By Declan Taylor
Arsène Wenger has questioned the current Champions League away-goals rule.
Speaking ahead of his side’s crucial last-16 clash with AS Roma on Tuesday night the manager declared that the rule, originally brought in to prevent visiting teams from adopting ultra-defensive tactics, has in fact obliged home sides to become negative.
The Frenchman revealed that he had already proposed that Uefa should consider an alteration on the away goals rule, currently employed in the Carling Cup - where away goals are only taken into account at the end of extra time.
“The [current] rule was created in the 1950s when teams went away from home, with no television, played with 10 defenders and kicked every ball into the stand,” Wenger said speaking before the Sunderland fixture. “Now I believe that the tactical weight of the away goal has become too important.
“Teams get a 0-0 draw at home and they’re happy. Instead of having a positive effect it has been pushed too far tactically in the modern game. It has the opposite effect than it was supposed to have at the start; it favours defending well when you play at home.
“We proposed to Uefa at some stage that the away goal should only kick in like it does in the Carling Cup; in extra time. It would still favour the team who plays at home because they play 30 minutes more.
“At the moment when you get 0-0 at home, and then go away, the team who plays against you absolutely has to score. They have to come at you.”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 24 Feb 2009