Belfast Telegraph

Wembley pitch was a disaster: Mourinho

By Matt McGeehan

The Football Association has accepted Jose Mourinho's criticism of the Wembley pitch during Chelsea's Community Shield loss to Arsenal as a "disaster".

The Blues boss was unhappy with the playing surface at the national stadium during Arsenal's 1-0 win.

Mourinho said: "The pitch was a disaster. The pitch was so bad and so slow.

"The weather didn't help too. It was the same for both teams. Don't take it as an excuse."

The FA responded by saying the pitch was not as "mature" as would be ideal for the season curtain-raiser.

An FA spokesperson said: "We appreciate the feedback on playability and will continue to improve the quality of the pitch, which we have every confidence in as it matures.

"In this instance it is simply that the pitch is less mature than we would ordinarily wish for football, given the summer concert season and the early start to the football calendar."

Mourinho made a point of congratulating the Arsenal players afterwards as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger walked behind him, their long-running feud showing no signs of coming to an end.

"I shook a few hands today after the game, but there's nothing special there," said Wenger, who shoved the Blues boss in last season's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.

"I believe in a job where you have to respect people and respect everybody."

Mourinho said: "You see the images, you see where I am. (I was) there for the winners, to wait for them in a point where you only miss me if you want to miss me.

"Every Arsenal player came in my direction, which was the easiest thing to do. If other people didn't come in my direction, that's not a problem, that's not a story, that's not the end of the world."

Mourinho felt the better team lost, but was pointed in his praise of Wenger's approach, saying Arsenal were "a team that leaves their philosophy in the dressing room".

"The best team lost. And the defensive team won," Mourinho added.

Belfast Telegraph


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