‘It’s dangerous!’ Arsenal manager blames pitch for devastating England injury blow

Shortly after Lauren James opened the scoring with a spectacular goal, the Lionesses were was dealt a harsh blow on the pitch.

Walsh fell to the ground and clutched her knee, an image that women’s football fans have become unfortunately accustomed to in recent months.

The Barcelona star was stretchered off the pitch in the 38th minute as manager Sarina Wiegman watched on anxiously.

At half-time, Eidevall didn’t hold back in criticising the conditions of the pitch.

The Arsenal boss said: ‘I think it looks very dry. You can see on the movement when she [Keira] tried to slide with her right foot, then it stops and she then twists her knees

‘I think an example of that was when you saw the celebrations on the first goal that Lauren James did. She tried to knee-slide but as you can see, when she does that, she just stops and falls over.

‘It looks funny but that’s actually a danger to the player welfare to have such a dry pitch. It should allow you to slide through.

He added: ‘That’s not good enough.

‘I’m a big advocate of watering the pitches, it helps the passes go faster but it also prevents situations like this.’

In the BBC studio alongside Jonas, Ellen White said she was ‘devastated’ for her former international teammate.

Responding, Fara Williams added: ‘You saw her reaction and the reaction of her teammates around her. None of us in this room are medics, but you don’t need to be a medic to know this is something serious.’

The Lionesses entered the World Cup severely impacted by injuries, with Leah Williamson, Frank Kirby and Beth Mead all ruled out.

After Walsh went down in the first half, former England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis said: ‘Keira Walsh looks like she has said “I’ve done my kne”’ – an ongoing, ever-present unfortunate discussion that we are having in women’s football.

‘Her studs get caught in the ground, not a lot of contact, and we all know what that means. We’re just hoping that the outcome is different for Keira Walsh.

‘Those down moments that make you sick to the pit of your stomach are hard to ignore, but England need to keep their minds on the task in hand.’

‘I think it’s gutting,’ former England defender Gilly Flaherty had added on commentary duties for the BBC.

‘I am looking now at the pictures of Keira Walsh. She looks upset.

‘It’s not good to see and it’s just fingers crossed that it isn’t what we think it is [an ACL injury]. You feel sick at the thought it could potentially be another ACL.’

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