With the Premier League confirming the return date for the remainder of the 19/20 season, it seemingly put to bed any doubts that the remaining games on the calendar would be played out.
Many have spent the last couple of months calling for the campaign to be cancelled, but that never seemed all that likely. The return of football in Germany, as well as similar plans in other countries, showed that football could return.
Despite initial doubts from some players, such as Troy Deeney, the vast majority seem onboard with the return to action. The Premier League have done everything to make any health risks as low as possible, something that will continue throughout the coming months.
Jose Mourinho is certainly amongst those who felt it was time for the league to return. Speaking to Spurs TV, he said those involved in the game could not be selfish in delaying its return:
We shouldn’t be selfish, we shouldn’t demand too much. It’s our time to give.
For example, when players play Euros and World Cups, they barely have a holiday, they don’t have pre-season, they come direct from holiday and sometimes they train less than a week to play the first Premier League match.
At this moment, people are worried about trying to have what they never have. For example, speaking about pre-season injuries, there are pre-season injuries. Everyone has pre-season injuries in normal seasons, so we cannot expect now not to have an injury here, an injury there.
We cannot ask for more than the authorities are giving us, which is the maximum security, and I think now it’s time just to play and to give people what people want.
There were doubts as to whether the Premier League could come back, especially this quickly. However, the example set by Germany ensured the process for its return would be sped up.
Mourinho admits that he did have his own doubts, but that now feels like the right time to get back into it:
There was a moment we were all scared about when we would start. Is the season is over?
Next season will start September, October, November… who knows? But then less doubts, less doubts, less doubts and now it feels like it’s coming. We want to play.
You look to other countries, Germany, they have already played matches, Portugal starts this weekend, Spain next weekend, football is coming everywhere.
We used to be the football that never stops, even in periods like Christmas – we are the league for the world and it feels a bit strange that we’re not playing but we are waiting patiently for the green light to go.