Sunday 4 December 2016

A problem with the pitch? Don't make me laugh

Mark Ogden

Published 15/12/2010 | 05:00

ALEX FERGUSON has hit back at Arsene Wenger's criticism of the Old Trafford pitch by insisting Manchester United's playing surface had "nothing to do with" Arsenal's 1-0 defeat on Monday.

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Arsenal manager Wenger claimed the Old Trafford turf was "very poor, bouncy and slippery" after Ji-Sung Park's first-half goal sealed victory for United.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere also condemned the playing surface. "The pitch was shocking -- I think they wanted to stop us playing," he said after his team's fifth league defeat of the season. Ferguson, however, speaking to the Football Show on New York-based radio station Sirius XM, dismissed Arsenal's complaints by pointing to the quality of modern-day pitches.

SURPRISE

"I don't think the pitch had anything to do with it." Ferguson said. "We were just the better team. The pitch was good. It was fine. I've no problem with the pitch and it was a surprise to everyone that this was mentioned.

"I remember playing on pitches in my day, with a furrow up the middle of the pitch that was absolutely barren! But the state of the pitches today is fantastic, with all of the drainage. The care they get now is much, much better.

"We played well, it was a solid performance and I think we were the far better team on the day."

Ferguson has also confirmed that South Korean midfielder Park will fly to Qatar on December 28 in order to link up with his country for next month's Asian Cup, which is being staged by the hosts of the 2022 World Cup.

Park could miss seven first-team games due to his international commitments and the former PSV Eindhoven player admits he is torn between club and country with the tournament looming.

"I have mixed feelings about the Asian Cup. At the moment, I am playing with confidence, so I do feel a bit strange about going. But I am always happy to join my national team as well," said Park.

Irish Independent

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