Michael Gray: Artificial Pitches Should Not Be Allowed At International Level
Michael Gray believes artificial pitches should not be allowed at international level after seeing Wales struggle against Andorra.
Wales got their Group B campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory but found it tricky to get their passing game going in unfamiliar conditions against opponents ranked 199th in the world.
The artificial pitch at Andorra's new Estadi Nacional stadium had only been deemed suitable to stage the opening match of the Euro 2016 campaign six days earlier. European football's governing body Uefa had been unhappy with the 3G surface after previous tests showed the ball rolled too fast on the pitch.
Speaking on Sky Sports News HQ's The Morning View, Gray says the surface increases chances of players picking up injuries.
'I don't think this surface should be used,” he said. “There are a lot of clubs that have it as a training ground, when the weather is not so great outside but we've seen with the rubber on the pitch that the players could not get used to that when they were clearing the ball. The bounce puts people off as well.
“It should not be used at international level and something should be done about that.
“If you are making challenges that rubber is going to spread to different areas and pile up. This is where you get different bobbles on the field.”
As well as concerns about how the ball runs on the surface, Gray also said artificial pitches are unpopular with players because they can lead to injury.
'When I was at Sheffield Wednesday we had an indoor area like that and what happened was that five or six players couldn't train because they had bad ankles, bad knees and if they did more than hour on that surface they would be in trouble or in pain the next day,” he said.
'I think that's probably the situation Wales are going to find themselves in. You could see the anger in Chris Coleman's face because he's saying other sides are going to have to go there. I think they've got to do something about it.'