Mikel Arteta believes he faces a tougher job at Arsenal than Arsene Wenger did when he arrived in London in 1996, although he sees evidence the Gunners are fighting for him now.

Arsenal defeated Premier League champions Liverpool 2-1 on Wednesday, but Arteta acknowledged the gap between the sides remains "enormous".

Asked by Sky Sports to compare his brief with that of Wenger, who took over a team that had finished fifth in the previous season and won the title in his second campaign, Arteta did not shy away from the scale of the task.

"I think the context is different," said the Spaniard, who replaced Unai Emery in December. "I think the competition in the country right now is much harder than it was before.

"Arsene did some incredible things and he brought a new philosophy, new ideas to the country, and he was very successful. I've done nothing yet. I have everything to do.

"We will need support, we will need belief, and we need to go in the direction, it doesn't matter what happens."

Arsenal trailed to Sadio Mane's opener and only claimed the lead after uncharacteristic Liverpool errors let in Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson.

Arteta was therefore under no illusion that Arsenal are ready to compete with the Reds, explaining: "It's massive. We only need to look at the difference between the two teams today.

"The gap is enormous. The gap in many areas we cannot improve in two months.

"But the gap in the accountability, the energy, the commitment and the fight is now equal. Before, it wasn't like this. I'm very proud of that.

"The rest will take some time, but at least we've got that now. My message to the players is, with that, we can create something."

Arteta recognises Arsenal will need to invest if they are to make up the deficit, however.

"I don't know [if Arsenal have the necessary finance] – it's a big concern," he accepted. "You just have to see how [Liverpool] build those squads and it's no magic.

"You need to improve with quality, quality players, and you need bigger squads to compete in this competition. That is the challenge."

Arsene Wenger is "convinced" Barcelona will sign another forward despite expecting improvement from Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann has struggled to hit top form in his first season at Barca, scoring 14 goals in 37 games since his €120million arrival from Atletico Madrid.

Barca are heavily linked with a move for Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who is considered a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger believes Griezmann will improve, but feels Barcelona will add another forward this close season.

"Barcelona has always bought the greatest players. Personally, I'm not sure that Suarez needs to be replaced," he told beIN SPORTS.

"They can add another striker because it's true that Suarez and [Lionel] Messi are the main contributors and they might need somebody else who can score goals.

"I still think Griezmann at some stage will start to score goals, he doesn't look completely adapted, maybe now after confinement he will be refreshed because he's a good goalscorer as well.

"But I'm convinced they will buy another striker as well."

While Messi has scored 24 goals this season, Suarez has – like Griezmann – contributed 14, although he has played in 14 fewer games.

Barcelona, two points clear atop LaLiga, resume their campaign away to Mallorca on Saturday.

Lionel Messi delivered a moment of history for Barcelona on this day in 2009, as Manchester United lost the Champions League final in Rome.

Arsene Wenger also has fond memories of May 27 from his Arsenal career, having achieved an unprecedented FA Cup feat at Wembley three years ago.

Shane Watson powered Chennai Super Kings to 2018 IPL glory, while back in 1995, the great Jonah Lomu scored the first tries of a famous New Zealand career.

Join us in looking back on some memorable moments from this day in years gone by.


1995 – Jonah Lomu scores his first tries for New Zealand

One of rugby union's all-time most famous faces made his mark on this day back in 1995.

Lomu scored his first two tries for New Zealand as they claimed a 43-19 win over Ireland in a Pool C clash at the Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg.

He finished the tournament as joint-top try-scorer on seven as the All Blacks reached the final, where they were famously beaten by hosts South Africa.

Lomu tragically died at the age of 40 in November 2015.

2018 – Shane Watson scores unbeaten century as Chennai Super Kings win the IPL

It is two years since a spectacular innings from Watson secured Indian Premier League glory for Chennai Super Kings.

Questioned for putting their faith in a squad of players approaching the end of their careers, it was fitting that Chennai's triumph would be sealed by 36-year-old Watson's unbeaten 117 from 57 balls.

Watson hit eight sixes and 11 fours to dominate the contest, the Super Kings easing to an eight-wicket win with nine balls remaining.


2009 – Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League final

Barcelona became champions of Europe on this day 11 years ago, denying Manchester United a piece of history and securing their own place in the record books.

