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Rochdale chairman Chris Dunphy has criticised Mauricio Pochettino’s comments about the state of the League One club’s pitch.

Tottenham will travel to Spotland in the next round of the FA Cup, and Pochettino believes the FA should take action regarding the playing surface.

But Dunphy said Pochettino’s comments were unhelpful and insisted the game will go ahead.

“If a manager wants to speak to his chairman, great. He can speak to Daniel Levy but the FA run the FA Cup and not Tottenham Hotspur,” said Dunphy. (Quotes via ESPN.)

“His comments are ill-advised and unhelpful. It’s not his decision. We’ve been in touch with the FA throughout. For the [fourth-round replay] win against Millwall, the referee was there from 9 o’clock in the morning and it’s the referee who decides whether to play, not a manager.

“The pitch against Millwall was considered safe and it played rather well. How he can make comments like that when he’s just looked at a picture, I just don’t know.”

“I’m absolutely and totally concerned with player safety and the safety of our players on the pitch. But nobody at the [Millwall] game had any concerns about the safety of the players. [Pochettino] is talking from complete ignorance.”

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37 COMMENTS

    • There you go. You complete an utter idiot! you completely missed the point you plonker!
      You are making a judgement call BASE ON PICTURES. you have zero experience of seeing it in person, trying it out. At the end of the day any real footballer grew up with school and park pitches that get ruined and it never hurt anyone. Even if someone does get injured then so f’king what! it’s a sport and people get injured in sports and it’s hide time that the English footballing world accepts this.

      Between ignorant comments like yours, and all this crap chat about “protecting players from tackles” is utterly ruining this game. If someone decides their team gets advantage using physical contact, or messy pitch, then so be it. I don’t hear anyone complaining that it’s unfair Man City and chelski have unlimited funds, or that man city players are too skillful with the ball at their feet, a level which arsenal players lack. Surely thats unfair! LOL

      • Unless there’s magic invisble grass that only the naked eye can see, a picture is sufficient to see it’s more sand than anything. It makes a mockery of the competition to consider that in a fit state to play football on.

        • The premiership clubs have already made a mockery of the cup by playing under strength teams..if spurs were being genuine they’d have got in touch with Rochdale officially but seems they’d rather shout their mouth off to the press

      • Calm down. You have had a match cancelled on that pitch akready. Spurs have players trying to win the Champions League and the world cup, they should play on a professional standard pitch

  1. The pitch at Rochdale is the worst in the league apparently… Pochetino has the right to be concerned, he is concerned about his players well being the Chairman of Rochdale has never had concerns about his players..probably total worth is 10 bob 😅

    • So players worth “10 bob” and earning less money than me per week, can play on a pitch that players worth over £100million and earn more than £100,000 a week cannot?

      Just goes to show you that the spurs players are crap!

  2. Well, if the groundskeepers are laying as much as sand as seems to be the case in the pictures I saw and then having to drill holes in that sand….certainly seems like a bad pitch to me. Would Rochdale not get more from gate receipts if played at Wembley and not Rochdale?

  3. Kevin to true, they would be certainly better of playing at Wembley, but playing in a sandpit (sorry Spotland Park Football Ground is there only chanc to “win”) or should it be renamed “Sandplot Park”…… Rochdale FC Chairman’s obviously upset by Maurice Pochettino telling the truth, worst condition football pitch in the Football League.

  4. I will. E very disappointed if the FA do not stop that game taking place on that pitch.
    The FA must protect the players first.

  5. Mr Dunphy is a friend and I am sorry he feels his club has been denigrated by Señor Pochettino but the Spurs manager has to be concerned for his players. I totally agree with Kevin. The game should be played at Wembley. Makes financial sense for little Rochdale

  6. It would appear that many people share the same opinion about the pitch so Pochettino is not alone and given that he has to consider his players safety he is right to voice his concerns

    Ridiculous comments from the Rochdale chairman, fair enough to try and defend his arguments about the pitch, but he shouldn’t challenge Pochettino’s right to comment

  7. Well, Mr. Chairman, maybe you simply can’t afford to maintain a very good pitch. Perhaps you yourself and any owner/shareholders ought to sell to someone who has the money to participate in this business. You have to be embarrassed with your pitch. A good quality pitch is basic to today’s game. Shame on you.

