BIN EXTRA-TIME – IT’S JUST A WASTE OF TIME
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.