Holders United were looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions Leagues in the modern format but were dealt an early blow when Samuel Eto'o squeezed a 10th-minute shot past Edwin van der Sar.

A header from Lionel Messi – a goal he still considers the most important of his career – made it 2-0 in the second half as Barca won the treble for the first time in their history in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge.

2017 – Arsenal beat Chelsea in FA Cup final as Wenger wins the trophy for a seventh time

Arsene Wenger became the most successful manager in FA Cup history three years ago when he lifted the trophy for a seventh time.

Premier League champions Chelsea were favourites, but a fourth-minute goal from Alexis Sanchez set the tone for the final.

Victor Moses' red card 68 minutes in made life tougher for the Blues and, although Diego Costa grabbed an equaliser, Aaron Ramsey struck what proved to be the winner three minutes later.

Aside from Wenger's feat – his 10th major trophy as Gunners boss – it was a final fondly remembered by fans for the performance of Per Mertsesacker, who was outstanding at the heart of defence.

Arsene Wenger has warned about the motives of foreign investors in French football, suggesting a commission should be set up to ensure they are not solely seeking to make money. 

Former Arsenal boss Wegner, who now works as FIFA's chief of global football development, believes an increase in purchases from overseas sources can have a negative effect on the game if not monitored closely. 

Marseille, Bordeaux and Le Havre all have American owners, while Toulouse – who were relegated to Ligue 2 following the decision to abandon the 2019-20 top-flight campaign – are in talks with an investment firm out of the United States. 

In the Premier League, Newcastle United are expected to be purchased by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium. 

Wenger believes a process needs to be implemented to ensure "football culture" is not eroded away by those with eyes only on finances. 

"Unfortunately, I think today we are witnessing a reverse phenomenon," Wenger told beIN SPORTS. 

"For example, if you take French clubs, they gradually fall into the hands of people who are not real builders for the future of the club, but rather investors who seek to earn money very quickly. 

"We can see in France today there are a lot of problems at this level because the clubs are dissatisfied, the supporters feel that the primary goal is not to build a good team but to achieve financial game. 

"Perhaps we should create a Club Purchasing Ethics Commission to see what the real intentions of the people who buy our clubs are. 

"You can't squander a country's football culture just for financial reasons."

Arsene Wenger admitted he was happy to see Liverpool's 'Invincibles' bid come to an end in the Premier League.

Liverpool were unbeaten through 27 league games and on track to match Arsenal's 2003-04 campaign, when they won the title without tasting defeat.

However, Jurgen Klopp's men were stunned 3-0 by Watford in February, ending their bid to match the team Wenger was in charge of.

The Frenchman said he was glad to see Arsenal remain the Premier League's only 'Invincibles'.

"Yes, it was a form of satisfaction. We always like to be the only ones to achieve something," Wenger told beIN SPORTS on Saturday.

"They [Liverpool] could really go all the way, but it shows that it's difficult to repeat this feat. Anyway, that day, I had a lot of messages from Arsenal supporters."

Liverpool held a 25-point lead atop the Premier League table when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Bundesliga returning and LaLiga, Serie A and the Premier League aiming to do the same, Wenger said playing behind closed doors was the best option in the circumstances.

"Football without supporters? It's true that's not what we're looking for, but it looks like that," he said.

"It's still the fairest thing [given the context]. At least, the decision is made on the pitch. In the end, it's a sporting result.

"The Germans were very good and very courageous, it must be recognised. It's a huge promotion for their football today."

Arsenal's 2003-04 Premier League Invincibles remain one of the most celebrated teams in the history of European football.

For all the impressive numbers they racked up – from Thierry Henry's 30 goals to a hefty haul of 90 points – the most celebrated remains a zero.

As Arsene Wenger forecasted a season earlier, his glorious Gunners managed to conquer a top-flight season without a defeat on their record.

It was the first time the feat had been accomplished since Preston North End dominated the inaugural Football League season, although their triumphant jaunt across Victorian England was comprised of a mere 22 games.

There was little doubt Wenger's Arsenal set a new standard, one that the big hitters in a competition boasting increasingly lavish wealth were soon ready to try and meet.

