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Dave Edwards: Madness the Premier League didn’t have protocols to follow

Wolves’ top-flight campaign has been given the green light to continue despite the rise in Covid cases – but it felt to me like the Premier League was at breaking point over the weekend.


              
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic has a shot on goal
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic has a shot on goal

The worrying thing from an outsider’s point of view, after everything we went through in the last two years, was that there wasn’t any protocol to follow, any criteria for games to be called off due to coronavirus.

You’d think once a club hits a certain number of players unavailable through Covid that would trigger a postponement, but games were allowed to be decided on an individual basis.

I felt for Chelsea a little bit after the 0-0 draw, when you listen to Thomas Tuchel after the game, their preparation was definitely hampered. They had positive tests for a number of days in a row, to a player training and with the squad in the hotel, it’s crazy the Premier League didn’t call the game off, albeit good for Wolves from a selfish point of view!

It was worrying that it has taken this situation for the top flight to act on, there should have been a protocol in place beforehand.

There could’ve then been a short fire-break, for 10 days or two weeks, for players at all clubs to recover and get right again. But then it’s the most lucrative time of year, with TV games and fans in stadiums, you can understand them dragging it on, but I feel they made it worse for themselves.

The indecisive, up-in-the-air nature of what has happened in the last week or so is difficult for footballers.

Especially at this time of year, and for a lot of the foreign players too – they will be having family over to visit for Christmas and things like that – it’s a very special time of year.

You would be thinking in the back of your mind you could be in a situation where you could quite easily catch Covid and put your family at risk.

The sensible thing, in hindsight, would’ve been to have a break in the weekend just gone. From the midweek games last week, to have a 10-day break ready for the Boxing Day games, that would’ve been the sensible thing to do, but they have decided to play on after yesterday’s meeting.

If there was a break from now, it would’ve had a massive financial impact because of the festive television schedule. But that small break last weekend might have been enough to stop the positive cases.

Wolves now boast arguably one of the best defences in the league and an excellent goalkeeper. Their standards over the last six weeks have been amazing.

They limit teams to very few chances, and the save Jose Sa made from Pulisic in the second half was a top one.

Conor Coady is in the form of his life, Max Kilman is turning into a top, top centre-half and Romain Saiss got the winner in a good display at Brighton.

When you come to a football club you want to build from strong foundations and that’s what Bruno Lage is doing. He knows they need to attack more – although there were more opportunities at Brighton and in the Chelsea first half – but so much effort goes into those clean sheets as a solid base.

I’m sure that more time under Lage and some signings next month will definitely help.

I felt like Brighton was a game there for them to slip up in, or a 0-0 the way both sides have been playing, but Wolves in fairness took the game to Brighton.

I think Wolves would’ve been delighted the Chelsea game got played. Obviously the visitors were not at full strength - but they still had Champions League winners coming off the bench, I don’t know how stretched they really were!

With a smaller squad, Wolves will have been pleased not to have to worry about it being re-arranged for a midweek later in the season. A point against Chelsea is good in any situation.

Finally, I’d like to wish all Wolves fans and their families a very safe and happy Christmas.

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