Date: 22nd February 2018 at 3:17pm
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Ok so I`ll start looking at the The Fans Ask – The Club Answers. FCG 20/02/201 agenda a little more closely.

The one issue, which actually ties in nicely with what Steve Bruce was talking about the other night after the PNE draw.

The pitch.

The FCG agenda asked:

The pitch has deteriorated badly. The one thing we are used to as Villa fans is a beautiful pitch, it was always what was on the pitch that was the problem. What is the reason for this deterioration and what are the plans to address this?

And the club answered: The recent & continuous wet weather has had a significant impact on the playing surface, which is clearly visible. In an attempt to mitigate these conditions, we purchased additional pitch lighting rigs in 2017 which has helped to some degree. The Operations Team are currently working on plans for a complete pitch replacement project including, undersoil heating, irrigation and drainage systems. These plans need to be finalised and submitted for financial consideration.

The normal pitch life for these new, modern woven pitches is apparently around 10 years. Ours is 12 years old. Last year they were set to re-lay the pitch but after the club won pitch of the year, Tony Xia wasn`t convinced it would therefore need re-laying and would be good for one more season.

Turns out it did need doing.

With the extra attention they have paid since it started to noticeably cut up, it`s not been as bad as I thought it might become, however as I explained at the FCG meeting, us fans are so used to seeing award winning, beautiful, bowling green type pitches, we noticed very quickly when it did cut up.

It might be a good idea in the future for the owner to be slightly less hands on when it comes to opinions on such things!

Bruce after the PNE game game said “All of a sudden we`ve got a very difficult Villa Park pitch. I`ve never seen it the way it is at the moment.”

I have, but it was in the 70s and 80s !

And Bruce claimed that it was the pitch that has pushed him to go a bit more direct. Not totally convinced by that, are you? But hey ho, it`s obviously having an impact if he`s talking about it.

He does also praise the groundsman pointing out “The groundsman has done a remarkable job. He`s won groundsman of the year for 10 years! {Not quite, but they do have a good history of wins. Our one groundsman left for PSG a few years ago and the new set up have done equally as well. ed} The pitch is always immaculate. Unfortunately it`s difficult at the minute. It`s not how we`ve been used to it. It`s difficult and bobbly. It`s bare in places.”

So there you go. Tony Xia, a lesson learned here, when you are winning, then is when you invest. Good job at the moment we are talking about winning pitch of the year, not winning football trophies. It was a lesson Doug never learned {not pushing on after 94 and 96 league cup wins}, we hope Xia does.

The pitch will be re-laid as soon as this season is over, with the timings it could be tight for the start of the new season so we might have to request our first game to be away from home.


9 Replies to “A Decision By Villa That Was Far From Pitch Perfect”

  • Take the risk because we don’t have the money is one thing, take the risk because the owner believes he knows better than the recommendations of the experts….erm no. That’s how you end up with a pitch like that that’s already passed its sell by date.

  • It is comments like that which don’t do Bruce any favours. Trying to blame the pitch for a ***** poor performance isn’t going to fool anyone and he should know better than to insult our intelligence.

  • I’m sure it’s the pitch Steve … and not the fact that you played an immobile Jedinak for the second game running against a mobile team; nor the fact that you persist in playing Hourihane at “8” when he clearly doesn’t have the drive or energy to play th

  • Sorry but I dont think Bruce is trying to blame the pitch for performances. He is just stating what we have all noticed over the last couple of months. Its still a long way from being as bad as the green sand we had in the early 90’s

  • My question ” Does the condition of the pitch have a bearing on the injuries suffered to our players over recent months ? ”

  • Dr X is still on trial for me. Things like this show that he ain’t that wealthy. Cost cutting at the cost of the team is not a good sign. People gotta lay of Bruce, we are 3rd in the table. He is doing his job. IBWT

  • Certainly probably wouldn’t help Dave. Ali, to my understanding it wouldn’t be a cost that effects FFP either but certainly aid the idea of the Villa Engine!

  • might on the twist injuries like Davies got, although to be fair it’s hardly the mudbath pitches of the 80s is it? Think Bruce was only saying what some of us have been saying, agreed garygaryshaw. But I do think probably better not to mention it as an

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