Tommo Newton putting forth a great argument that we should do away with the away goals rule, writing for Four Four Tweet:
So the away goal causes exactly what it set out not to do, stifle good football and force teams to think about not conceding at home, rather than actually trying to score goals. It leads to a nervy first leg where the home side don’t want to commit men forward, and the away side are more than content to sit back, absorb the pressure and take a draw, rather than trying to win the game, a dull first leg is usually a by-product of the away goal rule.
He makes more good arguments:
As previously mentioned, the rule was introduced in the 60’s to offer a fairer tie breaker than the toss of a coin. In those days, it was the fairest way. Now we have extra time and penalties, which are a much fairer and relevant way of settling ties. Both the beautiful game and the world in general are unrecognisably different to what they were back in those days, and the away goal was a much harder feat, that’s because European away days were very, very different back then. Pitches were varied in size and quality which would completely alter a team’s play. Whereas now the standards of pitch are so advanced that playing on the surface away from home isn’t too dissimilar from playing at home. An away day was a lot more uncomfortable, playing in a completely unknown place, were travel was a lot harder and crowds more hostile.
I hadn’t thought too much about the away goals rule — it’s so entrenched in my mind as a European Cup competition basic — but Tommo makes a great case. I would not be against making the experiment of skipping it. For fairness sake, the extra-time in the second leg should also be scrapped but it is likely too much to also cancel.