Arsene Wenger has insisted there is no European crisis for English clubs despite a second year out of three with no representatives in the last eight of the Champions League – but he does believe it is time to change the away-goals rule.
Arsenal and Chelsea both crashed out of the competition on away goals in the first knockout stage, beaten by Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.
Wenger, however, has long championed a change to the rule.
That’s a rule that’s outdated now and should be changed,’ the Arsenal boss said. ‘It should count maybe after extra-time. It was created in the 1960s to get teams to attack away from home.
‘Since then football has changed and the weight of the away goals is too big today. Maybe count it after extra-time like in the League Cup in England.
‘I think the quality of Premier League is high and physical demands are extreme but I’m not in the mood to analyse too much what’s wrong with English football. I don’t think there’s a lot wrong.’
Wenger must pick up his players ahead of Saturday’s game at Newcastle as the battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League continues.
He added: ‘The mood is down and we are disappointed. The tie lasted 180 minutes and we were not cautious enough in the first 90. We know why we went out, it’s down to a dreadful defensive performance in the first leg.
‘We must focus on next targets and we have to continue to improve. We are better today than four months ago.
‘Let’s keep that attitude. There’s a fantastic spirit and great quality. Let’s rectify what we didn’t do well in first game and continue to improve.
‘We’ve won 13 of the last 15 and that’s down to quality and improvement. We are not in a transfer period. Ninety-five per cent of the players will still be here next season and what is important is their attitude and improvement. We are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and in a strong fight in the Premier League. We can do that straight away on Saturday.
‘We’re on a good run. We won the game in Monaco. We’re frustrated and disappointed to go out but that’s down to our home performance especially on the defensive front. We were a bit unlucky as well. If you look at shots on target by Monaco in the two games they’ve been quite efficient.’