By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger believes the prestige and tradition of the FA Cup means it should NOT be changed any further.

It has been suggested that a revamp would breathe new life into the world’s most famous knockout competition, with midweek fixtures and the abolition of replays among the possible modifications.

But the Arsenal manager feels the FA Cup’s place in English football demands it remains as traditional as possible. 

“I don't believe it should be changed,” said Wenger. "This debate turns up every year. What can we change? First of all there is a historic love story between people and the FA Cup. So people are scared that this prestigious history goes out of the game.

"Maybe the importance of the Premier League has made some smaller teams prioritise staying in the top-flight but we have always gone for it. Unfortunately sometimes [we are] in a position to choose between that and Champions League. But this season we have the squad to deal with every competition."

And, despite the possibility of an extra game on an already hectic schedule, Wenger feels the chance for smaller teams to earn replays only adds to its aura.

"It is fair financially for the smaller clubs to get something," he said. "They do what they can to get a tie at their own home because it gives them a lot of money.

“But against Leeds we had to go to there and we still qualified. So replays sometimes give you a chance to get yourself out of a tricky game."

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18 Feb 2011