Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp brands Wembley pitch a "disgrace"

The Wembley pitch is facing renewed criticised as Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp called into questions the surface quality at the country's national stadium.

The surface was re-laid three weeks ago for the tenth time since its renovation in 2007. 

Speaking after his side's 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth, Redknapp told reporters:  "It's a disgrace.  I won't use it as an excuse because it's the same for both teams.  You have to spend the whole time making sure you don't fall over.  That can't be right can it?  How can you play on a pitch you can't stand up on?"

The Football Association have so far declined to comment.

A key turning point in the game came when Tottenham defender Michael Dawson slipped, leaving Portsmouth's Frederic Piquionne to score the extra-time opener.

"Michael Dawson slipped on it and I was here yesterday and saw people unable to keep their feet," added Redknapp.

"It's unreal.  I said before the game that anyone can slip on that pitch, so you'll have to be very careful.  Yesterday I saw goalkeepers trying to kick balls but fall over, that's how bad the pitch is - it's rock hard and wet on top.  It's impossible to play on."

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant agreed with Redknapp adding:  "The pitch is a disgrace even though it is the same for both teams."

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill also condemned the surface on Saturday after his team lost 3-0 to Chelsea in the first FA Cup semi-final.

The pitch was similarly slated during last year's FA Cup semi-finals by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Everton manager David Moyes.

England manager Fabio Capello and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson have both previously criticised the surface.

The pitch problems have already cost one groundsman his job.

Steve Welch was forced out following public criticism, a move that was condemned by the IOG.

 


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