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By Doug Higginbottom, Thu 12 September 2013 18:36
Back at last! Finally able to get around and I decided to go to the main gate early for starters a I didn't know what time they trained now but had heard earlier than before. No help there as he said he had no idea! Strange as they always get told all the times but fair enough as that would have been his orders. The full car park told it's own story though.
So round I went and I definitely needed a machete to get through to the far pitch (Sale Sharks)No sign of life though even on the far side where the EDS would train but not too long before some coaches came out there.Strange that they should sat around talking with no signs of any players and it was the first team that were out first back on the pitch nearest the buildings. 11am the old starting time.
Back to the car to get steps but even then it was clear that viewing is harder than last season.The curtain you have to look through I would say has been changed, upgraded so it's harder to see much at all unless they are close.Fair enough I suppose although any cameramen who were desperate to get pictures could still do it from the far side with long lenses.
Anyway I got the 3 keepers in close up going through there routine warm up stuff then spent quite a lot of time dealing with shots from the coach from the edge of the box.In the distance the 1st team squad were going through standard warm up stuff.It looked 17 players involved but hard to tell who was who from 150 yards.Sharon said a quick hello as did Les Chapman who was on ball retrieving duties.He came round for one and we exchanged pleasantries including me saying his OS interview was very good.He said I bet you have never seen me serious before! He's probably right.
The players did a big keep ball circle before moving into a passing game of 8v8 with a floating player.All routine stuff with the boss watching closely and at one point stopping proceedings to have a word.As this finished Pellegrini got them all together for a word and then they moved closer to me to have some attack v defence work.I think a few went in at this stage leaving about a dozen.
This session was mainly attack v just 3 defenders with Pellegrini dictating what he expected.The first move ended with Jovetic scoring a nice goal and the feeling I got was it had good intensity but the difference to most of what I had been used to seeing in such sessions was the attack had a defence to contend with.Almost all the time previously the moves were played out with nobody trying to stop them.The defenders were under real pressure as there would be 5 or 6 attacking players but generally they did well.The central defenders were Lescott,Nasti,Dedryk and Garcia.
There was one clever goal scored by Nasri where he sold two dummies including one to the keeper before chipping home nicely ( not sure the keeper was too chuffed!)Kompany might have been involved in the earlier gentle warm up stuff but not here but I did see him doing some running so he won't be that far away from being ready.
I couldnt tell who had gone in before this started but I guess it would be players who had played most or traveled most in the week.The next session looked like it would be 5 or 6 a side but right at the other end of the pitch so I could not see much.As I was totally knackered I called it a day.As I left I got a quick viewing of Micah and Silva working outside 1 to 1 with a physio.There was some banter going on which drew my attention to them.Typically Micah with Silva's physio and I heard something about " just because you have a World Cup winner etc etc"
Good to be back and hopefully I will see more next time but I guess it won't be tomorrow as they train at the Etihad on the day before a game.