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Pep Guardiola among Premier League managers urging players to have Covid-19 vaccine

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City face Norwich on Saturday

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is among several Premier League managers urging players to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The number of positive tests in the Premier League has risen recently, with 11 positive cases reported on Monday.

Fellow managers Mikel Arteta, Nuno Espirito Santo, Steve Bruce and Graham Potter have also called on players to have the vaccine.

But Guardiola said he is “not the right person” to convince them.

“I think the doctors, the medical department can do it, so the players have to know that is [to] protect them, family and the rest of society. But no-one can obligate them to do it,” said the Spaniard, whose mother died after contracting coronavirus in April 2020.

“I think the best way is explain to them the benefits or not benefits to being vaccinated or not, for themselves, for their families, and for the rest of the people working here and in the street. And after that, everyone is going to decide.

“But, when all the scientists, all the doctors, all the big specialists about medicine say the only solution to eradicate or help to move forward after this two years of pandemic situation is being vaccinated, I think they should consider it.”

On Friday, Arsenal manager Arteta said he was surprised the Gunners’ Premier League opener with Brentford went ahead after a number of coronavirus cases at the club.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Runar Alex Runarsson all missed Friday’s 2-0 loss after positive tests, while Willian is also recovering after returning a positive Covid-19 result.

Arteta added that most of his players have had both Covid-19 vaccinations and that the club was working on trying to get all playing staff vaccinated.

“Most of them are double vaccinated or had one vaccine,” he said.

“We are trying to encourage them to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their families. It’s a really personal matter, we are trying to guide them and explain the reasons why it is better to do but at the end it’s a personal decision.”

Tottenham boss Nuno said: “The pandemic is still with us and we’re learning to live with that.

“I respect all the personal choices – each and every one of us should decide – but I’m in favour of the vaccine and I would [encourage] all the players to get the vaccine. That allows maybe this freedom of when the players want to celebrate.

“It doesn’t mean you’re totally free from contracting the virus but it gives you more safety. So I’m truly in favour of the vaccine.”

Newcastle boss Bruce holds similar views, but said it was players’ “prerogative” as to whether they got the vaccine.

Magpies goalkeeper Karl Darlow spent time in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in July.

“It’s fair to say we’ve got a lot of players who have not had the jab and I’ve always said it’s their prerogative,” Bruce said.

“We’ve had two or three of our players be really, really sick. Karl wants it out there. He didn’t have any symptoms and within 24 to 48 hours he was in hospital. My advice is to get jabbed.”

On Thursday, Brighton manager Potter revealed he had recently lost an unvaccinated family member to Covid.

“I’ve had first-hand experience of a family member that wasn’t vaccinated and unfortunately lost their life with the illness,” said Potter.

“He was 48 – not the same age as the players of course, but young with two kids, so it’s tragic.

“I would advise [vaccination] because I don’t want anybody else to go through that.

“It was devastating to go through and witness, and tragic for the family. It was last week, unfortunately. It was a quick illness, [he] responded badly to it and went downhill really quickly.”

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