By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger does NOT blame the Wembley pitch for Arsenal's FA Cup exit but he thinks the playing surface is an "embarrassment" to England's national stadium.

The Frenchman aired his concerns ahead of the FA Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea when he suggested that the new Wembley pitch is a pale imitation of the old ground's hallowed turf. Wenger saw nothing on Saturday to change his opinion as an uneven surface undermined the passing games of both sides.

After the game, the Arsenal manager questioned why the world's most expensive stadium - costing just shy of £800 million - does not have a world-class pitch.

"I don't think we have lost because of the pitch," said Wenger. "But it is really embarrassing. When you see how much this stadium has cost and you still can't get a proper football pitch. Somebody must give an explanation."

"I am not sure the pop concerts [held at Wembley] are an answer [to the pitch's condition]. This pitch was never good since the start."

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20 Apr 2009