For anyone who watched yesterday’s FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley, the state of the playing surface could not have been ignored. Bobbly, easily cut-up and overall simply below standard, the hallowed Wembley turf is a thing of the past, and plenty were happy to criticise the problem publicly.
Arsene Wenger took the lead, the Frenchman arguing that he is saddened by the state of the pitch as the old Wembley prided itself on it’s lush green field. Robbed of this, the new Wembley comes up short.
On Football Focus, Martin Keown took his criticism up a level. Highlighting sections of the pitch which were missing, the former Gunner centre-half noted how the way in which the new Wembley was built, particularly the lack of light and air onto the playing surface, severely damages the ground. Fearing how Wembley will hold up during a hectic schedule of matches until the end of the season, Keown finished his report by reporting that he asked the groundsman for his feedback but he was told that, on the FA’s instructions, he cannot respond.
As accusing fingers appear to grow in the face of the FA for a botched job on Wembley, a report into the Wembley pitch can be seen here.