Here, we look at how the Invincibles measure up to the finest teams to have tried to follow in their footsteps.


After the swaggering French revolution Wenger oversaw in north London, the two most charismatic and dominant figures to grace the Premier League for the remainder of the decade hailed from another of Europe's former imperial powers.

Jose Mourinho took over at Chelsea and ended Arsenal's reign in his first season, racking up a Premier League-record 95 points – five more than the Gunners managed when drawing 12 of their 38 games unbeaten.

Chelsea did lose once – 1-0 to a Nicolas Anelka penalty at Manchester City – but won 29 matches to Arsenal's 26.

Mourinho's men scored one fewer with 72 but their defensive record was exceptional as they were breached only 15 times, compared to the still-laudable 26 Wenger's backline conceded in 2003-04.

Henry's efforts in his last title-winning season at Highbury were supplemented by six assists, a remarkable return many expected to be as untouchable as his team's feat over the coming years.

Nevertheless, Cristiano Ronaldo set up as many goals and scored one more as Manchester United romped to the second of three consecutive titles in 2007-08, when they also won the Champions League for good measure.

Arsenal's historic achievement was quickly off the table as Alex Ferguson's men laboured to two points from their first three matches, but they were electrifying from that point as Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez accompanied Ronaldo in a lethal front three.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner averaged 74 minutes per goal involvement, bettering Henry's 93 minutes and boasted a slightly sharper conversion rate of 17.8 per cent set against 15.7 per cent.

United's 27 victories edged the Invincibles, although five defeats meant a points tally of 87.


The idea that Arsenal's 90 points from 2003-04 would not be enough to win a league title seemed fanciful back then, with Chelsea's 95-point season feeling like a bit of a glitch owed to the Mourinho golden years.

In 2018-19, Liverpool amassed 97 points, the third highest total in Premier League history, and came second. In fact, it was the highest points total ever by a team not managed by Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City claimed their own landmark title win a year earlier, reaching 100 points on the final day of the season at Southampton as Gabriel Jesus netted their 106th goal, before Jurgen Klopp's Reds forced them to back it up with 98 to retain the crown. They won 32 out of 38 matches each time

Those two phenomenal teams have made stockpiling victories the new normal. Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to the league, Liverpool were set to join and surpass City in reaching three figures. A scarcely credible 27 victories from 29 outings amounts to a win percentage of 93.1.

City's 2017-18 team conceded at a rate of 0.71 goals per game and this year's Liverpool at 0.72, making them both slightly more porous than the Arsenal, Chelsea and United teams of the previous decade.

Klopp's current vintage are remarkably clinical, with their 15.59 shots per game lower than any of the teams discussed since Wenger's Arsenal (14.18). However, both City (2.79 per game) and Liverpool (2.28 per game) scored goals at a phenomenal rate. None of the other three averaged more than Arsenal's 1.92.

The returns being posted in this new reality dwarf all that has come before but, ultimately, that only heightens the appeal and allure of the Premier League's most famous zero.

As City entered January 2018 and Liverpool approached March this year without a defeat to their name, Invincibles talk inevitably bubbled away. That frontier only once crossed still matters. It is the ultimate tightrope act.

City and Liverpool sides making mincemeat of the competition still lost – Guardiola's men twice after the turn of the year and Klopp's stunningly at relegation-threatened Watford. Arsenal did not, in a division where the competitive balance was not quite as skewed as today. The modern heavyweights have only underlined the unlikeliness of the accomplishment.

Teams in their wake scored more goals, conceded fewer and won more games. As the Premier League's best continue to stack up dizzying numbers, Arsenal's last title winners slip a little further down the all-time standings. And yet, it is that nought that continues to define them and their successors. The nothing that still means everything.

Giuseppe Farina won the first ever Formula One race on this day in 1950 and much more recently May 13 was a historic day for Manchester City.

Farina put his name in the record books with victory in the British Grand Prix 70 years ago.

Sergio Aguero scored a last-gasp winner against QPR to snatch a first Premier League title for City on an afternoon of high drama in Manchester eight years ago.

It was also Arsene Wenger's last game in charge of Arsenal and there was a tennis first on this day.


1950 - Flying Farina storms to Silverstone victory

Italian Farina dominated the inaugural F1 race at Silverstone after starting from pole position.

