The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

RE­MEM­BER that game? You know, the one with the bril­liant pe­riod of ex­tra-time? No? Of course you don’t. Be­cause, with tired play­ers and cramp­ing legs, it is nearly al­ways crap.

Sure, there have been ex­cep­tions. No­body will for­get Ryan Giggs’ won­der-goal in Man United’s FA Cup semi-fi­nal win over Ar­se­nal, nor David Platt’s 119th-minute volley to knock Bel­gium out of Italia ’90.

But, by and large, ex­tra-time is a bore-fest, a point­less pre­lude to penal­ties unloved by ei­ther play­ers or man­age­ment. Over two legs or re­plays, it’s also un­fair – why should one side get 120 min­utes at home while the other is re­stricted to 90?

Just this week, Karl Robin­son sug­gested time should be called on the hum­drum half-hour, at least in Cap­i­tal One Cup games.

“I don’t think the first round of this cup should go to ex­tra-time,” said the MK Dons boss. “We get asked to play a com­pet­i­tive team on a weekly ba­sis and for it to go to ex­tra-time at a time when no play­ers are phys­i­cally able to do it – we have to look at it.”

Robin­son’s chief con­cern was in­juries. Mine is spec­ta­cle. And on that ba­sis, I’d like the au­thori- ties to go even fur­ther and bin ex­tra-time across the board. FA Cup, World Cup – the lot.

No­body wants to see a team play to avoid de­feat.Yet that’s what ex­tra-time tac­itly en­cour­ages. If ev­ery­one knew it was 90 min­utes or a lottery, we’d surely see more sides go all-out to win.

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