By Ben Dinnery

5th Nov, 2022 | 8:00am

Medical Insider: 'Massively flawed' Premier League exposed after Emiliano Martinez twist at Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez’s head injury at Aston Villa has exposed how “massively flawed” concussion substitutes are in the Premier League.

That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis, speaking exclusively to Football Insider.

Martinez played on after he collided with Tyrone Mings during Aston Villa’s 4-0 win over Newcastle United last week (29 October).

He tried to play on but when he collected a routine cross he fell to the ground and had to be replaced.

The PFA released a statement earlier this week (31 October), via Sky Sports, reiterating their calls for temporary concussion substitutes.

“The current protocol in place is not really fit for purpose,” Dinnery told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.

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“Yes, we have these concussion substitutes but it isn’t great.

“First and foremost, we can talk about the way these head impact injuries are assessed. You have the assessment tool in place, SCAT5, and if you want to perform it correctly it cannot be done in less than 10 minutes. Straight away, it’s flawed massively in that way.

“Then you’re asking on-field club doctors to carry out this evaluation in the heat of battle. At St. James’ Park where there are 55,000-plus supporters on the high of this great run just wanting to get on with the game and the referee is asking how long it’s going to take.

“Ideally, you want to be taking that player off the pitch to a calm environment away from all of those pressures to go through that rigorous evaluation process to make sure the player is OK to return to the field or not as the case may be.

“Secondly, you could go through the assessment tool and the player present as being OK but later evaluation may identify a concussive episode.

“Those symptoms can be delayed and may not be identified until 24-48 hours after the match.

“We also have to remember that not every head impact is going to result in a concussion. That’s the difficulty that these medical teams are working within.

“Then you have the FA directive that says ‘If in doubt, take them out’. What does that mean? It’s very woolly.

“Those rules should not be open to interpretation, they should be hard and in black and white.

“The people who are carrying out those assessments need to be able to do it properly. As it currently stands, they are just not able to do their jobs effectively or efficiently because they are not being allowed to.”

In other news, Aston Villa have been backed to sign a John McGinn replacement as a record-breaking deal is agreed.