Steven Gerrard has once again condemned artificial surfaces by describing Young Boys’ synthetic turf as a ‘difficult pitch’.
Rangers’ manager has been a long-time advocate of 100% natural grass on playing surfaces, and has been explicitly vocal about smiting any plastic pitch as simply not up to scratch, and the Swiss giants’ own hasn’t escaped this with the manager continuing to protest about its merits in the top-flight game and therefore warning his players about it too.
It’s of course bad enough seeing it in top-flight SPL action, and smacks of cheapskate amateurism as well as dreadfully poor laws allowing these sides to employ the use of them, but witnessing it in the fairly respectable Swiss league with a number of well-known sides like Grasshoppers, Young Boys, Basel et al is utterly bewildering and therefore seeing it in a marquee European competition is beyond the pale.
Rangers will be the first side this season in the group stage to ‘sample’ this pitch, although it’s been installed since 2006.
Tellingly it was replaced for the 2008 Euros with a natural surface, which says all we really need to know about its inadequacy for this level of competition, given it did not fit requirements for a major championship.
Nevertheless, despite our site’s warnings about this pitch, we’ll just have to get on with it and hope Rangers can defy the treacherous conditions of it and get the win.