  8. A decent chairman’s job is to make sure all aspects to run a football is fully functional, operational and the work environment is a practicable one. Obviously looking at Milwall managers words that’s not an issue and they were in a way forced to play on that alleged pitch. Tottenham are taking action instead of leaving it into the hands of a 2. Div referee who only knows sand pits instead of football pitches. Poch is right that pitch can cause serious injuries and influence the outcome of a top 4 challenge. The FA must switch the game to Wembley

  9. if i was the Rochdale chairman i would be sleeping outside the FA BEGGING the FA to make an exception to switch the game to Wembley despite The FA Cup rules are not allowing a venue switch beyond the third round proper. At least it will guarantee your fans a trip to Wembley as wel as allowing them to sing “We are Going to Wembley” once in a life time. Thats without talking about the gate receipts and your financial worries will be eased for a couple of years.

  10. Poch did say looking at the pictures it looked bad which it did
    As for sand most top pitches are 90% sand so putting more sad on top may look ugly but make a lot of difference
    Having watched many pitch inspections the ref will look at the total pitch and see if there is a significant bounce
    The biggest hurdle for a ball playing team is to grow the grass slightly longer thus having a bigger effect on the ball and this will not be the case then it should be ok to play

  11. It’s the refs decision on the day..the most likely injury is getting sand in your eye when you head the ball..injuries can occur at anytime and very rarely have anything to do with the state of a pitch…

  12. State of the pitch is important solely to do with Sand makes it a softer surface causing ankle and knee injuries. Just like a very hard pitch does.

  13. Dear Mr You’re an idiot, you seem to have an anger management concern. I would go and sit in a dark room for an hour. After that you may read your inputs again and see what a fool you look.

  14. No one injured in the Millwall game , this is a smokescreen to deflect attention away from the fact the pochmore or less claimed diving was ok if you can get away with it…you’re a hero in south America if you cheat and get away with it…

  15. Played very well? Is he on a wind up? The ball hardly bounced, especially in the areas where there were bucketloads of sand slung around. There is no grass and the mud cut up very badly in the warm up, forcing the ground staff to be out before the kick-off whistle to pat it all down like a sand castle. Spurs are pushing for top 4, the FA Cup and are still very much in the champions league. If these clowns can’t get their act together and put a decent pitch out, in this day and age, they shouldn’t be allowed to remain in the competition.

  16. I am a Spurs fan and i think a dodgy pitch, evens things out. Its the FA Cup Waterlogged pitches, Sand Pits, School Fields and Poor pitches in general but thats the magic of the FA cup.

    • Spot on. I’ve supported Spurs since the early 60s (yes, I’m an old bugger) and if Blanchflower, McKay, Greaves et al could thrive on the mudbaths, frozen pitches, snow-covered pitches that were the norm before the days of under-soil heating, I’m sure our lads can manage on a bit of sand. As True Spurs states, that’s the magic of the cup.

      • I’ve been a Spurs supporter since the mid 50s (yes, an old bugger too) but I believe that the pitch conditions have changed dramatically since then. I, too, remember the mud pitches back in those days….BUT…with the game nowadays I believe that we should be taking better care of pitches and players. If the Rochdale pitch is as bad as it seems when looking at the pictures online then I believe that it would benefit both clubs to play elsewhere. Maybe not in Wembley? Maybe at an available neutral ground?

        • Good on you, Kevin. Think we’ve both been through the mill following Spurs; good times and lean. But I still feel that it would be harsh on Rochdale to deprive them of home advantage; this is the FA Cup where teams like Rochdale and Newport dream of getting a team like Tottenham on their patch. Yes the pitch is heavily sanded but it’s not rutted (or doesn’t look like it) and the Rochdale lads play on it week in, week out without crippling themselves. I’m sure Spurs can manage 90 mins if they switch on straight away, give their opponents their due respect and come away with a solid win and everyone intact. Can’t wait.

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