Pitch Imperfect, says Moyes

by , ESPN | 01/02/2013

David Moyes has voiced his concern that the Goodison Park pitch could hamper Everton in their search for success this season.

But the Goodison turf cut up during the game, which disappointed the Everton manager as he prepares his side to host relegation-threatened Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

Moyes said: "I'm disappointed with Goodison. I'm disappointed with the pitch. It's coming up. We're trying to play good football and it's not that great at times."

Asked if there was the possibility of doing work on the pitch over the coming month, Moyes added: "I don't know. I've not even spoken to the groundsman. The groundsman's not said anything about it. Maybe that month will give it a chance to settle down.

"But it's not as if we've played loads of games at Goodison this year. It's not as if we've had loads of cup ties or lots of reserve games on it, so it's not had an awful lot of football played on it."

© ESPN
Article reproduced here in its original form or abridged for brevity.

Reader Comments

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Patrick Murphy
851 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:16:34
It's funny I can't remember DM ever having a go at the surface before a game, also SAF has said similar things about the OT pitch.
Phil Sammon
854 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:25:11
Was this story created just so you could use that headline? I, for one, was very impressed.
Ian McDowell
862 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:40:48
So Moyes is concerned about the pitch and he hasn't spoken to the groundsman? Really??

Julian Wait
868 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:55:06
Ian - my thoughts exactly; although what is also interesting is that no-one thought to review this interview and perhaps edit that out before they posted it ... so much for PR ...
Si Cooper
869 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:51:48
The pitch looks pretty bad at the moment.

A few of us commented on here about it a short while ago. Obviously down to all the rain we have had (I remember how the sodden autumn of 2000 wrecked the pitches then).

If we are committed to 'sweating the assets' don't expect to see anything major done to it until it costs us a goal.

Patrick Murphy
870 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:58:52
Why is it Everton always have trouble with the green stuff?
Derek Thomas
871 Posted 01/02/2013 at 22:50:42
This is not a new problem All pitches seem to have a shelf life, some long, some shorter than others.

How many games have they played on it this season,15? How did they manage back in the day with 21 home games, 21 reserve games, cup games, pre-season. Growing grass is not high tech, they don't do it digitally or electronically in the modern day, it hasn't got a virus ( or has it ). Some one wants their arse kicking if they can't get 25 games a season out of it.

In the middle of a wet english winter do they have to have the sprinklers going to within half an hour of the kick off.

Mike Kennedy
874 Posted 01/02/2013 at 23:00:14
I get the impression Moyes is getting very disillusioned with everything at Everton. I think he genuinely wanted Fer but was scuppered by the board. Now he is expressing his discontentment. Quite rightly so.
Jimmy Sørheim
879 Posted 01/02/2013 at 23:06:12
I think the groundsman is fairly new in his job. I agree that it is not useful to drown the pitch with water. Does Goodison Park have under-soil heating?

I also noticed the colour is fading to white which indicates it is dead or close to it in some parts of the pitch. I think more time should be spent with UV lamps and plastic covers on the worst parts, while also providing under-soil heating on and off during the winter.

The pitch should get covered with plastic for the worst climate like too much rain and snow. Absolutely no need to water the pitch at this time, it is usually done before each game to help the ball glide better, but here it is misused.

Amount of sun hours count a lot for growing grass, too much water for a long time causes it to slowly die then. I guess the groundsman does not have a clue on how to cope with bad climate, he should get fired I think.

Lyndon Lloyd
881 Posted 01/02/2013 at 23:23:26
We're not alone; Old Trafford looks worse, if you ask me.
Richard Styles
904 Posted 02/02/2013 at 00:31:35
Is this your way of trying to distract us from yet another Crappy Everton transfare window?
Jackie Barry
905 Posted 02/02/2013 at 00:32:22
OK, how is it going to hamper us exactly? I mean both teams playing on the pitch will be affected by it, is this just another excuse for poor performances at the end of the season? "Oh the pitch was to blame, that's the reason why we didn't get into the top-4". Blimey the men at the top are getting more and more desperate with their excuses.
Bob Parrington
911 Posted 02/02/2013 at 01:06:51
Last season the pitch appeared (at least on TV as live in Australia) to stay in excellent condition. Several pitches of the PL sides have looked a bit "iffy" this season. Has there been excessive rain in UK this year? It seems every single game I watch, whether in the north or the south, it's pissing down.

But...........can't believe Moyes would blame the pitch. It's the same for both teams, er... isn't it? And............ "I've not spoken with the groundsman!" ... load of bullshit.

So, Mike, you wally, how can we believe this is an actual report of a discussion with Moyesee?

Si Cooper
912 Posted 02/02/2013 at 01:17:23
Bob, this is from the manager's press conference today.

You can check out the accuracy of the quotes on the OS. Think you will find he did say these things.

Patrick Murphy
917 Posted 02/02/2013 at 01:33:10
BK and his cohorts have probably given the job of groundsman to some Nephew of theirs in order to save a few bob and with the strict instructions to mess the pitch up and scupper any chance of European football next season, let's hope if we manage to beat Oldham that we are drawn away again otherwise there goes another opportunity to reach Europe gone.