With King George VI among an estimated crowd of up to 120,000, Alfa Romeo driver Farina took the chequered flag ahead of team-mates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell.

The great Juan Manuel Fangio retired from the race, also titled as the Grand Prix d'Europe, due to engine trouble. 

Farina went on to win the title after such a strong start.


1973 - Riggs beats Court in 'Battle of the Sexes' opener

Former world number one Bobby Riggs and the legendary Margaret Court contested the first 'Battle of the Sexes' match on this day in 1973.

Riggs had stated he could beat any top female player at the age of 55 and after Billie Jean King declined his challenge, Court stepped forward to take him on.

Court, the best female player in the world at the time, was soundly beaten 6-2, 6-1 at the San Vincente Country Club in Ramona, California.

Riggs then challenged King once again and she accepted on this occasion, beating him in straight-sets four months later, with the $100,000 winnings donated to charity.


2012 - Aguero puts City in dreamland

City looked set to miss out on being crowned champions of England for the first time in 1968 when they trailed 10-man QPR on the final day of the 2011-12 season.

Manchester United were minutes from popping the champagne corks, but neighbours City staged a remarkable fightback at the Etihad Stadium.

Edin Dzeko equalised after 92 minutes and the lethal Aguero rifled home a couple of minutes later, with time almost up, as City sensationally snatched a 3-2 victory to win the title on goal difference.

QPR had played much of the second half a man down after Joey Barton's dismissal.


2018 - 1-0 to the Arsenal for Wenger farewell

There was not a dry eye in the away end when Arsene Wenger's long reign as Arsenal manager ended with a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield Town two years ago.

Wenger went over to salute the Gunners faithful before kick-off in West Yorkshire, with the Frenchman also taking a bow.

There was a standing ovation for the departing Arsenal boss after 22 minutes to celebrate the number of years he had been charge of the London club.

Banners were flown over the ground before the visitors took all three points in a game with nothing at stake other than pride, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the only goal.

Arsene Wenger admitted he still worried about Arsenal and the former manager hopes Mikel Arteta can restore the club's style.

Arteta replaced Unai Emery at the helm in December last year, with Wenger having retired at the end of the 2017-18 season.

But the 70-year-old still keeps a close eye on his former club and said he hoped Arteta could bring back Arsenal's possession-based style.

"I worry about the club still a lot and I watch all of the games," Wenger told talkSPORT on Friday.

"I believe there is a culture in the way to play football at Arsenal that I want to be respected.

"And I hope Mikel can get that back."

Arsenal were ninth in the Premier League when the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool were 25 points clear at the top and Wenger feels Jurgen Klopp's men are champions, regardless of whether the season is finished or not.

"Jurgen has done extremely well because that club has waited 30 years for this title," the Frenchman said.

"And when you think they have such a massive difference to the second team, Manchester City, as well – 25 points, it's absolutely massive.

"No matter what England will decide, Liverpool are champions in everyone's head, I think."

Arsenal may have gone 16 years without an English league title, but the last time they landed the trophy it was an unforgettable triumph for Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles'.

They secured the silverware for the competition then known as the Premiership on this day in 2004, with a 2-2 draw against bitter north London rivals Tottenham.

On the same day, Sri Lanka humiliated Zimbabwe in an ODI cricket clash in Harare, bowling out the home team for 35 - the lowest innings total for a one-day international.

In 2012, Bayern Munich denied Real Madrid a place in the Champions League final when they beat Los Blancos, whose star names faltered in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

And 12 months ago, Kyler Murray chose American football ahead of baseball when he was drafted first by the Arizona Cardinals.

Here we look back on some of the most memorable moments from the world of sport to take place on April 25.

2004 - Wenger wonders toast title at White Hart Lane

Alan Shearer's winner for Newcastle United against high-flying Chelsea earlier in the day meant Arsenal had the chance to scoop the Premier League title at Tottenham's White Hart Lane home.

Unbeaten in the league all season, Wenger's side were not in the mood to let such an opportunity pass them by and swept into a 2-0 lead by half-time thanks to goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires.

