Andre Villas-Boas reacted sharply to yet more questioning over Hugo Lloris on Sunday. The outburst comes after the decision not to play the keeper in Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle following the horrific head injury he suffered in the recent draw at Everton.
The Portuguese boss has faced stern criticism across the past week for leaving Lloris on the pitch at Goodison Park, reported by ESPN.
Although his goalkeeper played the rest of the match without incident, the impact from his clash with Romelu Lukaku’s knee subsequently ruled the Frenchman out of Spurs’ ties with Sheriff Tiraspol and Newcastle.
Lloris’ absence ensured further questions were fired Villas-Boas' way after defeat to the Magpies. As reported by Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph, the 36-year-old finally snapped:
A medical department that saved the life of a player deserves respect, they have made the call, advisingly, to the management not to use the player.
I think it would be extremely important that the club would forward a member of the medical department to exactly explain what happened during the week. That would be clarifying.
When asked for details on the Impact Test—a procedure that is used to determine the severity of head injuries—AVB bluntly replied, "Google it and you’ll find out."
Further questioning asked Villas-Boas whether or not he feels different about the occurrence with the benefit of hindsight, to which he replied, "No, not in my opinion. I’m sorry. Nothing has come to light. The player is absolutely fine."
Wayne Diesel, Head of Medical Services at White Hart Lane, spoke about the decision to rest Lloris on the club’s official Twitter feed, suggesting time away from the pitch remains in the best interest of the French stopper:
Diesel: 'We've continued to monitor Hugo all week & after discussions, Andre & the medical department have agreed...'— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 10, 2013
Diesel: 'to afford the player a couple more days rest. Hugo is naturally disappointed as he was keen to return to action however...'— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 10, 2013
Diesel: '...we feel this decision is in the players best interest' #THFC— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 10, 2013
Just one week after this particular event, Manchester United’s victory over Arsenal produced two similar head injuries which instantly thrust the medical staff of both clubs under the microscope.
While Wojciech Szczesny remained on the pitch after a clash of heads with Phil Jones, Nemanja Vidic was forced to depart after the Serbian defender collided with David De Gea’s knee.
Arsene Wenger claimed he will never risk a player's health and would have subbed his goalkeeper if deemed necessary, as reported by Callum Tennent of the Daily Mail:
I listen to the doctor. If he says to me he has to come off, he comes off. No matter if we have seven men on the field, I do it. You have only one life and you have 60 games per year.
Villas-Boas' frustration is likely to have been heightened after Spurs' loss to Newcastle. The home crowd remained noticeably tame throughout the shock result and appeared greatly frustrated toward a team that continue to stutter with inconsistent form.
The young manager needs Diesel or one of his senior medical staff to speak about the decision to leave Lloris on at Everton, shifting some weight from Villas-Boas' shoulders.
His latest exchange is characteristic of the man who soured his relationship with the media while at Chelsea through a naturally dismissive and often defensive demeanour, as highlighted by Tony Banks of the Daily Express.
Spurs have plenty of time to mull over the event and their recent defeat, although Villas-Boas might take solace from a two-week international break that will give him the opportunity to escape unwanted media spotlight.