Arsenal FC, L.A. Rams Coaches Share Notes on Training During Pandemic

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Arsenal FC and the Los Angeles Rams have the same corporate parents, as both are owned by the Kroenke Sports Enterprises, headed by American billionaire Stan Kroenke. So it only makes sense that the two sporting franchise powerhouses would share and compare notes on how to get through this coronavirus pandemic.

Obviously, today we only have more questions than answers, and even when we have some answers, more questions arise as to how sports will adjust to the so-called “new normal.” The English Premier League and American National Football League are arguably the two biggest and most popular sports leagues on the planet, and both face unique challenges when it comes to resuming action in 2020.

According to ESPN, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta held a two hour conference call with L.A. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay this week in order to share ideas on how to conduct safe training sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Arsenal technical director Edu was also on the call and the trio were joined briefly by head of football Raul Sanllehi,” the article states. Under “Project Restart,” the Premier League is aiming to resume game action, behind closed doors, likely in neutral venues, in mid-June.

Arsenal opened up their training ground late last month, with players reportedly observing social distancing guidelines. Now they’re hoping to move towards regular group training again, most likely by the middle of this month.

Football, soccer, futbol, whatever you call it, is in a much trickier position than some of the other big name, high profile team sports that we all know and love. It’s a sport where the basic composition is as polar opposite of social distancing as possible. In both football and soccer (football and American football) you have a term called “tackle.”

All across the world, the coronavirus pandemic has hit different cities, states, provinces and regions with differing severity, at different times.

So there’s really no one size fits all approach to re-opening, and that’s a major challenge in a cross-country league. What the Rams and Arsenal are discussing here, the questions they’re trying to answer, are the same issues facing PL and NFL players, coaches, staff, leadership everywhere.

If we’re to actually have big time professional sports in America and Great Britain again in 2020, a lot has to happen first, and all that’s been going wrong on these fronts needs to start going right, and soon. The United Kingdom has really struggled in handling the pandemic, not getting their plan together like some of their European brethren.

However, the American response has been nothing short of total disaster. The U.S. did have a plan at least, but essentially gave up on it mid-stream because it was deemed too difficult. There was some great news yesterday though on the vaccine front, with Pfizer believing they’re well on the path to progress.

If their vaccine candidate is actually proven to be safe and effective, it would be produced in Michigan, and that could be a game-changer for American sports leagues come late 2020/early 2021. At this point, it seems to be the only direction/sense of a plan the Trump administration has- go all in towards fast tracking the vaccine.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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