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Arteta suggests Turf Moor pitch 'not very helpful' after Arsenal struggles continue

Modified 02 Feb 2020, 23:58 IST
Nick Pope Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - cropped
Nick Pope denies Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Turf Moor

Mikel Arteta highlighted the condition of the Turf Moor pitch as a challenge for Arsenal in their 0-0 draw with Burnley.

After spurning two excellent early chances on Sunday, through Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal struggled for long periods and were arguably lucky to escape with a point as Jay Rodriguez hit the underside of the crossbar for Burnley late on.

Arteta accepted his side lacked consistency in their performance, but he also took the opportunity to draw attention to the state of the pitch.

"The conditions were difficult," the Spaniard told a news conference. "The grass was this long [raising fingers to exaggerate the length of the grass], they did not put any water on it and obviously that's not a very helpful thing to play football."

Asked whether such conditions should have been anticipated by Arsenal, Arteta replied with a smile: "Absolutely. I didn't water the pitch yesterday in the training ground, so I was expecting it.

"That doesn't make it easier to play. But it's the game. They [Burnley] do really well what they do. It's their strength, you are allowed to do it, so you have to adapt.

"We adapted really well in some moments ... and in some others it wasn't the grass, it's the quality and what they do, they do really well and we could not cope with that in the right way."

Assessing his team's performance, Arsenal's head coach added: "We were fantastic in some moments, but we were so sloppy and we put ourselves in big trouble with a lot of unnecessary situations that we have to improve, because that gives the opponent an opportunity. We need to improve that a lot."

Published 02 Feb 2020, 23:58 IST
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