Clearly football has started to take some steps to help protect the players against head injuries and concussions, but it still doesn’t feel like enough.
Former PGMOL boss Keith Hackett called for big changes before we end up with a situation where a player dies on the field, while the situation between Arsenal and Wolves illustrated that we have a long way to go.
Raul Jimenez rightfully received the best medical care and thankfully it looks like he will be okay, but David Luiz was allowed to play on and it’s drawn plenty of criticism.
He was bandaged up with blood dripping down his face, while you could see in his eyes that he looked pretty woozy, so it calls into question the decision to leave him on for the rest of the first half.
Mikel Arteta has since spoken out to say he’s comfortable with his decision to leave him on the field, but he would like to see temporary subs to give teams more time to assess concussions properly:
Mikel Arteta feels the time has come to allow temporary substitutions for possible concussions in football ?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 2, 2020
Obviously he can’t come out and say he made a mistake concerning a player with a serious head injury because that will become a huge deal, but it’s hard to see any argument against this.
We would probably need to ensure an independent specialist was on hand to assess players to make sure the correct choices are being made, while they could also confirm the need for a concussion check to ensure teams don’t abuse the rule late in games when they need to make a further sub.
It’s hard to make any reasonable argument against football doing more to protect players against injuries that can genuinely affect them in later life and reduce life expectancy, so hopefully we see something change soon.