Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wenger: We will just have to deal with the pitch

Speaking ahead of tonight’s FA Cup 5th round clash with Sutton United, Arsene Wenger has voiced some concerns over the artificial pitch used at the non-league side’s ground.

It has already ruled Danny Welbeck out of the game, and the Arsenal manager says his players will have to adapt a little because of the differences between this surface and a regular grass pitch.

“Ideally we would like to play on a normal pitch but it has been accepted and the competition is to deal with what you face,” he said.

“We will face an unusual pitch and we will have to deal with it. We will practise inside  because it is an artificial pitch. It is not the same because it is a dry pitch and Sutton I have heard have a wet pitch which they water before the game and is quicker.

“It is a bit ‘stop’. The weight on the joints is different and you cannot slide to block every time so it makes football a bit different.

“The ball comes to you suddenly and accelerates and does not slow down like in a normal game, so we have to get used to the different speed.”

The pitch will also give the manager further selection decisions, but with no fixture until March 4th when we face Liverpool, he could send out a very strong team tonight to help ensure passage into the quarter-finals where we could face another non-league side in the shape of Lincoln City.

Related articles


newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Xhaka's Tatoo

Let’s win tonight and install a 3G artificial pitch on the Emirates. Maybe then we’ll have a better chance of winning home games against big teams.


The reality is Arsenal should be swatted this side away by 5 or 6 easily. Whilst you can have concerns about the pitch quality, there is absolutely no excuse for Arsenal not to go there tonight and win very comfortably with a changed squad.


*Arsenal should swat away* you mean?

The Loon Ranger

Freudian slip?


Yes we will just have to deal with this pitch. Isn’t a lot being said about the pitch? I know that every detail is important, but they are professional footballers, I have 100% faith in them to get over playing over an artificial pitch for a match against a non-league side. It’s not like we’re playing on quicksand or something. Let’s just get the job done swiftly, a win today, and then playing against Lincoln City in the quarters is a great chance to win a trophy this season. Something that will help us all be a little more upbeat.… Read more »

Cliff Bastin

On a wet day, these Astro turf pitches don’t slow down ground passes at all. Not making excuses for our multi-millionaire players but it affects their game a fair bit.




There were posts and blogs on the interwebs some years back about how Arsenal’s 3G training pitches play a big role in the kind of injuries we have accrued over the years. (Also these posts predictably fingered Arsene for choosing the turf) …Or am I mistaken and was it some other synthetic pitch??? Does anyone know?


Arsenal train and play on Dessa pitches from what I can read and they are described as “A DESSO GrassMaster ® hybrid grass pitch is a 100% natural sport grass pitch reinforced by millions of Desso artificial turf fibres.”

It’s hard to say what’s to blame exactly, is it the pitches the training techniques or just we have players that are more susceptible to injuries. I think if you look at injuries in general – especially knee injuries, they have gone up in the league and perhaps it’s not surface but footwear that is the common factor…down with blades :)!


Thanks for the dope!


I remember some of those conversations – and quotes of players from other teams and pundits saying how the Arsenal pitches are firmer than a lot of other pitches at the time. More pounding on the muscles and joints. I don’t know the Desso soil profile specifically, but more recent engineered pitches have pretty high sand content for drainage, temperature management, and back-watering, and do feel much firmer than a richer soil with thicker turf layer. If the Desso fibres are also holding the soil together more firmly, then it will not give as much. That reduces how much players… Read more »

Clive St Helmet

I’d quite like to see a team similar to the Southampton game last round. I think that would show an appropriate amount of respect to Sutton whilst simultaneously being strong enough to claim victory.

Now we have this supposedly easier path to the semi final I think it’d be a disaster if we couldn’t at least get to the semis.


Let’s not jinx it! I am crossing every finger and toe on my body tonight!

Lula da Gilberto

Well, I hear that given how we can Lincoln in the next round.

But a part of me would prefer them not to play but instead do defensive drills and pressing practices, both carrying out and responding to, five hours a day for the next ten days, and we can deploy the team that played well against Southampton instead.


Line up predictions anyone?

I’m hoping for Ospina, Jenks, Mert, Holding, Gibbs, Xhaka, Elneny, Ox, Perez, Walcott, Giroud.

I can’t imagine he will play Xhaka though so we’ll probably have Maitland Niles there instead.

Tom Gun

You’ll get thumbed down because everyone is in a ridiculous crisis mentality and think we need to play our first team, not take anything for granted, if we’re not careful we could get beat blah, blah. I like your team and we WILL cruise to victory with it. Only change I’d make is Lucas purely as he’s had a niggle injury so probably not worth risking on that pitch. Other than that, spot on.


What’s this rumor about Debuchy playing tonight? As much as his comments were out of order, we could do with some of his experience and no-nonsense approach…


Niles and the Jeff in, please! Ox on the bench.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

Xhaka’s been told not to tackle and you could see that he was following those orders the other day. Given that he tackles like a kamikaze duck crash diving into a pond I’d be happy if he played and stayed on his feet tonight. If he does play I can see him trying a couple of shots from distance, and a pitch that doesn’t take the pace off the ball might help him with that.

A very nice man

I hope Sutton’s reserve keep Wayne Shaw is inbetween the sticks for them tonight, google him……..he’s an athlete if i’ve seen one!

Gutbukket Deffrolla

How do you get a shot past a man who’s at least as wide as the goal? Why is he not their first choice keeper?

Marley Wills

When you here a manager talking about pitches and foolishness it is purely because we could lose this match and before the match has even started he has an excuse ready and waiting becuase he knows his players are like butter on burnt toast and will crumble if put under pressure by a team that plays on the same pitch along with half of suttons community and guess what? No injuries. What has happened to the men at Arsenal. I spend my time watching Henry and the men of yesteryears cos this team is physically and mentally weak. Sorry for… Read more »

Gutbukket Deffrolla

You poor thing. Do you think you might be a bit too emotionally delicate for this football supporting malarkey? I hope you get better soon.

Ali Bwanaheri

Our team to be fair mental there are not good enough late down there Manager every time not thinking about winning no matter what selection he will have.So we need to see our team Arsenal they go to fight till the end. Good luck Arsenal wish all the best


come again?


Wenger is just giving factual answers to reporter questions. I, like other arsebloggers, have played on these artificial pitches and they are very different in speed, in the way a bouncing ball kicks on or not. It will certainly take some getting used to, professional players or otherwise. To parrot wenger, I expect our quality to come through, but there could be nasty surprises (like if they don’t water the pitch)

Sheffield Goon

Or if they score first. I’d be concerned about our mental fragility if that happened. First goal is crucial for me.


This is an absolute joke the amount they keep bringing up about this artificial pitch? He is already instilling doubt into his team. Ffs these are professional footballers being paid millions, playing a non league side over 90 minutes. They should be able to easily beat Sutton with no problems at all, dominate from start to finish. If the pitch had chunks out of it everywhere or covered in glass maybe I would understand all the drama? But ffs it’s artificial grass, not an ice rink. Stfu Wenger and get your team prepared and ready to demolish Sutton and reach… Read more »


Wenger was asked a question. He answered it.


I predict an 6/7 nil win with a similar team to that faced Southampton in the last round, I would like to see some similar teams selections in the league as one of the biggest flaws we have as a team and club is apathy. Out of form players or lack or effort performance should result inbeing dropped rotation should not be the is forced through injuries or cups games only. That’s why we are often found not up for it against bigger teams, in the FA cup we do well one as players coming in are hungrier.


I will watch.
I will not react to a goal, whether its one for us or one for them.
I am a robot.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x