Wenger in replay rumpus

18 February 2007 08:54
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for all FA Cup ties to be settled without the need of replays after watching his side held to a goalless draw by Blackburn Rovers in their fifth round clash at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are heading for a fixture backlog as they have to fit in a Carling Cup Final, Champions League clashes and their remaining Premiership fixtures as well as the Ewood Park replay. Wenger admitted: "There's a lot of things that could be done to ease fixture congestion but no-one wants to do it. "You could stop all FA Cup replays but that would interfere with the tradition though you have to sacrifice something." Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson disagreed though, saying after his side's 1-1 draw with Reading at Old Trafford: "You cannot just take replays away. "For some clubs it's part of their whole existence. Reading have come here today and got a draw. That's great for them." Meanwhile, United's assistant boss Carlos Queiroz appeared to back up Wenger's thoughts, saying: "It is part of the rules to have replays but I think there should be extra-time in the first match. "Why do we have to finish after 90 minutes in the first game when the second one goes to extra time? "You cannot change the rules once the competition has started but maybe it is something that could be looked at."

Source: ESA