Coaches call for an end to golden goal

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The Independent Football

Europe's leading club coaches have unanimously called for the abolition of the golden goal rule.

Arsène Wenger, Gérard Houllier and David O'Leary, along with nine of their continental counterparts, attended the third Uefa Elite Coaches' Forum. The influential dozen all agreed the golden goal should go as they believe it does not add to the spectacle of the game, and only increases pressure on the players and the referees.

"People have been educated to the fact there should be a result within a certain amount of time," Wenger said. "We believe it's part of the excitement of the game to see how a team reacts if they are 1-0 down in extra-time.

"We all think [the golden goal] doesn't encourage an attacking game. Players become defensive because they are scared of making a mistake."

Suggestions for a replacement include reverting to the old format of 30 minutes extra-time, divided into two halves. O'Leary said: "It means if a team scores after 12 minutes, then the other side has three minutes to rectify the situation. If they are still level they have a second 15-minutes to find a winner. Beyond that it's the old format of penalties."

It was an opportunity for Wenger and O'Leary to discuss football outside of the framework of their teams' intense rivalry, though the Arsenal manager believes his side's bitter battles with Leeds are unlikely to lose their edge in the near future. "Games between Arsenal and Leeds are very competitive, as well as very exciting because Leeds are one of the top teams in England," he said.

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