Don Hutchison Has No Idea How Long Six Inches Is

Don Hutchison Has No Idea How Long Six Inches Is
By Paul Updated

In his column in the Newcastle Chronicle, former Premier League midfielder Don Hutchison has recounted a story which seems to suggest that the recent match between west Ham and Tottenham at Upton Park was played on a wildly overgrown pitch on the orders of Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.

After giving his opinion on the Toon’s latest issues, Hutchison mentioned how they could come up against some traditional gamesmanship in their upcoming League Cup tie away to Gillingham.

He recalled a game for Liverpool against Bolton at Burnden Park, where Wanderers manager Colin Todd instructed the ground staff to turn off the undersoil heating to create an unsafe, ‘ice rink’-like playing surface.

However, it was his next anecdote which would suggest that either Hutchison, Sam Allardyce or Brad Friedel has a wildly skewed idea of how long six inches is, or West Ham-Spurs was played on grass longer than the second cut of rough at the US Open.

Says Don:

And believe me, these little tricks still go on at all levels. I was working with Brad Freidel the other week and we were talking about Tottenham’s performance – or lack of one – at West Ham on the opening day of the season. I couldn’t believe how bad they were, having tipped them for top four.

Brad’s response was really interesting. He told me Sam Allardyce had let the grass on Upton Park grow an extra six inches and the Spurs players knew it from the first moment they walked out before the game. They couldn’t pass the ball properly because the grass was that bit longer and it was getting held up in the turf. They struggled all game because of it and were bailed out at the end with a last-minute winner.

I suppose we’d better take Hutchison’s word for it that Friedel said that the grass was six inches longer than usual, but pictures from the game and the fact that Don, or at least his subeditor, didn’t question the lunacy of that claim makes it pretty clear that his idea of six inches is all over the place.

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