After their failed bid to secure a quarterfinals slot in the Champions League, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is calling for a review of the competition’s rule, which he says are already outdated.
The outspoken manager said that the rule regarding away points need to be reviewed, if not revoked entirely. “Two Premier League teams have gone out on away goals and that should be questioned,” Wenger said in an interview. Aside from Arsenal, heavy favourite Chelsea was also knocked out of their quarterfinals bid due to the rule.
“It is a rule that is outdated now and needs to be changed,” Wenger added. “I have fought for that for a long time. This rule was created in the ’60s to favour teams to attack away from home, but since then football has changed. The weight of the away goal counts too big today. We should count it [away goals] after extra time, like we do in the League Cup in England.”
The away goal rule was first introduced by the league in the 1967-68 season. In this rule, away goals are counted only if they are made after the 90-minute mark. Wenger noted how this rule has an element of luck attached into it.
“In direct knockout you can be a bit lucky as well. None of the teams apart from Barcelona appear to be that much superior. It should count maybe after extra time,” Wenger explained.
Wenger was however quick to admit that their performance in the first leg of the match also contributed to their eventual loss. “We have to move on. We know why we went out – it’s down to a dreadful defensive performance in the first leg.”
This is the fifth consecutive time that Arsenal has been knocked out of the Last of 16 stage of the Champions League.