Ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Burnley, Wenger had his say on FIFA technical boss, Marco van Basten’s, ideas for the future of football.
The Dutchman recently gave an interview to Sport Bild in which he described a couple of measures that could be taken to keep football interesting. Two of these were doing away with yellow cards and scrapping the offside rule.
“We must keep looking for ways to improve the game,” Van Basten said.
“To make it more honest, more dynamic, more interesting, so that what we offer is attractive enough.
“There are lots of variations which need to be tested in the coming years.”
He added that ditching the offside rule would put a stop to games that “resemble handball where nine players, plus the goalkeeper, pack the penalty area and [the defence] is like a wall”.
He also believes that sin-binning players rather than yellow carding them could be beneficial.
“That would frighten teams,” he said. “It is hard to play 10 against 11, let alone with eight or nine.”
Speaking ahead of his team’s clash against Burnley, Wenger seemed pretty uninterested in entertaining Van Basten’s ideas.
“Changing in itself is not a quality, improving is a real target. Some of the proposals are discussable, some I don’t see any big interest in,” Wenger said.
“Maybe temporary exclusions, the one I don’t find interesting is suppressing offside.
“I think offside is what makes the team be together.”
Although I can understand where the former Milan star is coming from when it comes to keeping football exciting and I could get on board with sin-binning, getting rid of the offside rule seems a little extreme.
Since its introduction in 1863, the offside rule has been one of the cornerstones of the sport. A rule that (most of the time) can’t be argued; you’re either offside or you’re not. Even though it may have changed over time (1925, 1990), it’s always remained. I imagine it’s hear to stay for a long while yet.