Football

Kevin Doyle Is Happy With Strides Football Is Taking In Dealing With Head Injuries

Kevin Doyle Is Happy With Strides Football Is Taking In Dealing With Head Injuries

When it David Luiz carried on during Arsenal's loss to Wolves despite a sickening clash of heads with Raul Jimenez, it certainly made for uncomfortable viewing.

Jimenez was immediately transferred to hospital, but the Arsenal defender would continue to play despite blood gushing from his head. Many wondered aloud about the protocols that allowed such a thing to occur, with it being clear to most onlookers that Luiz should have immediately been taken off.

While he would eventually be substituted during the interval, it was shocking that the change was not made sooner.

It has led to some questions about just how seriously football is taking head injuries. While other sports such as rugby have introduced lengthy tests to judge if a player has suffered concussion, on-pitch doctors in football are forced to make their decision in a very short amount of time.

Despite this, things are better than what they once were.

Speaking on The Buildup podcast in association with Ladbrokes, Kevin Doyle revealed that head injuries were treated less seriously than issues such as a hamstring strain during his playing days. This has now changed, meaning the former Ireland striker believes things are trending in the right direction.

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A clash like that is going to happen, you can't change that, it's a contact sport. You're hoping that they deal with it correctly. I would say that they're on the right path.

On Luiz's one, he might have passed those protocols on the side of the pitch but that was such a big collision, he's bleeding and has to have a bandage around his head, I think you're better safe than sorry to take him off.

I know from my own experience with concussion that you can take five or ten minutes before you start to feel that you're concussed. Initially, you can feel fine.

It's such an obvious collision, he's bleeding from the head, you go 'I'm in control here, I'm the doctor, I'm pulling you out'. That's something that they will deal with going forward.

The fact that we're talking about it, I think football is doing the right thing and going in the right direction. People are trying their best, they are well aware about it that it is an issue.

Now the fact that head collisions, concussions, anything like that is treated more seriously now than a hamstring strain, calf strain, or a knee injury.

Five years ago a calf strain was treated more seriously than a bang to the head. With a bang to the head you could play again in a day or two, with a calf strain you were rested for a week or two.

Now it's gone the right way. It's treated more importantly. It's the same or more important than any other injury.

I think people are trying their best, they're trying to go things as right as possible. Issues like the Luiz one will be ironed out, and in that case it was obvious to me that you should take him off to be better safe than sorry. It was a big collision.

Personally, looking at football now, I'd be happy that they're trying their best to do the right thing, getting the protocols in place, and treating it as serious as it is.

There's only so much you can do, you can't avoid collisions like that. I would be comfortable that they're trying to do the right thing.

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SEE ALSO: 'Being Good With Your Feet Isn’t Enough': Analysing Caoimhín Kelleher's Big Night

Gary Connaughton

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