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By Doug Higginbottom, Thu 19 September 2013 19:52
My god it was wet out there today.I arrived at 10.20 to hear the noises of players already out there so hurried around to see it was the academy boys working hard.As I watched them for a while the session was two teams passing/moving and with good intensity.More on them later.
Just a few minutes in and the EDS lads were going out and then the 1st team coaches appeared so I moved my spot around (waded through the ferns and brambles)to the far pitch (Sale Sharks side) for the best view I could get. First there apart from the coaches was Greg Leigh brought over from the EDS group to balance the numbers and give him a great experience.It might not have been his first session with the first team squad but it's the first time I have seen him with them.
The best news was seeing not just Vinnie with the team but also Silva and Micah so just Clichy missing.As ever of the main group Milner was out first and typically in shorts with most of the others covered up for winter weather.The Inside City cameras were in action as Pellegrini did a team talk for starters and I think as they broke Guidetti and one other went off either to join the EDS or work inside.
Plenty of routine jogging and simple fitness/stretching exercises followed by some ball work in pairs then in small groups.Then as they broke into 2 groups, Vinnie went off for some specific running exercises with a physio.No problems I am sure all planned this way. The 2 groups did keep ball circles and Negredo showed he meant business with a Nigel like tackle and the noisiest moment came when Jovetic seemed to nutmeg both Silva and Dzeko with one pass.
The groups split again with one lot (the Plzen team) doing some warmdown running before going inside and the others having a pass/move competition trying to get 10 completed passes.Not for long though as Silva and Richards broke off or some work with physios.Initially it was just running but then Silva moved off for more intricate stuff with a physio leaving Micah just stamina building.
The rest of the players worked with Pellegrini on attacking plays,getting the ball out wide,creating space and getting crosses in.Greg Leigh at times in the spotlight and acquitting himself well. Nice to see Jovetic for the first time properly.Looks quality.Sadly there was one very unfit person there...me as I had to quit early but that did give me a bonus as I left to hear some of the academy players being given a rocket from the coach.Can't say who what or why but it sounded good to me.