David Ospina is back in training and hopes to face Arsenal in the Europa League according to his father, Hernan, in news that will warm the hearts of Arsenal fans everywhere.
David Ospina might be well regarded in Naples but at Arsenal, it’s a different story and his inclusion in the starting lineup should come as a boost for Unai Emery and his side given the Colombian’s ability to make it seem like he has bricks for hands.
This is good for Arsenal who are going to need to win the tie in the first leg rather than rely on their away form. When they go to Naples, Europa League odds tell us they are far from favourites, understandably so given their troubles on the road for the last two seasons.
“David is training, he is ready and has a great desire to experience the double challenge with Arsenal,” Ospina Snr said.
“I hope that Napoli will soon confirm it because this is his dream. His and his family’s. Ospina holder Thursday? I heard it and I must say that he is fine, he is in condition.
“Initially he had some dizziness during training, but now he is completely recovered and hopes that Ancelotti will line him up on Thursday against Arsenal.
“As a dad, I got really scared when I saw David on the ground in a faint. Immediately after, however, Naples reassured us and then I met David and his strength.
“It is normal for Napoli to have a moment of decline, at this stage of the season it happens to so many teams. In Colombia, we all follow Napoli, but also Atalanta and I must say that having such a high-ranking team is a pride in these parts.
“Arsenal is a great team, it has great strength, but the games have to be played and I hope that Napoli manages to beat them.”
The treatment of Ospina that resulted in the goalkeeper collapsing and having to spend time in hospital has been criticised by a leading brain charity.
Concussion in football is never taken seriously and the game still sees images of men running around with bloody bandages wrapped around their heads as some sort of sign of masculinity.
Ospina took a knee to the head and ended up bandaged quite heavily.
David Ospina's injury before his collapse in today's match against Udinese pic.twitter.com/rxPhWE0QZe
— Billy™ (@MonsignorBilly) March 17, 2019
It should, perhaps, then come as no surprise that he collapsed later in the game and had to be taken to hospital.
3. Collapse over half an hour later.
How they let Ospina stay in the game is beyond me. pic.twitter.com/DrH6UBRJDQ
— joerontonian (@joerontonian) March 17, 2019
Thankfully, his CAT scans showed no problems, but how little was said of the incident (when compared to a fan punching Jack Grealish, say) shows how little we care about this issue that is going to claim a player’s life at some point.
The Guardian, who ran an article quoting the charity, Headway, were the only outlet of the three main papers (Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph) to cover the incident in this manner, and their article was a tiny little piece buried on page 51.
“David Ospina’s treatment highlights why we’ve called for an ‘if in doubt, sit it out’ approach to concussion,” said Headway’s chief executive, Peter McCabe. “There’s a fear it will take a catastrophic injury to a player before attitudes change.”