Nagelsmann Slams Frankfurt Pitch at Euro 2024

Nagelsmann Slams Frankfurt Pitch at Euro 2024

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann admits concerns over the state of the Frankfurt Arena pitch have left him worrying whether his players will suffer injuries in their final Group A game against Switzerland. 

England laboured to a 1-1 draw against Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday, with coach Gareth Southgate insisting his players had been ‘on edge’ as they struggled to keep their feet when chunks of turf cut up. 

Governing body UEFA have said the playing surface will be improved but Nagelsmann sounds unconvinced. ‘I hope that it holds up, but I have little hope. The grass is simply not good — very greasy, very soft,’ Nagelsmann said. 

‘It is like driving with summer tyres in the winter. ‘After the NFL games (at the stadium), the grass no longer grew well. I am not so worried in terms of playing the game, but what worries me more is in terms of injuries.

‘There are players such as Jude Bellingham that we have seen have had problems and risked some serious injury. 

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann has admitted concerns over the state of the Frankfurt Arena pitch

England laboured to a 1-1 draw against Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday

England laboured to a 1-1 draw against Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday

‘If you slip, you really risk getting injured. But this is the situation, these are the starting conditions. We must handle them.’ 

Nagelsmann added: ‘There are moments that you have to be prepared for as a player, like when the ball sometimes goes astray or doesn’t roll quite cleanly. ‘But we would do well not to just talk about the pitch — you sometimes see a decent game in the district league and the pitch is worse there.’ 

Germany have already secured their place in the last 16, after the hosts followed up their opening win over Scotland by beating Hungary. 

Nagelsmann maintains his side must focus on the job in hand against Switzerland rather than worry about which team they might face in the knockout phase. ‘You play the games to win. It will be the same tomorrow,’ he said. 

England have previously raised concerns over the state of the pitch at the Frankfurt Arena

England have previously raised concerns over the state of the pitch at the Frankfurt Arena

‘We cannot influence who our opponent will be in the knockout round. ‘This is about winning the game, gaining more confidence and it doesn’t matter who the next opponent is.’ 

After beating Hungary and then coming from behind to draw with Scotland, Switzerland are well placed on four points to reach the last 16 for the sixth time at a major finals since the 2010 World Cup. 

‘We got positive results in the first two games and here we are now in a good situation,’ said Switzerland coach Murat Yakin. 

‘We don’t have to win tomorrow, but we want to show our qualities and give Germany a tough time. We have prepared well and want to make our fans proud.’

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