During Arsenal’s 2-0 loss today against West Ham there was an ugly clash of heads between James Tomkins of West Ham and Gunners frontman Olivier Giroud.
The incident resulted in both defender and forward laying on the ground, needing attention from both side’s medics.
The FA’s website states, under its head injury management section, that:
“Medical staff will assess the injured player. If there has been a confirmed or suspected period of loss of consciousness, the player must be removed from the field of play, and not be allowed to return.”
The new FA guidelines also state that the club doctor and not a coach has the final say on whether a player should stay on the pitch.
The debate around whether these rules are being implemented strictly enough was reignited during the opening day of Arsenal and West Ham’s top flight campaign today, however.
Both players did return to the field of play after a short interval but the way Giroud, in particular, is seen sprawled on the floor with little or no movement for a number of seconds was initially a major cause for concern.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena