Harry speaking about the artificial pitch before Spurs 3-2 defeat to Young Boys:
I think it will suit us, the way we pass the ball. We’ve got players with great technique like Luka Modric. We won’t be making an excuse out of it.
Harry speaking about the artificial pitch after Spurs 3-2 defeat to Young Boys:
You have to get used to playing on it. If you play on it every week you get used to it. I don’t agree with Astroturf and I don’t think Astroturf should be used in a competition like this. I left four out because they weren’t comfortable on the pitch in training yesterday.
Sounds a bit excusey to me and UEFA have rightly dismissed his complaints. What his grumblings do, of course, is distract from Tottenham’s limp performance. Yes, they did well to drag themselves back into it but the tie could have been over and done with had the Swiss taken their chances. It had nothing to do with the pitch, it was because Spurs played so poorly in a game they should have been right up for. It’s all a bit convenient for Redknapp to blame to pitch when the finger should be pointed squarely and his players and him.
And even if we do talk about the pitch it’s a non-issue. Modern astro pitches are fantastic. It’s not like the old days of sand based surfaces that would tear the skin from your elbows and knees at the slightest contact. They cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and are meticulously maintained. Sure, they do lack something that grass pitches do, such as bumps, divots, hills, slopes, bare patches, holes, missing turf and waterlogged sections. It’s tough to cope with all right.
The pitch last night was better than the one at Wembley, for example, and it’s not as if all Premier League surfaces are the same. The ball will roll and bounce differently at the Emirates than it does at Old Trafford which is different to White Hart Lane which is different to Stamford Bridge and so on.
Spurs are still in the Champions League, and I expect them to qualify from the second leg, but Harry needs to work a little harder on his excuse making. Or, better yet, the training ground.