Arsene Wenger is thrilled to see the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) at the Confederations Cup this summer and feels it could have played a big role in helping him win the Champions League at Arsenal .
Wenger finds it hard to believe that it has taken the authorities this long to introduce the simple technology that sees a controversial incident relayed to the VAR who can review the footage and award the right decision.
Germany used it during their 3-2 victory over Australia after they called for the VAR to review Australia’s second goal when they felt there was a handball inside the box, but the officials rightly called for the goal to stand.
Wenger has no doubts the introduction of VAR could have changed his career with the Gunners and allowed him the chance to secure the biggest trophy that has so far eluded him – the Champions League.
Arsenal were leading 1-0 in the final against Barcelona back in 2006 with just 14 minutes left on the clock.
Samuel Eto’o grabbed an equaliser for the Spanish giants, but the Arsenal boss is adamant that the Barcelona forward was in an offside position and the use of VAR would have changed the decision and the outcome of the game.
Juliano Belletti scored the winning goal just four minutes later and the Gunners suffered heartache at the Stade de France.
Wenger is not finished there and also points to a controversial decision at the Nou Camp back in 2011 when Robin van Persie was shown a second yellow card when he shot at goal after being ruled offside, but claimed he could not hear the whistle above the crowd noise.
The Gunners boss called it embarrassing at the time and has no doubts the use of VAR would have also changed that decision and help Arsenal win the tie after they had just got the crucial away goal, but Barcelona went on to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate.
Wenger, speaking on Arsenal Player, said: “I would choose Barcelona’s equaliser in the 2006 Champions League final because it was offside, and we were 1-0 up with 30 minutes to go. That’s the trophy I miss here, you know, so that is for me the most important one.
“The second one I would choose is the second yellow card for Robin van Persie at Barcelona in 2011, because this was the moment we were qualified against a very strong team, and it was a very difficult decision to accept – it basically killed our chances.
“After that maybe I go to a more recent decision – against Bayern Munich when Laurent Koscielny was sent off for a penalty when Lewandowski was offside. That just comes to my mind now but maybe I forget many, many, many, many more.”