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State of Wembley

Euro 2008 England
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Croatia boss Slaven Bilic has come out and criticised the state of Wembley's pitch ahead of tonight's Euro 2008 qualifier.

The turf has been under scrutiny since it cut up during May's FA Cup final while Paul Robinson complained after England's 1-1 draw with Brazil in June.

And recent heavy rain and an American Football game have not helped the turf.

Bilic told BBC Radio 5 Live: "The pitch is no good and not in the condition that Wembley used to be known for."

Croatia trained at Wembley last night but could only use one half of the pitch.

What's your thoughts? Is Wembley being used too often? Six music concerts and rugby league and NFL games cannot have helped.

Will the pitch adversely affect the game?

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posted Nov 21, 2007

1 - The roof doesn't shut all the way! Great stadium design there.

2 - At 850m, Wembley needs to recoup as much revenue as possible. The NFL match was one such necessary event. It is the national stadium, not the national football stadium!!

3 - The NFL match is not entirely to blame for the state of the pitch anyway. The surface has been absolutely dire from day one. Went to see one of the play-off finals last year and the pitch cut up all over and players were constantly slipping (it was also the League Two final so was the first game played on the surface that weekend).

In summary, for whatever reasons, the pitch has been awful from the start. No amount of "other" sports played on the surface has had a detrimental effect.

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posted Nov 21, 2007

I find all this socio-political talk here on a sports board silly, but as an American, it just cracks me up to see the kind of crazy stereotypes people in England seem to actually believe about the States. Gun-toting mullet wearers? It's just too funny to me. I will say tho, American sports are terrible, and football is in particular is horrible. Freaks of nature slamming into one another, surrounded by endless advertisements. I'm happy to live in a city (LA) with no NFL team. I get up at 7:00 am and watch the premiership every weekend (and thankfully Arsenal matches are almost always carried) and that's the sum total of my sports for the pitch, if it's not the best in the UK after all that money spent someone should be put away.

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posted Nov 21, 2007


Totally agree. The NFL game is not to blame here. If fact the NFL teams involved are also well within their rights to complain about the poor pitch conditions. It's an embarassment for Wembley. Sort it out.

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comment by Rob80 (U2096844)

posted Nov 21, 2007

comment by Mihalj11
posted 3 Hours Ago
"For a start American Football is twice the game soccer will ever be"

Are you kidding or what? soccer is another world comapred to am. football. thats just second stupid american game after baseball, lame copy of rugby, only americans play it, games are 3,4 hours long, they stop every two seconds when somebody is on the ground. booooooriiiiing!!!
I really cant understand why was that nfl game played on wembley. that was a awful decision. and theres obviously sthing wrong with the pitch. maybe the surface isnt wright. thats too bad cause the stadium itself is really amazing..


First of all, yes American Football is boring. 20 seconds of 'action' (if you call a bunch of people running into each other action?) and then 2 minutes for adverts inbetween for 5 hours. Got a feeling I'll end up watching it at the in-laws tomorrow... last time I tried to watch it was when Philly were in the World Series, and I had to turn it off! Any argument about it being a better game is easily solved by looking at the number of countries that participate in the World Cup.

Anyway, point is that saying it's just a "copy of rugby" is wrong. Association Football, Rugby Football and American Football are all branches of the same sport. Over here it was developed into rugby and football (association) and in America it was developed into what they call football. That's also why the same name. They didn't just watch rugby and then decide to invent it!

I don't think playing the NFL game on it was a good idea, Old Trafford has always cut up badly after the rugby is played on it. But it's obvious they need the money, and the NFL are trying to promote the sport in other countries.

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posted Nov 21, 2007

comment by trickytree09

posted 1 Hour Ago

Sunday league players don't use the middle 60 yards of a football pitch!

Neither do England so no problem for us. With Crouch up front its going to look more like a ping pong match than a football match.

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comment by vawn (U9440844)

posted Nov 21, 2007

Actually, American sport fans have much to learn from European fans and football culture. In England a manager recovering from brain cancer called 'tumor boy'; Liverpool fans attacking an ambulance carrying an injured player and stealing seats from one another; anti-Catholic chants from Scottish fans; racists chants in Spain and Russia; assault on a referee in Denmark; Italian fans mudering a policeman and others; an entire league of a country that won the World Cup infested with corruption; a World Cup splattered with diving, drowned in a sea of yellow cards, and ending in a match with no goals from open play; matches routinely decided by incorrect referee decisions; visiting fans having to be segregated; every major league totally dominated by a select few rich teams; a culture of diving an injury feigning. The list is practically endless.
Enjoy your next trip to Euro Disney.

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comment by aliban (U6517300)

posted Nov 21, 2007

Play with what u gt and be grate ful teams like south arficas pitch is down up n down!!!

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posted Nov 21, 2007

so our national sport is being played on a sunday lge pitch.....what a joke....all that money spent on the new wembley and its getting slated already...well at least we'l have a new excuse if we dont qualify...hey an idea to the owners: why not spend some of the vast amounts of money you have already made since it opened on supplying a pitch thats up to the job...greed is indemic in this country now,this "lets see how much we can screw out of ordinary working people" for as little given back is disgraceful..get your act together if you want to hold a world cup here then show that our main stadium is up to the job.....and make it sharpish....

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posted Nov 21, 2007

eeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr cadbury hero.....point 2...if you took football ot of wembley there would be no point having it at is 1 of the biggest revenues you can put in what other bodies from sport coughed up cash towards the when the other sports put up money then yes it isnt just for football BUT until is the most immportant event that uses wembley....

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comment by kennedy (U8004942)

posted Dec 3, 2007

"If you take the half-time shows and the dancing girls away from American Football you're left with about 20 giant men in 12-inch thick padding running around a field."


thats a really terrible summary of the game. Effectively football is twenty five (three refs too) running around a field after a ball...

Where is the difference?

I agree i prefer football to american football, perhaps because american football is more tactical than 'soccer'. ie, stopping after every run of play. But i would not say football is 'better', everyone has the right to support whichever sport they want.

Its easy to describe a sport so that it looks boring:

Golf - hitting a ball into a hole
Basketball - hitting a ball into a ring
Hockey - hitting a ball into a net
Baseball - just hitting a ball
Diving - jumping into water
Formula 1 - driving. but faster.
Rally - driving. but sideways.
Bowls - rolling balls
Fencing - a saturday night brawl - for toffs
Horse Racing - holding onto a running beast
Ice Hockey - hitting a ball into a net - but slippery!
Tennis - hitting a ball /over/ a net
Table tennis - Tennis, but for small folk

see? In conclusion ( laugh ) if you dont like the sport. Dont moan about it.

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