Jamie Redknapp pulled one back and Robbie Keane fired a late penalty equaliser for lowly Spurs, but Arsenal had needed just one point, so the 2-2 draw was enough to spark celebrations among the visitors.

2004 - Harare horror show

Zimbabwe lost the ODI series 5-0 and suffered back-to-back huge innings defeats in a 2-0 Test trouncing by Sri Lanka - and this surrender in the third ODI was perhaps the worst of that grisly set of results.

Dion Ebrahim top-scored for Zimbabwe with seven runs as the hosts were skittled for 35 in 18 overs, Chaminda Vaas taking 4-11 with the ball for merciless Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka missed out on a 10-wicket victory when Russel Arnold fell cheaply, but they sauntered to a nine-wicket success to ease 3-0 up in the series.

There were extenuating circumstances, with Zimbabwe hugely weakened due to their established players going on strike in a protest over political interference.

2012 - Penalty woe for Ronaldo and Ramos

Armed with a 2-1 semi-final lead from their home leg, Bayern nevertheless appeared to be seeing the Champions League final slip out of sight when Cristiano Ronaldo fired Madrid 2-0 up inside 15 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, only for ex-Real winger Arjen Robben to revive the Germans' hopes with a penalty.

The tie was locked at 3-3 on aggregate after half an hour of a breathless second-leg battle and it remained that way after 120 minutes, meaning penalties would decide who joined Chelsea in the final.

The usually reliable Ronaldo and Kaka saw their kicks saved by Manuel Neuer, and Sergio Ramos fired over the bar, allowing Bastian Schweinsteiger to convert the winning penalty.

Jose Mourinho's Madrid still won LaLiga that season, while Bayern finished empty-handed after losing the Champions League final to Chelsea - on penalties - and seeing Borussia Dortmund land a domestic double.

2019 - Cardinals take Murray with first pick

Kyler Murray was the ninth overall pick in the MLB Draft in June 2018, having had his choice of sports. But his continuing success with the Oklahoma Sooners in college football meant Murray was coveted by NFL teams too, and he soon gave up the approaching prospect of a baseball career.

A quarterback, he was drafted first overall by the Cardinals and became a resounding hit in his first NFL season, winning the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

He bettered all other first-year players with 349 completions - the third-most by a rookie in NFL history - and 3,722 passing yards.

Arsene Wenger is an "extraordinary guy" who still has Arsenal "in his bones" but he should have left after winning a seventh FA Cup, says Bob Wilson.

Monday marks the two-year anniversary of Wenger announcing he would be departing the Gunners at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Wenger masterminded one of the greatest periods in Arsenal's history during his near 22-year stay in north London, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups – including two doubles.

The Frenchman also oversaw Arsenal's 'Invincibles', who incredibly went unbeaten during the 2003-04 campaign.

However, factions of supporters turned against him towards the later years of his tenure and there was an ever-growing 'Wenger Out' brigade at the Emirates Stadium.

Legendary Arsenal goalkeeper Wilson, who was also a coach for the Gunners until retiring in 2003, will always be a huge proponent of Wenger's achievements, though feels it may have been prudent to go out on a high having beaten Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup final.

"I'll love Arsene until the day I die, but you can argue that 20 years was the right time to go," he told Stats Perform. 

"I still have a belief that when he lifted that trophy unexpectedly against Chelsea in the FA Cup and held it up to our crowd, I thought 'That's it, Arsene – time to go'.

"Look at the trophies he won, look at what he provided. A record number of FA Cups, the 'Invincibles'.

"There is a stubborn side to him but it's a stubborn side that's on the shoulders of an absolutely incredible human being.

"I've been in Arsene's company when we've sat down at a table and people have never known him and got a bit gobsmacked and scared to ask a question.

"Within 30 or 40 minutes, some of them are shaking their heads, thinking this guy is not what they expected from a normal football manager. That's basically his intelligence and everything that goes with him.

"He's an extraordinary guy – I am biased, you have to understand that.

"It's absolutely in his bones, he still loves the club. Megs [Wilson's wife] and I have been around to his home – you look at some of the trophies that are inside the front door. They almost hit you in the eyes."

The unbeaten class of the 03-04 campaign is a feat of Wenger's particularly revered by Wilson.

"The invincible year, he predicted that. He actually said this team could go on to go a season unbeaten. Everybody poo-pooed him," he added.

