Wenger - Bench Is A Strength
With a fourth substitute being introduced to this years FA Cup campaign in extra time, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is open to rolling a fourth substitute out in other competitions but he's wary about the risk of an extra sub further interrupting the flow of games.
With plenty of changes over the last two decades when it comes to the rulebook in football, Wenger does believe that largely they have improved the game - such as recent changes to introduce goal line technology - but he feels further roll out of the fourth substitute for the Premier League and Champions League would require more discussions as whilst there are positives to the idea, he also sees a number of negatives to it as well.
Speaking to the Official Site in his pre game press interviews this week, Wenger explained that it was a topic that had been discussed pretty regularly.
'We have spoken many times about this in managers` meetings in Geneva. There are pros and cons, but you do not want to interrupt the game too much if you make more substitutions.'
He went on to say of one of the downsides to the idea.
'It can become a tactical weapon as well to slow the game down, so you would have to group the substitutions maybe. We have to take care that the game remains fluent and dynamic, and that there are not too many stoppages in the game, especially if we go to video replays as well. It will become a stop-and-go game. In extra-time though, I think it can be interesting.'
With comparisons to rugby doing the rounds and the thoughts of England head coach Eddie Jones describing replacements as weapons and 'The Finishers' to turn a game in his favour, Wenger knows that substitutes can play a vital part in securing all three points and he felt 'substitutes' as a word was outdated in the modern game.
'I agree with him because I don`t like the word 'subs' either. It`s negative when you are in a society where you have to be politically correct. Also it doesn`t really reflect well what they are about, because sometimes a sub means you are not good enough, or it can be you are replacing a guy who had a bad performance.'
'That is not always the case, sometimes you take your best player off because he has given so much, or you bring a guy on who has different qualities to keep a result. I would say they are just players who are helpful to the team at the moment you decide to do it.'