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Alan Shearer: “Concussion subs needed in football sooner rather than later”

| 20.11.2020

Coral ambassador addresses links between dementia and football

Alan Shearer has this week spoken about the issue of dementia in ex-footballers, and is asking the footballing authorities to bring in concussion substitutes as a matter of urgency. 

The former England captain, who three years ago filmed a documentary on the subject for the BBC (Dementia, Football and Me), says more work needs to be done to tackle this serious issue.

Not enough being done to tackle the issue

“When we did the documentary, which was aired back in 2017, we asked the question, was there a link between dementia and football. We know now the answer to that question – yes, there is a link,” Shearer told us.

“It’s quite clear that not enough has been done about it, not enough help provided, and that is what the families of Jeff Astle, Nobby Stiles and others are saying. It’s something that football needs to improve on rapidly going forward.”

“They are talking about trialling concussion substitutes in 2021, but other sports already use these and we need to get on with it and do it. It’s taking too long to make these decisions, and they just need to go and make it happen. Nowhere near enough has been done to tackle the issue and it’s about time that changed,” he said.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho without a doubt two of the best managers of all time

Shearer also looked ahead to the weekend’s big Premier League clash between Manchester City and Tottenham, saying that Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are without doubt two of the best managers ever.

“If you look at what they have achieved, the trophies that they have won and the clubs that they have managed, Pep and Jose are without doubt two of the best managers of all time. It looks as though Jose is back to his best this year too, he seems really happy with the club he is at and the players he is working with.”

“Spurs are on a great run of form too now having not lost since the opening day of the season against Everton and they will be full of confidence. Son and Kane have formed one of the best partnerships in the league, the way they are playing is phenomenal, and it looks as though despite many being concerned about Jose’s style not suiting the two forward players, it is actually working perfectly.”

“They have two very different styles as we know, and this means this should be another fantastic game between the two. Jose will be happy for his side to sit back and try and hit City on the break, and Manchester City will have a lot of the ball throughout,” said Shearer.

The Five Sub rule would benefit top clubs

Shearer said that while he understands managers who are calling for the five substitution rule that was involved in Project Restart to return, it would largely benefit the bigger clubs who could look to begin to rotate their squads more, and put the smaller clubs at a greater disadvantage.

“Bringing back the rule to allow sides to make five substitutions per game would without doubt benefit the bigger clubs with the bigger budgets. The standard of the players on the bench at the top clubs would definitely give them an advantage. However, I do understand the managers calling for it. There has been a real lack of preparation time, we had a reduced pre-season this year, and more than ever we are hearing complaints about the amount of games and the amount of injures,” Shearer said.

“However, these sides with the bigger squads don’t have to use the same players every game and could rotate their squads more, particularly those who are playing in European competitions midweek, rather than allowing the use of additional substitutes,” Shearer added.



Michael Johnson

From the sunny north-east of England to the slightly sunnier Spain, Michael is a die-hard football fan and an experienced writer who loves to put his passion for the game on the page.