MCFC training report 29/12/2011
By Doug Higginbottom, Thu 29 December 2011 14:48
Privileged to be inside again at Carrington with the wind howling and rain,at times,coming in sideways! Not too sure some of the players were as keen as usual in the atrocious weather but they just got on with it, all 25 of them.And that was just the outfield players.Not a player missing and Hargreaves back in full training after a week or so of working hard alongside the rest.Also involved were Nedum, Bridge, Rekik, Roman, Suarez and Razak.
Most came out fully togged up for the weather and even Milner had a jacket on but he took it off when he arrived at the pitch probably not wanting to look a wuss! Initial jogs were followed by one and two touch stuff where it was good to see everybody had the measure of the mannequins today.Then it was a game all about pass and move,closing down and first touch which very quickly got the competitive juices flowing. Mancini then did some of his usual work on another pitch with 2 different teams leaving the others to keep working on specific fitness routines or just playing in keep ball circles.Whatever they were it sounded fun from behind the fence where I was watching Mancini working.
Not easy conditions for Mancini, whether working on attacking plays or defending corners as the wind played havoc with anything kicked in the air.It was most notable when I was watching the keepers as some of the crosses got caught in the wind making it almost impossible for the keepers to make catches or sometimes even get a touch on the ball..
Then it was all back to finish with a match of 10 a side. Bridge,Ned,Roman,Suarez rejoined at this point as they had spent a bit of time working with the keepers providing crosses and shots but a few of the key senior players were given a bit of time off. Even though at least one of them wanted to stay out for the game.
A very early goal started it off when Nigel set Bridge free overlapping down the left and his low,cut back cross was met well by Milner. The equaliser came from a great break from Kolarov and again his low cut back ball was belted home ,this time by Razak.The majority of the game was a stalemate.Some very good football but defences largely in control.The wind did not help at all as switching play with a long ball was so difficult.Mario got a knock but seemed to shrug it off as did Roman. Then at 1.1 a penalty was given for hand ball.Looked like it was all down to the swirling wind but it gave a chance for a winner as it was the last kick of the game. It finished 1.1 !!
As the whistle blew for the end the majority headed for the showers a little quicker than usual but Kolo stayed out for some extra with Brian Kidd ( made me tired just watching it) and Mancini did a little extra with Nasri and AJ on a couple of specific things.As I was walking in I took the opportunity of shaking the boss's hand and thanking him for 2011 and also for agreeing that I could be inside to watch the training.Not sure of his response but it might have been "eez normal".