Everton boss Martinez backs concussion rule change after Lloris-Lukaku incident

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has suggested that clubs should be allowed an extra substitute if one of their players suffers a concussion during a game and has to be withdrawn, the Independent has reported. The idea comes in the wake of an incident involving Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris when the sides met in the Premier League last weekend.

Martinez is concerned that as things stand, a manager who has used his three permitted substitutes would be more likely to leave a concussed player on the field rather than see his team go down to 10 men. Lloris played on after colliding with Lukaku with permission from Andre Villas-Boas, despite being knocked out when his head struck the striker’s knee.

It would be very unfair to be a manager in a position where you have to take a player off just to avoid any sort of risk without having that medical knowledge,” Martinez said. “My view is that I don’t think it should be a manager’s decision whether you take a player off or not.

If there is a strong view from the medical side that when a player gets concussed he should come off, I think we should look into it and make it a rule. If it comes as a rule with an understanding for everyone that if that happens the player should come off and it shouldn’t count as a substitution, that would be a lot easier,” the Spaniard continued.

Because if you are put in a position where a player has to come off when three substitutions have been made it is a real shame, as it is going to affect the competition. You wouldn’t want to see a team down to 10 men but the last thing you want is to put the health of any player at risk. It is a serious issue which needs to be spoken about and the right decision found from the top.

Lukaku had to be withdrawn after the collision and was seen with strapping on his knee. Martinez defended the Belgian from criticism levied by Villas-Boas, who said the on-loan Chelsea forward did not make enough effort to avoid hitting the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Villas-Boas also publically questioned why there had been no apology from Lukaku, only for Martinez to do likewise regarding an incident involving Roberto Soldado’s elbow and Phil Jagielka. “ The good thing is you can watch the replay and see the video evidence,” he said.

I don’t think Andre Villas-Boas mentioned there was any intent or any wrongdoing from Romelu, he only mentioned he expected a bit of an apology. Obviously we are waiting for Roberto Soldado to apologise to Phil Jagielka and so we can use the same phone call, so we don’t have to spend on two phone calls.

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