Arsene Wenger: ‘80% of international football is boring’

Ollie Irish

4th, September 2006


‘Eighty per cent of qualifying matches [for Euro 2008] this weekend were without
interest – and that’s being quite optimistic. We are going to destroy
the interest of the spectator long-term,’ Arsene Wenger told The Sun.

The Arsenal gaffer continued: ‘In each Euro qualifying group, there are seven or eight teams
resulting from the break-up of the Soviet Union and former eastern
block countries and also from the integration of small states like
Andorra and Liechtenstein.

‘That makes a dozen matches between September 2006 and November 2007. The result is a collapse in quality… Having so many games flatters the national pride of countries,
who all have a vote with FIFA. But it no longer has any value at the
playing level. What ranks a player now is how he performs for his

Do you agree with him? I do. Yes, it was good to see England win 5-0 on Saturday, but it was about as entertaining as watching a cat torment a half-dead mouse.