By Nik Brumsack

Arsène Wenger says the standard of linesmen in the Premier League has improved dramatically in the last 15 years.

Newcastle United were awarded a controversial second goal against Manchester United on Boxing Day, when Jonny Evans scored an own goal while trying to prevent the ball from reaching Papiss Cisse, who was in an offside position.

But Wenger maintains assistant referees have an increasingly difficult job, and believes they get the majority of decisions right.

“The offside rule is clear but there is a small area that is open to interpretation,” he said. “That means [if] the guy in an offside position interferes with the action or not. That is down to the referees.

“There are two things that are very difficult. First of all, I must give credit to the linesmen. For me, in refereeing that is the area where there has been the biggest improvement in the last 15 years. They got it right many, many times and it is very difficult.

“Where you would maybe make an amendment is where you are not offside [if you are in] line [with] a defender. If one part of your body which you can score with is in front, then you are offside. If your head is a little bit in front, you are offside. I would change that.”

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28 Dec 2012