winger Andros Townsend believes it is the responsibility of senior players at each club to ‘pull aside’ team-mates who break social distancing rules and warn them ‘they’re risking people’s lives.’
players have been able to return to their clubs this week for socially distanced training sessions with squads split into small groups of up to five.
It’s the first step towards a potential resumption of the Premier League season in the middle of next month with remaining matches played behind closed doors.
Crystal Palace star Andros Townsend has spoken about the responsibility of experienced players at Premier League clubs to remind younger team-mates about lockdown rules
Townsend, 28, said senior professionals have to remind younger players lives are at stake
A number of top-level players such as Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kyle Walker, Alexandre Lacazette, Jack Grealish and Serge Aurier have been criticised for breaking lockdown rules in recent weeks.
And Townsend, 28, says it is up to the more experienced heads in each squad to lead by example.
He told : ‘The plan is to get tested twice a week and the guidelines are you train, you go home, you only leave your house for essential shopping.
‘So, mega3kr4b3aq6ic5sepvn7yfwuhgdk6dswfqo6cd6mi5kuiexjbqe3id.onion on paper, I don’t see how this thing can spread. Obviously, the only way it can is if team-mates are not abiding by those guidelines.
‘And then it’s down to senior players at each club to pull them aside and have a conversation telling them they’re risking people’s lives.
‘I’m not judging anybody. It’s easy for me to sit here with my missus and two kids, and then being able to judge a person who’s maybe on their own and is not getting that similar conversation on a constant basis.
Manchester City’s Kyle Walker apologised after breaking lockdown restrictions
‘So it must be difficult but of course if I do feel, or senior players do feel, that maybe the younger players aren’t abiding by those guidelines of course we will have a conversation.’
Townsend added: ‘I think at these times more than any, mental health is probably just as important as physical health and it’s easy to judge and say “Oh, why is he being silly, why is he breaking lockdown rules.”
‘But you have to take the time as well as to think about this person’s mental health. Maybe he’s struggling mentally maybe he just needed to speak to another human being.
‘So I can’t judge anybody but when it comes to a point where my family could be put at risk as well or my team-mates’ family, then of course conversations need to be had.’
Chelsea forward Hudson-Odoi, 19, was arrested on suspicion of rape in the early hours of last Sunday morning after inviting a model he’d met online to his home. He was taken into police custody before being released on bail.
Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette was reminded of his responsibilities after breaching lockdown rules
Hudson-Odoi returned to training at Chelsea’s Cobham HQ on Tuesday.
Manchester City and England full-back Walker, 29, hosted a sex party during lockdown and received criticism for travelling to South Yorkshire to visit his sister and parents.
Lacazette’s future at Arsenal has been thrown into doubt after he was pictured inhaling a gas substance from a balloon for the second time in 18 months.
Arsenal quartet Lacazette, David Luiz, Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka were reminded of their responsibilities after being pictured in different locations in apparent breach of lockdown.
Tottenham defender Serge Aurier posted three images of his new haircut to Instagram
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish said he was ‘deeply embarrassed’ after being pictured at the scene of a car crash after ‘going to visit a friend’.
And Tottenham are investigating Aurier after he posted a photo on social media of himself and a barber after getting a haircut.
Aurier previously apologised for posting a video of himself and a friend jogging during lockdown. Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was also pictured holding a one-on-one training session in a park with Tanguy Ndombele.