The Gunners are currently hampered by injury issues, are without a number of players due to the Africa Cup of Nations and reportedly have multiple Covid-19 cases.
As such, Mikel Arteta’s side saw fit to request a postponement under the Premier League rulings and the decision was eventually made to reschedule the match for a future date.
Many famous faces, most notably Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, have been heavily critical of the outcome and believe the match should have been played on Sunday.
Neville tweeted on Saturday after the postponement was made official: “Game off. What started out as postponements due to a pandemic has now become about clubs not having their best team . The Premier League must stop this now , draw a line in the sand and say all games go ahead unless you have an exceptional amount of CV cases. It’s wrong.”
Carragher joined in and sarcastically posted: “All ok for Liverpool on Thursday.”
Take a look at footage of the former Manchester City defender’s speech here…
Video: Richards defends Arsenal over NLD postponement
He said: “I think with Arsenal, remember the first game of the season at Brentford, no [Alexandre] Lacazette, no [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang.
“I just feel like when it’s Arsenal, everyone wants to lump in for some reason.
“Arsenal have been in great form and by the rules they’ve done nothing wrong. Like the lads have said here, the clarity and they’re playing by what they perceive they don’t have enough first-team players.
“So I understand other people being frustrated. But in my opinion, they’ve done nothing wrong. And let’s be honest, other clubs would do the same thing as well. This is not an Arsenal thing.
“People say the way they’ve handled it, they could have been better. Yes of course, I think in terms of the integrity of the game. But if you know that you’ve not got senior players fit.
“Every team in the Premier League would look after themselves and if they say they wouldn’t then they’re lying.”
Fair play, Micah.
It does seem odd that there has been so much uproar over the past 48 hours or so with regards to the postponement of the north London derby.
Over 20 other English top-flight matches have been called off in recent months due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country. So, why is there so much rage across social media this time around?
Perhaps it’s because the game is the first 2021/22 Premier League encounter to be called off that features two of the division’s traditional ‘big six’…