We'll just have to resort to 'Hoofball' and keep Anichebe up front and Jelavic on the bench at Goodison.

Peter Thistle
923 Posted 02/02/2013 at 02:33:29
It shouldn't affect the hoofball we play, wouldn't worry bout it.
Bob Parrington
924 Posted 02/02/2013 at 02:32:15
Si... Thanks. In that case — Unbelievable!
Steavey Buckley
952 Posted 02/02/2013 at 08:19:47
The grass fading could indicate a few things, being watered too much or/and receiving too much rain especially when it is cold. The underground heating could be drying out the grass roots. And killing them, making the grass appear going lighter. Possible solutions, the pitch needs to have less water on it by being covered more and warmth added to the pitch through a plastic bubble with heaters, without the possible need for the underground heating switched on. But that will cost BK extra money. So it may be route 1 football from now on until the end of the season.
Paul Ellam
953 Posted 02/02/2013 at 08:29:37
Excuses in early when we don't get 4th spot!

It wouldn't matter if we had bought the right players in January.

Cynical – yes, but it just feels like it's gonna be the reason used if/when we don't get the results we need.

Ray Roche
972 Posted 02/02/2013 at 09:27:22
At a recent match the pitch was being watered in the rain. After the wettest Summer in decades and the wettest winter in decades we're watering the pitch...FFS!
Chris James
975 Posted 02/02/2013 at 09:24:05
I agree with Mike (874), this sounds a lot like a frustrated manager venting. It's a bit like kicking the dog, when the wife and kids are winding you up.

Basically it feels increasingly like the board fecked him with Fer (the chances that Moyes would suggest different payment terms are as close to zero as makes no odds), but there's limited value in bitching at the boss (especially if you're looking for a new contract soon or for another chairman to grab you) so he lashes out at something else.

Adam Fenlon
977 Posted 02/02/2013 at 09:34:54
Should see the state of my bloody lawn! And I don't have blokes playing football on mine!
Matt Traynor
982 Posted 02/02/2013 at 09:50:49
We football fans are such wankers. Here we sit all day, pontificating on this formation, or that signing, pretending to know the intricacies of the game. Just two days ago, lamenting our failure to bring in any faces to freshen up the squad (unless Gueye's departure does that).

I mean some fans had the audacity to suggest that the lack of transfer activity may hamper our quest for fourth.

Well, now we know. If we don't get 4th, it's cos of the pitch.

Thank God we have a true Blue chairman.

Phil Sammon
990 Posted 02/02/2013 at 10:04:09
Jimmy

'I also noticed the colour is fading to white which indicates it is dead or close to it in some parts of the pitch.'

It's white paint, used to mark the parameters of the pitch.

In all seriousness Ray is right. The pitch is already wet and yet on Wednesday the sprinklers were on for a good 15 minutes. There was standing water on the side of the pitch by the Lower Bullens. I'm no proctologist, but that can't be good for the surface.

Moyes is probably right to have a moan, but speak to your groundsman FFS

Colin Oakes
000 Posted 02/02/2013 at 10:33:14
Have a look back at videos of the 85 run-in games, the pitch then was a lot worse than it is now. Somehow we managed to play joined up football OK!
Dave Roberts
011 Posted 02/02/2013 at 11:02:45
Moyes had a gripe about the pitch a few years ago (2007?) and they relaid a wide strip right down the middle around this time of the year. I don't remember any conspiracy theories abounding then about him being ready to jump ship. Additionally, how do we know Moyes was fucked by the board over Fer? The last thing he would have wanted was his chosen target to be the third sicknote signing in a row!

Yes I'm sure he was disappointed as he's been tracking this lad for a while but I am also sure that he had considerable input into the decision that it was a no go. I have also seen the two interviews on the O/S and to me he does not look pissed off at all....in fact he smiled a few times and that is definitely not like him....he is usually as blank-faced as they come.

We tend to interpret things according to our own predispositions and if we think Moyes was 'shafted by the board', everything we see and hear will be bent to support the view.

It's silly.

Mark Stone
016 Posted 02/02/2013 at 11:38:33
It's no wonder the pitch is a mess if the groundsman is a proctologist.
Brent Stephens
018 Posted 02/02/2013 at 11:37:23
I thought the groundsman had been sent out on loan, to gain some more experience.
Tony Waring
028 Posted 02/02/2013 at 12:04:06
I get to very few games but am I not correct in sayin g that they water the pitch before the game and at half time ? If so can someone explain in words of one syllable to the groundsman and DM that 2012 was the wettest in England since records began. I can never understand why this is done but it seems to be fashionable at all grounds and in my opinion it's totally unnecessary during winter months.
Andy Meighan
029 Posted 02/02/2013 at 12:04:57
Strange him saying that. Me and the lads only commented on the.state of it at the WBA game the other night. He's right, though; it's not looking good.
Colin Glassar
031 Posted 02/02/2013 at 12:13:09
Moyesy's getting in his excuses early, I see. So, when our threadbare squad start picking up injuries, he'll be ready to blame the groundsmen and not our 'beloved leader'.
Chris Williamson
048 Posted 02/02/2013 at 13:07:21
Oh bleat, bleat! I for one long for the days when the pitches were grassless from winter onwards. It was a great leveller, and managers had to be careful to build a squad with enough pluggers in to drive through the quagmire. It gave the teams without the flighty prima donnas a chance to compete.

