MCFC training report 06/03/2012
By Doug Higginbottom, Tue 06 March 2012 14:08
It started in a misty freezing cold gloom but finished in a lovely warm, sunny Spring day. The mood was set early with Atillio Lombardo playing the fool, messing with Fausto (nearly hit him with a pole used as a javelin) and with Yaya. The phrase used by some watching was "coco loco". I got the gist:).
The players were out a little later than usual apart from CT who was chatting with Ivan and Roberto. Aguero next out but he was chauffered by the doc .It was cold but 3 regulars out in shorts along with all the physios also in shorts. Pablo the only one missing due to injury and Rekik I assume because he will play tonight.
Mancini did his usual team briefing and then it was split into two groups for different exercises. 150 yards away the keepers were already hard at it and there was a scare as Costel went down injured. Joe piled in and started beating him up on the floor but he realised he was injured and shouted the doc over. He ran the 150 yards and as he got close Costel leapt back into action. The doc saw the funny side and just emptied a bottle of water over him.
The mood was really good but whatever the fun and banter they switched on immediately when asked to work. Next was a passing game which required 8 passes before a goal could be scored and the intensity was there straightaway. The pressing was impressive and they all showed that it mattered to them even though just a little training exercise. Plenty of complaining with decisions made which were either borderline or just plain baffling. Nasri got an injury which was worrying for a moment but the doc sorted him and he seemed fine a little later in the game.
Yaya and Micah were not in this game but doing some extra work with a physio. That game finished and it was into 2 different groups for more exercises, followed by Mancini taking teams onto another pitch for some teamwork prep for the Lisbon game. The players he worked with changed around a lot whilst those not involved at the time played in a 4 a side game. The players in the small game changed all the time and at one point it was hard to see who was playing who. Orange bibs, white bibs, no bibs at all. Mario thought it was hilarious when he told the ref that Yaya was white!
It was around now that the sun broke through and it got warmer. Layers of clothing were thrown off by some and there was steam everywhere. While they were gathering for the final game Clichy curled a lovely right footer in the from the dead ball line to prove that he was indeed a natural right footer once upon a time (I asked him later and he confirmed he was) Mario decided to have a go in goal during the lull and he wasnt great but he had some fum mimicking Joe Hart's kicking style. A couple of saves but they had to be close to him.
Onto the game which was a 3 touch game. Mario shot over early and claimed it wasn't his fault! Something about the ball flying inconsistently. Micah and Yaya were fully involved in this and Micah wasnt very happy at a Vinnie challenge that went unpunished. How Vinnie would like Lombardo as a ref in the prem! The intensity and battling went on, Nigel just failed to keep a pass in play despite a 10 yard slide which made the rest laugh (he wasn't even close).
- Milner scored easily when given too much room to take aim
- Barry scored from a delicious Pizarro little through pass (GB does make some superb runs from deep)
- Mario then scored from a nice GB pass
- the closing down was excellent, plenty of strong, safe challenges, plenty of moaning. One physio saying "there's plenty of hormones flying today"
- the effort and intensity all round was great but as ever exemplified by Milner who just never stopped.
- Silva scored with a sweet low shot.
- Pizarro was impressing
- Nasri got a bit wound up by the ref who was chatting to an opposition player as if he was on their side. Really funny but you had to be there :)
- then there was controversy about a free kick given and as the arguing grew Mancini ended the game. Good decision I would say.
Quite a few stayed out for shooting practice which started with Micah having a pen saved brilliantly. The ones who stayed though were AK/NDJ/MB/AJ/OH/JM and ED with GC watching and DP feeding the balls in. After just a minute or two Mancini, Kidd and Platt went in and I think the message was dont stay out too long.B ut boys will be boys and they were enjoying themselves. It got down to they each had to score before they could go in. When Nigel scored he was leading the banter to see who would be the weakest link.It turned out to be............ you dont need to know. Almost 2 hours today and very enjoyable.