Training report 28/10/2011
By Doug Higginbottom, Fri 28 October 2011 11:59
Lovely sunny day behind the fencing today. Keepers out early and making plenty of noise with their laughter as Kidd, Fausto and Ivan finished setting up all the props for the session. Nasri was 1st out closely followed by Mario who was sporting what I first thought was a white mask and then a very large snood type thing. Word was that he has a tooth problem but it sure as hell was the target for most of the cameras. He was doing some early extra jogging with Ivan Carminatii but seemed fine to me.
Everyone as expected except Razak and Owen. Noticeable as they came out were Kolarov, Edin and Savic together in animated conversation, Vinnie with his arm around Micah's shoulders, the Toures together chatting and Nigel and Lescott the same. Plenty of the regular stretching, jogging and loosening routines went on at the start with a special party watching. This was headed by chairman Khaldoon and Brian Marwood and some other bald headed guy (acting chairman?). Our chairman is a very imposing figure even when not fully suited and booted.
All the warm up stuff was notable for me by the enjoyment throughout the group and by good effort being put in by them all. Onto keep ball circles which were right by the fencing to give the best view and best vantage to hear everything going on. Mancini wasn't close at this point as he was chatting with the chairman. An early dispute in the circle nearest me ended with the players voting for Silva to be the defender in the middle chasing the ball. This group included Micah, Nigel, Vinnie and Joleon so was never anything but a great laugh but really competitive. Nigel in great moaning and joking mood so no change there and at different times disputes were resolved by votes of the group to get different players in the middle. Another attempt at this on Silva was lost by Joleon as the others ganged up on him.
Then onto different games of handball,headed goals only,one touch two touch stuff. AJ with the first headed goal (yes AJ) cancelled out by Micah. Goals in the small nets by Nigel and Edin.Then a brief game of tag with 2 teams of Sergio, Zaba and Silva at the same time as Edin, Stefan and Alex. Crazy stuff. Then a few more exercises before a game. Interesting that half did short stuff in and out of ladders and cones and the other half were doing basic running.
The game started without Kolarov and Edin. Alex got a great round of applause as he left the pitch for some reason which he lapped up. 10 a side it was and it was all about defences on top. GB missed a great chance, Vinnie grabbed onto Mario so he could break away off the ball and got no reaction from Mario. A brilliant Joe save, great tackle by Lescott. Then a brilliant bit of skill between Silva and AJ got the ball in the net only to be flagged offside. Mancini had been chatting with Edin showing him a move or two and then Edin went chatting with the chairman.
More decent saves from the keepers and a special little bit that summed things up for me. Nasri was outnumbered near a corner and with some skill and an amazing physical effort held them off and worked a pass to a teammate. The all round effort going in was excellent. Then the only goal and I am not sure who scored it but I think it was Silva. Plenty more action but defences stayed on top, Nigel kept moaning and Yaya came closest with a left footer a foot wide but Mancini called it a day. As Mario went in the cameramen reckoned they noticed somebody stood on Mario's foot which apparently didn't please him. They were all desperately hoping somebody had a picture of it. Pathetic vultures.
A bunch stayed out for a while for shooting practice but not necessarily the ones you would expect. Milner yes but also Clichy, Micah, Joleon, Nigel and AJ. Many of the others as they trooped off had a chat with the chairman, some quite a lengthy chat as well. All great to see .Kolo went off for some extra work with Brian Kidd, Bridge with Ivan and Clichy was probably last in after some extra work on crossing on the move.