That the turf in Sochi there are longer beaches than the Red Devils are accustomed to, seems to be a detail. But to such details, it goes in the sport. The policy update is not necessary, however, says Werner Helsen, a professor of movement control at the KU Leuven.
Coach Roberto Martinez be there at the press conference on Sunday that the grass in the stadium with its 25 millimeters actually is ‘too long’ is. But Fifa explains that length: the grass is resilient, making it more matching to handle. And not unimportant for the millions of spectators: it just looks better, because longer grass will give a greener impression.
Helsen acknowledges that longer grass is an important drawback: as a team can be a little less quick to play. He makes the comparison with a golf course, where the length of the grass have a much bigger impact on the game. “But the graslengte is in advance known. It is best for you not to hard not to disturb things that you can’t do anything to change it’.
On their field in Tubize have the Belgians still trained on the grass of 18 millimeters, but that is according to Helsen’s not a disadvantage. “You can train more on speed, and practicing with pressure in the physical plane. Players must also faster learn to observe and a creative solution is found’.
Wet or tough?
That the grass is about 7 millimeters longer than on the Belgian training ground of the Devils, means that in practice also not necessary that the game is slower process than the Devils are accustomed to. “The terrain is for the beginning of and during the rest soaked with water. That helps just as well to get the ball around to let it go, ” notes Helsen.
The grass can also make a difference, and on that level, the Red Devils even in the advantage. ‘South American teams are used on thicker and tougher grass to play in.
Or the graslengte a substantial difference will make, doubts Helsen. “We have no nails on low water search. Perhaps it is more pleasant to be on short grass to play, but that is for all teams to be equal.’ The policy adjust is not necessary.
The professor endorses the conclusion of Martinez: the graslengte can not be an excuse for the performance of the Red Devils tonight. “But he is a top coach working with the details. I understand that he has a point.”