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Leg 1
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Arsene Wenger: Premier League 'too conservative' with VAR, safe standing decisions

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger has criticised the Premier League for being too conservative after it declined to implement both video assistant referees (VAR) and safe standing in the near future.

Premier League clubs voted against using VAR next season after the technology was trialled in cup games, and the league said on Wednesday it needs more evidence of a benefit to fans and clubs before making a decision on safe standing.

Wenger previously called the decision on VAR "very bad" and said on Thursday it needs to take a more progressive stand on safe standing as well.

"At the moment, I would say that the Premier League is very conservative in all its decision-making. You can see that with VAR and you see it as well with standing," Wenger said. "The Premier League has been created by people who wanted to be in front of everybody else. Overall, I must say at the moment, we look a little more like we look first [at] what happens everywhere else, then if it goes, well we follow it.

"But it's a bit more of a conservative approach. That's the tendency, always, when you are successful -- not to take many risks anymore and let's continue like that."

Wenger said he understood the security concerns connected with safe standing, but said in his news conference that he is "100 percent" in favour of implementing it at English stadiums.

"The atmosphere is much better when people stand. The closer you are to the position of the player, the more supportive you are," he said. "I think as well that it is a tradition of English football to have that and overall, I must say, it is much better. There are safety reasons that they don't do it and I can understand that, but if the safety is right, then it has my 100 percent backing."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger would like the Premier League to be more progressive.

However, he rejected the notion that standing sections were especially needed at the Emirates, where the atmosphere has been notoriously flat in recent years and thousands of seats have gaped empty for the team's last few home games.

"We want [the fans] to help the team, but that comes from the team, the attitude of the team," Wenger said. "We want them behind the team every time.

"Overall, the quality of our games at the Emirates was very good this season in terms of the number of goals scored [and] number of quality games we have played. We have seen great football there. It is away from home where we have not produced the results, which was traditionally our strong point."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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