Thomas Tuchel’s abrupt 13-word response after Arsenal’s North London Derby request granted

Thomas Tuchel refused to be drawn into the debate regarding the Premier League’s controversial decision to postpone Sunday’s North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

It was revealed that the Gunners had lodged a request for the clash to be rescheduled due to a number of injuries, Africa Cup of Nations call-ups and also possible Covid-19 cases.

The Premier League confirmed that request had been granted on Saturday afternoon following a meeting of the board.

A statement from the league read: “Following a request from Arsenal FC, the Premier League Board met today and regrettably agreed to postpone the club’s away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 4:30pm on Sunday 16 January.

“With Arsenal having fewer than the required number of players available for the match (13 outfield players and one goalkeeper), the Board accepted the club’s application. The decision is a result of a combination of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. All clubs are able to apply for a postponement if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request.”

Following Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Blues boss Tuchel was probed about the decision and responded in a typically forthright nature.

He said: “It’s much better for me not to answer the question. Much, much better.”

The German had previously been left frustrated after Chelsea’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers was played despite a request from the Blues to postpone the game.

Since, he has hinted that he would be left furious if clubs in the league were taking advantage of the current postponement rules.

Asked if that was occuring before the trip to the Etihad Stadium, Tuchel said: “I strongly, strongly hope that’s not the case otherwise I would be very, very angry.

We are doing everything we can to make games happen and we were made to play when we thought we should maybe not. I can only strongly hope the rules are the same.”

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