Tottenham Hotspur was originally scheduled to play two friendly matches ahead of their Premier League match against Manchester United this coming Friday. Spurs hosted Norwich City on Friday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and were planning on hosting Championship side Reading FC on Saturday, but Reading backed out of the match abruptly late last week.
Now we know why. According to Football.London, Reading dropped out of the friendly competition because they had two people in their organization test positive for COVID-19. The positive cases, identified as academy director Michael Gilkes and player Lucase Boye, prompted Reading to cancel out of an abundance of caution.
That’s why Spurs and Norwich played that wacky extended friendly match with the four 30-minute periods instead of just a straight 90 minute match. The original plan was to play one XI against Norwich and another XI against Reading, so that all players could get a solid amount of match time.
It certainly is a coincidence (but not really ironic, lol) that Norwich had a player test positive for coronavirus just after the Spurs friendly. I supposed there’s probably going to be a bunch more positive tests coming down the pipe over the next few weeks and longer, or until a cure is announced.
As of today, Tottenham will be without two first team players for their critical first match against United — Dele is suspended by the FA for his racist Snapchat video, while Japhet Tanganga will miss with a back injury.