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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta feeling 'very well' after recovering from coronavirus

Spaniard talks about days leading up to testing positive, while ex-United player Neville insists it is too soon to consider playing matches behind closed doors

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said it took him three or four days to start feeling better after contracting the coronavirus. Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said it took him three or four days to start feeling better after contracting the coronavirus. Reuters

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has talked about finding out that he had contracted the coronavirus and how he is now feeling back to full health.

The 37-year-old tested positive for the virus 10 days ago, just before the Premier League postponed all its fixtures.

Players and staff at Arsenal have been self-isolating since Arteta was diagnosed, but the Spaniard believes he is now back to full health.

"I'm very well now, I feel that I have recovered," Arteta told Spanish television channel La Sexta.

"It took me three or four days to start feeling much better and with more energy, to leave the symptoms behind, and now the truth is that I feel very well."

Arteta self-isolated after coming into contact with Olympiakos president Evangelos Marinakis, who subsequently tested positive, during Arsenal's recent Europa League clash.

"Everything happened very fast," said Arteta. "On Tuesday afternoon I was feeling so-so and I went to see the doctor but he wasn't there.

"I got a call from the board of directors after training while I was in my car and they told me the president of Olympiacos had tested positive and everyone who had been in contact was at risk.

"I went on to tell them that I wasn't feeling well and that we had a situation because we had lots of players that had been in contact with them.

"We had a game against Manchester City the next day and obviously we couldn't put lots of people at risk without saying anything.

Gallery from last round of Premier League matches

"I had the test done last Wednesday and I was diagnosed on Friday, when we had to communicate it to the Premier League that I had tested positive.

"Obviously all those who had been in contact with me had to go into quarantine, and consequently games had to be suspended."

Meanwhile, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville says it is too soon to consider playing matches behind closed doors.

There has been talk of the Premier League returning to action but without spectators present.

But, talking to the BBC yesterday, Neville said: "There are a lot of things to happen before we contemplate behind closed doors.

"I said no on this about three or four weeks ago because I felt that it takes away from the essence of football.

"I also felt that EFL [English Football League] clubs and non-league clubs would suffer too much from the revenue loss and it would put them under.

"At the moment, the behind closed doors idea has got to come only after the health priority.

"Will fans turn up outside the stadium? Will fans congregate outside the stadium if their team can get promoted or get relegated, or if they can get into Europe?

"How are we going to stop that? How are the police going to man it? How are they health services going to react to incidents that happen off the back of it and do we need to put any more pressure on the services at this point in time?

"However, if those fears could be overcome somewhere down the line within this 12-week period then [behind closed doors games] could be the case."

Updated: March 23, 2020 08:38 PM

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