Arsène Wenger says he is in favour of the current FA Cup replay system.
Wenger’s side will welcome Swansea City to Emirates Stadium for Wednesday night’s third-round replay after the sides drew 2-2 at the Liberty Stadium on January 6.
Wenger believes the way FA Cup ties are decided is fair, but admits that the previous format, where games would be replayed until a team won in 90 minutes, added ‘charm’ to the game.
“I like what happens with replays,” he told Arsenal Player. “Go for it again and in the end the strongest wins. We have cut it in the Capital One Cup but we would have been happy to replay [against Bradford]. So let's not complain about it.
“It's true that you can say it’s stupid [the previous replay format] but it makes the charm of English football as well. Somewhere you have to be crazy to give something special to people.
“When I speak today with some players who had known that period, they speak of that. ‘We played Liverpool three times, we played Liverpool four times, we played Coventry five times’, you know?! It remains in the history of the game.”
In France, teams drawn two or more leagues below their opponent in cup ties automatically play at home.
“I think that’s alright if the pitches are good,” Wenger said of the concept. “That's not always the case, especially in the winter.
“They want to change it again in France because it costs dearly every year. In the first round six top division clubs went out and three or four won just on penalties, so nearly half of the league is out already.
“In France every year you have now a lower division team that gets into the final. So there is some resistance against that rule. I find it interesting because it levels out the chances of the teams - we have seen that at Bradford. But there is a reluctance there because all the big teams are under pressure to go through in the FA Cup.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Jan 2013