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'Players shouldn't make decision on head injuries' | Gary Breen on Luiz & Jimenez

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

11:57 30 Nov 2020

Gary Breen believes that football needs to take action on head injuries on football immediately, after controversy over the injuries to David Luiz and Raul Jimenez.

A sickening clash of heads between Arsenal defender Luiz and Wolves striker Jimenez left the Mexican with a fractured skull.

"“The club would like to thank the medical staff at Arsenal, the NHS paramedics, hospital staff and surgeons who, through their skill and early response, were of such help," confirmed Wolves in a statement on Monday.

Head injuries in football

Breen told OTB AM of a troubling incident in his own career to illustrate the dangers of head injuries in football.

"The only one I can vividly remember was when I was playing for Ireland away to Switzerland - we lost the game 2-0 - I took a blow to the head.

"After that game, I had no recollection of the last half an hour of that game.

"That is not to say that the medical staff with the Irish team were in any way negligent - of course, they weren't - I don't think they even knew that I had had a blow to the head.

"This is the problem that you have; this is something that needs to be addressed.

"The right protocols need to be put in place because sports all over the world are putting football to shame in terms of the protocols that they have in place - even the likes of cricket."

Gary Breen: players should not make decision on head injuries

Troy Deeney spoke to TalkSport on Monday, where he said that he believes the decision should be up to the player to decide if they need to come off.

While not speaking about Deeney's comments directly, Breen disagrees with his logic on head injuries.

"I didn't see the comments from Troy Deeney, but I know the situation with David Luiz - he wanted to stay on. I've done it so many times myself.

"But you have to take that decision away from the player because the majority of players are going to say 'I'm alright, put me back out there, no problem.' Their focus is solely on the game."

Breen was keen to stress that he holds no fault with Arsenal's staff, who are well-equipped to make judgements on the situations.

"I have no doubt in the quality of Arsenal's backroom staff because they apparently come from a rugby background and have been around the Irish rugby team. So they will know about head injuries from rugby union.

"But I think you have to take the decision away from the player, you have to do that because the player will always look to go back on.

"This is the concern; you might have the blow initially and it's a cut, but it's 10-15 minutes after where the impact starts to affect you."

Raul Jimenez & Wolves

Breen was keen to praise the backroom staff at Wolves with their quick action to address Jimenez's injury - a team he with whom he is well-acquainted.

"Matt Perry is the doctor at Wolves and I know that because Jimenez was out, there was no decision to make.

"When I was a player at Wolves, Matt was the doctor and I had a a similar situation at Sheffield Wednesday where I took a couple of blows to the head, my head was cut open and I carried on.

"At half-time, I lost my bearings and the decision was made for me - to my frustration and anger at the time. I think you have to do that.

"I don't understand what Troy Deeney is going to say there - if you have had a blow to the head, how can you make a good decision?"

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