"The only time it had every been done was Preston North End, but they only played 18 games. They didn't play 38 games.

"It was 38 games in the most difficult league in the world. Okay, there were quite a few draws in there but they did not lose a game."


***Bob Wilson was speaking on behalf of the Willow Foundation, which will host an online quiz via the London Football Awards Instagram page this Saturday and a concert by singer Mica Paris via its own Instagram page on Sunday.  

For a full list of events and further information, visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk***

Arsene Wenger began his long goodbye at Arsenal on this day in 2018, while April 20 is a day fondly remembered by Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan and racing driver Danica Patrick.

The end of a near 22-year love affair, which admittedly soured a little by the end, was announced by Wenger who revealed the 2017-18 season would be his last with the Gunners.

NBA great Jordan posted an astounding new playoff benchmark, while Patrick earned her own place in history.

Here's a reflective look at April 20 of yesteryears.


2018 – This is Gunner be tough. Wenger prepares for Arsenal goodbye

The news that Wenger was to leave Arsenal after almost 22 years had a certain inevitability about it.

'Le Professeur' oversaw one of the most successful periods in the club's history, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups – including the double in 1998 and 2002, while he was the man in charge of Arsenal's 'Invincibles', who produced an unbeaten top-flight campaign in 2003-04.

But there was an increasingly growing "Wenger Out" brigade and, with Arsenal set to miss out on Champions League football, there was little surprise when he announced 2017-18 would be his last in charge.

"I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity. To all the Arsenal lovers, take care of the values of the club," Wenger said.

2008 – Patrick makes history in Japan

Three years previously, Patrick had made history by becoming the first female to ever lead the historic Indy500 race.

And on April 20, 2008, she etched her name further into the record books by winning the Indy Japan 300 in Montegi, Japan.

It was the first time a female driver had won a race in the IndyCar series.

Patrick was 5.8 seconds clear of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves, with leader Scott Dixon having pitted with five laps to go and Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan doing likewise a lap later.

"It's a long time coming. Finally. It was a fuel-strategy race, but my team called it perfectly for me. I knew I was on the same strategy as Helio and when I passed him for the lead, I couldn't believe it. This is fabulous," said Patrick.

1986 – Jordan's playoff heroics the best ever game?

The history books show a double-overtime 135-131 defeat for the Chicago Bulls and a 3-0 first-round defeat to the Boston Celtics.

But in one of the NBA's greatest arenas – the Boston Garden – Jordan, regarded by many as the greatest of all time, put on the performance of a lifetime.

Jordan scored 63 points – a record in a playoff game – to take it to the champions, and saw Larry Bird utter the famous "God disguised as Michael Jordan" assessment.

The Celtics went on to win the Championship that year, but Jordan would become a six-time NBA champion, winning the Finals MVP in each of those successful series with the Bulls.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has strongly criticised Arsene Wenger's proposed change to how offside works in the VAR era.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, appointed chief of global football development at FIFA in November, said a tweak should be made after this season's implementation of VAR in the Premier League led to many goals being ruled out for marginal offsides.

"There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that," Wenger said at the recent Laureus Sports Awards. 

"Instead, you will not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front. That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

According to Hasenhuttl, Wenger's idea would not solve any problems at all.

"The only rule that really works in VAR is the offside," said Hasenhuttl.

"And we want to change this? I don't know why. It's the only black-and-white decision which is always right or wrong. The rest is subjective.

"If we change it the way he wants to do it, we can stop playing offside because it won't work anymore.

"It will change the game massively in my opinion. The only thing that really works well at the moment is the decision about offside. And everything else we must discuss more."

The body that governs football's global laws, the International Football Association Board, has ruled out an imminent change to the offside law, with its annual general meeting due to be held in Belfast on February 29.

The body that governs football's global laws has ruled out any imminent alteration to the offside rule after Arsene Wenger proposed change following a host of VAR controversies.

Former Arsenal boss Wenger, who is now FIFA's chief of global football development, suggested a player should not automatically be ruled offside if a part of their body that can be used to score a goal has moved beyond the relevant defender.

Wenger said: "There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front.

"That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

Wenger has always had a prominent voice in the game, but he now holds office within world football's governing body, which adds weight to such propositions.

