players and staff from 19 clubs being tested for the virus prior to that. 

Norwich City, last in the league, are also the last team to do their tests – having done it on Tuesday itself – and will only be able to resume training once the results are in.

 

WATCH: Liverpool legends discuss who would be the best and worst team-mates to live with during lockdown

 

These positive tests put a dent in the hopes of Project Restart ever getting off the ground, and will only serve to add to the worries of players who are already uncertain about resuming the league.

 

Among these players include Watford captain Troy Deeney, who, in a recent interview on the Talk the Talk YouTube show, has explicitly stated his refusal to return to training, let alone play an actual game.

 

The 31-year-old striker said: “We're due back in this week. I've said I'm not going in. It only takes one person to get infected within the group and I don't want to be bringing that home.

 

“My son is only five months old. He had breathing difficulties, so I don't want to come home to put him in more danger.”

 

WATCH: Brighton striker Glenn Murray on missing his team-mates

 

While some on social media have come out to accuse Deeney of lacking – to quote his infamous phrase – the “cojones” to get on with his job, it’s not hard to see where the Englishman is coming from.

 

Indeed, he’s not the only player to have expressed his reservations over restarting the league so far. Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have both come out in the media to voice their concerns, while Newcastle United full-back Danny Rose has claimed that players are being treated as “guinea pigs or lab rats” amid the pandemic.

 

Speaking on The Lockdown Tactics podcast, Rose said: “I’m dying to get back to football but just with the things that are happening right now, people are going through this coronavirus pandemic a lot worse than me, I don’t want to be complaining about everything.

 

“Just off the fact that people are suggesting we should go back to football, like we’re guinea pigs or lab rats.

 

“We’re going to experiment this phase and see if it works or not. I can just imagine people at home saying, ‘Well they earn that amount of money so they should be going back’.”

 

WATCH: Danny Rose's incredible goal against Burnley

 

So, there you have it – the drama pitting those in favour of Project Restart (comprising most EPL clubs as well as the league itself) against those who prefer to hold off on football or cancelling the season completely (comprising players like Deeney and Rose, as well as the entire Manchester United fanbase).

 

Which side are you on?

 

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