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By Doug Higginbottom, Wed 15 February 2012 15:25
I wasnt going to go today but the weather was so nice and I made a last minute dash. Almost tropical and very busy too as it was open house for the press to watch some training as they get to do pre all euro matches. The good mood from yesterday was carried on. Plenty of laughter and banter as they went through all the early routines and stretches.No CT of course but maybe he will be working through the afternoon and the rest of the week to try and regain his fitness. It was a full squad otherwise apart from the Toures who were flying direct to Porto. A mixture of games followed and as usual Nigel got on the scoresheet a couple of times to take his team to victory. When the game switched to the small nets which Nigel likes so much the players sprinted across to where Brian Kidd would release the ball for the game. Trouble is he let the players get a bit too close as he threw the ball in and it flew back at him off either Lescott or Clichy and smacked into his crown jewels. Like the pro he is he showed no pain, or at least not till a few minutes later :)Then onto the game and Vinnie against Mario was always going to be a good watch. Not always one way either and Vinnie had to resort to taking him out at times to stop him getting past. On one such occasion Mario got the foul but bounced straight back up to run on and score. Still smiling though when the free kick stood. Kolarov lined up to take it with the wall (2 players) standing about 4 yards away. Joe Hart shouting " knock him over" as the piledriver smashed into Nigel's rear. Another hospital job had it been me but Nigel just jumped up and down a bit laughing away.Shortly after, Kolarov got the first goal moving onto a pass from Silva and then to finish it off there was a 2 on one situation and Kolarov found Barry to score the 2nd. The space in the centre was made by Mario taking Vinnie away. Razak played as a wide right player in the game and Mancini was placed on his side and regularly giving him advice on his positioning, when to overlap,when to get in at the back post etc. At the other end Joe was in good form and even better voice.So loud and it must be good for the defenders in front of him.I guess those who sit near the front behind the goals at matches will know all about it.After the game a bunch stayed out for some shooting and Joe decided to have some fun taking the mickey out of some of the attempts. Kicking or kneeing the ball away and shouting prego each time he saved it. It really was funny as AJ/Mario and Clichy/Nigel and Pizarro/Kolarov just couldnt score. Until eventually Pizarro fizzed one across him and right into the corner and the entertainment ended.