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Arsenal, Spurs begin socially-distanced training, Chelsea reportedly considering similar steps

Baby steps

Arsenal Staff at Work at the Emirates Stadium Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal had the first confirmed case of COVID-19 among Premier League teams, and now, six weeks later, they are the first team to return to some form of training at the club’s official training ground.

On Monday, the majority of the Gunners’ first-team squad conducted an isolated session at Colney, training basically alone without even coaching supervision (who all remained at home). The players arrived at staggered intervals, with no more than five sharing a pitch at any given time. Most of the indoor facilities remained closed, including the gym and the canteen. Sky Sports’ helicopter footage shows that the social distancing measures were followed impeccably.

Spurs have confirmed that are following in Arsenal’s model today (Tuesday), while reports add that Chelsea are among several team considering similar steps in the near future, alongside Liverpool and West Ham. Chelsea already had made Stamford Bridge available for workouts for those players living nearby, but Cobham has remained closed since mid-March.

It’s of course tough to call this proper training, but it’s a small first step towards normalcy, with the league increasingly targeting a June return. While talk this weekend of that actually happening is probably still a bit too hopeful, if the fight against the coronavirus goes as well as hoped, we might be looking at football again in a little over a month. Plenty of things left to figure out between now and then, logistically, financially, legally, and most importantly, with regards to the safety of all involved.