Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says is desperate to keep fans in stadiums amid the latest surge of Covid and opened up on the difficulties of preparing for the unknown.
Football was played behind closed doors for much of the first 15 months of the pandemic, only returning at full capacity in August this season.
This time, fans are still in stadiums but six games were postponed on the weekend due to an influx of positive Covid cases at clubs.
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Arsenal are one of the few sides yet to have a game postponed, and Arteta is hoping the calendar can cling on and fans can remain in grounds.
“Please don't go back to that stage [when fans were banned fro stadiums]," said Arteta.
"We have experienced that and it's something we don't like so hopefully it's not what happens."
It's a different sport. Football is all about sharing it with people and having fans around the stadiums and when it is not, it is a completely different sport and the competition gets lost. It is not the same.
And while Arteta was hopeful the Premier League could ride out the current storm, he confessed that preparing and planning for the unknown, having a plan B, C and D, was forcing a change in approach to the season.
"It is difficult for the players and for myself," he added. "For the staff because we don't know really who is going to be available to do what, and we are all trying to help each other and get the best out of the situation.
"We have to respect the decisions I made because we have to believe that those decisions are based first of all on the wellbeing of all of us, that we are involved and secondly because we have to protect the game, and that is important as well.
"Have a really positive approach and your mindset ready that unpredictable things are going to happen - and stop complaining about everything that happens, 'Oh, one more (thing)'. Then you will find excuses, we can find excuses for everything.
"We know what is going to happen, we know that bad news will come, probably, so we have to expect it and try to prevent it if we can with all the protocols we have. But we have to be prepared as well to have Plan B, C and D."
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