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Time For A Change In The Rules

I don't know if any of you guys and gals have noticed a massive flaw in cup competitions featuring the away goals rule?

It first crossed my mind a couple of seasons when we were eliminated from the Carling cup in the very same stage of the competition our young guns are attempting to navigate this evening.

After a 1-0 defeat at the JJB courtesy of a header from life long Gooner Paul Scharner, Mr Wenger fielded a rather strong side at Highbury, giving a rare league cup start to a certain Thierry Henry.

The afforementioned captain duly nodded home a header in the first half after some neat play by English, yes that's English right back Kerrea Gilbert.

With normal time over and both teams having scored one goal and kept a clean sheet, extra time beckoned. In the second half of extra time Robin van Persie smashed home one of the best free-kicks you're ever likely to see in front of a joyous North Bank, and it appeared Arsenal's route to the final had been secured.

However with seconds remaining, Jason Roberts had other idea's. The big centre forward slotting home and sending the rapturous Wiganers on a rare trip to a cup final on the away goals rule.

Many fans prefer to play the first leg of a two legged tie away from home, offering that knowing exactly what you need to do in your home leg as a distinct advantage, but that is just a matter of opinion.

The fact is that playing away from home in the second leg holds an actual, statistical advantage. When a team plays the first leg away from home, the maximum amount of playing time afforded to score an away goal is 90 minutes plus injury time. That's it, once the final whistle blows there are no more chances. However, should the second leg finish with the exact same scoreline as the first (with the away team having already completed the same 90 minutes away from home as their opponents) the away side are then given an additional 30 minutes in which to bag an away goal, leaving the home side whatever time remains to score 2.

Seems unfair, no?

If the draws for the semi finals were made with the teams seeded then the competition's officials may be able to explain this one away, but they aren't, the draws are made completely at random.

Arsenal may benefit from this massive oversight over the course of our two legged semi-final with arch rivals Totteringham Hotspur, but that doesn't make it right.

And yes......I am bored today :)

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 9 2008

Time: 11:10AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Lol Rocky you seem very very bored. Although you make a valid point, there is no perfectly fair system. We cannot have one or two more matches extra just for that. I say just get on with it and play the half hour.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:20:00

The away goals rule should stand the 180 minutes of home and away football, in the event of a tie the extra time should effectively become a whole new game with no advantage offered to either team. It's the only way to keep the process completely fair.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:23:00

With the players playing 40-50 games a season it will become exhausting don't you think? I don't think the half hour provides a very big advantage to either of the two teams. Just get on with it and finish the game is what I have to say!
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:26:00

What will become exhausting? They will still be playing the 30 minutes injury time that they would be playing anyway, but with no away goals rule. If that remains a tie, then penalties it is.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:29:00

Misread your quote. I thought you said instead of an extra-time we should play an entire game of 90 minutes without any advantage. Agree with what you said here though that the extra 30 minutes should be played without the away goals rule.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:33:00

I know it's just a small part of the game and people may think I'm being a little petty scrutinising it this much, but fair play all across the board is the only way to go.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:36:00

I know it wouldn't hurt to change that rule? But would the law makers go for it after years an years playing the same way? I doubt it.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:37:00

I accept the logic of your argument Rocky. It makes sense to me. But I guess the away team having to take penalties in front of a partisan crowd might feel that they are similarly disadvantaged. That's the problem with all knockout tournaments. However you construct it the draw always favours one team or another. Cup games are as much about good fortune as good ability.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:42:00

On the face of it, it appears to be a reasonable argument. However on closer inspection it is a perfectly fair system, and I say this for the following reason. While you are correct about the away goal rule, you neglect to mention in your argument the benefit of playing an extra 30 minutes with home advantage. IMO one cancels out the other, and is about as fair as you are going to get
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:49:00

it's a crock of ****. you either have the away goal rule or you don't. imagine this scenario; last night's game at stamford bridge finished 1-1, then the game in a fortnight finishes 0-0. that means it goes to extra time, but if no more goals are scored in extra time, and thus everton win. what's the point of having the extra 30 mins then? how come the rules are different in this cup to any other cup? anyone know?
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:50:00

I think having to play 120 mins away from home in the first place balances this out, having an extra half an hour at home is an equitable advantage to having an extra half an hour for an away goal if you ask me.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 11:51:00

It seems topspur is a faster typist than I am!
Little Dutch
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09/01/2008 11:52:00

I'm now up to 50 words a minute LD lol!!
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09/01/2008 11:57:00

Sagna in the squad for tonight. I think that may mean Hoyte at left back as Traore has struggled in recent games. I would expect to see Traore go out on loan at some point this month, he's quite a talent but obviously needs more regular football.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 12:15:00

See that Diarra is not in the squad, neither was he there at Burnley. Do we read that he is definitely on his way?
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 13:08:00

Decent article and I appreciate the sentiment, but for once must (reluctantly lol) agree with Topspur that it is about as fair as we will get, and the extra time at home is an advantage of sorts. You may have someting there VIn. Ether way i hope this is resolved as soon as possible. Apparently (according to the SUn) Fat Sam is going in for Diarra too. I hope he has the common sense to stay as it will be to his longer term benefit.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 13:26:00

Well theres no logical alternative to the way the system works.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 17:33:00

I agree with Topspur1..Cesky, Fat Sam is out and Diarra isn't playing today..hmmm ^.^
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 20:28:00

unfair? yes. sollutions? dump injury time. outcome? public outcry! the problem is, fans want to see football played, not penaltis, so you couldnt skip strait to them. you could play the games on nutral ground, but that wouldnt really help any of the supporters, so there is a clear problem. the current sollution, although seriously flawed, is the best one out there (that in have seen). on a personaly note, i think the away goals rule should be scrapped - although that ALSO has problems...but i just dislike the fact that you can draww 0-0 at home, then 1-1 away, and go through. seems unfair.
Report Abuse
09/01/2008 23:05:00


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