Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger agrees with the proposed changes in the law which will avoid goalkeepers being dismissed for a challenge in the box.
England national team manager Roy Hodgson announced his squad for the upcoming match against Demark and two Arsenal players made it into this much changed group of players. Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will hope get a place in the starting line-up as competition for places heats up ahead of the World Cup in Brazil this year. But Arsene Wenger was confident of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s place in the England squad following his impressive performances for Arsenal this season.
“Yes, why not? There’s no obvious reason [why not] because Chamberlain has done extremely well with us. He’s been decisive in many games and has shown that he’s on the way up. I couldn’t imagine him not being in the squad.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Wenger was also surprised by the fact that the England side were not training at Colney ahead of this game, which they have used frequently in recent past, and insisted that they would be welcomed in the future as well.
“I don’t know [why]. Usually they come here and they are always welcome.” – Wenger added.
The Frenchman also talked about the proposed change in rule which would abolish the law of awarding a red card to offenders in the penalty box – something which saw Wojciech Szczesny pick being dismissed in the first leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League round-of-16 fixture last week.
“I agree with that. It’s a shame that we have to be a part of the experience to realise that it is not right.” – He said in the pre-match press conference ahead of their trip to face Stoke City.
There were two similar incidents in the Champions League last week when both Arsenal and Manchester City were reduced to 10-man, against Bayern Munich and Barcelona respectively. These dismissals killed off the respective games and produced predictable outcomes. These rules were heavily criticized in the following days by experts and fans as this enabled a triple punishment for the offenders – a penalty, a red card and a suspension in the following matches. In the IFAB meeting, changes were proposed to this existing law which will see red cards and suspension being abolished for similar incidents, instead the offended team will be awarded a penalty and the offender will be sent to sin-bin for 10-15 minutes. It will be interesting to see the effect of these changes once they come into existence.