Science and money are combining to help Manchester United replicate the home pitch experience on the training ground.
After taking over the fabled English club, Louis van Gaal requested that three training ground pitches would be regrown to the exact specifications of the Theatre of Dreams.
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Now, when United prepares for a home match, it can prepare for everything but the crowd.
While highly impressed with what he saw, the Dutchman requested an important change to three of the pitches used by the first-team squad.
Aon Training Complex head groudsman Joe Pemberton and his team have since worked tirelessly over the last few months to transform those training pitches into Old Trafford replicas and van Gaal is delighted with the results.
“Our [recent] preparations have been helped by the fact that the players are now able to train on our three new Desso GrassMaster pitches which have been installed at the Aon Training Complex,” explained the boss in his United Review programme notes.
“These pitches are exactly the same specification as the pitch at Old Trafford, because part of the process is to replicate the conditions we have at the stadium into our training sessions.
We cannot confirm whether Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak will announce plans to build not 3, but 300 training pitches exactly like the Etihad, nor whether Arsene Wenger is bemoaning the excess grass spending of United.