Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has raised his concern regarding the importance of away goals and the undue advantage it provides.
Arsenal have once again drawn Bayern Munich in the knockout stages of the Champions League this season after a memorable encounter saw they being knockout against the eventual champions. After suffering a disappointing loss at home in the first leg, Arsenal produced one of their most memorable European performance in the second leg and were somewhat unfortunate to have lost the tie based on away goals. Arsene Wenger raised his concerns about the undue importance given to away goals and has once again urged UEFA to scrap the away goals rule in this tournament.
“Last year we went out on away goals and after that I asked for Uefa to cancel the away goals. I think, for example, we lost 3-1 here and won 2-0 at Bayern. It is difficult to win 2-0 to Bayern without conceding a goal. The weight of the away goal is too heavy, too big and is not justifiable anymore.” – The Arsenal manager said.
“People are surprised by my question. But I think it’s a problem in the modern game.” – Wenger added. He felt that before this rule came into existence, teams would go away from home and “get killed everywhere”, but since those matches were not televised, those performances weren’t criticized.
“Nobody said a word, so to encourage the teams to play they said: ‘OK, we give you an incentive for the away game.’ In the modern game everything is on television and analysed. There is no big difference anymore. Sometimes I think there is a countereffect, as teams play at home not to concede goals. At home, the first thing managers say is let’s not concede goals.” – He explained.
This concern has been raised by a lot of notable persons in the past as well, although UEFA are unlikely to make any changes to this rule any time soon.