Conte hits back at Arteta for Premier League fixture complaints as he urges Arsenal boss to 'remember' north London derby postponement

16:53 SAST 2022/03/18
Antonio Conte
The Spurs manager believes his counterpart at Emirates Stadium has been hypocritical with his comments on top-flight scheduling

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has hit back at Mikel Arteta's complaints over Premier League fixtures, urging the Arsenal manager to "remember" the circumstances surrounding the postponement of the north London derby in January.

Arteta risked the wrath of the Premier League by claiming that his players are not being protected after their 2-0 loss to Liverpool in midweek.

Arsenal will play their third game in the space of six days at Aston Villa on Saturday, and the Spaniard feels his side are being treated differently to the rest of the clubs in the division, but Conte has issued a cutting response.

What's been said?

Speaking ahead of Spurs' meeting with West Ham on Sunday, Conte addressed Arteta's comments by asking him to recall when Arsenal had their request to postpone their derby fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 16 granted by the Premier League.

"I only want Arteta to remember the game between Tottenham and Arsenal that was postponed," Conte told a press conference.

"My answer is enough, if someone wants to speak about fair. I don't forget this.

"I don’t want to speak about fair or unfair."

Why was Spurs vs Arsenal postponed?

Arsenal requested that their encounter with Tottenham be pushed back due to a depleted squad, despite the fact that only a small number of their absentees had tested positive for Covid-19.

The Premier League decided to re-arrange the fixture, but has since changed their Covid-19 rules so that no club can request a postponement without confirming at least four positive tests.

Conte was initially left hugely frustrated by the decision to push back the derby, which has yet to be rescheduled, as he told reporters at the time: "This the first time in my life that there is a league that has postponed the game for injuries. It is very strange and surprising.

"You have to laugh because they have totally changed the vision. You have to take the decision to postpone only for one reason – if there are Covid cases. Not for injuries, not for international duty.”

Further reading