UEFA have become the latest party to express concern about the state of the pitch at Wembley ahead of Spurs’ crunch match against PSV in the Champions League.
Tottenham’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Monday night was played in the wake of the Philadelphia Eagles’ NFL fixture against the Jacksonville Jaguars at England’s national stadium.
The NFL game was played just the day before the Premier League heavyweight clash and the effects were clear to see, with clear markings were visible on the Wembley pitch – and more importantly, precious little grass in the middle of a churned up pitch.
Such were the woeful conditions of the pitch that the Mail report that UEFA ‘are closely monitoring the situation at Wembley and working with the club, the FA and management of the stadium, to guarantee safe playing conditions’ for Spurs‘ Champions League fixture against PSV on the 6th November.
Despite the recent criticism, the Wembley groundsmen have reportedly refused to wash over the pitch in order to remove the NFL markings, as they believe it could hamper the ‘playability’ of turf.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva was critical over the ‘playability’ of the pitch on Monday night as he complained: “It was a bit complicated. Everyone knew how the pitch was. The conditions were not even close to perfect.”
The public backlash over the state of the Wembley pitch has reportedly left the groundstaff frustrated as they believe the onus is on Tottenham, who are only playing at the national stadium due to the delays in the opening of their new ‘Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’.
In light of this, Spurs were made perfectly aware that the conditions at Wembley would likely be under-par for their game against Manchester City as the NFL fixture had already been penned into the diary.
However, whilst Mauricio Pochettino accepted that Spurs really cannot complain about the condition of the pitch prior to Monday night’s match, he must be one of those most frustrated by his team’s current predicament.
The uncertainty over the condition of the pitch at Tottenham’s current home stadium means that Spurs’ chances of reaching their season’s aspirations have been somewhat hampered already.
Spurs next face two away trips against West Ham in the League Cup, followed by a Premier League away day at Wolves. Spurs then return to Wembley Stadium for their Champions League fixture against PSV, which is a must-win if Tottenham are to qualify from their group.