We reported yesterday that Arsene Wenger had complained about the pitch after his Arsenal side’s defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday. We also remarked that it was typical of Wenger and Arsenal to complain after a defeat, as a way of distracting from a poor, gutless performance in the face of physically tougher foes.
Well it seems that Wenger has transmitted that culture of passing the buck to the rest of the team. Jack Wilshere, the Gunners’ up-and-coming young midfielder, tweeted after the match that: ‘The pitch was shocking. (United) wanted to stop us playing!’, which suggests that Arsenal only lose when big bad meanies stop them from playing their graceful pass and move football, and nothing to do with their own ability to adapt to different conditions. Arsenal fan – be worried.
Meanwhile Alex Ferguson has scoffed at the idea that the pitch was deliberately tampered with, and reminisced about the terrible state pitches used to be in when he was a player.
‘I don't think the pitch had anything to do with it,’ he said. ‘We were just the better team. The pitch was good, fine. I've no problem with the pitch at all and it was a surprise to everyone that this was mentioned. I don't think anyone can complain about our pitch.
‘By March (back when he was a player), there used to be a furrow up the middle of the pitch that was absolutely barren. We're spoilt now. The state of the pitches today is fantastic, with all of the drainage and the care they get.’