Mikel Arteta has defended the collective decision made by himself and the Arsenal training staff to keep David Luiz in the game after the Brazilian defender was left bloodied by a brutal head-to-head collision with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ star striker Raul Jimenez.
Jimenez has since regained consciousness and is undergoing a series of tests in the hospital, according to Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
It is Arteta and the Arsenal medical staff who received heavy criticism from viewers and pundits around the world as they watched Luiz bleed heavily from a massive cut just above his forehead. The doctors did their best to bandage the gash after the fifth-minute collision, but more fresh blood could be seen through the bandage as the first half wore on.
Speaking after the game, Mikel Arteta confirmed that Luiz was brought off because the cut made it very difficult — if not impossible — to head the ball. As a center back, that would appear to be quite a disadvantage. Arteta also said that the proper concussion protocols were followed, which resulted in Luiz remaining on the field for an additional 40 minutes of action — quotes from the BBC:
“David is OK. He has a nasty cut and he was conscious. He had a test and was completely fine. We were really worried for Raul Jimenez because it was really nasty.
“When you see the reaction of the players you know something really bad is happening. We followed the protocol to check he had not lost any consciousness which he hadn’t and then some tests. They will continue to do some more checks on him. He was really uncomfortable and couldn’t really head the ball and couldn’t continue.”
“I was shocked [at the collision], because I saw the reaction of the players. They were asking the doctors. We knew David Luiz was OK, it was just a cut. Raul Jimenez looked pretty bad.
“The doctor did all the tests and protocols to make sure the player was safe to continue. David was just worried about his cut, he never lost consciousness.”
As for the actual result — a 2-1 defeat, their third straight home defeat — Arteta was once again frustrated by his side’s inability to score goals.
“We need more goals to win football matches. We need to keep supporting the players. All players go through [tough] periods. We’re creating chances but struggling to score goals. That’s the difference between winning and losing.
“When you lose matches the confidence goes down because they believe things can happen again. You need to win after a defeat. We’ve been doing this in my time here. This is the first time since we’ve been here [that they’ve had a losing run].”