Arsene Wenger is very concerned about the state of the San Siro pitch ahead of this evening’s Champions League clash with AC Milan.
The reigning Serie A champions, who share the famous arena with neighbours Inter, laid new turf on both flanks on Monday night in an attempt to patch up areas seriously damaged by the recent cold weather. However, after seeing the state of the playing surface on arriving in Italy it’s safe to say the boss is not impressed.
Speaking to ITV he remarked: “It’s worrying. They re-laid the pitch on the flanks on both sides on Monday and we play on Wednesday night so you can imagine that to get the pitch flat [is difficult]. All the different levels of the grass they have out there is terrible.
“You cannot congratulate Milan for the pitch they offer us tomorrow, but they have the same problem. I think as well respect for the supporters means that you have a decent pitch because Milan is a technical side. They would certainly want as well a better pitch than that.
Asked if he thought the pitch had been prepared deliberately to counteract the pace of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wenger continued: “I hope not. I’m not suspicious on that. I think they want as well a good pitch. They tried to make it better than it was and they’ve made it worse.”
Last weekend Per Mertesacker suffered an injury catching his studs in the boggy turf at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on a pitch which Wenger made clear was unacceptable.
Given that Arsenal return to the North-East to face Martin O’Neill’s side on Saturday in the FA Cup we can only hope that three games in quick succession in poor conditions to not claim more victims.