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By Doug Higginbottom, Fri 05 October 2012 12:38
It all seemed a little quiet when I arrived at Carrington this morning. No signs of the usual press conference (apparently it was lumped in with the european one on Tuesday) and even though there was some stuff set out there were no signs of the coaches outside like there usually is. My thinking was that there was a heavy pre training briefing going on inside first but I would expect that happened on Thursday especially based on how Mancini had reacted after the game.But they came out at 11 and had the usual shortish briefing from the boss before he took all the defenders away for a tactical session leaving the rest to do normal warm up stuff. Just 6 defenders involved and it seemed all about their shape as they moved around under Mancini's watchful eyes. I would definitely say it was a lower key group to start with than I often see. Hard to say whether that's a good thing or not as it's what happens in matches that counts but certainly there was a quieter focus today.The session started to develop through the keep ball circles and the noise and enjoyment with it. Some I expect will say they are not there to enjoy themselves but simply to work hard and prepare for the next game but really there needs a to be a good balance of both which has always been the case. I would imagine the message will have got through and clearly Mancini was urging them on during the session.Onto the football with small nets and normal nets with regular changing between 1 and 2 touch, headed goals only (Micah didn't get one this time) and all started off with a handball session led by Peter Crouch. The only headed goal I saw was scored by Scapuzzi so maybe he will start on Saturday. At the end of this the main team from Wednesday went in leaving just enough for a 6 a side game.Inevitably a load of goals scored but the star for me was clearly Joleon. His first goal was a sweet left foot volley back across the keeper, then another sidefoot volley meeting a long throw in and finally a neat shot when he latched onto a rebound. I say finally but when he broke forward dummied the keeper to take the ball to the byline and set up an easy chance (which was missed) he surpassed himself. Joleon and Scapuzzi up front looks a winner.Of course one or two from Kolarov but one screamer in off a post from 20 yards was a special one. I said the others went in but Dzeko stayed out to watch whilst chatting to the coaches. Some free kick practice ended the session with AK, SS, MB and JM all having a go. A coach arrived at about noon so I assume they would all be going straight from Carrington to the hotel later in the afternoon.