Before Mikel Arteta’s comments about the the pitch and the grass length at Turf Moor get taken out of context and there are loads of ‘Arteta blames the grass lol’ comments from dimwit pundits and dimwits on social media, let’s look at exactly what the Arsenal manager said after the 0-0 draw.
Fully expecting Burnley not to water the pitch and to keep the grass longer than you would like for a passing game, Arteta trained the Emirates to try and replicate those conditions before the trip north.
He mentioned it as a fact, but laid the blame with his team for not dealing with it well enough.
“The conditions were difficult, the grass was long,” he said. “They didn’t put any water on it and obviously that’s not a very helpful thing to play football.
“I didn’t water the pitch yesterday in the training ground, so I expected it! But that doesn’t make it easier to play. It’s the game, you know, they do really well at what they do. It is a strength, they are are allowed to do it, so we have to adapt.
“We adapted really well in some moments and in some others it wasn’t the grass, it was the quality and what they do, they do really well and we could not cope with that in the right way.”
The Gunners survived some difficult moments, not least Jay Rodriguez missing a sitter as the game entered its final stages, but also missed chances of their own, something Arteta pointed out.
“I think we started really, really well, we could have scored at least two,” said the Spaniard.
“We dominated the game like we wanted, we got out from their pressure pretty well, we played in the opponents half and we controlled the long balls and second balls.
“I was very disappointed with the way we started the second half, the first 15 to 20 minutes we could not control any aspect of the game and we allowed a lot of crosses and second balls inside our box, and at some stages we were lucky not to concede a goal.”