A half hour into Tottenham Hotspur’s win over Nottingham Forest on Friday, Brennan Johnson went down onto the turf after a collision with Forest defender Willy Boly... and stayed there. Forest and Spurs players both urgently beckoned for the Tottenham physios to look at him, and after extensive treatment Johnson was substituted under the Premier League’s new concussion protocols for Oliver Skipp.
The clash of heads that led to Johnson’s substitution looked scary, as did the blood from the wound on his forehead. I think most fans assumed that he was concussed after he slowly walked off the pitch, but there’s good news on that front — Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou confirmed in his post-match press conference that Brennan’s injury was not a concussion, and was “merely” a deep gash to his head.
“He should be ok. He’s just got a nasty cut to his head. Nothing that should keep him out. No concussion, just a cut on his head.”
That’s certainly good news. Not only has Johnson become a regular starter for Postecoglou’s Spurs since his arrival at the end of the summer transfer window, but the club can ill afford yet another injury as they head into the busy holiday fixtures. Spurs are already without Yves Bissouma after his reckless got him sent off, and Destiny Udogie, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will be suspended for the Everton match. Ange’s comments seem to suggest that Johnson will be fine (if maybe sporting a bandage) when the Toffees come to North London, though there’s always a chance that it’s more significant an injury to what we’ve been told.
Elsewhere, Richarlison scored this third goal in two matches today, heading home a cross into the box from Dejan Kulusevski. Postecoglou was full of praise for Richy and how he’s played since returning from groin surgery.
“Richy’s been good and he was good again tonight. Not an easy game, we weren’t going to get a lot of space back there. His impact is in the box. It was a great ball by Deki and that’s what Richy’s really good at. His timing in air, his ability to get the ball in the back of the net in those kind of situations was vital for us tonight.
“I think he’s in a better space physically and mentally. As I said during the week it was hard for him but he soldiered on. At the same time he knows that people will be assuming that if he’s out there then you’re going to perform at a certain level and you can’t make excuses.
He’s definitely feeling a lot better about himself physically and mentally now and for a striker scoring goals is obviously important, but just his general all round play has been really good for us the last couple of weeks.”
The result today keeps Spurs in fifth place on the table, and if results go their way in other matches this weekend, they can hang around the Champions League qualification places. Their next match is Saturday at home vs. Everton.