Everton seek clarification on Manchester City postponement after players were ready to play fixture before last-minute decision

Everton seek clarification on Manchester City postponement after players were ready to play fixture before last-minute decision

Everton seek clarification

Another postponement of the Premier League season was witnessed yesterday evening after Everton’s match with Manchester City was called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the City squad.

The decision to postpone the game was made just hours before kick-off leaving an Everton side completely ready to take on their opponents only to be told that they would not be playing.

A statement on the Manchester City website read:

‘After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day. With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond. Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.’

After the official statement from Manchester City, Everton released their own. The club were clearly frustrated with the decision to postpone the match at such a late stage in the day having prepared and set up Goodison Park for the fixture.

‘Our players were prepared for the game, as were both the team staff and everyone at Goodison. Matchday is the most important date in our calendar. And this was a big one.

Whilst Everton will always have public safety uppermost, we will be requesting full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League so the Club can be clear on why this decision was taken.’

Everton had the opportunity to go level with their city rivals, Liverpool, at the top of the table should they have overcome the tricky tie against Pep Guardiola’s squad.

With Manchester City already having a game in hand over the majority of their Premier League competitors due to their participation in the latter stages of the Champions League last season, finding a place for this and any subsequent postponements will be a tricky task for the Premier League.

Ancelotti not thinking of January

With Everton not playing until the 1st of January, the focus will now turn to the club’s plans for the window in which they could look to add reinforcement to the squad and Ancelotti’s hopes of reaching a Europa League or Champions League qualifying spot.

Speaking after Everton’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Boxing Day, Carlo Ancelotti played down talk of any possible signings coming into the club.

“I think we have a good squad. We are missing a lot of important players. Digne, Alan, James. So, I think with these players back, we can have a really good season. We don’t have to think about the transfer window in January,” the Italian coach said.

Everton seek clarification on Manchester City postponement after players were ready to play fixture before last-minute decision

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Lucas Digne of Everton receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton FC at Old Trafford on December 15, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

It is slightly surprising that the club is not looking to pursue signings in the upcoming window. With the absence of Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman facing his own fitness issues, Everton have looked light in the full-back areas.

Natural centre-backs Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate have been deputising in the positions despite being unorthodox selections. The assumption that the Toffees may look to sign further full-back reinforcement in January was a legitimate one, however, considering Ancelotti and his recent comments it appears the Italian is happy with his squad and is awaiting the return of several unfit members.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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