In December 2009 Arsene Wenger suggested scrapping throw-ins. The Frenchman argued that implementing ‘kick-ins’ to restart play would significantly speed up the game.
Wenger was not a reliable witness. The previous month his Arsenal side lost 2-1 at Stoke City with both Potters’ goals coming from Rory Delap’s trademark long throw. That season it yielded a Premier League-high eight goals and led to 53 shots.
Clearly still irked, Wenger suggested outlawing throw-ins, claiming that long-throw specialists boasted “An unfair and unusual strength in football because their hands can effectively kick the ball.”
Wenger’s view was largely taken with a pinch of salt, but former England striker Gary Lineker also threw his support behind banning throw-ins, but for different reasons.
“It’s called football” Lineker said. “What’s the point of throw-ins? It takes ages. Just put it down and knock it in.”