Footballers need counselling?

A spate of recent incidents has prompted a debate

Sky Sports

England's Tyrone Mings not expected to take up FA counselling

Tyrone Mings is not expected to take up an FA offer for counselling after he was racially abused on his England debut in Bulgaria, says Aston Villa manager Dean Smith.

Mings, 26, was one of several England players to report the abuse to match officials of the European Qualifier, which had to be halted twice in the first half.

England manager Gareth Southgate called Mings an "outstanding leader" after the match.

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Do footballers need better access to counselling?

By Joe Harker

Everton's game against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend ended in a 1-1 draw but it might have been better if neither side had taken to the pitch at all.

While the quality of play was poor the reason it would have been preferable for the game not to have happened is because of the horrific injury suffered by Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.

Gomes went down under a challenge from Spurs forward Son Heung-Min and it was almost immediately apparent that something was terribly wrong. Gomes' ankle was broken and Son stepped away with his hands over his face, distraught at the injury.

The Claim:

After the game Son was said to be inconsolable and a group of Everton players led by captain Séamus Coleman, who suffered a horrific leg break himself, went to the Spurs dressing room to comfort the player.

Spurs are now offering Son counselling in an effort to help him come to terms with his part in Gomes' injury.

Players do not go into challenges with the intention of breaking their opponent's leg. They might want to commit a tactical foul or "let him know you're there" but committing a potentially career ending injury is never on the table.

Son is not the only one who has been offered counselling, with Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka offered help after being booed off the pitch by the club's own fans in a previous game.

Xhaka was said to be "devastated" and it's going to hit home on a human level if tens of thousands of people are jeering at you, particularly if your family is in the stadium and has to listen to it.

The Counter Claim:

However, just because the offer is there it doesn't mean players have to take it.

After being racially abused by Bulgarian fans on his England debut, defender Tyrone Mings indicated he would be "fine" to keep playing without taking up the FA on their offer.

England's players were offered counselling by the FA after the Bulgaria game but Mings, who bore the brunt of much of the racist abuse, wasn't expected to take it.

Really, this section is less of an argument that players don't need better access to counselling if they need it (after all, who would suggest that?) and more an acknowledgment that not every player is going to take it when offered.

The Facts:

The Player's Football Association have said there is a clear rise in the number of players or former players seeking professional help, with a rising year-on-year trend of footballers seeking out counselling.

Andre Gomes has successfully undergone surgery on his ankle and been discharged from hospital. It will take months of recovery before he is able to play again but he should be alright in the long term.

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Daily Express

Tottenham to offer Son Heung-min counselling after his role in horror Andre Gomes injury

Tottenham will support Son Heung-min in any way they can, after he was left distraught by his role in Everton star Andre Gomes' ankle injury.

The club will be offering the South Korea international counselling, according to the Evening Standard.

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