Upson blames pitch for slip

Lampard calls for Wembley surface to be improved

Upson: Blaming the pitch

Upson: Blaming the pitch

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Matthew Upson feels the Wembley pitch was at fault for his slip which allowed Egypt to take the lead in the friendly against England.

Mohamed Zidan fired Egypt ahead midway through the first half of the game as he capitalised when defender Upson lost his footing on the edge of the area.

The playing surface at Wembley has often come in for criticism, with its condition questioned after the Carling Cup final last Sunday.

And, though Upson was initially happy with the state of the pitch, the West Ham United centre-half insists it contributed to his slip.


"Was the Egypt goal down to the pitch? I'd like to think so," said Upson, who helped England to eventually prevail 3-1. "I had the usual boots on, long studs, and the pitch just went from underneath my feet.

"It is a bit disappointing. When I first walked on the pitch, it was quite firm, which I was pleased with.

"But it just gave way, and cut up a bit, once you put a bit of force down on it."

Frank Lampard supported his international team-mate's comments and believes the pitch at Wembley needs to be improved.

"I think the pitch was definitely the reason why Upson slipped," said Lampard.

"It kept giving way below you, was very soft underneath, and it should be better, it's as simple as that.

"Everyone is commenting on it and Wembley should be better than that. What could be done? They could change the pitch maybe!"

Goalkeeper Robert Green added: "It wasn't the easiest pitch. It showed with the goal.

"Matthew has had the rug pulled out from under his feet and it is disappointing for him.

"But it is inevitable and it is something you deal with. A problem is a problem if you let it affect you. It is a difficulty but that's life. You either let it affect you or you don't."