By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger would happily endorse a two-tiered international system but fears it is unlikely to happen.
Arsenal lost four players to injury over the recent break for World Cup qualifiers and Liverpool have also been hit by the news that Fernando Torres will be out for up to a fortnight after collecting a hamstring problem in Spain’s game against Belgium.
As a result of the latter, Rafa Benitez has suggested an international programme where the smaller countries would pre-qualify in order to play the major nations. It is an idea Wenger has put forward himself but the manager believes the mood is set against it.
“I have proposed that many times but I know it will not happen,” he said at Friday’s press conference.
“People will respond to you that during the qualifiers it is a privilege for the smaller countries to play against the bigger countries. That is why they do not want to go into this system.
“And the managers have no real power on the decision front. They are only a consulting force. That is why I don't believe they will be capable of changing it.”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 17 Oct 2008