ANOTHER weekend, another Premier League player knocked out cold.
Nine days ago it was Anthony Martial, eyes glazed, going back on to the Vicarage Road pitch.
That Martial was then caught in possession before Watford?셲 opening goal in their 3-1 win over Manchester United is irrelevant.
By far the bigger issue is whether the Frenchman should have been on the pitch at all after his clash with the home side?셲 Daryl Janmaat, brought home minutes later when United medical staff decided Martial was unfit to continue.
On Saturday, thankfully, Tottenham took a different view when Moussa Sissoko was pole-axed at Middlesbrough. The French midfielder was taken off.
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But the latest scenes were yet another argument in favour of the case that such decisions need to be taken out of the hands of club doctors by the football authorities.
There have been too many situations recently of players going back out to play after head blows.
Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris, Dejan Lovren of Liverpool and Chelsea No?? Thibaut Courtois are just three whose distress did not lead to immediate treatment.
This week, the charity Headway warned damage to the brain ?쐁ould be increased significantly??if a player receives a second blow to the head.
It also called for an independent review into how football implements its own concussion protocols.
Today, SunSport publishes a five-point action plan we believe the FA, Premier League, Football League and clubs must adopt to reduce the risk of the worst possible outcome.
OUR FIVE-POINT PLAN
ALL head injury assessments to be conducted by an independent doctor, not employed by the club, with specialist knowledge of head trauma.
INTRODUCTION of temporary substitutions to allow for ten-minute, off-pitch, head injury assessments to take place. To be sanctioned by an independent doctor to avoid abuse of the system.
RECORDING and publishing of all reported head injuries and concussions, including those where a player was deemed to have NOT sustained a concussion.
MANDATORY pre-season concussion training for all professional footballers to educate them on the signs to look out for and the dangers of ignoring a concussion.
GREATER visibility of third doctor so that everyone watching can have confidence in the system.
SunSport does not, in any way, question the dedication or professionalism of club doctors.
But they are compromised by their employment status and the fact they KNOW a manager wants a key player to stay on the pitch. If a player has a limb injury, he will invariably be substituted.
Yet where there may not be a physical sign of injury after a head clash, the damage caused ??and the risk of further injury ??is more serious. Last year, the FA introduced new protocols, endorsed by clubs,
including the call for players to be rested for 14 days if they suffer a concussion.
But while independent doctors are in place in the tunnel at all Premier League grounds, they only have an advisory role and have NO right to intervene.
The Martial incident appeared to prove clubs are paying lip-service to the safety concerns.
And if it happens in the Premier League on a Saturday, it will be replicated in junior football the next day.
Headway said: ?쏷he issue appears not necessarily to be about whether protocols are sound.
?쏧t?셲 more a question of whether they?셱e being consistently applied.
?쏻hen people ??including kids ??see players looking dazed yet allowed to play on, the message is not one of safety first.??/p>