Press conference

Arteta on… David Luiz and concussion substitutes

The subject of concussion substitutes is a hot topic right now following the accidental clash between David Luiz and Raul Jimenez on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta in favour of introducing a new law to helps clubs facing the issue we found ourselves in - and believes it would help medical staff, managers and the players themselves.
 
This is what he told the media:
 
on David Luiz…
He is feeling fine, obviously he had a really nasty cut but they keep monitoring him and checking him, and he was absolutely fine. We made a statement to clarify the situation. Some people can have the perception of whether he should have continued or not, thankfully we have one of our leading authorities in this country, which is Gary O’Driscoll, our doctor, who has massive experience in not only football but rugby as well, and he knows exactly what to do. He did all the testing, he followed all the protocols and we were very comfortable for him to carry on playing. But really you have to make a decision in one minute, when someone is bleeding, when you have a massive concussion next to you with someone whose life is under threat, and maybe it is a moment where we can think to give these people a little bit more time and use a temporary substitution for example if we find ourselves in those positions. I can tell you that everything was done in the right manner and the only aim here was to protect the welfare of the player. That’s all.
 
on how concussion substitutes would help…
If you have any doubt, at any moment and you need an extra two minutes or five minutes to check someone, maybe we can think about that. After five minutes you need make a decision to find a sub, the player is really pushing you, he is talking about everything, David was constantly asking about Raul, he went to see Raul, he was totally conscious about the situation, the player wants to carry on playing and the doctor has to tick all the necessary boxes to be certain that the player is okay to continue. Of we have any extra doubt, okay we give them a bit more time if necessary but you cannot play as well 10 or 15 minutes with 10 men in football.
 
on whether the rule should be brought in now…
I don’t know, it is just a suggestion. You want to be extra careful, extra cautious. I don’t know, maybe it is an option.
 
on whether David could face Tottenham on Sunday…
I think he will be fit to play if the scar is healing properly and he is comfortable heading the ball, there shouldn’t be any problems.
 
on whether he has had previous discussions with the medical team about the need for temporary concussion substitutions...
Yes, we have had conversations regarding that issue and there have been conversations going on. Obviously, what happens in football is very common in other sports and it's just a suggestion that we want to be extra protective, which I think we have to be in certain moments when we are considering the welfare of the players and how to have a fair competition while the game is still running. It's an option and Gary [O'Driscoll, Head of Medical Services] has a huge amount of respect around the world and a huge amount of experience in all these kind of things.

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