Much more fun. Remember when football was a fun man's game, when players would drive on with fragments of fibia sticking out of their shin pads?

Ralph Basnett
049 Posted 02/02/2013 at 13:13:54
When have we played good football? Haven't missed a game but maybe blinked?
Keith Conchie
051 Posted 02/02/2013 at 13:15:45
The pitch is looking tired, and it's not just ours as many of the pitches in the league are looking the same. Old Trafford is worse than ours.

I agree with what others are saying on here that its crazy we are watering the pitch so much in such a wet winter. Surely the groundsman should realise that aswell.

I don't agree with the comments about our style, as some say on here it won't affect us and we don't play good football. I think at times when we've had a full squad we've played some really good football.

However I can't believe Moyes saying he hasn't spoken to the groundsman about it,.surely he should be the first person he speaks to before going out to the press.

Trevor Lynes
062 Posted 02/02/2013 at 14:23:25
I saw the comments about hoofball. We are playing the best football at the club since the 60s and hoofball was a tactic used when Duncan Ferguson played up front. Those were the days when we never scored from open play and scored most of our goals from dead-ball situations when everybody went up.

With Pienaar, Mirallas, Gibson, Osman and Baines in the team, we play football1!!

Richard Reeves
080 Posted 02/02/2013 at 16:29:43
Another excuse.
Richard Reeves
084 Posted 02/02/2013 at 16:31:00
Trevor (#62) The best football since the 60s? We've played some good stuff this season but I wouldn't say better than cup winning teams of the 80s.
Colin Glassar
201 Posted 02/02/2013 at 19:00:21
Was the pitch to blame for heitinga's inept display today?
Chris Bentham
271 Posted 02/02/2013 at 21:29:20
It wasn't the pitch that was the problem today – it was the shit defensive display... We scored 3 goals at home and they scored 3 off 3 chances.

Moyes has to take responsibility for poor team selection... Not one fan I've spoke to thinks putting ya best defender at RB is a good idea.

Paul Walsh
355 Posted 03/02/2013 at 06:57:08
Commenters being critical of the pitch being over-watered are assuming the grass is like that they have on their lawn or you'd find at the local park. In reality the playing surface at Goodison is in truth a hybrid of natural grass and synthetic fibre designed ironically, to be more endurable than natural grass alone. The sub base has less soil in it than normal and more sand to aid drainage. All premier league clubs that have under- soil heating basically use similar technology to grow and maintain their pitches hence why Old Trafford thirty miles from Goodison is looking in a similar state of dilapidation. I can only think that the extraordinary cold snap we had in November with sub-zero temperatures, coupled with the huge amount of rainfall we had in general last year has contributed towards the pitch deteriorating in the way it has this season.
Joe Bibb
365 Posted 03/02/2013 at 08:57:40
There is a few soft sods on the pitch but Moyes picks them every week.
Karl Masters
576 Posted 03/02/2013 at 18:56:56
As mentioned the pitch is nothing like your lawn at home. There is a reason pitches are miles better than even fifteen years ago and it is because they are are almost like a raised layer above a base tray. This is designed along with a sandy sub soil to make the water drain away quickly and prevent waterlogging. It aso means they have to keep being watered or else they just dry out hence you see them being watered at half time nd before the game as well as after on many occasions.

In our case I suspect the pitch has either dred out too much, the roots have been damaged by the very cold weather or there has been insufficient sunlight to aid photosynthesis.

Remedies would be to plant more seed in the spring or in the meantime get those giant lamps in to fool the grass into thinking its summer. They did it at Newcastle once whn the pitch went yellow and they always do it at Chelsea, the lights are on in the background of the Barclays advert shot at Stamford Bridge you saw in yesterday's match programme by the way.

Steven Telford
608 Posted 03/02/2013 at 20:40:46
The statement is entirely nonsensical because, as both teams play on the same pitch, if it hampers one team, it hampers the other team.

You can say it hampers the football match, but surely not one team more than another.

Yup, I am great fan of DM, but if I read one thing from his statement, it would be “general frustration with EFC”.

Harold Matthews
717 Posted 04/02/2013 at 11:28:50
It suits big Vic but the little fellas are suffering.
Harold Matthews
720 Posted 04/02/2013 at 11:34:35
Oh yes. It was very nice of Alan Hansen to explain in detail, the best way to mark Big Vic.
Noel Early
896 Posted 04/02/2013 at 22:57:52
Moyes would be better served picking his players in their strongest positions. Old Trafford is in a terrible state, let's see if he mouths off about that... I doubt it very much.

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