The Frenchman, who was speaking at the Laureus Awards, said it was "time to do this quickly", which has been interpreted as hoping the change could come before Euro 2020.

Yet the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has indicated a rule change is unlikely to be rushed through.

An IFAB annual general meeting in Belfast on February 29 will be the first point at which Wenger's idea can be discussed. with the ongoing use of VAR and its 'possible future developments' on the agenda.

However, that summit in Northern Ireland will not see the offside rule overhauled.

IFAB general secretary Lukas Brud told Sky Sports News: "There will be no law change regarding offside at this month's annual general meeting.

"We welcome Mr Wenger's views and look forward to discussing it, as a group.

"But our AGM is a point of discussion on offside and any law change will follow only after further dialogue in the game over the coming months."

The video assistant referee system has resulted in frustration for players, fans and coaches alike this season, with a host of goals disallowed for marginal offside decisions.

Olivier Giroud saw a header ruled out in Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on Monday after a check showed part of his foot was offside.

There have also been instances in the Premier League where goals have been disallowed due to attackers being measured offside from their armpits.

The current rule states: "A player is in an offside position if: any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent."

Arsene Wenger is proposing a change to the rules to reduce the number of marginal offside calls going against attacking players.

Wenger, appointed Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA in November, wants the law to change so that a player would be onside if any part of their body with which they can score a goal is level or behind the relevant defender.

The former Arsenal manager, who would apparently be keen to see the amendment brought in before Euro 2020 begins in June, believes changes are needed to stop goals being disallowed after players are penalised for fractional infringements by VAR.

"The most difficult [problem] that people have [with VAR] is the offside rule," Wenger said at the Laureus Sports Awards. "You have had offsides by a fraction of a centimetre, literally by a nose. It is the time to do this [change] quickly.

"There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that. Instead, you will be not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front.

"That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

The offside rule is expected to be discussed by football's lawmaking body IFAB, which meets in Belfast on February 29.

Wenger's suggestion comes after more recent fan frustration over goals that have been disallowed for marginal offsides following VAR checks.

Olivier Giroud saw a header ruled out in Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on Monday after a check showed part of his foot was offside.

There have also been instances in the Premier League where goals have been disallowed due to attackers being measured offside from their armpits.

Roberto Firmino had such a goal ruled out in Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in November, while Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki was similarly punished against Tottenham in a match that finished 2-2.

Ruud Gullit has criticised the Porto team-mates who urged striker Moussa Marega not to walk off after he was racially abused at Vitoria Guimaraes.

Marega, a former Vitoria player, scored Porto's winning goal on the hour at Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques on Sunday before attempting to leave the pitch after receiving abuse from the stands.

The 28-year-old Mali international was prevented from doing so by colleagues and Vitoria players before eventually being substituted by Porto coach Sergio Conceicao, who described the incident as "unfortunate".

Marega had been booked for his goal celebration when he pointed to his skin. Objects were thrown in the direction of Marega, who displayed his middle fingers to supporters as he departed down the tunnel.

Former Netherlands and Milan superstar Gullit told Omnisport: "Normally if a player gets kicked in my team you want to protect him. I didn't see this protection from his own team. I didn't see it from the opposition. I didn't see it from the coaches.

"That's something that needs to happen. You have to take a stand with each other.

"It's affecting the industry of football totally. Then you come to the authorities – they have cameras and everything in the stands. They can pick out who did it, get him a life ban so they can never get back into the stadium."

Gullit, who experienced racism in his playing career, added in a news conference at the Laureus Awards in Berlin: "It shouldn't be just the responsibility of the player himself but for everybody there who was involved in that game and that is the little bit I am most disappointed in."

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, now chief of global football development at FIFA, said such episodes of racism were unacceptable.

"Of course you are against it because it's violence, basically," Wenger said. "We have enough modern tools to identify people who do it and to punish them severely and ban them from going to the games. That is the first step that has to be made."

That thought was echoed by former Real Madrid, Milan and England boss Fabio Capello, who said: "You have to find the people that shout because some fans go to the stadium for this.

"They like to do this, and we need to find these fans and ban them from stadiums for life, not for two or three games."

Page 1 of 3
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.